Tag Archives: nuts

Dealing with Food Allergies and Intolerances

I recently had some people over for dinner.  I was craving nachos, so that is what I served.  As I was about to cuchocolate cake for dessert, one of them tells me that he has celiac and can’t eat gluten.  I had no idea before dinner.  Sadly, I didn’t have any dessert alternatives for him.  But I’m grateful I made nachos instead of my other idea of spaghetti and meatballs!

This is one of many encounters I have had recently with food allergies and intolerances.  I will admit, I am extremely thankful that I don’t have to deal with any of these problems in my little family.  Reading labels, buying specialty products, cooking from scratch, and teaching children, friends, and family can be a full time job in many cases.  Following these diets isn’t optional; for many, it is life or death.

Here are a few tips on following a food allergy diet:

-Try to focus on what you can eat.  If you try to change all of your regular recipes to be free of a particular allergen, you can go crazy.  For example, if you can’t cook with dairy, don’t start with a lasagna recipe, which has multiple dairy ingredients.  Instead, think of something similar without dairy, such as spaghetti.

-Similar to above, build recipes with ingredients you know you can eat.  Make lists of ingredients you have in your pantry or you know you can buy.  Then start picking ingredients from the list that go together.

-Find good resources.  There are many cookbooks and websites out there.  A good place to start online is nutritionblognetwork.com.  All of the blogs in this database are written by registered dietitians.  You can trust that they are providing accurate information.

-Try to be as liberal as possible with the diet.  I’m not saying eat foods you shouldn’t.  For any of us, it is easy to get in a rut with what we eat.  If you are limited by a food allergy, you can easily eat a very limited diet of a few foods over and over.  Try to keep things as lively and interesting as you can.  The less deprived you feel, the better off you will be.

If you or someone close to you has a food allergy or intolerance, I’d love to hear about how you cope in the comments.  Good luck to all of those dealing with food allergies out there!  Happy eating!

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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All about Snacks

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My life seems to be filled with the word snack lately. My little one recently added that word to her vocabulary and requests a snack anytime she isn’t getting her way. Every other blog post I read is about preparing after school snacks for kids. Recipes for snack type foods are popping up everywhere with the resurgence of football season.

But snacks aren’t just for kids or for munching your way through a lazy day on the couch. Snacks can be healthy contributions to your diet. Eating a snack when you are hungry between meals can prevent overeating at your next meal. Snacks can provide a boost of energy in a slow part of your day. Snack time can be a great time to get more servings of fruits and vegetables. You just need to keep a few things in mind.

-A snack should be about 200 calories or less. As you will see in the examples below, that isn’t a lot.

-You shouldn’t be adding calories to your total daily intake with snacks. If you eat a snack between lunch and dinner, you need to eat less than you normally would at dinner.

-Snacks ideally include fiber and protein. Both of these nutrients can help you feel full longer, increasing the benefit of snacking between meals.

-There is no hard and fast rule of when or when not to eat a snack, but I would suggest not eating a snack within one to two hours of a larger meal. Eating that close to a meal will either lead you to eat without listening to your body as your satiety cues will be suppressed or lead you to skip a meal and graze on less healthy items later.

Here are a few snack ideas to get you going:

– 1 peanut butter banana oatmeal bar
– 1 container of nonfat Greek yogurt with ½ cup of berries
– 1 medium apple and 1 string cheese
– ⅓ cup hummus with 1 cup of carrots or celery
– Trail mix made with a mixture of dried fruit and nuts. Most single serving packs available are under 200 calories, but you could also make your own using about 2 tablespoons each of almonds and raisins.
– ½ sandwich on whole wheat bread with 1 ounce of turkey, ½ ounce of cheese, lettuce, and tomato
– 1 medium banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter

Hope that helps and happy snacking!

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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