Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Delightfully {Gluten, Dairy, And Sugar} Free

This is a guest post from my very good friend, Tracy Hill, who has spent years creating this incredible cookbook.  Eating gluten free has changed her life and has given her incredible health.  She is a fabulous cook and a perfectionist at whatever she does.
Gluten is a tremendous problem to many people, some of whom don't even know it. There are many cookbooks today that feature gluten-free recipes. But we shouldn't stop there. Refined sugar is a huge problem also, and many people cannot tolerate dairy. My cookbook, Delightfully Free, addresses all three of these and is one of only a few to do so.

In recent years, more people are realizing that there is a real connection between the foods we are eating and the pandemic increase of obesity and disease. The focus has moved beyond the low-calorie, low-fat diet to seeking a level of nutrition that will help address symptoms like problematic digestion, brain fog, low energy, headaches and even aggressive behavior in children, mood swings in adults and inflammation which makes us susceptible to arthritis and disease. We know that medication is not always the answer. Not only are we understanding the dramatic way food affects us, we’re discovering that a large part of the equation involves eating gluten-free, dairy-free and free of refined sugars.

In my own experience with family and friends we have seen the dramatic, undeniable effects, both good and bad, caused by what we eat. For example, we have witnessed the most remarkable improvement in aggressive behavior and other autistic symptoms by simply removing gluten, dairy and, in some cases, eggs from the diet of autistic children. This has made the difference between not being able to cope socially and now being able to go to school and be successful. Knowing what to eat, what not to eat and why, has made all the difference.

So many of the people I come across now eat gluten-free, dairy-free or both. Most also recognize the need to lower their intake of sugar. But we still want to eat the delicious foods we love like lasagna, fettuccine with creamy garlic sauce, luscious quiches, moist, flavorful muffins and soft, warm cookies fresh out of the oven. Those packaged ones from the health food stores just don’t cut it! What we need is a new version of these foods that is healthy. So, let’s compare chocolate chip cookies. When we replace regular chocolate chip cookies with my healthy ones, we have a cookie that will fuel the body instead of wage war against it. The traditional chocolate chip cookie is made of bleached, processed white flour, refined white sugar, refined brown sugar and the unhealthy forms of fat from butter, margarine and shortening (some of which are hydrogenated). Not only are these devoid of any nutritional value, ALL of these ingredients wreck havoc on our bodies.

Happily, my chocolate chip cookies are made of almond meal (100% almonds,a valuable, nutritious food high in protein and omega 3 and omega 6), coconut flour (very high in fiber, low in carbs, metabolized as energy not fat, and a good source of protein), coconut palm sugar (natural and low on the glycemic index and high in nutrients), agave nectar (a natural plant derived sweetener with an equally low glycemic index) and grapeseed oil (one of the healthiest, beneficial oils with a very high smoke point). Here, you have a delicious cookie, which is also a nutritious food. Even people who are not “healthy eaters” love them and can’t tell that they are gluten-free, dairy-free and free of refined sugar. Another great example is my Black Bean Brownies; their main ingredient is an entire can of black beans. My elegant Chicken de Provence sauce is creamy and rich but it’s made out of cauliflower!

My hope is that this collection of healthy recipes, along with my blog at Delightfully Free, will help you and your family to improve and preserve your health and quality of life while enjoying the foods you love for the seasons you celebrate. Let’s put the joy back into cooking and eating, free of the stuff that makes us sick...
Delightfully Free!
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
I Corinthians 6:19,20

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