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Getting The Right Nutrition?

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Those worried thoughts come into my head whether I'm getting enough nutrients during the day by starting a gluten free. It's been a week, and I do feel pretty good. The main positive out of this is my eczema has improved and headaches have subsided.

 

Anyway, here's what I have daily.

 

Breakfast: 3 egg omelette w/ spinach and avocado on top.

Lunch: 1 cup of brown rice w/ pan fried chicken and yoghurt. If I'm out, I only have sushi. (Any ideas besides sushi?)

Dinner: 1 cup of brown rice w/ varied steamed veggies, yoghurt and baked sweet/potato chips.

Snacks: Macadamia's, almonds, raw veggies, rice cakes, fruit.

 

The thing is, I think I'm eating too much rice and very high protein diet... I'm not a fan of gluten-free products, so I usually go for fresh foods. Also, I want to pack in a lot of calories as I'm active and have a fast metabolism.

Any ideas for a rice substitute? I'm fine with my diet, it's simple but I'll probably get sick of this in another week or so which is the reasoning to look for other options.

 

Cheers!

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Sushi is the only thing I have managed to eat out without getting glutened so I think you are smart to start there. Some people seem to be able to handle the cross contamination that is inevitable when a restaurant makes food. I cannot so I've generally given up.

Otherwise, most foods are gluten free before they are processed and combined with other ingredients so plenty of foods are going to be safe. You just need to shift gears to find the ones that you like in order to continue to have lots of variety (and lots of nutrients). But I'd expect it to take months to adjust to a new normal.

Probably the thing that would make life easiest would be to find a grocery store that limits the types of foods that it allows on its shelves because it is much more likely to carry all sorts of foods that are gluten free. (Think WholeFoods or other organic/natural grocery stores.) You'll be able to find pretty much anything you want - but the gluten free versions. I think everything I used to stock in my kitchen has simply been replaced with a different brand, though I was already eating lots of "real" food and cooking from scratch before going gluten-free. 

When it comes to nutrients, there are only two main issues that I'm aware of. If you were suffering from malabsorption issues prior to going gluten free and perhaps continuing a little while you heal, you likely would already have some vitamin deficiencies. I think iron, D, and B12 are all common but I've seen folks talk about some others as well.

But not having gluten in your diet does NOT mean that you will automatically be missing out on any nutrients.

The only things that wheat flours are naturally high in are vitamin E and fiber. Replacing the fiber is easy - just eat more veggies, and plenty of other foods are high in vitamin E. I really like olives which are high in E so I don't worry about this one at all. Sunflower seeds also have lots of E.

However, if you exercise regularly and vigorously, you could be depleting your body of some of the vitamins that are commonly added to fortified wheat flour. So it wouldn't be that your diet was short on nutrients, rather that your lifestyle would require more nutrients that may be more difficult to get enough of if you don't have easy sources such as fortified cereals, breads, etc. Not that fortified gluten-free foods don't exist, just that they may be harder to find. If this were the case, you may want to add a vitamin supplement, but there are some downsides and side effects to those as well. For instance B6 supplements are synthetic and can cause nerve damage in your feet.

But yes, you would need to get more variety in your diet.

Quinoa is an easy alternative to rice. I personally like potatoes, not just because they are tasty, but because they also lower blood pressure. And there are plenty of gluten-free pastas out there that taste fine. If you cook that at really low temps, they normally cook up pretty well without getting mushy. 

I make stuffed mushrooms fairly regularly despite all of the chopping required. They can get pretty high in calories and contain lots of different ingredients depending on what you like. I've developed a fondness for mashed cauliflower which can get caloric depending on how much butter and cheese you use. 

If you haven't tried making a dipping egg, that is one way to make gluten-free bread more interesting. I have found a millet and chia-seed bread that isn't bad, and make my dipping eggs by steaming them with just a little bit of water in a pan with a lid (similar to poached eggs, but tastier).

I have a kick-butt blender for smoothies, but am excited because I finally bought those things where you can make your own popsicles, so I can just freeze whatever I don't drink right away. (Smoothies would be a really easy way to get lots of calories and a wide variety of nutrients.)

Beans can be added to soups, stews, or chili. I've been buying freeze-dried soup mixes that require you to add your own ingredients like the broth, and then adding even more of my own ingredients than they recommend such as fresh veggies in addition to the freeze-dried ones in the mix. Gives me different flavor profiles than if I were making a soup from scratch with my own spices. And lots of leftovers that can be frozen so adds some convenience back into life.

Oh, and popcorn is a whole grain, so a prebiotic in addition to being high in fiber. It also has some protein, vitamins and minerals, and even some antioxidants. Just steer clear of microwave popcorn and all of its toxins. I normally do pan popped so the calories are higher than if it were air popped.

