We’ve gone gluten-free in our house. I’m trying to help manage suspected Hashimoto’s by eliminating wheat, barley, rye, and switching to gluten-free oats and tamari (vs soy sauce), and so far it’s made a big difference in how I feel. No more brain fog. No more required mid-day nap. And the shrinking of my waistline (2 inches in just one week) is a bonus too. If you are interested in the connection, here’s an excerpt from The Gluten-Thyroid Connection:
The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have AITD [autoimmune thyroid disease] and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid. –Chris Kresser
What the diet change means, though, is that a lot of my “grab ‘n’ go” stand-bys are off-limits, particularly muffins. One truth that eating outside the mainstream has taught me these last three years, though, is that there are SO many options out there. There are always more nuts and seeds, grains, fruits, beans, etc. to try. Changes in diet really don’t phase me. I’ve replaced my whole-wheat flour with an array of rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, and teff flour and am having fun with my new Zojirushi BB-PAC20 bread machine (recommended by Gluten-Free magazine). Because I’m kind of an oddball, I already had xanthan gum, tapioca starch, coconut flour, and chickpea flour.
So definitely lots of changes in the kitchen the past couple weeks, and while it seems crazy that I’d want to mess with taste bud perfection, I wanted to switch up the recipe for Energy Bites to be healthier. I used this recipe as my inspiration.
Some of the changes I’ve made–I use gluten-free oats rather than granola. The local honey still lends plenty of sweetness and if you prefer a vegan option, you can substitute agave nectar. I also favor almond, no-nut, or sunbutter over peanut butter because peanuts are goitrogenic and I am trying to be kind to my thyroid.
* Note: The breakfast bites are displayed in a fabulous piece of Polish pottery I got on a recent trip to Europe. Thank you, Tiffany, for being such a fantastic hostess.
- ½ cup of sliced almonds (can use whole almonds if desired)
- ½ cup of raw cashews
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup almond butter
- 2 tbsp No-Nut butter (or sunbutter, or more almond butter)
- 3 tbsp local honey
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats
- Place almonds, cashews, and cranberries into food processor and process until the mixture is a coarse meal.
- Pour mixture into bowl and add chocolate chips and oats. Stir well.
- Now add the sticky ingredients--the almond butter, No-Nut butter, and honey. Stir well. If mixture is still very crumbly, add additional nut butter or honey.
- Refrigerate at least an hour before rolling mixture into balls.
- Store in fridge.