Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gluten Free ChocOATchip Protein Muffins

I made these muffins last night and to my surprise they were AWESOME. For those of you who know me, you should be very shocked that I actually baked something. Let's just say that I am a personal trainer and my mad skills belong in a gym, not the kitchen. But hey - I try.

These muffins are super easy - easy to make, easy to grab and go and easy to eat. They are not crumbly and dry like most gluten free muffins that I've had. The banana makes them moist and adds a little sweetness. So, needless to say, these are my new favorite on the go food.


1 1/2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
4 egg white or 3/4 c. egg white substitute
1/2 c. Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1 t. gluten free vanilla extract
1 c. gluten free oats
2 c. gluten free oat flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
3 T. Whey Isolate (I used Your Whey) or 1/2 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/3 c. 70% or higher dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mash bananas and mix with applesauce, egg whites, yogurt and vanilla. Add in oats, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, protein and chips. Blend well - mixture will be gooey and not runny. Please 2 heaping spoons into each muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Serving Size: 1 muffin  Total Servings: 12
Per Muffin: 170 calories, 3.5 g. fat, 26 g. carbs, 9 g protein, 6 g. sugar

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gluten Free Diet = Weight Loss? is how the typical conversation goes when I tell people I have Celiac Disease:

Me: "Oh (fill in name here). I would love to eat your delicious looking (insert gluten containing food here), but I have I Celiac Disease and I can't eat it. But thank you."
The Gluten Eater (or GE): "What's Celiac Disease?"
Me: "Celiac Disease means I'm allergic to gluten...." (usually interrupted)
GE: "Oh, I've heard of that. I heard (insert celebrity here)/or I have a friend who went on that diet. They lost a TON of weight when they went on The Gluten Free Diet. I've been thinking about it. What do you think? Should I go on that diet."
Me: "Do you have Celiac Disease or are you gluten sensitive?"
GE: "No, I just heard you can lose a lot of weight on that diet."

And that is when I usually when I burst their bubble. I explain to, what seems like everyone and their brother lately, that "The Gluten Free Diet", like most people refer to it, is not like the Cabbage soup diet, the Master Cleanse or the silly Grapefruit Diet that all of our mom's were on at one time or another during our childhood. It is not a fad diet that will cause you to lose mass amounts of weight OR the "magic pill" of weight loss. Eating gluten free is something that yes, can be healthy, but is extremely hard to adhere to and should only be followed by those who have Celiac Disease or are gluten sensitive. Eating Naturally G-Free cuts out most processed foods and relies mainly on fruits, veggies, fresh lean meats and quality low processed whole grains like oats, quinoa and brown rice. Yep - that is really healthy and most people who have went from a unhealthy diet to the Naturally G-Free diet will lose weight. BUT (there always is a big but), when you add in all the packaged and convenience gluten free foods like pizzas, chips and frozen dinners, the G-Free diet and be very unhealthy. If a person were to just cut out processed and fast foods in a non gluten free diet, and eat more fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grains they could lose weight too.

As early as 20 years ago, Celiac Disease was basically unknown. Thousands of people were misdiagnosed with IBS, Chron's Disease and other digestive diseases. Those who were correctly diagnosed had to struggle to pave the way for today's Celiacs so we could navigate the grocery stores and find gluten free foods without reading EVERY food label before it went into the cart. When I was diagnosed 10 years ago, I basically had a panic attack every time I went into the grocery store. If I wanted to try new foods, I had to bring a list that my doctor gave me of all the 18 letter words that contained gluten. There were no cute little packages screaming "GLUTEN FREE" at me. I had to do all the research....and it sucked. After an hour in the store and 3 lonely products in my cart, I would just go back to the foods I knew were safe and grudgingly looked forward to eating the same thing again that week, and again and again! And for a foodie like me that was very discouraging. I wanted to eat food just like everyone else dammit! But it was so time consuming to find NEW foods that were safe for me. 

Skip ahead to 2011. You can't go anywhere without hearing about Gwyneth Paltrow's gluten free cleanse and seeing hundreds of packaged foods exclaiming that they are now gluten free. 1 in 133 people in the US has Celiac Disease. We are a huge population with a pretty serious issue. If we eat the wrong foods or eat foods that are labeled incorrectly, we pay for it for days. Celiac's got sick of being sick and demanded that companies label their foods as gluten free or containing gluten. When companies started listening, people who had no idea what gluten is started paying attention. "Well if they are taking gluten out of a product, then it must be bad for me." To Google they'd go and see all the symptoms that Celiac Diease can have. Stomach issues, gas, bloating, headaches, fatigue. "I have all those symptoms. I must have Celiac Disease. I am going to stop eating gluten." Nevermind the fact that they are eating fast food multiple times a week, living on soda and not getting enough sleep or exercise. Yep - you're HAS TO BE Celiac Disease that is causing you to feel like crap. And don't go to a doctor to confirm your diagnosis. Start a drastic diet instead. (That was a joke - please don't comment that I am being sarcastic). Combine that with Elizabeth Hasselbeck writing The G-Free diet, stating that after a drink she doesn't take her Celaic Disease seriously and endlessly forcing the fact that she lost all her baby weight by being g-free down everyone's throats....And the Gluten Free Diet "fad" was born. UGH!!!!

