Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce recipe This nightshade-free Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce Recipe is also gluten-free and vegan. Meaning it’s good for mixed company (though if your friends are gluten-free, make sure you’re serving gluten-free pasta along with it). Why Nightshade-Free PAsta Sauces? What’s the …
Month: January 2019
Gluten-free and Nightshade Free Diet
Should you follow a gluten-free and nightshade-free diet? Whether it’s for celiac or non-celiac gluten-sensitivity, many people feel better after going gluten-free. However, for some they don’t always feel better after going gluten-free and may need to look at other trigger foods. In this post we will talk about a gluten-free and nightshade-free diet and why you may want to follow it.
What are Nightshades?
You might know nightshades to be toxic plants that you shouldn’t eat; think plants like belladonna. However, many of the foods in our diet today are of the nightshade family as well.
As members of the Solanaceae family (commonly known as the nightshade family), a lot of foods in our diet feature chemical compounds that act as a naturally forming “bug killer”.
Essentially, these chemicals in the nightshade family foods act as a defense system for the plant. Killing any pests that might be trying to take a bite out of it.
However, edible nightshades, or nightshades found in our diet, have such low amounts of these toxic chemicals that they shouldn’t have any harmful impacts on humans. That being said, some do report not tolerating nightshades well.
What is a Nightshade Free Diet?
A nightshade free diet is just that, a diet free of nightshades. That means a diet free from the following foods:
- Potatoes (not sweet potatoes)
- Peppers (bell peppers, sweet peppers, chili peppers, jalapenos)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Pepper Flakes
- Curry Powder
- Goji Berries
A following a gluten-free and nightshade free diet can be tricky as many common dishes feature nightshades. Dishes like hot sauce, ketchup, spice blends, soups, tomato or pepper based sauces, and other dishes.
Signs and Symptoms of a Nightshade Sensitivity
A nightshade sensitivity means that your body is unable to efficiently digest nightshades. This is not to be confused with a nightshade allergy, where your body launches an immediate allergic reaction to nightshade foods.
Likely, if you have a nightshade sensitivity, you lack the enzymes that allow you to digest these foods which in turn can lead to a variety of inflammatory symptoms. Some nightshade sensitivity symptoms include:
- Joint pain / swelling / inflammation
- Digestive upset
The only way to know if you have a nightshade-sensitivity is if you follow an elimination diet under the guidance of registered dietitian. It’s important you have the help of a dietitian to make sure you eliminate and reintroduce foods back in correctly so you can get to the root cause of your symptoms.
When Should you Follow a Nightshade-Free Diet
Following a gluten-free diet involves an incredibly restrictive lifestyle. Adding a nightshade-free diet to an already restrictive diet isn’t an easy decision to make.
Restrictive diets, in general, are stressful, exhausting, and often time-consuming. It involves reading food labels, relentlessly questioning restaurant staff, calling brands to ask about manufacturing processes, and so much more.
Needless to say, restrictive diets of any sort, aren’t easy. So should you follow a gluten-free and nightshade free diet too?
That depends. As always, this post is not to take the place of individualized nutrition and medical professional provided advice. Most definitely consult your gluten-free specialized dietitian to determine if you should also avoid nightshades. (Need a gluten-free specialized dietitian, Hi! Let’s chat!)
However, some things to consider when deciding if you should follow a gluten-free and nightshade free diet:
- If you have celiac, have you had appropriate follow-up celiac disease testing?
- Are you still experiencing GI symptoms months after going gluten-free?
- Is your gut happy and healthy?
- Does your current diet support a healthy lifestyle?
- Can you manage an even more restricted diet?
- Are you ready for another lifestyle change?
- Do you have access to a health professional (like a dietitian) to help guide you through navigating other sensitivities?
- Have you noticed feelings of discomfort that might indicate an intolerance after eating nightshades?
Something else to note is that if you have food sensitivities like a nightshade sensitivity, that they don’t always last forever.
