Tag Archives: Special Diets

NUT BUTTER ENERGY BALLS 

You know those days when you’re exhausted and you just can’t find the energy to function?We all have them! Rather than reaching for a coffee, energy drink or sugary processed snack why not grab some of these peanut butter energy balls?
They are sweetened with natural agave nectar and dates and stuffed full of nuts and seeds. The natural sugar in the dates gives you the initial wake-me-up and the complex carbs in the oatmeal and the protein in the peanut butter and other nuts helps keep your blood sugars stable for longer and keep you full.

 

HOW TO ADAPT THIS RECIPE TO SUIT YOU:

Peanut butter is a great energy-dense snack, and thanks to its sticky texture you can roll it in with other yummy ingredients as well. This recipe contains dates, rolled oats, pecans, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips (yum!)  – but you can put whatever you want in it!

Use whatever nuts or seeds that you have and make sure to chop them small. Try toasting the nuts and seeds so they are more flavourful. You can use any kind of nut butter you have but natural, organic butter (like Almond or cashew – Holland & Barrett) is best.

You can leave out the coconut, or add more. Or what about swapping the agave nectar for honey? You could even add more chocolate chips! Or less?! Or use chocolate shavings? Or what bout toasted almonds instead of pecans?


PREP TIME – 10 mins, TOTAL TIME- 10 mins, SERVINGS: 24

INGREDIENTS

½ cup natural peanut butter

8 dates, pits removed

2 tbsps agave nectar

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup toasted, chopped pecans

¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds

¼ cup unsweetened coconut

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

1 tbsp chia seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the nut butter, dates and agave nectar into a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Either add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process again, or you can scoop out the nut butter and dates into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix everything by hand.
  3. Roll into 24 balls.

And Enjoy! They will keep for at least a week in the fridge or frozen for much longer.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 116; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 3g

Melt In Your Mouth Morning Muffins

Kimberleys Own Granola muffins with cranberries and blueberries

Make Ahead: The muffins can be made a day in advance and kept (covered) at room temperature or frozen individually to preserve freshness (for up to 2 weeks), then defrosted in their wrappings. Reheat, loosely wrapped in aluminum foil, in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.

SERVINGS: 6

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup less 1/2 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran (also called miller’s bran; do not use bran cereal)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugarffd07a32238caf39d792f5bae740461a
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoonslow-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or bluerberries
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the wells of a standard-size 12-well muffin pan with cooking oil spray.
  2. Whisk together the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bran, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate mixing bowl, then whisk in the buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract. Blend in the oil, mixing well.
  4. Thoroughly stir in the mashed bananas.
  5. Quickly pour the banana mixture over the flour mixture, scatter over the cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and stir to form a thick batter. Let it stand, uncovered, for 2 minutes; this allows for the flours to be absorbed into the batter and steadies the rise of the muffins during baking. Divide the batter equally among the muffin pan wells, mounding the portions slightly.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins have risen and set and have browned. A wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin will withdraw clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Cool the muffins in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn them out and cool completely (right side up) on the rack.muffins_9
Nutritional Facts

Calories per muffin (using low-fat buttermilk and sour cream): 220

Total Fat: 8g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Total Carbohydrates: 32g

Sugar: 16g

Protein: 6g

 

Email me your pictures of your muffins chloehthomas@gmail.com or comment your feedback below – and don’t forget to hit the like button if you liked the recipe!

Never Eat Airplane Food Again – Top Tips For Eating Healthy When Travelling

Why do millions of people think they have to eat airport and airplane food because it’s the only thing available?

This is why i feel compelled to share and help you as you have a choice. YOU are in control of everything you put in your mouth and your body is not a rubbish bins for the industrial and processed foods. Airplane food is often heavily processed with tons of controversial additives and preservatives. When you’re flying, it’s stressful. Your body utilizes more nutrients, so it’s important to nourish yourself well and plan.

Bring food with you to the airport & on airplanes.

I’m happy to say that I haven’t had to eat airport and airplane food in a years – apart from fruit! It’s easy to do, but it does take a bit of prep time and you have to make sure that what you bring won’t get confiscated by the TSA at the security checkpoint.

Healthy-Travel-Food2

TSA lets you bring food through security.

