Monday, September 30, 2013

Product Review - Against All Grain

People often say to me, "Tamera, you must have the healthiest diet of anyone I know. How do you get your kids to eat so clean?"

Well, a few answers come to mind. I'm not perfect and I certainly don't have it all figured out. While I do have a lot of knowledge about health and nutrition, the simple fact is that each individual body has its own needs, and there is no cure-all diet for everyone. The truth is that I am always learning and modifying based on new research that comes out, plus my own personal observations about how the foods we eat affect my family and me. More about that in a minute. 

But first, I want to address this notions of "my kids won't eat that." While it's great that we as parents are open to the preferences and desires of our children, I have to say that the pendulum seems to have swayed just a bit too far in that direction. After all, as the adults, we have a great responsibility to see to it that we give our children the best start in life, and nutrition is a huge part of that. It's kind of hard for kids to grow up and follow their dreams if they are dealing with health issues and diseases that could have been prevented with proper eating. So, to answer the parents who ask me how I do it, I say, you have to be ok with not being popular with your kids all of the time. I tell my kids that I'm not here to satisfy their taste buds (although I strive very hard to give them food that does taste good). I'm here to make sure that they eat in such a way that their bodies (which includes their brains!) have the proper tools to be healthy and strong.  I also practice what I preach, and I think that leading by example is the best way to teach my kids.

Another thing to keep in mind is that small changes add up to big results. If your children have a diet that is mostly processed foods, obviously you're not going to change them into raw food vegans overnight. Think of adding foods rather than subtracting foods. For example, add a small organic green salad before dinner. This will not only give them the enzymes, vitamins, minerals and fiber that their bodies will thrive on, but it will also fill space in their tummies so that they eat less of the not so good stuff that their taste buds have grown to crave.  If they simply must have a candy bar, have them eat a piece of fruit first and wait 30 minutes. Probably by then, the craving will have gone away, but if not, they can still have a bit of the candy. Eventually, they will develop a taste for the natural sweetness of fruit and the candy bar will taste too sweet to their taste buds. What I'm getting at is, healthy eating is a process, not a destination.

And, as part of this process, my family and I have decided to go gluten free. In a future post I will write about why gluten is the hidden cause of many of our ailments, but for now, let me just say that once most people go gluten free, they don't go back. Even pro and Olympic athletes are eating gluten free, and they have the benefit of trainers and nutritionists with the latest in cutting edge scientific knowledge.

I am so very blessed to have a friend in common with Danielle Walker. She is a remarkable woman with a heartbreaking story of disease and triumph. Her blog tells of her difficult journey and how she learned to use food to bring herself back to good health. And on the blog, she shares the most delicious recipes that she developed to deal with her condition. Even if you don't have her particular health challenges (and, thank goodness most of us don't), you will love her recipes. Take a look, you will be hooked like I am!

Danielle's blog was so popular and she had so many requests for recipes, that she decided to write a cookbook, and boy, am I glad she did. Because, through our mutual friend, I received a personalized, signed copy of Danielle's book, Against All Grain - Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well and Feel Great, and I've been having a ball trying out her recipes. This amazing book has some seriously great food recipes, all gluten free.

My favorite, so far, is The World Famous Sandwich Bread on page 226. A confession: I've tried many brands of gluten free bread from stores and bakeries and been a bit, shall we say, underwhelmed. So while I was mixing up the dough, I was crossing my fingers that the resulting bread would be at least edible, if not great. Well, the bread came out of the oven, we sliced it up and the kids and I all stood around the kitchen island, tasting it for the first time together.

Glory be and halleluja, we loved it! Even the toughest critics in the house, the kids, gave their seal of approval. And I was impressed that all of the ingredients were real food products and not strange fillers and binders. What's in the bread? Eggs, raw cashew butter, honey, apple cider vinegar, almond milk, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. I made my own cashew butter in my trusty VitaMix, as well as my own hazelnut milk (I was out of almonds and didn't want to make an extra trip to the store.)

If you are looking for healthy, gluten free recipes that also are a feast for the eyes and the taste buds, I urge you to get Danielle's book. Click on the name of the book above to find where it is sold. And, if you have children, get them involved in making the recipes. Kids generally love to help in the kitchen and they are more likely to eat food that they themselves have prepared.

Happy Eating!


Disclaimer: I am not being paid for this endorsement and I do not make any money on sales of the book. I just really love the book and want to share the information with you, my dear readers.

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