Healthy Snack Alternatives

Hello, World. 

Its that time of year again when I start to feel stressed all the time. This week I have a ton going on (exams, interviews, homework, having a life), so I need to make sure I’m staying healthy and getting everything done. Something I noticed about myself around this time last year is that I have the tendency to crave really unhealthy food when I’m hungry. So, in light of this observation, I want to share my healthy snack alternatives to to the typical “college snacks.” 

Image  In the drink department, instead of reaching for “fast energy,” in the form of an energy drink, try drinking herbal or black tea. Herbal tea’s been clinically proven to keep people more stimulated than energy drinks because tea has less sugar, and doesn’t contain the syrups and such that energy drinks are filled with! Tea is also better for you since sugar converts to fat almost instantly, and then makes you gain weight. Image On the candy front (my personal largest weakness), instead of grabbing sour gummies or other artificial candies, try a healthier alternative like banana chips. Dried fruit can have a similar texture to candy, but is way better for you. Dried fruits have natural sugars, and aren’t as fake. Image Instead of the buttery popcorn, try the 100 calorie mini bags! They are smaller in portion, and they have less butter! They’re also a little lighter, so you won’t feel bloated or groggy from the butter of the normal popcorn. Image In the morning, try starting your day as healthy as possible to keep the energy going throughout the day. This way, you’re less likely to crave sugars. Instead of going for a sugary cereal, like Cap’n Crunch, reach for Kashi Go Lean granola breakfast cereal. Sugar crashes are not the business, so trying to start your day on a less sugary note will reduce the chances of crashing during your mid-day study session. Image Since I’m lactose intolerant, I never eat regular ice cream, but that doesn’t mean I’m missing out. I love the Soy Creamy ice cream from Trader Joe’s. The flavor is better than most authentic ice creams, and there are WAY less calories in the soy based ice cream. One serving (.5 cups) of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream contains 270 calories, whereas the soy ice cream contains 190 calories in one serving (.5). While neither is super low in calories, the soy is still significantly lower. 

Image While potato chips are an easy snack in college, especially with onion dip, they can be super fattening and unhealthy. Personally, the oils usually make me feel super crappy by mid-day, and I start to get nauseas. Instead of potato chips, try carrots and hummus. Hummus is delicious and super healthy, and carrots are nice, crunch alternative to chips! 

These are just a few ideas in regard to how to stay healthy, but I think making small changes such as these will sustain your energy longer, and reduce your stress! Feeling icky is not good when you’re trying to be productive, so by eating healthier, you will feel better, and get more done in a day! What are your go-to study or stress snacks?

Truly, 

Callie leigh 

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread Muffins

Hello, World.

For Thanksgiving, my mom and I made gluten free dairy free cornbread muffins. We originally planned to make them to use for cornbread stuffing, but ended up buying Glutino gluten free stuffing because it saved time (yes, we cheated a little). Anyway, the muffins turned our really well, and I ended up using them as a substitute for dinner rolls. I found the muffins tasted really great with pumpkin butter! I love pumpkin butter, and it makes me sad when I can’t use it because I can’t eat bread.
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So the recipe is as follows:
1 bag Bob’s Red Mill cornbread flour
2 large eggs
1/3-cup oil
1½-cup soy milk
Directions: mix on low until all ingredients are really well blended, then turn up to high speed and mix for 30 more seconds. Then place in cupcake pan and cook for 2 minutes or until cooked through.
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Again, I thought these turned out great! They weren’t dry, and they didn’t have a funny taste, they tasted like cornbread. Obviously they taste a little different, and the texture is a little different than regular cornbread, but still great. Enjoy!
Truly,
Callie Leigh

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

Hello, World.

I have a gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe to share! I tried this a little while ago with my friends, and it turned out well. It doesn’t taste exactly like a normal pumpkin pie, but I thought it was really good and I was glad that it fit my diet. The recipe is as follows:
Pie Crust
1-½ cups of Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Bob’s Red Mill Brand)
½ tsp Salt
½ cup dairy free Margarine 4 Tbsp coconut milk
Directions: combine ingredients and mix with mixer on low until well mixed. Then roll out, and place in pie pan. Flatten the crust into the pan so it fits well, and cut off any excess. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Add filling and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 40 minutes. This makes 12 servings. (recipe c/o Bob’s Red Mill)
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Filling:
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1-cup coconut milk
Directions: Combine all ingredients except coconut milk. Mix with hand mixer, and once well combined, slowly pour in milk while continuing to mix. Follow directions under piecrust to cook filling. (Recipe c/o dairy free cooking at about.com)
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Once this is complete, cool on cooling rack, and this pie can be served with vegan whipped cream.

