Like any good Catholic, I've given up something for Lent. I didn't give up coffee, cookies, candy or chocolate like most people do. Oh no. That's not my style. I gave up gluten. 100%. This is partially because I want to celebrate my religious tradition by making it a challenge for myself, which is the whole purpose of the tradition and the other part of this decision was to see how my body would react.
I've always had nasty stomach pains and bloating, for as long as I can remember. I've been checked for celiac but my doc said it was a no go, but he also said that a majority of people are intolerant to gluten, not to the point of celiac, but to the point of the inexplicable IBS, which he also said was probably the cause of all of my discomfort.
Nasty topics aside, I have been experimenting in the kitchen and have come up with a few wonderful and delicious items that will make not only your tummy, but also the rest of your body, happy. What is also great about the gluten free lifestyle, is what it does to your waistline. Gluten is in anything wheat or bread-like. Anything with flour in it has this nasty stuff. Eliminating flour essentially eliminates the majority of the carbohydrates we consume. I've said it before and I'll say it again-- Carbs make us fat!
So let's get started with a fresh and filling meal! You won't even miss the gluten!
Chicken & Vegetable Soup with Strawberry Chocolate Smoothie
This soup is super easy:
Heat a pot of water till it's boiling, add some chicken base (Better than Bouillon) and mix in along with some salt/pepper and any other seasonings. Chop up some carrots and throw those in the pot. Five minutes later, add some chopped celery. While this is cooking away, cook up some boneless/skinless chicken breats. Season that with salt/pepper and safflower oil. I use this instead of olive oil because it's a more neutral flavor and also is proven to help shrink fat cells! Once the chicken is done, chop it up and throw it in the pot along with some chopped zucchini. Once all the veggies are cooked through and you've adjusted your seasonings (I used a dash of italian seasoning and some celery salt) you're done!!
It's healthy, super yummy and gluten free!!
The smoothie is even more easy:
Blend together one scoop of chocolate protein powder, spoonful of flaxseed peanut butter, frozen strawberries and almond milk. Yum yum. If you happen to find that you've accidentally poured some rum in your smoothie, well, oops.... and let me know how it turns out!!
You'll need to unbutton your pants after this dinner, but not in the badly bloated way, in the 'I just filled up on veggies and protein and I feel GOOD!'- way.
Happy healthy eating!!