Back-to-School G-Free Snacking Guide–Nutritionist Approved!

I’m a huge fan of naturally gluten-free food. It’s usually healthier, usually cheaper, and IMHO, usually tastier, too. That’s especially this time of year when there are a lot of yummy options almost in season!

And yet…there are so many reasons packaged foods do absolutely come OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAin handy from time to time, whether it’s because of school, sports,  after-school activities and travel, job demands, outdoor activities that prevent easy access or you just need to have something shelf-stable and portable in the car in case of emergency.

I’ve put together a 2014 updated list of some of my favorite healthier options among packaged products, with an eye out towards ones that are lower in sugar, higher in fiber and protein, and less processed. Obviously, you don’t want to forget naturally gluten-free options, too!

Bars:

What do I consider a gluten-free healthy bar? In a nutshell, mostly ingredients your grandmother would recognize, some protein and fiber for fullness and of course, gluten-free.

Snacks:

Quick meal options

Soups!

Shelf-stable options:

  • CookSimple® has a variety of boxed meals (some gluten-free, some not)
  • GoPicnic® has pre-packed meals that are shelf-stable. (some vegan options)
  • St. Dafour® has tinned meals (some gluten-free, some not)

Cereals: (other great breakfast options here)

Breads:

Ah, the task of finding a g-free bread with enough fiber. Try these:wonderbread

Companies that offer sample boxes

 All products are gluten-free per the manufacturer’s claim. Always double check labels, because products do change. Some do contain other allergens.
Did I leave out one of your favorites? Leave me a note in the comments.
This post does contain some affiliate links. I receive a small % if you purchase through those links, but there is no additional cost to you.
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Thankful for my garden-Thankful Thursday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had a lot to be grateful for last week, since I had a great time at the GFE retreat! (pictures to follow) But this week is devoted to the lovelies in my garden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy potatoes…quite a few had residents. I’m not a huge potato eater, but the deer don’t eat them so I’m tempted to grow them again!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe deer nommed most of my peppers, but I snagged this one for Mr. Dude.

mah broccoliBroccoli–this is from when it was cooler, but I’m planting more on Friday.

It’s pretty awesome to eat these treasures…and see them grow.

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Thankful for regular visits–Thursday Thankful

regular visitsThere’s a great quote by Rumi “Do you pay regular visits to yourself?” It’s always struck me because if I’m not conscious about my choices, hours and days fly by and I haven’t checked in with myself. It’s entirely too easy to do. I generally do a formal meditation most days, but it’s kinda nice to “hang out” in the present, too.

So I’ve been very grateful that I’ve really made a point of “making regular visits to myself” by spending time in the evening, lying in the grass and looking up at the trees. It’s soothing…the sound of the wind, the birds, the crickets…and a nice way to wind down after a long day. I don’t do it every day, of course, because it’s not nearly as charming to sit in the rain, but it’s become quite a regular habit. I’m thankful I’ve made the time and space, and the weather this year has been so deliciously perfect that it’s been a huge pleasure.

How do you pay regular visits to yourself?

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Veggie Wraps-Vegan, Grain-Free & Delish!

collard wrapI have a confession to make: collards aren’t my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE kale, adore broccoli rabe, and like turnip greens from time to time. But collards? They’re not usually my favorite. When I went july collardshunting for greens starts, that’s all I could find, so that’s what I planted.

When the leaves were little and cute, I’d throw them in salads. As they got bigger, I thought they’d make good wraps. I was right.

Unlike some of the other recipes that wrap multiple layers, I’ve gone for a single wrap vs the doubled-up layer. They’re a wee bit “bite-y” for me with too much collard per bite. I also found that rubbing the inside of the collard with olive oil also seems to mellow out the flavor.

2 big ‘ole collard leaves

1/2 cup hummus of your choosing

Veggies: 1/2 cup shaved carrots, lettuce, tomato, cukes, sprouts, cilantro, etc… Your collard is your canvass, baby. Go wild.collard wrap 2

Rub inside of collard leaf with a little olive oil and cut out part of the stem. Put 1/4 cup hummus and 1/2 cup veggies de jour in the collard leaf, wrap the bottom like a burrito and skewer with a toothpick to hold in place.

Surprisingly, these guys travel well and keep well overnight, too. I’ve made several different variations with whatever veggies I’ve had on hand. My favorite? Kalamata hummus, carrots, yellow pear tomatoes, red leaf lettuce and cilantro. YUM!

I will hopefully be remembering to submit these to Gluten-Free Wednesdays over at GFE. Gluten Free Wednesdays are a carnival of gluten-free goodies co-hosted by Linda of Gluten-free Homemaker, Shirley of gluten free easily and Lynn of Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. Hop on over for some more good stuff!

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The two most damaging myths on autoimmune disease

I’m speaking on MS in Vienna next Weds and started to think about what I wanted to say. And there are two myths on diet and disease that are pretty much ubiquitous. They’re both damaging, and they apply not only to MS, but to pretty much every autoimmune disease, and apply to most other chronic diseases.

  1. Conventional wisdom: diet has nothing to do with disease. If you want to get well, take your meds and go to your doctor. Don’t waste your time and money with diet changes. Move along; these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
  2. Some alternative views: Nutrition heals everything. (positive thinking does, too.) So if you go on the Swank diet, the Wahls protocol, raw foods, gluten-free, Paleo, etc. or think happy thoughts, your disease will go into remission or be cured. If it doesn’t, you’re doing it wrong/not trying hard enough/not seeing the right practitioner.

Both are a complete and utter load of horsie poo, and are damaging to health in a global way.