In the UK, USA and in most countries, the transit authorities allows you to bring food through the security screening and onboard. Here are some items that work well and don’t get confiscated:

  • Homemade sandwiches wrapped in parchment paper stored in a quart-sized plastic bag. Keep in mind that all food that you carry on will need to go through the x-ray machine at the checkpoint. So, never use any foil. They will want to search your bag and delay your travels.
  • Dips and sauces, such as hummus, salsa and almond butter, as long as it is in a small Tupperware/container,  and put into a small ziploc plastic bag.
  • Fresh fruits and veggies, such as apples, bananas, carrot sticks, celery sticks and avocados. Just wash them at home or in your hotel room before you put them in your bag. If you cut or peel them ahead of time, of course they need to be in a plastic ziploc bag or Tupperware container.
  • Crunchy snacks such as crackers, ryvita, kale chips, etc.
  • Dried fruit and raw nuts make a great snack on the plane. You can make my own mix – 1/2 cup each of raw almonds, coconut flakes, dried cherries or raisins, and raw walnuts. The airport usually has trail mix in boots or Pret a Manger, but it comes along with all the inflammatory oils, other additives and are usually not raw or organic (although Pret is good).
  • Pre-made salads in containers (Tupperware- BPA-free plastic). Salad dressing can be already mixed into a salad or at the bottom of the bowl for mixing in later. Ask for a plastic fork on the plane.
  • Empty flasks – any size. These are great for filling up after you get through security. And you can bring a protein shaker bottle with the protein powder in, then once you are through security go to coffee shop and get some milk and water and mix it up – or on the plane.
  • Tea bags for making hot tea in the airport before you board or on the plane.

TravelTips1

Most people don’t think about this, but you can pack a cooler as one of your carry-on bags. There are some great travel coolers available, and even some that are on wheels that easily go through security for long flights or if you are traveling with family. Just make sure that it meets the size requirements for the airline that you are flying on.

For longer flights, pack some frozen food in your cooler. If you pack some frozen berries or yogurt in small containers, it will help to keep your cooler cool and slowly defrost during your flight.

And remember , exercise alongside your healthy diet when you are travelling. And no you DON’T need a gym or equipment – Click HERE for 9 workout moves you can do in a hotel room!! 

Please leave comments below and feel free to email me – chloehthomas@gmail.com, i would love to hear your top tips or any questions about your travels!

 

Thanks to Vali for some of these tips, check out her great website here.

Cheat days. Are you doing more damage than good?

Are “cheat days” a good idea? Do these special days of indulgence help you reach your health goals? Or do they set you up on a seesaw of destructive eating habits?

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The Argument FOR Cheat Days: 

Rewarding Yourself-

Some say that giving yourself days of indulgence is giving yourself a needed break from your diet. These cheat days are a relief valve that help you stick to healthier foods.

The logic behind these days has more than a few flaws, and it’s due to the psychology and physiology behind them…..

The Argument AGAINST Cheat Days

⛔️The Name Is to Blame….The problem with “cheat” is that it carries a huge emotional weight of guilt, shame, and failure. 

“Cheat” is not a positive word. When you talk about “cheating” on a diet the same way you’d “cheat on” a partner, you’re adding a massive load of moral judgment that has no business being attached to a burger or a piece of cake, because your “relationship” with your diet is fundamentally different from your relationship with a spouse or partner.

Think about “cheating” in the context of a relationship. If you cheat on your husband or wife, it’s wrong because it’s hurting the other person, betraying their trust and breaking a promise.

Treating a person this way would make you a sociopath, but when it comes to food, this is a perfectly normal and healthy attitude. And that’s why using a word with moral connotations like “cheat” doesn’t make sense.

What’s more, when we deem certain foods “bad” or “cheating,” the negative name doesn’t help us pump the breaks.

⛔️When a food is off-limits, it can develop a specific, emotional charge. You begin obsessing over it, fantasizing about, and looking forward to that ‘indulge day’ all week. Then, when you finally have access to it, you overeat.

Separating foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories encourages you to associate eating with guilt and shame. This means that instead of enjoying everything we eat, we feel bad about ourselves when we eat something we consider “bad.”

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⛔️Furthermore Science shows when we think something is healthy, we’re not concerned with portion control and thus overdo it—whether it’s a “normal” day or a “cheat” day. Yes, there can be too much of a good thing.

The problem now becomes: what word to use instead? Call it a treat, a detour, a “free day/free meal” or a non-healthy meal. Or just call it “part of the way I choose to eat” and leave it at that.

Once you stop making food into a moral issue, it becomes much easier to sit down and think rationally about whether (and if so, when) it makes sense for you personally to eat something that isn’t healthy.

