If you are a regular to my classes I am sure you will have heard me say, a number of times that I am not a big fan of diets, certainly not very restrictive diets, however I do try to avoid gluten and have done for quite a few years now. It began when I joined Savanna (my daughter) on an anti-inflammatory diet to help her through a difficult time. This involved cutting out gluten, sugar (which I do not eat allot of anyway), dairy and red meat. I kid you not within a few days of starting this diet I felt like a changed person, like a huge cloud had lifted from over my head. Needless to say we found sticking to such a strict diet hard and slowly we re-introduced foods. Over a period of experimentation, I determined that for me - foods with gluten almost instantly caused the symptoms of fatigue and irritability to return.
I am not fanatical and eating the odd desert with some gluten seems to be fine, but I know that I have eaten more gluten recently than I have in a while, and almost instantly I feel ridiculously tired and lethargic and I know without question that the feeling of brain fog, lethargy and tiredness (and the odd moody moment) that I feel after eating gluten is not in my head!!
There are certain foods that are very inflammatory (sugar, dairy, gluten) - and as we get older the wear and tear on our bodies takes its toll and our ability to metabolise these foods decreases, and we start to demonstrate symptoms of food sensitivity. If you feel like you maybe suffering from gluten sensitivity or an intolerance to dairy try removing the foods that cause you to feel uncomfortable or out of sorts and see if it makes a difference. You may find, like I did, that this is life changing for you!
Below is one of my most favourite dairy free/gluten free recipes from Deliciously Ella, its a winner every time!!
FOR THE BASE:
- 1 and a 1/2 cups of almonds
- 2 and a 1/2 cups of medjool dates
FOR THE MIDDLE:
- 2 cups of soaked cashew nuts
- 2 frozen over-ripe bananas
- 1/3 – 1/2 of a cup of maple syrup depending on how sweet you like it
- 1/3 of a cup of freshly juiced apple juice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
FOR THE TOP:
- 1 cup of freshly frozen blueberries (packaged frozen berries have too higher water content and make the mix too runny so freeze your own for a couple of hours before making this)
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 frozen banana
- 4 medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Before making this you need to slice the three bananas and freeze them for at least three hours along with the blueberries. You also need to soak the cashew nuts for at least four hours.
Start by making the base. Put the almonds into a food processor and blend for a minute or so until the nuts are nicely crushed. Once this has happened add the pitted medjool dates and blend again until a sticky mix forms. Press this into the base of a cake tin and place in the freezer.
Then make the middle layer by simply putting all the ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Take the base layer out of the freezer and pour three quarters of this mix over it before putting the cake back into the freezer – keep the final quarter of the mix in the processor as it’s needed for the top layer.
Wait about twenty minutes for the middle layer to set in the freezer before making the third layer. To make this simply add the remaining ingredients to the blender combined with the mix from the middle, blend until smooth and then pour over the middle layer.
Place the cake back into the freezer to set for two hours before serving. You’ll need to remove the cake from the freezer and allow it to warm up for a few minutes before you serve it. Then enjoy!