I’ve decided that I am going to start a series of posts where I compare convenience foods and provide a better, but not perfect, replacement option. We all know that cooking every meal from scratch is the best, but I also understand that situations may come up where you don’t have the option and/or that some don’t want to make the commitment to REID but do want to improve their current diet.
Because some of these foods are not completely REID approved, I will refrain from posting them to the REID Facebook group. However, I will post them (with a link) to my @nourishedblessings Facebook page. Please feel free to follow that page if you would like access to the link.
Disclaimer: I feel like I need to include every sort of disclaimer here because these foods are not perfect and I am sure many will find reasons to criticize them. However, I will absolutely admit how hard it can be to switch your family to a whole food based diet when coming from the standard American diet. While theses foods are not ideal and can be inflammatory due to poor quality oils, sugar, non-organic, high in x,y,z etc., they may help reduce free glutamate exposure or are slightly cleaner options when switching to a whole food diet. Please keep in mind that many of these foods can also feed underlying pathogens which can additionally create a surge in glutamate.
Need a quick store bought option for almond milk but without the unwanted additives? Most packaged milk alternative options are loaded with unwanted sources free glutamate (aka MSG). If you don’t have time to make homemade almond milk, be sure you are sourcing one of these cleaner options without the excitotoxic additives.
Organic Malk Unsweetened- this is probably one of the cleanest store bought options for almond milk bc not only does it contain real food ingredients, but it is also certified organic. Purchase their “unsweetened” option in the blue bottle to avoid vanilla “flavor” 😉 I’ve been able to source Malk at our local Whole Foods but believe it can be found at some Sprouts & Target.
Elmhurst Unsweetened Almond Milk- This option is certainly an easier find and contains real ingredients without the plastic packaging. Stick with their “unsweetened” 2-ingredient option to avoid sources of free glutamate. I’ve seen this product at nearly every Target and Publix I’ve been to, but it can also be found on Amazon!
Most importantly, almond milk is easy to make! Take a look at the recipes section, for a simple recipe.
Disclaimer: Almonds can also be inflammatory, high in oxalate, salicylate and contribute to constipation in our kids. I would avoid going overboard 😉
Dark Chocolate Easter Bunny
Hippity Hoppity Easter’s on its way! 🐣 🌸 🐰
Easter has suddenly become a bit more complicated as we are surrounded by cousins and “want to eat what they eat”. Because of this, I’ve been on a hunt for the dreaded chocolate Easter bunny.
In the 1st photo, I’ve highlighted some ingredients that contain higher levels of free glutamate (aka MSG) in your standard dark* chocolate bunny. We have to avoid these with REID.
In the 2nd photo, I’ve included a cleaner option for the dark chocolate bunny. If you haven’t had a moment to take a look at this website, you may want to. They frequently sell allergy friendly treats for the holidays. Keep in mind that sugar is inflammatory and we cannot be 100% sure that the chocolate listed in the ingredients is lower glutamate. https://www.naturalcandystore.com/product/allergy-friendly-dark-chocolate-easter-bunny/all-products
In the 3rd photo, you will find an option that I created for Easter last year. Have you heard of @hukitchen chocolates? While there is some glutamate risk with chocolate, we like that Hu uses cacao over cocoa (lower glutamate risk with cacao) and coconut sugar over regular sugar. I just followed these simple steps for this fun Easter treat….1) melted 2 Hu chocolate bars over the double-boiler 2) mixed some nut and/or seed butter with honey or maple syrup…add as little or as much as desired(coconut mana could also work) 3) evenly divided about 1/3 of the chocolate mixture into silicone tray and cooled 4) added a dollop of nut/seed butter on top of hardened chocolate 5) evenly divided remaining chocolate mixture on top of nut/seed butter 6) place in refrigerator until hardened
Thrive market has the best prices I’ve found for Hu Chocolate but it can also be found at some health food stores. It is linked in the blog here: https://nourishedblessings.com/snacks/
Disclaimer: we did not tolerate chocolate originally, but are fortunate enough that we can consume it now (In moderation) without any reaction. It can also be higher in glutamate, histamine, oxalate and salicylate. Happy Easter!!🐰
Oatmeal Granola Bar
B E T T E R, N O T P E R F E C T | Oatmeal Granola Bar Edition
I’ve been able to find this FreeYumm product at random Whole Foods and Amazon, https://amzn.to/2xmRvG4
If you’re looking for a cleaner simple oatmeal granola bar recipe, take a look at this one from @minimalistbaker and try to source both organic and GF oats 😉 https://minimalistbaker.com/healthy-5-ingredient-granola-b…/
From breakfast on the run, sports/game treats and school snacks, we are often looking for a cleaner granola bar option. While products like Annie’s are touted as the healthy option, they are often still loaded with junk (canola oil and several sources of free glutamate/MSG 👆🏻). We’ve found a cleaner option from FreeYumm. While I wish it was organic (most oats are drenched in glyphosate) and that they would choose a better quality oil, this product would be substantially lower in glutamate and less inflammatory than the other option. LOVE that is allergy friendly for our sensitive kids.
