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RECONSIDER


Reconsidering the Gluten Free Diet


< BY GLORIA ATKINSON > A


protein found in grains like wheat, rye, barley, kamut and spelt, gluten also in- cludes couscous, oat bran and semolina. Gluten is also found in packaged foods


(i.e. hydrolyzed vegetable protein) and condiments (like mustard) and alcoholic drinks (like beer). Becoming increasingly popular in Hollywood


with the stars claiming great health benefits, the gluten free diet was never intended as a recipe for weight loss. Adopting a gluten free lifestyle is not a choice for people who genuinely suffer from ce- liac disease or gluten sensitivity.


Celiacs have an


adverse physiological reaction to gluten (symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea); glu- ten must be eliminated from the diet to resolve these symptoms. Electing to exclude gluten from the diet can re-


sult in low levels of important nutrients found in foods containing gluten, including fiber, iron and B vitamins. So careful substitution and possibly supplementation is required. Nowadays there are an abundance of gluten


free products available on the market. However, following a gluten free diet is not as simple as swap- ping one packaged food for another. Just because a product is labeled “gluten free” doesn’t necessarily mean it is low in calories, fat or sugar. Often these foods exchange wheat based ingredients for white rice flour or potato starch, which not only offer little nutritional value, but they can also spike your


blood sugar—not the result you want if you are try- ing to lose weight. Basically gluten free diets are comprised of foods


that are important staples to any healthy, balanced eating plan, including whole fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, low fat dairy, and such super foods as Quinoa and Amaranth. Because you drop the high calorie foods like candy, cake, processed meats, fried food, creamed based soups and sauces and beer (all of which contain gluten) one of the initial side ef- fects may be weight loss, but there are no guaran- tees. Eliminating these processed foods from your diet will contribute to health, regardless of whether they contain gluten. If you have symptoms of celiac disease, food


sensitivities or allergies contact your naturopathic or health practitioner. If you are simply looking to slim down, begin with a sensible diet, watch your portion sizes and add exercise to your daily routine. You could also start by trying to cut back on your sugar intake.


Gloria has been in the fitness industry for almost 30 years, and with Ontario Racquet Club for 24! Currently ORC’s Group Fitness Director (and qualified to teach everything from Pilates to Group Power), Gloria is also a Certified


Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), an ROHP Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner and a certified Reflexologist.


Double Chocolate Gluten Free Applesauce Muffins


Recipe by Janet Bulger, ORC Member


Equipment: Muffin tray, muffin cups, large bowl, pot, medium bowl


Ingredients


1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)


3 squares of unsweetened chocolate (3 oz) 1 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 cups apple sauce 3 eggs beaten


1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/4 cup ground flax


Optional


1/2 cup of one type of nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.) 1/2 cup berries


28 CLUBLIFE SPRING 2012


1/2 cup chocolate chips Anything you can think of …


Directions Preheat oven to bake at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter and chocolate together. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, flax and cocoa in a large bowl. Let chocolate cool, add sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla. Add wet mixture to dry and mix. Bake for 30 minutes or un- til toothpick comes clean.


Alternatives


This batter can be used for a layer cake - bake a little longer in two 9 inch greased and brown rice floured pans.


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