This week’s guest blogger is Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is a Culinary Nutritionist. Amie created The Healthy Apple as a platform to reach others wanting to learn more about nutritious ingredients and clean eating. As a culinary nutritionist, educator and motivational speaker, Amie is devoted to teaching people how to make smart, healthy choices. Follow Amie through her challenging food intolerances and unique Gluten- and Dairy-Free lifestyle at Thehealthyapple.com.
My whole life I have gone through the difficult process of learning how to eat dairy- and gluten-free, while trying to please my taste buds at the same time. Changing my diet was not easy as I struggled to find dairy- and gluten-free delicious foods. However, after many years of experimenting in my kitchen, and the marvelous discovery of Enjoy Life Foods, I’ve learned how to entertain, cook, bake and live a deliciously dairy- and gluten-free lifestyle.
Dairy intolerance has been common for quite some time now; however, gluten intolerance is becoming increasingly universal and more common. In fact, this little protein, gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt and triticale), is what allows dough to rice and stay risen when baked to create a uniform texture that we all know and love in cookies, cakes, muffins and breads. For many people, myself included, gluten is incredibly difficult to digest and must be avoided at all costs. This can be quite difficult as gluten creeps up in everything from soy sauce to licorice. The good news is that plenty of foods are naturally gluten-free such as all veggies, fruits, beans, legumes, potatoes, rice, meats and corn. Some of my favorite gluten-free foods are quinoa, millet, buckwheat, tapioca and amaranth.
Here are some of my tips to enjoy a celebration, whether it be a birthday party, holiday celebration or football game, you can easily ‘enjoy’ yourself without dairy or gluten.
Bring Your Own Dish
Always offer to bring a dish of your own, which is the main way to be sure of avoiding cross-contamination or inadvertent mistakes with ingredients. If you are planning on joining a potluck or party, opt for combining meats and vegetables as a main dish; therefore, even if there are no other safe foods for you to eat, you can sustain yourself with your entrée that is a complete meal. Examples include coconut chicken salad, baked sweet potato fries with mini-burgers and shrimp rice pilaf.
Create Healthy, Fun Gluten-Free Appetizers for Everyone to Enjoy
It’s easy to create gluten-free turkey balls with a side of marinara sauce; steak tidbits; thai-chicken skewers; shrimp cocktail; dairy- and gluten-free antipasto such as deli meats, roasted red peppers, marinated mushrooms and olives; vegetable crudités with gluten-free dressing; assorted salsa and guacamole with blue or yellow corn chips; bowls of Enjoy Life Foods® Trail Mix; fun fondue fruit chunks on toothpicks alongside melted Enjoy Life Foods® semi-sweet chocolate chips; and rice chips with hummus. Any dairy- and gluten-free foodie can whip up these snacks quickly and easily prior to a party.
Eat Before the Event
Just in case there is not any food left when you arrive, or if someone accidently placed the gluten-free fare on the same platter as gluten foods, you’ll be much safer if you nibble before you arrive. I always eat before I attend a party, event or dinner out at a restaurant, just in case as I’d always rather be safe than sorry. I always opt for a healthy dose of protein mixed with vegetables to hold me over before I arrive. This leaves me with saying power and keeps me from becoming famished at the event. I also pack a snack of Enjoy Life Foods® Granola and Trail Mix in small Ziploc bags and carry Enjoy Life Foods® Snack Bars with me whenever I head out to an event. These are my emergency go-to snacks in case there is no allergy-friendly fare at the event. Then, when I arrive at the party, I enjoy the dairy- and gluten-free foods as well as dessert fruits and vegetable stick appetizers.