Is there really such thing as “healthy” junk food? The closest thing I have found is the tasty chips from Way Better Snacks. My family and I tasted all 6 varieties of these chips and we were impressed. In fact, we had a tough time choosing which flavor was the best.

All the chips have a nice, crunchy texture and a good “mouth feel” to them; they didn’t taste like cardboard or like a fake snack of any kind. Every chip contains sprouted grains, which provides many health benefits. These include: increased vitamins and minerals, increased antioxidants, increased digestibility, increased nutrient absorption, etc. It’s almost like you need to eat these to improve your health!

Here are our thoughts on each of the 6 flavors:

Black Bean – an all-around good tortilla chip. These disappear fast because they taste so good! Personally, I don’t like beans, but these have no “bean-y” taste to them; they just taste like a healthy chip.

Multi-Grain  – the packaging calls these “Sunny” chips. You can really taste the flax-seed in these, which is a good thing. I thought these tasted most like Sun Chips brand chips.

No-Salt Naked Blues – blue tortilla chips are fun, no question about it. If your diet limits or prevents you from having salt – here’s a great chip that you can still indulge in and feel good about it.

Sweet Potato – these chips don’t have a typical sweet potato flavor. In fact, my husband usually hates sweet potato chips, but he gave these two thumbs up!

Sweet Chili – this was my husband and I’s favorite flavor. They taste like a spicier version of Nacho Cheese Doritos, without the red dye!

Unbeatable Blues – my son liked these the best. In fact, he was very eager to share him with his friends (and they liked them too!).

There are many places to purchase Way Better Snacks, including Whole Foods Markets. Or, if you aren’t near any of those many locations, you can even order them in groups of 6 right from the company website. So, get snacking!

Disclaimer: Way Better Snacks provided me with  free samples of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

 

gfcf_tuna_pasta_salad

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Tuna Pasta Salad.  If you’re looking for an interesting, healthy way to pack some tuna into your child’s lunch (or maybe even your husband’s?)…this is it. Not only is it better than a plain tuna sandwich – it’s easy to make too! This recipe will make a lot of servings, so you could even serve it for a quick weeknight dinner or take it to a potluck. It’s versatile in that you can serve it either hot or cold and it still tastes great. You can also play around with the different forms of pasta or even some of the condiments to adjust the flavors if you like.

Comparing the SCD Diet to the GFCF Diet

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was formulated in the ‘50s by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. It is also known as the SCD Diet, and it is the direct precursor to Dr. Elaine Gottschall’s GAPS Diet. While it is not entirely gluten-free and casein-free, it does have similar objectives to the GFCF Diet and other autism diets: To help free those with gluten and casein intolerance from the gastrointestinal and behavioral issues that sometimes come along with disorders in the autism spectrum.

How does the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Work?

The initial diet is called the “Intro Diet,” and it is practically identical in most ways to the GAPS Introduction Diet. There are a few exceptions. SCD allows a few things that GAPS does not such as peanuts, navy beans, white beans, and cottage cheese. The allowed foods in this diet more closely resemble the same foods that the GFCF Diet permits.woman cutting vegetables

However, the SCD Diet closely follows the same stages as the GAPS diet from the Introduction part, which consists of several stages, and then the full-on diet stage. Just as with GAPS, the SCD Diet takes a while to implement. Each stage takes weeks or months to get through, and there are quite a few exceptions to rules. For instance, one rule is to avoid dairy, but cheeses made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk that undergo at least 30 days of natural aging are permitted.

The foods and beverages that are disallowed are:

  • Alcoholic beverages like brandy and sherry
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Curry, onion and garlic powders
  • Freshly brewed coffee
  • Grains such as rice, barley and wheat
  • Instant coffee
  • Juices made for commercial sale
  • Milk and milk-based drinks and creamers
  • Processed meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, salami and other sandwich meats
  • Starchy foods such as potatoes, corn starch, parsnips and yams
  • Sugar sweetened beverages

Unlike most diets of this type, this one actually allows the consumption of dry wines, vodka, and whiskeys like rye, scotch and bourbon.

So How Does it Compare to GFCF?

As a diet that is seen as an alternate autism diet, it is a mostly gluten-free and casein-free diet, with the exception of the very limited dairy allowance, and it certainly seems to help in similar ways to the GFCF Diet. However, the Specific Carbohydrate diet is just as complicated to follow and as difficult to implement as GAPS.

