Gluten Free Family: Health and Well Being

June 9, 2009

Health and well being is something that I can be almost obsessive about at times, especially with my children. Even long before I had kids, I was very serious about what it took to be healthy myself. I come from a long line of autoimmune illnesses, and in my early 20’s I started to experience the effects of those genetics. As I watched from the sidelines as my health deteriorated, I figured that there had to be something that I could do to turn things around. The drugs just seemed to be weakening me further, and for the first time, I looked to alternative health therapies to try and take back my well being.

There is really no need to bore anyone with the details of those years. Some therapies worked, others didn’t, but to be very honest, the two things that have had the biggest impact is eating well and simple exercise.

I don’t actually mean that those two things solve the health problems themselves, only that they seem to give me the foundation that I need to allow other therapies to work. I started to practice yoga in my early teens, long before you could find a yoga studio next to every Starbucks in America. For my children, I have tried to incorporate yoga with the sports that they love, for a balanced and active life.

Eating well is probably the biggest key to all of us staying as healthy as possible. Having two children with celiac, and being gluten and wheat sensitive myself, eating healthy is our only option. Two recipes that we use on a daily basis, and that my kids are pretty fond of is our Green Smoothie and Gluten Free Protein Oatmeal (yes, I gave them those silly names).

A few months ago I had a friend describe a smoothie that she drank religiously that was helping her to get the protein and raw veggies that she needed, but in a quick and tasty way. I don’t remember all that she put into it, but I came home and decided to put together my own version. I wanted to make sure that my kids would eat it too, so I added in some honey and a lot of fruit to counter act the bitter taste of the greens. We drink the Green Smoothie everyday, and although my youngest son still says that it tastes a bit like grass, everyone seems to enjoy it well enough.

Green Smoothie

1 banana
2 Tbs of flax meal (we grind out own, but you can also use flax meal)
1 cup of water
1 Tbs of raw honey
1 cup of frozen organic fruit of choice
2 handfuls of greens (we use spinach, kale or swiss chard)

Blend until a liquid state and serve

Gluten Free oatmeal is something that I have been very weary of, but about a year ago our doctor recommended that we try oatmeal from a company called Gluten Free Oats (I know, highly original). Their oats were processed in a strictly GF facility, and their family had multiple members who suffered from Celiac. We tried them and had absolutely no issues what so ever. We use the oats for baking, as well as for straight oatmeal. About three times a week we give the boys what we call our GF Protein Oatmeal, and we have seen a big difference in them since we started using it. I really made this one up as I went along, and we change it up a bit depending on their mood, or the seasonal fruit in our area.

Gluten Free Protein Oatmeal

1 cup of Gluten Free Oats
2 cups of water
2 Tbs. of any kind of nut butter, or Sun Butter
1 Tbs. of honey
1/2 cup of almond meal (can be left out for nut allergy)
1 apple shredded, or chopped fruit of choice

Cook oats according to package directions.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, and mix until incorporated
If too thick, add in water 1 Tbs. at a time

Living in balance is not always easy, and while I struggle to make sure that everyone is eating well, active, and well rested, there are always times that don’t go as we wish. Having recipes like this, that I know are good for my family, helps me to feel that in the end, we will be just fine.

Wishing you all health and well being

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

stitching under oaks June 9, 2009 at 8:39 pm

you are so right…living in balance and eating healthy is not easy, but you're doing a great job of taking such good care of your family! thanks for sharing the recipes…I have added spinach to my breakfast smoothie before…it's really good.

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Marie June 9, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Nice post! My husband and I don't suffer from Celiac, but we do work very hard to get a good balance of all whole foods. We drink a very similar shake every morning, and we've both seen an increase in our energy and a decrease in our illnesses. Plus, my husband is very sensitive to glucose surges…possibly hyperglycemic and this really starts his day off on a level keel that lasts for hours.

Our shake for two is:
2 bananas, 1 apple or 1 big handful of greens, 1 cup of frozen organic berries (whatever is on hand), 1 Tbsp flax seed oil, 2 Tbsp ground flax seed and about 12 oz. water.

We do eat local honey in other ways, but find the whole fruits a better way to sweeten this first meal of the day.

We'll have to try your oatmeal recipe. It looks delish!

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Sarah June 9, 2009 at 11:36 pm

This is a great post. That smoothie is perfect for anyone looking to get serious nutrition into their system. I have to agree that it is hard to find balance of what is actually good for you, and what is causing harm. I appreciate the time that you take to share with us what helps you find the balance.

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kyndale June 9, 2009 at 11:45 pm

so completely true. I have also been trying to drink enough water and sleep of course is a big one. I love these recipes. We drink smoothies a lot and I will have to try the oatmeal with nut butter. Have you tried the GF hot cereal from Bob's Red Mill? Or do I remember you saying you got contamination from them before?

Anyway, thank you for the recipes and for posting about Celiac. We need all the exposure we can get in order to bring awareness to this very common autoimmune disorder.

Smiles, Kyndale

P.S. I will definitely try the ice cream cake too!!

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kendall*micayla June 10, 2009 at 1:04 am

wow, thank you so much for sharing these recipes!! that drink actually looks really good to me right now!

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Sereknitty June 12, 2009 at 5:13 am

This past week, my sister and I have discovered that we have at the very least, a gluten intolerance, and likely even celiac (yet to do confirming biopsy). It's so helpful when you put your recipes on the blog as we're very new at this. Any recipes you might have for baking that you'd care to share would be greatly appreciated!

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missy June 17, 2009 at 2:12 am

I serve our green smoothies (which sometimes look red, depending on what frozen fruit we add) in wine glasses. Laila calls it our breakfast wine! :)

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Kayla July 11, 2009 at 4:30 am

I just discovered your blog tonight, and I am so excited to find another family dealing with Celiac disease. I was diagnosed about three and a half years ago while pregnant with my daughter. It has changed my life, but in a positive way. I am more in tune with my body than ever and we have changed our eating and living lifestyles dramatically. Thank you for sharing your stories and recipes!

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gluten-free freak October 6, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Just stumbled upon your gorgeous, gorgeous blog and have been DEVOURING your gluten free posts… so happy to have found you! Can't wait to rock the green smoothie! :)

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Heather March 11, 2010 at 10:30 am

Dear Heather
I am really thrilled to have found your blog and your wonderful recipes. I too am a mummy of 2 young children with celiacs and my family has a long line of auto-immune diseases as well. It has been a recent diagnosis for us (including myself) and I have to admit that I am finding it challenging. I think it was through the 'Inside Out' course that I stumbled across your blog. It is comforting to know that there are others out there who are treading similar journies.
love
Heather Ross

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