• Maria Netherland

Ditching the Gluten

Earlier this year, one of my family members was diagnosed with celiac disease. Since then, I’ve learned about gluten-free foods, celiac-safe foods, iron levels and dairy consumption and how they’re all tied into the well-being of the individual.


There are all sorts of gluten-free foods on the market. We have gluten-free apps on our phones (The Gluten Free Scanner) to help us in the grocery store. We’re always looking for the “Certified Gluten-Free” symbol on packaging. Honestly, it’s easier if the family member comes along and chooses their own foods.


While gluten-free foods are becoming more prevalent, the individual still needs to examine labels and contents of the items. We have gluten-free oats and regular oats in our cabinets as well as gluten-free flour and regular flour. In the time that I’ve spent looking at ingredient lists, I’m surprised at what does and doesn’t contain gluten.


This weekend, we made a gluten-free Thanksgiving meal to enjoy. We made a turkey breast in the crock-pot, had sweet potato bites and baked potatoes and gluten-free turkey gravy (made with cornstarch) and a salad. Creme brulee was the dessert of choice.


Gluten-free food doesn’t have to be boring and this meal was anything but boring.

If you’re dining with a person who is celiac or has a gluten intolerance, it’s easy to make and serve a tasty meal. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Whole foods: I’m not talking about the store but about foods that have been minimally processed. We eat a lot of roasted vegetables - specifically, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsnips and carrots.

  2. Minimally processed meats: We had a plain turkey breast from the store that we spiced up ourselves. Other favorites are Filet Mignon and pork loins. We avoid the pre-filled packages that contain marinades since we don’t know if the contents are gluten-free or if we’ll enjoy the marinades.

  3. Potatoes and sweet potatoes: These are typically roasted in the oven with a bit of sea salt and avocado oil or cooked in the Instant Pot. It’s basically 30 minutes of no work to baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.

  4. Salad: Mix your favorite lettuce with a lemon vinaigrette.

  5. Gluten-free dessert: Like I mentioned above, creme brulee is our favorite, but there are plenty of boxed cakes that are gluten-free or you can make your favorite cookie recipe (check the chocolate chips because guess what? GLUTEN!) with gluten-free flour.

Maria Netherland is a Northwest Florida-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Endurance and Youth & Juniors Certified Coach as well as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist. Coach Maria loves working for athletes of all abilities, military athletes, and new triathletes as they pursue their goals. Maria is a veteran of the US Army and a United States Military Academy at West Point graduate. She can be reached at maria@teammpi.com.

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