THE GLUTEN-FREE TREND, VEGAN FOOD & DIET
ARE GLUTEN FREE FLOURS HEALTHIER?
I love the challenge and from time to time ridiculous struggle of creating gluten free dishes and baked goods. There is no secret there has been a gluten free trend going on for quite some time now, but is it healthier or better in any way? If you are allergic to gluten or wheat or intolerant then obviously -yes it is, but if your not…I wanted to do some research on this gluten thing. The processed and factory produced products are more or less never a better option to the non-gluten-free. These products often contain mostly starch, sugar and fat. A quick look at the package is enough to quickly steer me away from these type of products. I will rather not eat gluten-free than eat that. As far as I know I’m not allergic or intolerant. Anyways, these allergies have become more common. In order to eat healthy and gluten-free I started to bake with all the healthier gluten-free flours. Obviously there are, just like traditional flours, more nutritious and less nutritious flours. As far as I can see a nutritious gluten-free flour is not necessarily healthier than a nutritious “regular” flour. As I have been reading about it is quite the contrary that’s being brought to light. Gluten free flours can be difficult to digest then other flour. Many people fear food containing gluten as these are often associated with weight gain. Still that is more likely due to the calories (cakes and cookies) than the fact that it contains gluten. The traditional wholegrain flours are also a good source of fibre. The conclusion being that going gluten-free is not a healthier option unless you are allergic to gluten.
MY PASSION FOR BAKING AND FOOD
I also bake a lot with traditional flours. For example I love a dark rye bread or a soft whole wheat bread. My passion for baking started with buns and bread. I love making cinnamon buns and vanilla buns. I always make sure the house has freshly baked bread. Actually my passion for food started with baking. I am definitely a breakfast/dessert person. I love everything from pancakes, waffles and cookies to cakes and pies. Anyways i have struggled a lot with my health and went down the healthy path to se if that could solve some of my issues. I also love a good challenge and decided to make a vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and soy-free cookbook. So that has been my project over the last year. As I made a lot of gluten free food there was not a lot of room for “regular” baked goods, apart from bread that I always bake. Now that I have finished the cookbook i would love to share some of the other traditional (and not so traditional) things that I love to make. Both healthy and not so healthy. My vision has never been to create some low calorie diet, but rather tasty home made food made with love. I also want to recommend a more plant based diet. I like to keep my sugar intake at a minimum on a regular basis and I love to eat healthy. I still enjoy a good classic doughnut, waffle or a home made pizza on a Friday.
FLEXIBILITY AND VARIETY
Flexibility and variety is something I find important in my diet. I want to be able to travel and taste the traditional cuisine in the country I’m visiting without having to worry about rules or restrictions. Same goes for tasting food that others, like friends and family, cook. I eat mostly vegan or vegetarian. I eat very little meat and I don’t use soy in my recipes. Still I have never been 100% vegan. For example I use honey which is not vegan. Also I can eat cheese or a traditional Christmas dinner. I had one year completely off all animal products, but I find that today a flexible diet works better for me. So far research has not been able to find a sustainable source of B12 for vegans. This means you either have to eat supplements (with varying effects), meat or go to the doctor and get a shot of B12. So as long as thats the case I personally prefer to have a flexible diet that will ensure my body is provided with all the nutrients it needs.
A PLANT BASED APPROACH
I have learned a lot about veganism over the last years and people have many different approaches and opinions. I definitely want to contribute to reduce the demand for meat, dairy and soy, both for the environment, animals and my own health. I also know that many farmers take good care of their animals. The animals live in many different conditions and their not all bad. Some get to enjoy the outdoors and get a lot of love and space to enjoy their lives. Many of the animals we have today are bred to produce milk and meat and rely on the care from people. Sadly there is also the overcrowded spaces and less optimal conditions. Obviously a lot of these problems stems from our wealth, habits and traditions. We have been fortunate enough to afford that type of lifestyle, created a traditional diet that contains a lot of animal products.
I grew up eating meat or dairy with more or less every meal. So obviously that lifestyle was only natural to me. Anything else seemed alternative and a bit strange, as most things do when you don’t know much about it. As a child I always went out with my family fishing. I remember having a deep desire to free the not so lucky fish that was about to become our next meal. Last fall I even accompanied my father on one of his hunting trips. You might wonder what a plant lover was doing on a hunting trip… Trust me, I asked myself that question a few times during the walk too. Never the less the walk in nature was beautiful and we had the best time, even though I was secretly hoping he would’t catch anything. My wish did not come through and only two fast shots were required to send two escaping birds to the soft ground. Not the fun part for either parts, but this is the type of food where the animals have lived a free and natural life. The part of ending a living beings life is brutal and makes it all more real. It is easy to buy a pice of meat in the store without giving it much though. I definitely think twice before I enjoy a piece of meat today.
Just wanted to share some of my thoughts about lifestyle and approach to diet. This is something each and every one has to figure out for themselves. I definitely recommend eating more plant based which has multiple times proved to be a great way to stay healthy and make us less prone to disease. It is also beneficial for animals, ecosystems and the environment in general. I also feel like incorporating more plant based food into my lifestyle has given me more energy. With time we will learn more and research and science will take us further. The best thing we can do is to learn, figure out what works for us and what makes us feel healthy and happy. Also keep an open mind and enjoy the moment.