Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: Delicious and Nutritious: And They're All Gluten Free!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Delicious and Nutritious: And They're All Gluten Free!

   Since going gluten free this past June, I am often asked: "Is it hard?"  My answer is that it shouldn't be.  There are plenty of really healthy and delicious gluten free foods.  While some are more expensive than their glutenous counterparts, I've also learned that coupons are a viable option.  So, before buying any items on this list, look for a discount or coupon.  In many cases, you can find them.  Whether you are gluten free or not though, I'm betting you will really enjoy these foods!  Here are my favorites:

Kale Joy-
These delicious "chips" are made of kale and seasoned to perfection.  They are a perfect snack for on the go, as the contain healthy fats, 130% of your daily Vitamin A, 6g of protein and as much iron as spinach.

goji berries
Goji Berries-

My dad came home with some Goji berries last year and I was skeptical at first.  They are shriveled up little berries, and they just so happen to taste amazing.  I put them on yogurt, cereal or just eat them alone.  The
best part is: they are chock full of protein!  One ounce (about 1/4 cup) has 4 grams of protein.  Pair that with a yogurt and you've got a delicious and healthy snack.  I sometimes grab a baggie for before or after a run as well.  You won't even know how good they are for you, just how good they taste!

Luna bars-
Luna bars a great and inexpensive snack for on the go.  The Luna Protein bars are certified gluten free although the normal Luna bars do not contain gluten either (I eat them because I don't have Celiac, and I've had no problem with them).  Both types of bars contain a lot of protein and are great for a snack to get you through the day- or a devilishly delicious treat before bed.  I recommend "nutz over chocolate" and "caramel nut brownie" for regular Luna bar flavors.  The Luna Protein bars are personally my favorite, with "mint chocolate chip" taking the top spot.  They are my healthy version of a candy bar; no joke!

Chex cereal-
I found it pretty easy to adjust to gluten free eating because I've never eaten a lot of breads or pastas (although they have gluten free versions of those too).  My greatest challenge was cereal.  How in the world could I survive without a food I literally ate two times a day.  I have an extreme passion for cereal...pretty pathetic, I know.  Anyway, I found out that Chex has a number of gluten free cereals that are not only really tasty, but also a lot less expensive than the dedicated gluten free brands.  Plus, the boxes are actually normal sized- unlike the child sized gluten free boxes.  My favorite flavor is vanilla, but I like just about all of them.  I try to mix it up: Cinnamon Chex one week, Honey Nut Chex the next.  There is also Chocolate Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Chex and Apple Cinnamon Chex.  I snack on them all.  They are relatively comparative to the normal Chex and other cereals.  So, while they aren't exactly a nutritional powerhouse, they aren't loaded with sugar and are very healthy as far as cereal is concerned.  Try not to eat a whole box in four days and I'll be impressed.

Glutino toaster pastries-
It has been many years since I've eaten Poptarts.  They were the special breakfast of my youth- I knew it was an amazing morning when my mom let me have a Poptart.  Thank goodness she didn't let me very often though, because those things are terrible for you!  That is not the case with Glutino toaster pastries however!  Not only are they gluten free, but they are actually healthy for you.  Don't believe me?  Check out the stats:

Zoom View - Gluten Free Toaster Pastry Strawberry - 5 Pastries

Though the Glutino Toaster Pastry has a higher level of sodium, it comes out on top in all the other categories- and keep in mind that the Strawberry Poptart is one of the healthier flavors.  The point is, I have found a delicious treat that is not only healthier than the beloved sugar-laden Poptart (16 g compared to 10 g), but also gluten free.  It's not a snack for every day, but it is a "nutritious" treat for every once in a while!

Strawberry Glutino Pastry Strawberry Poptart
Calories 160 200
Total Fat (g) 5 5
Sodium (g) 330 160
Dietary Fiber (g) 4 <1
Protein (g) 4 1

No.  I'm not talking about just any popcorn.  I prefer Orville Redenbacher or Pop Secret 94% fat free. Consuming buttery, fat filled and sodium-packed is not a "healthy" snack.  However, if you choose the recommendations I have listed, you not only get a great snack that is delicious, but also a fiber-filled bite to eat.  There are even small snack sized bags that allow for better portion control if you want a smaller snack.  All in all, popcorn can be a great nutritious food if you choose the right kind.  Go for the low-fat and season it yourself with a light shake of popcorn seasoning.  It takes a little extra effort but is worth the healthy benefit.  Popcorn is naturally gluten free as well!

Are there any other snacks that you enjoy- gluten free or not- that you'd like to share?
Comment below!

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