If there is any criticism of GFCF compared to SCD, it is that GFCF is slightly more lax with the inclusion of occasional sugary treats. Nonetheless, GFCF is, out of all the autism diets, the easiest to follow and the strictest in terms of gluten-free and casein-free foods.

For additional information, please visit:

SCD Lifestyle

Breaking the Vicious Cycle

fish_portions

This week’s recipe, GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions, is a recipe that I adapted from Nigella Lawson. The original recipe is titled Goujons of Sole and I found it on the Food Network website. These seem almost too easy to make and it’s hard to believe they have so much amazing flavor, considering the simplicity of the recipe. My son would not touch them as he has stated, “I don’t eat fish, Mom!” But, my husband who is a very tentative fish eater himself, was amazed at how incredibly yummy these were! Therefore, I must rely on the Husband Rating this week.

GFCF Homemade Battered Fish Portions (Husband Rating = 1000 Thumbs Up!)

2 fillets of sole, skinned

1/2 cup of gluten-free cornstarch

salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I used Dr. Schar Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs)

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Cut the sole fillets in half lengthways, then slice each fillet into about 4 long strips on the diagonal. (You should have 8 fish portions per fillet.)

2. Put cornstarch in small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put bread crumbs into another shallow bowl.

3. Beat eggs together in their own bowl.

4. Dip each fish portion first into the cornstarch, coating it well. Then, dip the portion into the egg mixture. Finally, dredge the fish portion in the breadcrumbs.

5. Set the fish portions aside while you heat up the oil (medium-high heat) in your skillet.

6. Fry the fish portions until they are crisp and golden, about 3-5 minutes each. Remove the fish portions as you go and set them on a plate with paper towel so you can blot any excess oil.

7. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, or even quinoa (pictured above).

gfcf_glutino_cerealI have been eating Glutino Gluten-Free Honey Nut Cereal  for breakfast for the past few days. As many people on the GFCF Diet already know, finding a good breakfast cereal can be tricky business.  However, Glutino seems to have made a real effort at making their cereal taste like something other than flavored sawdust!

Glutino Gluten-Free Honey Nut Cereal is described as being, “corn cereal rings flavored with honey and nut.” It is definitely not a gluten-free copy of Honey Nut Cheerios, though. The strongest flavor I could taste was definitely the honey flavor, but it’s different from other cereals flavored with honey because it actually tastes like real honey, not an imitation flavor.  The cereal has a satisfying crunch to it, even when in milk. The other plus about the cereal is that it is very low in sugar, only 4g per serving; an important factor in choosing a cereal to feed your child.

One main negative about the cereal is that it is not rated as “non-GMO” and I am really trying to eliminate GMO’s (aka, “non-genetically-modified organisms”) from our diet here at home (more on that soon in an upcoming post). So, I probably won’t purchase this cereal again unless they can certify it as “non-GMO”. (For information on what is certified non-GMO, click here.)

 

gfcf_Chicken_enchiladas

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Chicken Enchiladas.  I had a definite love/hate relationship with the original version of this dish. I loved it because it was so tasty going in my mouth…but, I hated how it destroyed my intestinal tract on the way out! Since I recently discovered Coconut Cream at Trader Joe’s, I thought I’d see what would happen if I substituted that for the heavy cream that is normally used in this recipe. It worked! I admit that the first bite, I tasted a hint of coconut, but then the salsa verde and green chile flavors began to overpower it and it was just simply yummy. Nicholas said it deserved at least 10 Thumbs Up, but I think it needs more like 100 Thumbs Up!

 

Measuring GAPS Against the GFCF Diet

To continue the comparison of the GFCF Diet to other diets that are similar in some aspects, we’ll look at the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet.  Both diets have had their fair share of acclaim for helping with some of the gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms associated with the autism spectrum.

What is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet?

The diet was initially known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).  SCD was used for those with digestive disorders, including Celiac disease.  It fell out of use over the years, but was revived and slightly modified by Dr. Elaine Gottschall, a neurologist working with children with various disorders such as autism.

There are seven stages to the diet, composed of two parts: The Introduction Diet and the Full GAPS Diet.  The Introduction Diet is made up of six stages, but each day starts out with a probiotic, which is usually homemade yogurt, to aid digestion and a glass of still mineral or filtered water.soup

The diet starts out with homemade meat and fish stock, soups made with either stock, boiled meats and vegetables.  Fiber-laden vegetables like cabbage and celery should be avoided, but as much of the meat stock, fish stock and soup as desired is allowed throughout the day.  Ginger, chamomile and mint tea with honey is recommended between meals.

