Posts tagged Gluten Free
We’re excited to have a guest-post today from Lindsay Cotter. She shares her experience and informattion about gluten intolerance and the benefits of a gluten free diet for athletes! Enjoy and be sure to check out her blog about nutrition, training, gluten free lifestyle, and life in general at cottercrunch.com!
Hello MyFitList Crew! Hope the week has been treating you right so far. I’m Lindsay (aka James’ wife) from Cotter Crunch. I am a gluten free blogger, pro triathlete’s wife, nutrition manager, and yada yada yada. So many titles, should make for some interesting posts, right? Well, for the most part. Haha!
Actually, the majority of my posts are about our gluten free lifestyle and recipes. You see, a few years ago I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. This little issue changed our diet dramatically in the Cotter household. Little did we know how much it would actually change it for the hubs’ training and racing as well (and for the better).
So here I am today, wanting to share with all you athletes out there, the benefits of a gluten free diet. Should you go gluten free? Is it hard? I think everyone should give it a try and see for themselves.
Let’s get started, shall we?
To start off, what exactly is gluten? Gluten is a form of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. These proteins are found in the endosperm of wheat, rye, and barley. The glutenin is what gives these type of flours the elasticity in their dough and makes them all warm and gooey. The bad thing is that this protein is usually pretty hard to digest and for a lot of people it can cause a harsh reaction in the digestive system. Ya, bummer!
Celiacs are those actually diagnosed with a genetic disorder and are highly allergic to gluten. This can cause several digestive problems and lead to malnutrition and malabsorption in the intestines. Others might develop a gluten “allergy” or “sensitivity” which can have several of the same symptoms of a celiac (fatigue, inflammation, abdominal bloating, diarrhea/constipation, etc.) yet the effects are not necessarily as damaging or pervasive. Allergy suffers can probably handle a gluten every now and then, Celiacs cannot! For more on this topic feel free to read HERE.
So what if you’re an athlete and you think you have a gluten sensitivity? How would that affect performance?
Think about it, athletes need EXTRA nutrients in order to fuel and recovery properly right? But what if your digestive system was not absorbing these nutrients? You’d probably feel pretty crappy despite the number of calories/ratio of macronutrients you were taking in.
According to Dr. Wellingtons article on Active.com, gluten-free diets do have some advantages for athletes:
- With gluten removed, the body’s immune system can rest and absorption can be restored. The body can then function at optimal levels and repair muscles more efficiently.
- The hypoglycemic effect that results from intense exercise is minimized.
- A gluten-free diet helps to maintain a stable blood sugar level during exercise, which is optimal for an increase in muscle strength and stamina.
Sounds pretty good to me! But the question still remains…..what the heck do I eat??
KEEP IT SIMPLE, KEEP IT NATURAL!
- Focus on fresh vegetables, fruit, starchy vegetables (like potatoes, corn, etc.), beans/legumes.
- Look for certified gluten free breads, cereals, pastas, oatmeal, granolas.
- Focus on the other Grains (gluten free grains)- brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, teff, sorghum, corn (corn tortillas), millet, amaranth. (you can find a lot of these grains and flours in the bulk sections as well).
- Dig the fat- nuts and nut butters, avocado, oils, flaxseeds.
- Pump up the protein- Quality protein such as organic meats (watch for deli meats with added starches though), fresh fish, eggs, tofu, etc.
- Be sure to read labels. Especially on condiments. They can sneak in words like wheat starch, rye, barley, and malt syrup.
Okay okay, so now we’ve covered the basics. But what about when it comes down to training/racing and those post race refreshments?
This is where it can be tricky. I like to bring my own food just in case. Like a Gluten Free Bagel and chocolate milk or honeymilk. But here are some other choices that might be available at the finish line or post ride.
- Gluten Free energy/protein bars (Lara bars, Perfect Foods bar, the protein Honey stinger bars, KIND bars)
- Dried fruit, fresh fruit, trail mix, fruit roll ups, fruit leathers
- Gatorade, most cola’s (read ingredients), fresh juice, lemonade, milk, chocolate milk
- Tacos with corn tortillas (black bean, veggie, or beef/chicken/ egg cooked in natural oil or butter)
- Natural potato chips or tortilla chips
- Pickles (love that sodium fix)
- Smoothies with fresh fruit and/or natural yogurt
- PB and banana Sandwich with a GF bagel or bread.
Phew, I think that’s about it for now. If you need any more recipe ideas, just visit my recipe page on the blog. Lots of good choices, and even some homemade GF energy bars or better yet you can order HEALTHY BITES!
So what do you think? Is Gluten free living for you?
Being that I am gluten intolerant, I choose to live Gluten Free for my health. These are just my suggestions from what I have gathered along my GF journey. If you think you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, my best advice would to seek a professional or ask your doctor.
In the meantime, feel free to email me with any questions.
Cottercrunch (at) Hotmail (dot) com
MyFitList brings together the latest information on hundreds of local fitness businesses in Austin. We’re your resource for inspiration and information for getting and staying fit. Search hundreds of Austin fitness groups and services like running, triathlon, bootcamps, yoga studios, gyms and more all in one place! Check us out at www.myfitlist.com
A big part of living a healthy lifestyle is eating nutritious foods. But, if your schedule is anything like mine, you are often on-the-go, balancing work, family & friends and working out.
Last week we were lucky enough to try Healthy Bites for the first time. These are delicious and nutritious gluten free snacks created by athlete, coach and nutrition-guru, Lindsay Cotter. The bites are little ball-shaped, pop-them-in-your mouth snacks that are not only fun to eat but are also good for you. And depending on what you are “fueling” for, they come with a variety of nutritional benefits. Lindsay uses only the best, minimally processed ingredients possible. You can even order “Custom Bites” by sending Lindsay your favorite ingredients and/or desired nutrition stats.
Healthy Bites make a fun, healthy, portable snack great for eating during training or post-workout. They also make a unique gift for friends and workout buddies!
The standard flavors are:
Cookie Dough (my favorite!)
One dozen of the standard flavor bites run $6.99, or order a custom batch for $8.99 per dozen.
On top of all that, Healthy Bites offers a “Flavor-of-the-Month” bite. So there is always something new to try and add to the mix. This month, the flavor is Cocoa Mango Mole, made with: dried mango, unsweetened cocoa, cocoa chili spice blend, dark chocolate almond butter, dates, raw cashews, and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sounds delicious, huh!?!
Wondering the nutrition content of the Cocoa Mango Mole bites? Here you go: Calories: 55, Fat: 2.4g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Sodium: 5.0mg, Carbs: 7.7g, Fiber: 1.0g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 1.0g.
…What a great and tasty way to fuel up before your workouts!
In addition to running Healthy Bites and acting as Head-Chef, Lindsay also has an active blog called “Cotter Crunch” (http://www.cottercrunch.com/). Her posts vary from gluten free recipes, details of life as a pro-triathlete’s wife, “What I Ate Wednesdays”, and a mix of lots of other fun stuff.
For updates on “Flavors-of-the-Month” and to get the latest news from Healthy Bites, connect with them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Bites/151000684944438
Have questions for Lindsay or interested in placing an order? Email her at: Lindsay@ourhealthybites.com
Win a dozen Health Bites!
It’s easy and there are two chances to win:
1) “LIKE” the MyFitList Facebook Page for one entry (http://www.facebook.com/MyFitList)
2) “LIKE” the Healthy Bites Facebook Page for another entry (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Bites/151000684944438)
Contest is open from Wednesday, May 11th until Friday, May 13th (closes at 5pm).
Don’t miss out…these bites are seriously delicious (and gluten-free)!