How to be carb-smart and enjoy the season without the weight gain using these low carb holiday recipes and tips
Ask the Nutritionist
by Melissa Diane Smith
Q: Somehow, every holiday season, I end up getting sick with some kind of bug, feeling uncomfortably full, and gaining extra pounds. Can you offer any nutritional advice for getting through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s feeling healthy and without gaining unwanted pounds? —Ellen S., Portland, Ore.
A: As enjoyable as the holiday season can be, it’s also the time of year when we encounter sugar- and carb-laden sweets, beverages, baked goods, and side dishes at every turn. Sugar is an immune suppressor. The more of it we eat, the more apt we are to get sick. And overloading on any type of carbs—not just sweets, but also bread, stuffing, and mashed potatoes—can stimulate our appetite and make us feel bloated and gain weight.
I am delighted to be a featured speaker during the Grand Opening of the new Natural Grocers natural food supermarket at 5600 E. River Road in Tucson this month.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 6 p.m., I will present “Going Against the Grain for Health: How to Make Food Your Best Medicine.” In this presentation, I’ll cover the health troubles caused by refined grains, whole grains, gluten grains, and genetically modified ingredients hidden in grain-based foods, and explain how to use this information to lose unwanted weight, reverse disease processes, and revitalize health. I’ll also give my answers to common questions I receive, such as “was wheat always not good for us, or has it become worse for our health in recent years?” and answer any other questions that you have.
Looking for a pre-made, ready-to-use, grain-free wrap or bread? These items don’t have the same taste or texture as flour-based tortillas, so you may have to try a few to find one you like. But each of the following products can add convenience and variety to a grain- or gluten-free diet.
Both Pure Wraps Paleo Coconut Wraps and Julian Bakery Paleo Wraps offer flexible, low-carb wraps made of coconut meat and water. The Pure Wraps are seasoned with Himalayan pink salt, while the Julian Wraps are salt-free. That makes Pure Wraps great for savory fillings such as grilled chicken and spinach, or eggs and avocado; and the Julian Wraps ideal for desserts, such as berries and whipped coconut cream.
Ask the Nutritionist
Saying goodbye to bread doesn’t have to mean giving up sandwiches.
Q: I maintain my weight and feel best when I avoid gluten and all grains. I don’t miss the taste of bread, but I do miss the convenience of making sandwiches for quick lunches, especially on hot summer days. Are there any grain-free substitutes that could help me fix easy-to-make “sandwiches”?
—Tamara R., Sacramento, Calif.
A: The short answer is: Yes! If you bake, try making grain-free tortillas or sliceable bread out of almond flour, ground flaxseeds, and/or coconut flour. If you don’t bake—or if you want a quicker alternative—think outside the box and get creative by using vegetables or fruit as alternatives for wraps and buns. These seven produce-based ideas can help you get started.
1. Lettuce wraps. For convenience and versatility, nothing beats using large lettuce leaves, such as romaine or Bibb, as tortilla or bread substitutes. Wrap burgers with them, or make BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato) “sandwiches,” taco lettuce wraps, fajita wraps, tuna salad wraps, or lettuce cups with Asian-based fillings.
The Chalkboard Mag just named my Going Against the Grain book to its list of its 12 favorite holistic nutrition books to include in your wellness library of reliable resources. “These are your classics, your forever reference bibles and tried-and-tested holistic essentials,” the magazine writes.
by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against GMOs