Other foods are added over the course of several weeks or months.  By stage six, eggs, clarified butter (ghee), avocado and other fruits, grilled and roasted meats, almond flour, homemade juices and various other foods are included.  Starch and refined sugars are not allowed.

The full diet is a continuation of the stage six portion of the Introduction Diet.  It is recommended to avoid all starch and sugar for a full two, but eventually, some dairy products like hard cheeses are permitted.  The diet is somewhat difficult to follow, but it is laid out in a step-by-step format, complete with recipes.

How Does it Compare to the GFCF Diet?

The first part of the Gut and Psychology Diet is gluten-free and casein-free, however, the full diet isn’t.  The idea is that once the body is “detoxed” from years of gluten and casein overload, these foods can again be enjoyed in small quantities eventually.  Eating gluten-free and casein-free for several years does clear the body of both substances, but not everyone can safely reintroduce them later on.

GAPS is less restrictive than the GFCF Diet at the full diet stage because dairy is allowed, but the complicated steps to get there make it hard for some to stick with it.  GFCF doesn’t allow dairy, but the rules of the diet are far easier to follow:  Don’t eat casein or gluten.

For more information, please visit:

GAPS Diet

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

 

Well, summer is over, but the heat is not (at least where I live)! I have found that I can’t do long, involved recipes when it’s really hot. So, this month, I have enjoyed finding some simpler recipes. I hope you enjoy them too!

9 Recipes I love for September –nick_dan_bike

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free New England Clam Chowder – there’s something about clam chowder that just screams, “FALL!” And, now you can enjoy it in a dairy-free, gluten-free version.

Roasted Chicken and Potatoes with Rosemary, Garlic, Lemon –  just as the blogger says, your house smells fantastic and this is so unbelievably yummy!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Eggs in Sweet Potato Nests – need a good brunch recipe? These will certainly fit the bill beautifully.

Minty Vegan Shamrock Shake – who says you can’t have a Shamrock shake in September? This is a wonderful, healthy treat for this heat wave we are in now.

Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffins – be honest, sometimes we all need an extra kick in the pants to get going this month! These muffins can make any Monday special…

Gluten-Free Soft Dinner Rolls – the perfect accompaniment to the clam chowder recipe above or your favorite pasta dish.

Bison Sliders with Honey Carmelized Onions – grilling season is still alive and well! How about a healthier burger, made with bison meat (high in protein, low in fat).

No-Stir Risotto – yum, risotto! It’s usually so much work to make because of all the attention it requires. It’s great to find one that you don’t have to babysit the whole time.

Pumpkin-Apple Butter – here’s a great after-school snack for the kids and perfect for spreading on toast in the mornings too. Nothing says “fall” like pumpkin!

 

This week’s product review is of the Chocolate-Flavored Vega One Nutritional Shake. I tested the one-serving size, which was 1.5 oz of shake mix that I blended with 1 1/2 cups of unflavored almond milk. The Vega One shake is touted as a complete meal with 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals, 15 g of protein, 6 g of fiber, and 1.5 g of Omega-3 Antioxidants, probiotics and greens. That’s a lot of healthy stuff to pack into one shake! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free and also do not contain added sugar.  The shakes come in a variety of flavors – berry, chocolate, vanilla chai, french vanilla and natural. gfcf_protein_shake

I found the chocolate-flavored shake to have a slightly gritty texture; this seemed to be more bothersome at the end of the drink. But, the flavor was really great. It tasted slightly sweet, creamy, and almost like a dark chocolate malt. I drank this as my lunch one day to see if it was a true replacement meal. I did not find that I was very hungry for the rest of the afternoon, so I would agree that it functioned as a meal replacement.

I think these shakes would be great for travelling, since all you need is a milk substitute to mix them up. Because they do come in single-serve size, you could easily toss one in your suitcase, your purse, or even keep some at your desk at the office.

morning_glory_muffins

This week’s recipe at Stockpiling Moms is Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Morning Glory Muffins. I found this recipe in a newspaper insert, called Dash, that comes out weekly and usually has a lot of recipes that aren’t that easy to adapt to GFCF. These muffins looked pretty easy and I loved the idea of being able to have a muffin be almost a complete meal. Needless to say, they were a big hit at my breakfast table, and I hope they will be a big hit for you too! I think I’ll make these for a potluck sometime too, especially since the recipe makes 24 muffins.

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