Else you're already eating the high-calorie foods that normally make me go over my desired calorie counts - avocados and nuts.

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It looks like you are eating pretty well.  If you are worried about nutrients, a good multivitamin can help somewhat, but you look like you are eating very well so I doubt you need vitamins unless some nutrients were low to begin with.

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Sushi is the only thing I have managed to eat out without getting glutened so I think you are smart to start there. Some people seem to be able to handle the cross contamination that is inevitable when a restaurant makes food. I cannot so I've generally given up.

Otherwise, most foods are gluten free before they are processed and combined with other ingredients so plenty of foods are going to be safe. You just need to shift gears to find the ones that you like in order to continue to have lots of variety (and lots of nutrients). But I'd expect it to take months to adjust to a new normal.

Probably the thing that would make life easiest would be to find a grocery store that limits the types of foods that it allows on its shelves because it is much more likely to carry all sorts of foods that are gluten free. (Think WholeFoods or other organic/natural grocery stores.) You'll be able to find pretty much anything you want - but the gluten free versions. I think everything I used to stock in my kitchen has simply been replaced with a different brand, though I was already eating lots of "real" food and cooking from scratch before going gluten-free. 

When it comes to nutrients, there are only two main issues that I'm aware of. If you were suffering from malabsorption issues prior to going gluten free and perhaps continuing a little while you heal, you likely would already have some vitamin deficiencies. I think iron, D, and B12 are all common but I've seen folks talk about some others as well.

But not having gluten in your diet does NOT mean that you will automatically be missing out on any nutrients.

The only things that wheat flours are naturally high in are vitamin E and fiber. Replacing the fiber is easy - just eat more veggies, and plenty of other foods are high in vitamin E. I really like olives which are high in E so I don't worry about this one at all. Sunflower seeds also have lots of E.

However, if you exercise regularly and vigorously, you could be depleting your body of some of the vitamins that are commonly added to fortified wheat flour. So it wouldn't be that your diet was short on nutrients, rather that your lifestyle would require more nutrients that may be more difficult to get enough of if you don't have easy sources such as fortified cereals, breads, etc. Not that fortified gluten-free foods don't exist, just that they may be harder to find. If this were the case, you may want to add a vitamin supplement, but there are some downsides and side effects to those as well. For instance B6 supplements are synthetic and can cause nerve damage in your feet.

But yes, you would need to get more variety in your diet.

Quinoa is an easy alternative to rice. I personally like potatoes, not just because they are tasty, but because they also lower blood pressure. And there are plenty of gluten-free pastas out there that taste fine. If you cook that at really low temps, they normally cook up pretty well without getting mushy. 

I make stuffed mushrooms fairly regularly despite all of the chopping required. They can get pretty high in calories and contain lots of different ingredients depending on what you like. I've developed a fondness for mashed cauliflower which can get caloric depending on how much butter and cheese you use. 

If you haven't tried making a dipping egg, that is one way to make gluten-free bread more interesting. I have found a millet and chia-seed bread that isn't bad, and make my dipping eggs by steaming them with just a little bit of water in a pan with a lid (similar to poached eggs, but tastier).

I have a kick-butt blender for smoothies, but am excited because I finally bought those things where you can make your own popsicles, so I can just freeze whatever I don't drink right away. (Smoothies would be a really easy way to get lots of calories and a wide variety of nutrients.)

Beans can be added to soups, stews, or chili. I've been buying freeze-dried soup mixes that require you to add your own ingredients like the broth, and then adding even more of my own ingredients than they recommend such as fresh veggies in addition to the freeze-dried ones in the mix. Gives me different flavor profiles than if I were making a soup from scratch with my own spices. And lots of leftovers that can be frozen so adds some convenience back into life.

Oh, and popcorn is a whole grain, so a prebiotic in addition to being high in fiber. It also has some protein, vitamins and minerals, and even some antioxidants. Just steer clear of microwave popcorn and all of its toxins. I normally do pan popped so the calories are higher than if it were air popped.

Else you're already eating the high-calorie foods that normally make me go over my desired calorie counts - avocados and nuts.

 

Wow, thank you for your time and detailed post, much appreciated!

 

I'll take that all on board, especially looking into those other nutrients that I may be missing out on. Thanks again :)

 

 

Never thought of that, might start with this later in the diet perhaps, maybe get some fish oil in too. 

 

 

I'll give it a shot, never had it before. I guess that's the beauty of being gluten-free - getting introduced to new foods.

 

 

Thank you all, very appreciative which helps me out tremendously :)

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