Having a dietitian follow you on your healing journey can make sure that you’re assessing food tolerances as needs to make sure nothing can be added back in. And if foods can be trialed again, a dietitian can help you with that.
Tips on following a Gluten-Free and Nightshade Free diet:
First of all, know that you might not have to avoid all nightshades forever if you do go on a gluten-free and nightshade free diet. When following a nightshade free diet because of a sensitivity, there is a phase where people reintroduce nightshade family foods back into their diet to assess if they trigger a reaction. So not to fear, you might not have to be entirely nightshade free to reap the benefits of following a gluten-free and nightshade free diet.
Second, when following a nightshade-free diet and trying to find fun recipes you can try, it could be helpful to search AIP compliant recipes on top of nightshade free recipes. The AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet is both gluten-free and nightshade free so often these recipes will be compliant with your gluten-free and nightshade free needs.
Lastly, when following a nightshade free diet, find alternatives to nightshade foods that work for you. Missing white potatoes for instance? Try eating sweet potatoes or carrots instead!
And if you’re in an immediate need of nightshade and gluten-free recipes, below are a list of some of my favorites!
Need Help Identifying Food Intolerances?
Achieve your goals with meal-prep with my top gluten-free meal-prep recipes. Meal-prepping doesn’t have to be boring or take tons of time. With the right recipes in your tool-kit, you can have a week full of healthy snacks and meals that taste good and only …
Self-Care and Celiac Disease - Why It's Important + 15 ways to Practice it
Self-care and celiac disease go hand in hand. While self-care is important all of the time, it’s especially important with autoimmune disease like celiac.
Below we will talk about why self-care is important with celiac disease and how to practice it.
What is Celiac
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that impacts the digestive track. Basically, when you have celiac disease your body attacks itself when you eat food that contain gluten. This causes damage to the small intestine that can lead to malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, stomach cancer, and more.
There is also a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This means that someone does not have celiac disease but they are still sensitive to gluten. Often symptoms of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity can look like each other which is why it’s important to rule out celiac disease with testing.
Either way, a gluten-free lifestyle is restrictive. Whether you are gluten-free because of celiac disease or because of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, self-care is important to maintaining a healthy gluten-free lifestyle.
What is Self-Care
Self-care is the process of taking care of yourself. It’s not rocket science, it’s just simply making time for you.
Self-care is a positive approach to coping with events and life. This can apply to both physical and mental health and can include activities that help you cope and relieve symptoms of different medical conditions.
Whether it be work, friends, family, your home, etc. it’s hard to take care of these things when we are lacking in the self-care department. You can’t pour from a glass that’s empty.
Why Self-Care is Important When you have Celiac Disease
While self-care is important always, no matter what, it’s especially vital when you’re following a restrictive lifestyle, like the gluten-free lifestyle. It can help you cope with feelings of isolation. It can help you cope with feeling misunderstood, unsupported, frustrated, lonely, hangry, and sick.
Let’s be real, it sucks having a disease that impacts our entire life. In fact, studies show that sticking to a gluten-free diet (or living gluten-free) can feel more burdensome than lifestyle treatments for other common conditions. A gluten-free lifestyle can be so burdensome that researchers found that non-adherence can be a serious problem in those diagnosed with celiac disease.
It can get lonely, frustrating, and just downright exhausting. Constantly having to think 10x harder about going to lunch with friends or attending a holiday party is taxing.
This is why you have to make sure that you are taking care of you, first and foremost, so that you can advocate for yourself fearlessly and effortlessly.
Signs You're Neglecting Self-Care
As hard as self-care is, it is so important. If you aren’t taking care of your needs then it can be hard to do thrive with celiac disease. Signs you’re neglecting self-care include:
- Difficulty staying calm in stressful food situations
- Making safe decisions around food is hard
- Overthinking your food choices
- You’re not feeling better after eating gluten-free for celiac.