This pie turned out really well! We didn’t have a hand mixer, which made getting the crust super well mixed a little difficult. I will definitely use a hand mixer when making it again. I hope you enjoy!

Truly,
Callie Leigh

My Allergy to Life: A Food-Lover’s Testimony

Hello, World.
The time has come to have a serious discussion about the fact that I am allergic to life. Yes, while you get to enjoy focaccia bread, cheese pizza, and normal lattes, I have to order gluten-free, dairy-free everything. The joys of eating a delicious meal are rarely experienced by yours truly. Last March I took a blood test that indicates what does not react well with your body. Initially, I took it because I was beginning to believe I was lactose intolerant, but wasn’t sure. Now, something you should understand about this test is that it is not the test where the put a bunch of things on your back, and it swells and all that stuff. This test simply indicates what reacts negatively to your body within a 24-hour period after consumption. So, my results? I am allergic to everything I used to eat. I am allergic to gluten, yeast, asparagus, dairy, malt, oregano, lemon, orange, olives, grapes, salmon, tuna, and oats. The test, though, gives you stars based on severity of allergy. Gluten and Dairy each has the maximum amount of stars, with the other foods having one or two stars.
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(I am a huge desert person, but as most you probably realize, 90% of good deserts contain either gluten or dairy!)
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For the first few months following receiving my test results, I had a difficult time finding out what to eat. Luckily I live in the Bay Area, so there are a lot of gluten free options (way more than in Chico, where gluten-free is some kind of foreign term). Still, it was hard to be in college, with a meal plan, and finding things to eat. The dining hall, for example, had almost nothing that was both gluten-free and dairy-free. I felt like I was inadvertently anorexic because finding things I could actually eat was so hard, and I was always busy with classes and meetings and a social life. Also, something else that really stressed me out was people’s general lack of understanding. A lot of people, when I order gluten-free or dairy-free, assume I’m on some kind of diet, and while I am restricted in what I can eat, it isn’t necessarily a choice. Cutting out all the things that don’t react well with my body makes it so I actually feel good all the time. As someone who struggled with feeling groggy, uneasy, tired, and nervous I was going to feel sick when out to dinner with friends, my new diet is something I appreciate.
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One of the perks of being gluten free dairy free? I lost twenty pounds. As someone who has always struggled with losing weight, and always felt too big, the weight loss was something that made the transition in diet easier. But again: I am not choosing this diet because I want to lose weigh. I’m choosing it because it makes me feel better, and I feel much more confident 20 pounds lighter. I have been insecure about my weight since about seventh grade, when I started gaining weight and when I moved schools and was a good foot taller than most people. I felt like a giant in every way imaginable, and I never felt good because I ate things that didn’t sit well with me. If only I had known about my allergies then, I wouldn’t feel so bloated all the time. One of the major effects of gluten is bloating, which is one of the reasons people who do choose to diet cut gluten out of their daily intake. I really like being gluten free, dairy free, but sometimes it’s difficult. Like when I go to coffee with a friend and the barista accidentally makes my latte with regular milk instead of soy. Or when I’m out with friends and everyone wants Italian, but the only Italian place close to us doesn’t have gluten free options and I feel famished and really don’t want to just get salad. Or when, perhaps more relevant, when it’s Thanksgiving and my favorite side dishes are green bean casserole and stuffing. Those dishes are definitely NOT gluten free dairy free. But they can be, and most people don’t realize that. So, in the next few weeks I would like to share some recipes that are holiday appropriate that are both gluten free and dairy free. I know that gluten intolerance is being found in more and more people, so it’s nice to discover gluten free food that actually tastes great too. Also, I have biology major as a friend, and he said that most people develop acute lactose intolerance as they age because our bodies naturally have a harder time breaking down lactose as we age. So, maybe going dairy free sometimes wouldn’t be such a bad thing for most people (and cutting down on dairy intake heightens weight loss if you’re interested in that). Anyway, I wanted to share my experience with finding out I needed to completely alter my daily eating, and offer a pre-cursor for all the gluten free dairy free recipes coming you way.

Truly,

Callie Leigh

Note: The food pictures are from my Pinterest, and are not all gluten-free dairy-free, but are meals or deserts that i would like to transform into diet-acceptable foods for myself. The photos of me are a little grainy, but my computer crashed last year so I lost a lot of my good before pictures!