Seriously...following a gluten free diet can be very healthy, if you have Celiac Disease and work with your doctor to make sure you are getting all of the Vitamins and Nutrients that you can't get in the foods that you can't eat. If you are just doing the gluten free "thing" to lose weight, I'd highly suggest trying a different approach. If you eat gluten free and don't know what you are doing, you can end up deficient in many different vital nutrients that your body needs. Instead eat a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains and exercise and you'll lose weight - guaranteed!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tera's Whey - Love the name!

I came across Tera's Whey when I was shopping at a local Fresh and Natural Store. I wasn't even looking for protein powder that day, but the name caught my eye. Seeing Tera's Whey on the package made me instantly pick it it was made just for me. When I saw that it was gluten free I decided to buy it. After I got home I looked up Tera's Whey's website and discovered what an AWESOME company it really was. Not only did the product have a pretty cool name, but they are local (to me) and have a revolutionary way of making whey:

How Tera’s Whey is Manufactured

One of the most unique things about Tera’s Whey is where the whey comes from. The norm in the whey protein business is to buy whey from a blender who sources it from huge plants wherever it is cheapest at the time. One month it may be from a big plant in the US, another from New Zealand, and in another month it could come from Europe. 
Tera’s Whey is made from raw whey from small local cheese plants in Wisconsin that get their milk from small family farms. Some of the owners are farmers, some of the cheese plants are small cooperatives owned by farmers.  This means they always know where their raw whey is coming from and so do you.
Tera’s Whey is the ONLY plant in the country that makes organic cow, r-bgh free cow, and goat whey proteins for use in nutritional supplements. 
Tera's Whey contains: 

  1. Complete branch chain amino acids in a very bio-available form.  
  2. Trace minerals and beneficial companion products such as lactoferrins and immunoglobulins. Tera’s Whey contains more of these naturally occurring  compounds to preserve more of the holistic healthy properties of whey.
  3. No casein. Casein is the milk protein in cheese.  Any trace amounts that remain in the raw whey are removed in our microfiltration process.
  4. No butterfat— It’s in the cheese. We remove any remaining fat in our process.
  5. Trace amounts of lactose.  All whey proteins, even isolates, have trace amounts of lactose remaining in them.  Typically the amount found in isolates and 80% whey protein concentrate products are so small that they are tolerated by people with lactose intolerances.  Tera’s Whey contains 1g per serving. People who are lactose intolerant should not use cows milk to hydrate Tera’s Whey.
  6. No gluten.  Gluten comes from wheat and could only appear in a dairy product like whey protein powder through environmental contamination.  We lab test our whey proteins to make sure that they remain gluten free.
  7. No MSG.  Monosodium glutamate is a flavor additive that can be covered up on a product label by calling it a “natural flavor”.  Our products do not contain MSG, nor is it a naturally occurring substance in whey protein.  There are no guidelines for labeling products MSG free.
  8. No added sugar.
  9. No fillers.
  10. No artificial flavors or colors.
  11. No hormones, steroids, or any other additives.

I tried the Fair Trade Organic Dark Chocolate Whey Protein  and the Organic Bourbon Vanilla Whey Protein. I mixed the Vanilla Whey with 8 oz. of water in my shaker after a workout and I was pleasantly surprised. The whey easily mixed in the shaker (without clumps) and had a great creamy texture. No gross “fake sugar” after taste like most protein powders.  When I tried the Chocolate Whey, I had just finished a run and needed some extra carbs & natural sugars to help me recover. I mixed ½ c. of milk, ½ c. water, ½ of a banana, 4 crushed ice cubes and the whey in my Magic Bullet. WOW – it was like a Malt!!!!  So good.

It's a Miracle!!!!

Since I am now on the "low carb" part of my Show Prep Diet, I am SERIOUSLY craving my rice noodles. I've tried other gluten free noodles, but Thai Rice Noodles are by far my favorite. Before my diet revamp, I lived off of rice noodles. Rice noodles with chicken, rice noodles with veggies, rice noodles with shrimp, rice noodles in my orange juice. Ok, so I got a little carried away one time. But honestly, every day I made my rice noodles, threw in some type of extra & covered it in spaghetti sauce. Voila! Instant yumminess! I seriously believe that I had to have been a fat, Italian man in some past life because I LOVE my noodles with red sauce! And when they were eliminated from my diet, let's just say that I was a VERY unhappy girl!

That is until I found The Miracle Noodle. Miracle Noodles are GLUTEN FREE, SOY FREE, CALORIE FREE & CARB FREE noodles made from Konnyaku Flour (Konnyaku Flour is a soluable fiber is supposed to  slows digestion and give you that "full" feeling). Miracle noodles come in a a few different varieties - rigatoni, orzo, fettucini, mini pearls. I decided to try the angle hair. These "miracle noodles" sounded too good to be true, so I had to give them a try.