It’s ridiculous to think that what we eat doesn’t affect our body’s function,gardensept09 and the new dietary trials and increased awareness is a huge plus. It’s equally problematic to suggest we have no control over our health and our doctors are the wizards of all. Almost everyone I see has some physiologic benefit from dietary change—I can’t think of any exceptions to that rule, but I’m qualifying with “almost” just in case.

But oh my GAWD what an awful burden we put on people when we create a culture of personal responsibility for curing disease. It’s a guilt and shame producing cesspool, and undermines the potential good in healthy changes. BTW, Dr. Wahls does not claim to have cured her MS. She is clear that she’s learned to manage it and eliminate many of the symptoms. That is a beautiful thing…as long as we don’t start using it as a weapon and clubbing people with it.

A decade or so in this field has also given me the humility to know that while I can guarantee that the Twinkie diet will not work, I don’t always know with certainty which of the whole-food, low sugar, balanced ways of eating will fit best for a given person. Nutrition can help you live as fully as possible. That’s just not as sexy as saying nutrition will cure all diseases.

[end of rant]

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Roasted Garlic Bonanza

I know I haven’t been posting anywhere near as many recipes lately. I’ve been taking on more projects, and that’s been a mixed blessing. I enjoy my work, but I’m also someone who has the tendency to take on too much. Ah, to find balance!

So I’m delighted to share one of the recipes I make almost every year. I regularly grow garlic, and seriously, what do you do with 20 bulbs at a time? Answer: roast a bunch. There are several ways to do it, and all taste and smell amazing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAroasted garlic fullroasted garlic in oilMethod 1: partially peel, cut off the tips of the garlic. Cover 1/2 way with EVOO, bake at 350 until soft, browned and tasty. I think it took 1.5 hours. Cool, cover the roasted garlic completely with oil, refrigerate or freeze.peeled gar

roasted garlicMethod 2: Peel cloves entirely. Put them in a “basket” lined with foil, then lined with parchment and fill it up with olive oil. Cover with foil, crimp, and bake at 350 until it smells amazing. Cool, refrigerate and enjoy.

Bonus: either way, you’ve got an abundance of garlic infused oil, too. Refrigerate the oil to eliminate the risk of food poisoning.

It’s amazing slathered on veggies, chicken or bread, pureed into a dip, etc.

Chez Harris is a dedicated vampire-free zone.

I’m sending this yum over to GFW (Gluten Free Wednesdays) a carnival of gluten-free goodies co-hosted by Linda of Gluten-free Homemaker, Shirley of gluten free easily and Lynn of Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. Hop on over for some more good stuff!

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Season’s bounty–Thankful Thursday

This is surely the most luscious time of year, IMHO! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVery thankful for my favorite foods, and the time, energy, money and safety to savor them.

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Thankful for 10 years-Thankful Thursday

cherylErikC & Mr. Dude, ~1999-ish on vaca in LA

I don’t quite have the words to express my love and gratitude for Mr. Dude, my husband of 10 years today, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

SlopeDay-ErikCherylSlope day 2000. More than a little tipsy!

engagement partyEngagement party, ~2003ish

c and e marriedJuly 17th, 2004!

c and e1st dance! July 17th 2004

c and e armsnewly married!

c and e christmas…and 10-ish years later, testing out the delay function on Mr. Dude’s camera at Christmas 2013

I am very, very grateful for Mr. Dude’s love and support in the ~15 years we’ve been together, and the 10 years we’ve been married.

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Thankful for teaching-Thankful Thursday

This weekend will be the end of my 3rd semester of teaching Mindful Eating and Nourishment to nutrition grad students and coaching students at Maryland University of Integrative Health. It’s definitely been a whirlwind, and I’m so glad I jumped in. While I’ve done a lot of community and online classes, grad school is a really different rhythm, and blending the science with meditation practice has been both challenging and exhilarating. In many ways, it has really pushed me to grow—especially since it’s such a distance away, and I generally avoid driving whenever possible.muih bunny
I knew I’d enjoy teaching. I didn’t realize how much! Teaching helps me learn the material in a much different way than when I’m working one-on-one or teaching online, and the students are amazing as well. Of course, when there are 40 final projects on my desk next week, I’ll remember why I don’t teach more classes, but I’m so glad to have this opportunity.

The little bunny above was out rabitting during my class and hanging out by the door until he got everyone’s attention. Clearly he wanted attention, so I got a picture of him after class. He was so tiny!

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Summer recipes!

Summer is the perfect excuse to prowl through the archives, and find my favorite recipes that are great this time of year!

Appetizers:summerrollsmini

Nana Skillet Bread (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Salsa-Mole (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free, vegan)

Summer Rolls (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Main dishes:tkyburgers

Parchment Tilapia, Lazy Style(GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free)

Minty Chicken GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free)

Turkey Garden Burgers (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free)

Salads:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lemony Mint Quinoa (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free, vegan)

Simply Yum Quinoa (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free, vegan option)

Summer Lovin’ Salad (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free) (GF, CF, EF, SF, vegan sugar free)

Veggies:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Green Beans, Roasted GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Grilled Herb-y Peppers (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Yummy sauces:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Basil Pesto (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Garlic Scape Pesto (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free, vegan)

Plum Butter (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free, vegan)

Red Pepper Sauce (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Dessert:sunshine pannacotta

Chocolate Raspberry Pie (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Nanaimo Bars Redux (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan) (updated recipe coming soon!)

Sunshine Panna Cotta (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free)

I’m submitting this chocolate review to Gluten Free Wednesdays, a carnival of gluten-free goodies co-hosted by  Shirley of gluten free easily, Linda of Gluten-free Homemaker,and Lynn of Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. Hop on over for some more yum!

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