When people ask me what they can do to loose weight, or improve their general health, I always start with the recommendation to eat a whole foods- based diet, and in some cases, it should be gluten free. Without this basic foundation, it would be impossible to achieve optimal health. Unfortunately, I have found that many people don’t even know what whole foods are, let alone how to plan a meal with them. That’s why I was so excited when I picked up The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. America is experiencing a frightening obesity epidemic, so anyone who wants to to make significant improvements in their health by changing their diet should keep this book in their kitchen as both a reference guide and meal planner.
The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook is written by Tom Malterre, MS, CN and is co-authored by his wife, Alissa Segersten. They met while studying Anatomy and Physiology together atBastyrUniversity inSeattle,WA. They created a cookbook full of nutritious, gluten-free (and some dairy and egg free) recipes with a busy family in mind. Some recipes are adaptations of traditional favorites that we know and love, and some are new and interesting combinations that please the palate. Tom and Alissa make it easy to try new recipes, and take the time to explain unusual ingredients or processes, so there is no reason to be intimidated by cooking.
Gluten sensitivity is becoming more common, partially due to the fact that it has become ubiquitous in our food choices. It is known to be present in wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye, and sometimes oats are contaminated by it. Gluten is hidden everywhere in restaurant and packaged foods, so if you really want to minimize or eliminate its impact, be prepared to do your own cooking.
There are various degrees of gluten sensitivity, from mild intolerance to full- blown celiac disease. Exposure to gluten when sensitive can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, and ultimately cause health problems and nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption. Some of the many symptoms caused by sensitivities include recurring abdominal bloating and pain, inflammation, acid reflux, fatigue, muscle cramps, infertility and joint pain.
Even if you aren’t certified gluten sensitive, it’s always good to take a break from it to prevent future problems. This cookbook makes it simple to create a gluten free meal, with meat or vegetarian. One of the recipes I really loved was the Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Lime, cilantro, and jalapeno merge to make a tasty Mexican inspired salad, which would be delicious paired with guacamole and organic corn chips. Another mouth-watering and off-the-charts nutritious recipe is the Beet, Kale, and Walnut Salad, which combines some unexpected ingredients that meld together perfectly. If you would like to learn more about this cookbook or purchase it, check out www.nourishingmeals.com. It has become my go-to cookbook this summer!