When I got the noodles, I noticed that they were packaged a little differently than your regular noodles. They came already cooked in a fluid filled bag. The directions said to rinse the noodles VERY well, boil in water for one minute, drain, and COMPLETELY dry off.  When I opened the package, I understood all of the rinsing directions. They had a very unique smell, to say the least. So I rinsed, and I rinsed AND I RINSED, boiled, drained & dried the noodles in paper towels. When they were COMPLETELY dry, I added in my chicken & veggies and poured on the spaghetti sauce. And THEY TASTED AMAZING!!!! I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the full carb and no carb noodles. So happy!

Here I sit 3 hours later & I would normally be starving by now and waiting at the fridge for my next meal, but I still have a little of that "full" feeling. So I guess there is something to the Miracle Noodle's claim that your will feel fuller, longer. These definitely are a miracle noodle. No calories, no soy, no gluten, no carbs, but SUPER YUMMIE! I will be eating oodles of these noodles!

My rating: 5 stars!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pumpkin Protein "Cup" Cakes

I was starving and needed a snack that wouldn't kill my diet but was sweet. I tried these cupcakes out & just about fell over - too good to be true!  Hit the spot!

Pumpkin Protein "Cup" Cakes

Makes 1 serving - 130 calories, 25 g. protein, 0 g. fat, 6 carbs

    * 30 grams (1 scoop) MET-Rx Protein Plus Vanilla Protein Powder
    * 1 Tbsp Libby's Canned Pumpkin
    * 3 Tbsp Liquid Egg Whites or 1 Egg White
    * 1/4 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
    * Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix all ingredients together in a coffee mug. Microwave for 45 seconds. Take out of cup and top with whatever you like. I use 1 Tbsp PB2. YUMMIE!!!!!!

Gluten Free Protein Pancakes

This is one of my favorite breakfasts! If your like me & need to eat first thing in the morning, these are great. Super easy and fast. During my show prep diet, I eat half and save the rest for the next day.

Gluten Free Protein Pancakes

Makes 1 serving - Calories: 330 / 3 g. Fat / 24 g. Protein / 53 g. Carbs

  •  ½ c. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  •  1 small banana or ½ c. blueberries
  •  ¾ c. egg white substitutes or 4 egg whites

Blend in a Magic Bullet/blender until smooth. Cook on a griddle for 3-4 minutes on each side. Top with fruit or real maple syrup. 

Welcome to My World!

Hey there! My name is Tera and I wanted to start a blog about living a healthy lifestyle while maintaining a G-Free Diet. I have always been very health conscious, so it's super important to me to find good G-Free recipes and foods that are yummie and not loaded with sugar & processed ingredients. Now that I've decided to compete in my first figure show, it's even more important to find "clean" G-Free foods. I had a hard time finding resources for a Gluten Free Show Prep Diet, so I decided to start my own blog telling my journey to becoming a G-Free Figure Competitor and sharing the helpful tips/trick that I have found. 

A Little Background on How I Was Diagnosed with Celiac Disease:

When I was in high school, I broke out in small, itchy blisters all over my knees and elbows. My doctors told me that it was psoriasis. So I did the special creams that he prescribed me and never got any relief. So, back to the doctor I went & he sent me home with different meds and creams. After years of this, I decided to just give up and deal with whatever it was that I had. In 1999, the same blistery rash that I had on my knees and elbows showed up on my face literally overnight. Being a girl and a little vain, this was something that I was not going to just live with. I went back to the doctor and he told me that it was acne. Well, I didn't need an MD behind me name to tell me that "acne" like this doesn't just show up over night, so I asked to be referred to a dermatologist. When I saw the dermatologist, he immediately wanted to do a biopsy because he knew what I had on my face as not acne. Again, being a girl, I really didn't want to have my face cut into so he biopsied the blisters on my elbow. 3 days later I got my results. The blisters on my face, knees and elbows was Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). My derm then started asking me about my stomach. Ummm...hello? I thought dermatologists were skin doctors? When I asked him why he was asking me those questions, he said that the DH could be a symptom of something else called Celiac Disease. My dermatologist recently saw a patient with DH and they also had Celiac Disease (CD). He referred me to see a gastroenterologist. Enter my saving grace - Dr. Hecht. After answering a few questions, Dr. Hecht told me that he was positive that I had CD and we needed to schedule a biopsy to see how much damage was done to my small intestine. When I got the results I found out that I did have CD and, THANK GOD, the damage to my small intestine was minimal. So, long story short - 10 years later I am G-Free and feeling great!

There you go, my G-Free story. I thought it was important to share so you know how I came to living a G-Free Lifestyle. I'm not doing this "diet" because it's a fad or as a means to lose weight (I'll talk about this whole "myth" in a later post), it's to stay alive and healthy! Hopefully through this blog I can help anyone who wants to live the G-Free life in a healthy way.