Overwhelmed with the idea of making diet changes? It doesn’t have to be as hard as it appears. Once you know better, try to do better. There will always be room for improvement, so be sure to allow yourself some grace.
In this post, I compare a traditional jam containing sources of free glutamate (yes, pectin and gelatin are sources) to a cleaner option that uses chia seeds to give it that gelatinous texture. What is Glutamate?
Amazon link to the World of Chia Jam: https://amzn.to/2S3Iazk
If you have the time, I have a very simple recipe you can make at home within minutes. It stores great in the freezer and is any easy recipe to sneak greens into.
Disclaimer: I feel like I need to include every sort of disclaimer here because these foods are not perfect and I am sure many will find reasons to criticize them. However, I will absolutely admit how hard it can be to switch your family to a whole food based diet when coming from the standard American diet. While theses foods are not ideal and can be inflammatory due to poor quality oils, sugar, non-organic, high in x,y,z etc., they may help reduce free glutamate exposure or are slightly cleaner options when switching to a whole food diet. Please keep in mind that many of these foods can also feed underlying pathogens which can additionally create a surge in glutamate. Products may be linked via affiliate accounts.
Did you know that the FDA has loose regulations on the terms “spice(s)” and “natural flavors”? Under these terms, they are allowed to contain a large percentage of free glutamate (aka MSG). “Spice(s)” should be called out exactly as they are and not hidden with other additives under the spice term.
Grain vinegar, especially made of fermented corn, can be problematic for those with excess inflammation and high levels of glutamate. Free glutamate is a byproduct of the protein degradation that occurs in the fermentation process. Higher protein fermented foods will have higher levels of free glutamate.
When choosing a mustard, look for one with all of the whole food ingredients called out and for one preferably made of apple cider vinegar, which carries a lower glutamate risk.
This Eden Organic Yellow Mustard is a great option, if you have to have it: https://amzn.to/2QPpO1w
Gluten Free Bread
One of the hardest changes REID followers make, is the transition away from traditional bread. I will absolutely admit that this was a struggle for us initially as well. We relied too heavily on bread and I found myself tethered to the kitchen making grain-free bread. My lesson learned: we don’t need to be making or eating that much bread because it really wasn’t benefiting our health. However, I always keep a loaf in my freezer for those rare occasions.
In the first photo, you’ll see the processed gluten free bread contains several sources of free glutamate/MSG, inflammatory ingredients and starches that tend to feed bad gut bugs. We avoid these on REID
In the second photo, you’ll find @baseculture grain free Paleo bread that can be found at some grocery store chains, amazon and even some Walmart’s. While this product is not organic and there is a very slight glutamate risk with ACV, it is one of the cleanest store bought breads I’ve found. We store these in the freezer 😘
The Base Culture bread is linked through my affiliate account here: https://amzn.to/32Ho5jB
In the third photo, you’ll see one of our favorite homemade paleo breads from Against All Grain (yes, the one I would once dedicate one day a week to make 🤣🤦♀️)
This recipe can be found here: https://nourishedblessings.com/cashew-bread/
Why do we make grain free bread over grain-based bread? Grain-based breads most often need to include a gummy additive to keep them moist and from crumbling. Unfortunately, these gums are sources of free glutamate and are best if avoided. Paleo/nut based breads may contribute to constipation and oxalate issues.