- Experiencing frequent indigestion (if you are so burnt out and not resting – your body can go into survival mode and diverts blood flow and energy from your digestive system to your extremities for survival and defense)
How to Practice Self-Care With Celiac Disease
First of all, let me say, I get it. Self-care is hard. It’s hard to love yourself when it feels like your body has betrayed you. How dare it request that you remove what feels like an entire, tasty, delicious, food group.
So I won’t sit here and pretend like self-care will be an easy habit you’ll be able to just pick up at the drop of a hat. No, it will likely be hard to make the time and to find practices that help you. Despite this, much like switching to a gluten-free diet was hard but necessary, so is practicing self-care.
Self-care, when you have celiac disease, can involve developing habits that help prevent gluten exposure. Alternatively, it can involve creating a plan for how you will let yourself recover after gluten exposure.
Celiac Disease Self-Care Practices
- Journal your way to better gluten-free living with my Celiac Disease Wellness Journal
- Be forgiving – your cousin didn’t mean to gluten you
- Have self-compassion – you are only human.
- Be grateful – your friends don’t have to support you
- Advocate for yourself relentlessly – no one else is going to do it for you
- Give yourself permission to say “no” to social invites – it’s for your own sanity
- Embrace “JOMO” – the joy of missing out can mean the joy of zero gluten exposure and zero stress
- Only accept support – surround yourself with people who understand and will help advocate for you
- Join a support group – it can feel amazing venting to people who just get it
- Develop a self-care plan – for the week, month year, and for when you’re sick, exposure to gluten, or feeling unmotivated
- Meal-prep – take the stress out of figuring out safe foods to eat by preparing ahead of time
- Hire a gluten-free dietitian – this is totally shameless self-promotion right here, but hi! My name is Tayler Silfverduk, let me help!
- Eat more fruits and vegetables – nourish and health that gut
- Start a food journal – keep track of foods that might be additional triggers for you. Are you sensitive to cross-reactive foods? Specific brands? Can you tolerate food processed on the same equipment? What about the same facility?
- Set, Communicate, and Uphold Boundaries – keep yourself safe and create peace of mind by letting people know what you expect so that you can stay safe
- Eat Mindfully – eating mindfully can help you hone into your intuitive eating skills and potentially help you eat even more safely
Want more guidance? I developed a self-care planner specifically for people with celiac disease! Click the link below to grab YOUR copy!
Should people with celiac disease avoid cross-reactive foods? After following a gluten-free diet you might be wondering if you need to worry about gluten cross-reactive foods. What is a gluten cross-reactive food The basic argument is that gluten cross-reactive foods are foods that have proteins …
This Raspberry Red Velvet Cake Smoothie is Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Non-GMO, Low-Carb, and Vegan (if you omit the collagen peptides). Yeah, it’s a lot of things.
Red Velvet Cake is something that I miss from the gluten-filled diet I used to follow many moons ago. The decadent chocolate flavor with the ever so slightly tangy twist of the buttermilk and lemon juice. My mouth is watering…
I must confess, I am not a big smoothie drinker. Drinking my meals is not something I enjoy, not to mention, raw bananas just seem to tie my stomach into knots. However, this Raspberry Red Velvet Cake Smoothie is creamy, rich, decadent, and free from bananas. Meaning it sits in my stomach without wreaking digestive havoc.
Seriously, what better flavor combination than Raspberry and Red Velvet Cake?
Pro-Tip: Frozen fruit can be expensive to buy. So save money, when you see your favorite frozen fruits go on sale, buy a bunch and freeze them yourself in freezer-safe containers or bags. For example, every fall raspberries and blackberries go on sale for 2 for a $1.00 in my area so I buy at least 10 and freeze them for the winter!
Comment below your favorite smoothie recipe!
Red Velvet Cake Smoothie (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- 2 tbsp cashew butter (or 2 tbsp cream cheese if you aren't dairy free)
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice (trust me, it adds crazy depth)
- 2 tbsp Collagen Peptides
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup ice
- 1/4 tsp red velvet food dye (I used ColorKitchen)
- 1/2 cup frozen red raspberries