⛔️Attack of the Calories

Those who assume they can compensate for giving into temptations—say, by holding themselves back on all days except their cheat days—are actually less likely to reach their dietary goals. This is because they’re more likely to consume a greater number of calories, not just on their cheat day but on the days following it.

Restricting ourselves throughout the week and then slamming our bodies with sugar and fat once our cheat day rolls around, can have “a massive impact on blood sugar and insulin levels. You’ll wake up the next day craving more sugars and simple carbs, and you’ll find yourself feeling pretty ragged. And if you repeatedly increase your caloric intake above baseline, you may inadvertently end up gaining more weight over time.

Cravings serve as a sign that your nutritional approach isn’t sound. Most cravings come from overly restricting your food intake, using food as a drug, or over exercising.

⛔️Binging Leads to Extra Cheat Days

Once that day of indulgence comes, it’s not about enjoying the foods you haven’t had all week. Instead, you’re approaching it out of a need to consume all you can before the day goes away. “It feeds into a feast-and-famine cycle,”.

Binging on a cheat day also makes it challenging to confine cheat-day foods only to that designated 24-hour window. It’s very hard for people to compartmentalize their diets. ‘I’m only going to have those cookies on Saturday’ can easily spill over into ‘I’ll only have a few cookies Sunday too.’

 

✳️The Solution: Stop Restricting, Start Enjoying—in Moderation✳️

So if cheat days don’t work, are we all better off eating whatever we want, whenever we want?

Well, not quite, following a healthy diet means including a number of foods—all of which are consumed in moderation. If weight loss is the goal, this usually means three square meals a day with planned snacks, incorporating treats but in smaller portion sizes.

Research suggests eating a balance of foods—with none of them off-limits or labeled “bad”—is the best way to reduce the kinds of cravings that can lead to a binge.

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So what does a game plan for a healthy eating with no cheat days look like? 

➡️Remember these 3 things:

1.✅Listen to your appetite.

If you want to eat spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, have it! Don’t find the low-carb version with the fat-free sauce. If you actually eat what you want, you’ll likely end up eating a more reasonable amount of it.

Eating in tune with your hunger is a principle of intuitive eating, and it’s shown to have a positive effect on both your weight and your wellbeing.

2. ✅Enjoy treats from time to time.

Research shows (and experts agree) that sprinkling reasonably sized desserts or treats into your daily diet encourages you to find pleasure in meal time again—and that pleasure will help ensure you don’t feel the need to go overboard.

So instead of confining your treats to one single day, drop them into places throughout the week.

3. ✅Savor every bite.

Once you place any item of food into your mouth, take a moment to: taste, smell, and experience it as a whole. When you take the time to be mindful about what you’re eating, you tap into your satiety cues.

Forget about designating a cheat day to reward yourself. Denying yourself most of the week and then indulging like crazy on your one day “off,” just promotes guilt, anxiety, and shame around eating—which means you won’t likely get to the health outcome you’re looking for. Instead, make every day a great day by listening to your appetite, periodically adding in some of your favorite foods in small portions, and savoring each and every bite of everything you eat. This sustainable approach will help you think of all of your eating as enjoyable, and that’s what gets you down the road to where you want to be.

✅”Calories in vs. calories out” is the golden rule for effective weight loss. To lose weight, a person must eat fewer calories than he or she burns. 

You are not a quitter! You are not a cheater! 

If you feel the need or desire to “cheat” on your diet, it may be worth examining your relationship with food and whether you’re actually taking steps to leave dieting behind in favor of adopting a healthy eating plan that you can live with for life.

Please feel free to email me – click here. Or leave a comment below on whether cheat days work for you – I would love to hear your story.

Is a Calorie REALLY Just a Calorie?

A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy. It’s equivalent to 4.184 absolute Joules.

We’ve all heard that “a calorie is a calorie,” and while there’s truth in this statement, it can lead us astray in our quest to build a great body.

You see, when we’re just talking about mere weight loss or gain, it doesn’t matter where these calories come from. So in this way, a calorie is a calorie. When it comes to PURE weight loss (not factoring in muscle vs. fat, body composition, overall health, physical performance, or energy levels), eating fewer calories than you burn every day will be the main part of the equation. Eat less than you burn: lose weight.

HOWEVER, we’re FAR more concerned with how you look, how you feel, if you are healthy, if you are getting stronger, if your doctor gives you a clean bill of health, and if you live a long life full of activity, exercise, sleeping well etc. You want to do everything in your power to avoid things like heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes – diseases that end your life too early.

When we’re talking about improving body composition (losing just body fat and not muscle, or maximizing muscle growth while minimizing fat storage), you must not only follow the principles of energy balance, but you must do so with a proper balance of macronutrients.


