I am truly terrible at diets. So, this whole gluten-free thing? It’s hit or miss right now. The sugar-free thing? I’m a bit better at that, but only slightly. One of the biggest dietary hurdles for me is finding replacements for my go-to easy foods. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, always a family pleaser and so super easy, are now off limits for me. Hummus and pitas? Do you have any idea how many “carb choices” that is according to the GD guide? I’m trying, though. Here are a few things that I’ve come up with that are relatively quick and easy, and seem to go over well with everyone.
Breakfast: Gluten-Free oats with fruit sweetened with agave
Okay, the sweetener is maybe cheating a bit, but baby steps, people! I just cook oats per the instructions on the bag (I use Bob’s Red Mill Oats), and while those are going I chop up one Granny Smith apple, put ’em in a bowl and add the juice of one lime, about 1/2 a teaspoon of agave, and about 1/2 a cup of cashew pieces. I’ve been adding berries, subbing lemon juice, switching out nuts, but this is the base recipe I started with and the apples and cashew mix is my favorite so far. When the oats are done, just toss the fruit mix into the pan, cover for about a minute or two to let the fruit warm, and then dish it out. A sprinkle of cinnamon is pretty nice, too.
Another easily prepped food is marinated cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. This is a summer favorite of mine. I get a pyrex bowl, and combine one cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces, add about a cup or so of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half, and add about a 1/4 cup of sliced red onion. My current dressing consists of about 2 tablespoons of flax oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. I also like making a balsamic dressing for this, but really, any dressing will work. I just stash it in the fridge and eat it straight or use it to turn lettuce into an instant salad.
If this seems like very little food for a pregnant woman to be eating, keep in mind that I eat a few hundred calories every couple of hours to keep my blood sugar level. This means lots of smaller meals and snacks. Miette and I are pretty much in agreement that the best addition to our diet is the “Super Snack Plate.”
We slice up an apple, add a tablespoon of peanut butter to dip it in, coupled with a small amount of granola (the sweet, creamy, crunchy combination is maybe the greatest thing ever), and the chunky brown thing is a chocolate peanut butter chia seed bar from Health Warrior. I’ve taken to carrying these things with me, just in case I start feeling a dip in my energy. We often pair this snack with what has fast become my favorite smoothie: Strawberries and Spirulina from Rawesomely Vegan. The ingredients are so simple: a frozen banana, a cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, a handful or so of spinach, a teaspoon of spirulina powder, and a cup of water. Blend. Devour. Feel great. My tolerance for greens and spirulina is pretty high, so I tend to up those ingredients.
So, that’s it. Those are my magic “Sanity Foods”– reliable, healthy, and allowed by a diet that I am currently finding frustrating and generally fairly restrictive.