Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Gluten Free Taco Salad Recipe

With concerns about Celiac (no wheat, barley, or rye), as well as blood sugar and weight loss considerations, dinner is sometimes something I now have to think about a bit.

Right now, until I get used to the new requirements, I'm planning simpler meals with fewer ingredients. But I love to cook and experiment, as does my husband, and so we came up with this taco salad a few nights ago, made without the fatty/carby chips (or their calories). It used (relatively) few ingredients, and was done in a flash.

Here is our recipe:

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound (90% lean) ground beef, drained
1 cup chopped onion
6 cups chopped raw cabbage
2 small raw tomatoes
12 large black olives, sliced

Toppings, each
3 tbsp taco sauce
2 tbsp light Italian dressing (Gluten Free)
4 tbsp jalapeno slices

Serves 4. Season the meat with pepper & garlic saltcel, adding a few of the onions, if desired. Brown in a skillet until done, drain well. Divide cabbage into 4 bowls of 1 1/4 cup each, add veggies, meat, cheese evenly among the bowls. Garnish with taco sauce, light, (gluten-free) Italian, and jalapenos if desired.

From browning the meat to serving took less than 20 minutes. I cut veggies and filled bowls while the meat cooked, checking it from time to time.

It really was delicious. Crunchy, spicy, and full of flavor. If calories or carbs aren't an issue, add a few yellow or white corn tortilla chips. Many are gluten free, but always look.

According to Calorie Count at^), each serving has 458 calories, 22.7 grams of fat (a bit high), and 17.9 grams of carbohydrates (about half of what I want to eat in a meal). They give it a Nutritional Grade of "B+", which isn't too bad.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Today is the second day of the rest of my life

So, today is the second day of my life diet.

OK, so, really not the second day. More like the hundred-and-second day. Because back at the beginning of May, I started a diet and lost around 20 pounds, I gained around five pounds over the summer, which wasn't too bad considering summer cookouts and vacation and all that.

But the end of September brings with it several new developments. As the leaves fall, my blood sugar has been stealthily creeping up. It has always been normal when I wasn't pregnant, but isn't normal anymore. It isn't Type Two Diabetes, but Pre-Diabetes (^ to Wikipedia), which is it's own syndrome apart from Type Two Diabetes with it's own unique set of problems.

Now, right now, if I lose weight and increase my activity levels, I can stop Pre-Diabetes in it's tracks and avoid heart disease, blood lipid problems, possible blindness, high blood pressure, lower my risk for cancer, T2 diabetes, and a whole host of other nasties. But I have to act now, before this slips into "real" diabetes and I sustain damage that can't be reversed.

Some people, like myself, are more prone to blood sugar issues because of heredity. Weight simply compounds it. But losing even 10% of my weight and exercising more is enough to seriously lower the risk of all of the illnesses listed above and more.

I think the hardest part, aside from the first few days of eating differently, is the exercise aspect. I have never liked to exercise, skipping gym with gleeful abandon throughout my school career as often as humanly possible, stretching the boundaries of believability by being "sick", having my period (boy did that embarrass our male gym instructor), and/or having "cramps".

Aside from a few activities (swimming, bicycling), I've never really like to exercise. Compounding the whole thing is that I'm a mother and a wife with lots to do at home, and I live in an area of the country that sees a lot of snow between November and April.

But it doesn't matter. I have to do this. I can't sit this one out.

So, I now have a new way of eating. I guess I shouldn't really call it a diet, as that sounds temporary, and this can't be. It needs to be for the rest of my life. Limited carbohydrates, much fewer refined carbs, more fruits & veggies, more water, less dairy, and leaner proteins. And it is all made somewhat more difficult by the fact that I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease(^) last February, but it's nothing I can't handle.

And even though we're butt-deep in snow for (sometimes) months at a time, I have a treadmill, and an elliptical thingy. And now I get to use them. No excuses. When we're not butt-deep in snow, I have parks and mountains and all sorts of places to walk.

We even got a jog stroller for SuperCat, so that she can join me on my walks.

And now it begins. Or something. It really isn't as dramatic as all that, yet it is. I have to pick myself up and do things entirely differently from the way I've done them all my life.

From now on, I plan to use this space to keep myself honest, to record my journey, to share new things I learn along the way, and to center myself as I move along. The rest of it isn't going away, though. I hope to be the same person I always have been. Perhaps just a little (or a lot) smaller and healthier.


d =^..^=


Some days are like this:

funny dog picture, loldogs, wharrgarbl, wtf
See more puppies *pops*

And today was one of those days.