A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, and fat. How you balance your intake of these macronutrients has profound effects on how your body responds to the foods you eat. For example, protein is the most important macronutrient to get right when you want to optimize your body composition. The research is clear.

A high-protein diet…

-Is vital for preserving lean mass when dieting for fat loss.

-Is vital for maximizing muscle growth when dieting for muscle gain.

-Is effective for reducing body fat levels, including abdominal fat in particular.

-Increases satiety, helping you avoid hunger pangs and cravings.

-A high-protein diet is even more important if you’re exercising regularly, as this further increases your body’s demand for amino acids.

Despite what you’ve been told, carbohydrates aren’t the enemy. They don’t make you fat or unhealthy. In fact, there are big benefits to keeping carbohydrate intake as high as possible, even when dieting for fat loss, including…

-Better workout performance.

-Improved retention of lean mass.

-Better thyroid function.

-More satiety.

-Better mood.

Trust me–low-carb dieting is NOT GOOD and is completely unnecessary for the vast majority of people looking to lose weight, and is downright detrimental to those trying to put on size.

What does the perfect ratio look like?

In my opinion, the amount of calories consumed and the ratio of what the macronutrients should differ from person to person depending upon their body, goals, and routine. A proper meal plan not only provides the proper amount of calories but breaks them down into the optimal amounts of macronutrients as well.

  

I’d love to hear your thoughts:

Have you had success with counting calories or calculating macros, or did it make you go crazy?
Which methods have you messed around with, and what are your goals? Are you trying to lose a few pounds, lose a lot of weight, get to a minimal body fat percentage, compete in an elite sport, etc.

Do you use any apps on your phone to record claories alone or do you include macronutrients? -Has this article made you reconsider? 

I’d love to hear from you – chloehthomas@gmail.com, or message me on facebook- click here

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Cinnamon Honey or Sea Salt & Vinegar Crisps

IMG_2611Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Vinegar

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp Ground cinnamon  

1 Tsp Honey

2 Small Sweet Potatoes 

 

Directions

1.Mix the honey and cinnamon together on half the batch for a sweet flavour

2. For the salt & vinegar,  shake up the sea salt and vinegar with the sweet potatoes in a ziploc/airtight bag.

Try a Greek Yogurt dip (total 0%) to go with these.

 

 

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Taken from a great blog – Undressed skeleton, click HERE to see more  

 

 

Mouthwatering Healthy Protein Pancakes 

Yes it’s true, these pancakes ARE healthy, low in fat, calories and high in protein which means they keep you fuller for longer! I’ve used juice plus complete protein powder which is gluten, wheat and dairy free and suitable for vegans and used by 3 Olympic teams and many athletes around the world.image

Prep time –5 mins

Cook time  –10 mins

Total time – 15 mins

Ingredients:

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 Cup instant oats, dry

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein (juice plus) powder

2 egg whites

1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt (0% total)

1/2 small banana (old)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Low calorie nonstick oil spray

Instructions:

1. In a blender, combine the oats, protein powder, egg whites, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, banana, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.

2. In a large skillet coated with spray oil, begin cooking the pancakes over medium-high heat, about 4-5 minutes on each side.

3. Serve immediately or let them cool and place in a Tupperware box. You can freeze half the batch as well in separate ziplock bags. Make sure they are defrosted before serving.

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Serving suggestions 

Best served warm (heat up in microwave or oven) with

-Total 0% Greek yoghurt & some strawberries / raspberries / blueberries

– organic almond or cashew nut butter & sliced banana 

– homemade frozen banana yoghurt and some cinnamon 

– Greek yoghurt a 2 tsps agave nectar syrup 

For more information on juice plus click here –http://www.juiceplus.co.uk/+ct53247

Pizza Bagels

Cauliflower is a great classic low carb option. It is so versitile and this is just one of the many ways it can be used. This is adapted from a recipe i found on Pinterest, i have altered it slightly. With childhood obesity at it’s highest ever don’t tell your kids it’s actually cauliflower and they will never know! These can also be frozen which is great if you make too many and can be de-frosted the morning of the day you plan to eat them.

Serves 6

Ingredients

– 2 eggs

– 1 cup light Mozzarella

– 1 cup riced, fresh cauliflower (not cooked- use a blender or grater)

– 10 slices smoked ham cut into quarters

– 0.75-1 tsp Garlic powder (depending on preference)

– 0.5 tsp Crushed red pepper

– 1 large slice tomato diced

– side salad- rocket , lettuce, cucumber & cherry tomatoes (dressing Balsamic vinegar & pepper)


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.Combine all your ingredients and mix well.

