Quinoa Revolution

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It’s a protein grain that ancient mayans used as one of their main food sources. How come it is just now becoming such a staple food for some people? The answer is simple. Everyone is looking for healthier alternatives and ways to cut calories these days. Quinoa (Keen-wa) is an equivalent somewhat of a rice or pasta, but it can be used in many more ways. These three recipes, the quinoa burger, quinoa pizza bites, and breakfast quinoa are all gluten-free, easy recipes that taste good and satisfy the carb craving so many of us often get.  Here are the recipes:

Breakfast Quinoa:

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/eating-help/calories/weight-loss-foods/?page=6

Quinoa Pizza Bites:

http://fitsuccess.blogspot.com/2013/02/healthy-snack-quinoa-pizza-bites.html

Quinoa Burgers:

http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/love-my-quinoa-burger/

A little recognition right here at UNI

http://www.northern-iowan.org/food-allergies-intolerance-on-the-rise-at-the-university-1.2809569#.URqMpqEYtH8

The Northern Iowan, official newspaper for the University of Northern Iowa published this article today, and I love it. It just reiterates my last blog post about how big of a thing this gluten-free stuff is becoming. Fortunately (or maybe, unfortunately…not sure which one I would use yet), when I lived in the dorms and was eating in the dining centers, I wasn’t aware I had Celiac so at the time, I ate pasta and bread like it was going out of style. I know, how unhealthy, right? Now, I can’t even imagine having all that temptation right in front of me every day for every meal in the dining center. I’m glad UNI is taking steps to recognize those food allergies and intolerances and I hope all colleges start taking that initiative to cater to our types of cuisine 🙂

I’m Gluten-free, You’re Gluten-free, We’re all Gluten-free!

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease two years ago after fighting severe Anemia for years, and after a bout of sickness that left me 20 lbs. lighter in a matter of a month. Being diagnosed in college was one of the hardest things because after nights out on the town and many cheap meals, bread, pasta, and other carbs, which were my staple foods, suddenly became completely forbidden. I was forced to find alternatives in a world surrounded by gluten “abled” people. Or so I thought.

After hundreds of pamphlets, cookbooks, and statistics were thrown at me, I found out that Celiac was a lot more common than I thought, even though I personally knew no one at the time with it. I discovered that 1 in 133 people are living with Celiac disease and unfortunately, the numbers keep growing.

What also keeps growing though, is the number of people going gluten-free who surprisingly, don’t even have Celiac! The recent growth (and in my opinion, obsession) of health, fitness, and eating right have led people to search for new resources. Cutting gluten out of your diet, not only eliminates a lot of the big carbs that lead to fat storage in your body, but it forces you to find other food you possibly weren’t getting enough of before eating gluten-free. Fruits, veggies, most dairy, meats and other proteins are naturally gluten-free.

With this rise is obviously the use of celebrity status to gain Celiac and Gluten-free lifestyles some big awareness. Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Zoey Deschanel, and Chelsea Clinton are just a few of those celebs suffering from Celiac themselves. Hey look, they are real people! I like to think that having Celiac myself makes me a little more celeb-like then….right? Ha, well not exactly. But this brings me to my next point.

There are multiple celebrities and ya know, normal people, who are going gluten-free too and do NOT have Celiac. As I mentioned above, the gluten-free diet is just that. A diet. Cutting gluten will honestly help in losing weight if that is your ultimate goal. Or maybe your goal is to simply get healthy. I promise, going gluten-free is not as hard as it seems. Though it is really difficult, you will find your body reacting in positive ways to what you are doing.

My push here is for everyone to try it. Try going gluten-free for a day, a week, a month. Take it one meal at a time, and challenge yourself. Though your stomach may take some adjusting time, you will soon begin feeling healthier, have more energy, and may surprise yourself with the pounds you could shed. With Celiac becoming a more common condition, the food industry is responding. There are numerous gluten-free brands and companies coming out with foods, even including gluten-free breads, pastas, and pastries! In my honest opinion, I think the gluten-free industry is really going to take over. Don’t be afraid to try it. Here’s something mind-blowing: Though 1 in 133 people, or about 3 million Americans if we’re talking about this lovely USA, have Celiac disease, only 1 in 4,700 is ever diagnosed. YOU COULD BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE! So try the gluten-free thing. You may be thrown off your feet in amazement with how you feel. A little self-diagnosis never hurt anyone.