by Linda Viertel –
You are what you eat,” but for those suffering from celiac disease, gluten intolerance or gluten allergy, eating can become a landmine of difficulties. Whether dining at home, in restaurants or in friends’ homes, there is always the challenge of staying true to your dietary needs. But, help is on the way with gluten-free guides, published by Mari Productions, LLC in Sleepy Hollow (theglutenfreeguides.com).
These guides, written by local resident, Maria Roglieri, Ph.D., provide tips for gluten-free travelers in multiple cities and countries. Her newest addition is a well-researched, definitive guide to gluten-free weight-loss, The Gluten Free Skinny, a compilation of informative details on how to lose weight on a gluten-free diet. Her own experience as a 16-year gluten-free celiac world-traveler and one who has lost weight based on her comprehensive knowledge of the disease, has led to a thoughtful, instructive guide as well as a nutritional blueprint.
The book is filled with engaging personal narratives, historical descriptives of ancient grains, compelling scientific explanations and recipes that will help those suffering from gluten intolerance choose foods wisely with the goal of losing weight. Roglieri is full of gentle advice about staying healthy and eating clean while enjoying various food alternatives that will keep weight off and provide for a healthier future.
As Roglieri states in her introduction, “All the work has been done for you – best health practices, talking to gluten-free specialists (doctors, nutritionists etc.), finding the best gluten free foods to eat.” Beginning with her analysis of the gut’s microbiome and possible inflammation, she emphasizes the importance of a healthy digestive system in regulating metabolism, supporting immune systems, and preventing multiple asthma, allergies and other related medical conditions, not to mention increasing brain health.
Processed foods, even pre-packaged gluten-free products, make it hard to lose weight, she acknowledges. Both have high sugar, thus caloric contents – so steer clear of these foods. Sugar helps these value-added products taste better, especially when gluten is taken out of the ingredient list, so it’s always best to prepare your own whole food, choosing fruit and vegetable-oriented, grain-based dishes. “The secret to gluten-free weight loss is food that is high in good carbs, good fats, omega 3’s, protein, fiber, nutrients and gluten-free whole grains,” she notes.
Easier said than done, but Roglieri gives you “the skinny” on exactly how she did it and how you can too. She lists the “good” or “complex” carbs as well as the “bad” or “simple carbs,” the “good fats” and superfoods (multiple vegetables, fish, seeds and nut choices) rich in micronutrients. Already, readers can see their choices abounding and not feel constrained by a limited diet.
Roglieri is a big fan of whole grains (not refined ones, which strip grains of their nutrients in the milling process) and educates her readers on why this ancient form of nutrition has provided health benefits for thousands of years. Fortunately, these ancient whole grains, a consistent source of fiber, have made a comeback and are readily available in our markets. One can now buy amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, whole oats and others, and create delicious gluten-free dishes enhanced by herbs and spices, fresh vegetables and protein. In doing so, you will be adding antioxidants, nutrient-rich, heart healthy and anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.
Exercise is key to weight loss, whether aerobic or muscle-strengthening, which Roglieri emphasizes. But, she supplements this advice with a set of simple directives: don’t skip meals, eat smaller portions, leave the table when you are done, use smaller plates, weigh your protein, and make sure vegetables and fruits make up half of what you eat.
The Gluten-Free Skinny provides breakfast lunch and dinner suggestions and, ever the detail-oriented professor, Roglieri provides shopping lists. She knows what it’s like not to have sugar, so she provides “swaps” (agave, raw honey, coconut sugar) as well as swaps for crackers, rice and pasta. Her optional Jumpstart 21-day meal plan gives specific meal plans as suggestions for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.
A world traveler, Roglieri’s recipes hail from Italy, India, Spain, France, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey. She has included recipes from Martha’s Vineyard, New York and D.C. as well, a full panoply of ethnic and American recipes geared toward gluten-free gourmet dining, dieting and healthy living in general.
“The Gluten Free Skinny diet is a slow and steady responsible plan that is intended as a long-term eating lifestyle shift,” states Roglieri. Her maintenance plan gives longer-term suggestions, cookbooks to read, and guidelines to follow. Her energy and commitment are infectious, so whether you are gluten-free and need support or want to lose weight on a healthy, clean diet, The Gluten Free Skinny is a guide that will help you accomplish your goal.