3.Pour into greased bagel baking tray**

4. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, or until set.

5. Serve with side salad 

NOTES: Can be frozen without the toppings after the first baking. Simply thaw, top and then bake for 12-15 minutes in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven.

**£8.90 Ebay – CLICK HERE 

FODMAPs in the media

So happy that FODMAPs is becoming well known in the media and more people are becoming aware of this fantastic approach to help the symptoms of IBS.Image

Anyone who suffers from IBS will understand how annoying and frustrating it can be! So i welcome any coverage in magazines ….Image

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Gluten-Free Living on a Budget Tips

This is taken from (I have edited it!) a great blog – check out these Budget tips when on a gluten free diet …

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/cooking-gluten-free-on-budget-brown.html

Gluten-Free Living on a Budget Tips

  1. Buy pantry items on sale. 

Beans. Rice. Canned tomatoes. Canned pumpkin. Quinoa. Gluten-free pasta. Stock up when you can. And buy in bulk.

  1. Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals. 

Cut down on meat and browse my Vegetarian and Vegan Index for some budget-friendly inspiration. My Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas are super popular- and muy delicioso. Not to mention my Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie and the all-time classic comfort food Baked Mac + Cheese.

Shop at the Farmers’ market for seasonal inspiration and budget friendly prices.

  1. Make your own snacks instead of buying pre-packaged. 

You can make twice as much hummus for less than half the price. Try my Jalapeno Lime Hummus recipe, or classic Hummus Tahini. Make your own snack chips out of stale corn tortillas and brown rice tortillas- here’s how to make your own chips. Easy. Make your own pesto, too. And if basil is outrageously expensive- try cilantro, parsley and mint. It makes a wonderful pesto with pecans (cheaper than pine nuts).

  1. Use more potatoes. 

They’re amazingly versatile. You can make a soul warming- and filling- soup Potato Leek Soup for very little investment. You can make a baked Idaho potato- or a sweet potato- the centre of a meal rather than a side dish. Top it with a scoop of leftover Santa Fe Chicken Chili, or veggies like my Balsamic Roasted Veggie Smothered Potato. Top a baked sweet potato with my Melted Peppers and Dags. Easy and cheap. Buy them at your local Farmers Market.

 

  1. Eat breakfast for dinner .

Make an 1-2-3 omelette with eggs and left over blue corn chips and call it a Blue Chip Fritatta. Make pancakes. Or Pumpkin Waffles. Or a simple Fried Egg and Pesto on Toast. Bake up a spaghetti quiche-pie with leftover pasta and veggies and call it an Autumn Pasta Fritatta. Find more brunch, quiche and egg recipes here.

  1. Pasta is goddess sent. 

Even though gluten-free pasta runs a tad more expensive than regular old grocery store spaghetti, you can often buy in bulk and save. Ask your grocer for a case discount.

  1. Make soup. 

And if you make it a slow cooker, you save energy costs. Easy, And pretty cheap- if you buy the beans on sale. Use leftover chicken and make my Roasted Corn Chowder with Chicken and Cilantro. Hardly a sacrifice. Browse more soup recipes on the blog.

  1. Make your own broth

Don’t bother buying expensive gluten-free broths. Make your own with water. Fill a pot. Toss in some old celery sticks that have been hanging around, a couple of bendy carrots, a piece of onion, some garlic and a shake of herbs. Sea salt. Cover. Simmer. Strain. Boom. Broth. And you know what’s in it.

 

  1. Remix leftovers. 

Don’t just reheat  leftovers in the microwave. Get creative with leftover rice, quinoa, stews and chili. Combine leftover veggies and chicken for soup. Throw in leftover salad greens. Toss in some carrots. Add a scoop of rice. Save leftover chili (like my Two Artists Chili) and bake it with rice the next day for a fabulous Baked Chili Casserole (pictured above). Make a fabulous Brown Sugar Meatloaf and smashed potatoes and the next day turn leftovers into a tasty pie (see below for recipes). Make a potato soup into a fish chowder the next day by adding a can of wild salmon and some frozen corn. Use leftover rice and chicken and add some garlic and frozen spinach to make my Chicken Spinach Rice Bake. And of course- the obvious favorite around here- make Mexican. Use leftover chicken, beef or turkey to make enchiladas.

Read more: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2009/03/cooking-gluten-free-on-budget-brown.html#ixzz2WV4px3Jb