Month: May 2018

I mentioned these Tuna Cakes

by on / Healthy Eating

Author: jboden0408

I mentioned these Tuna Cakes on my Rutabaga Fries post and I figured I would share the recipe. If you are looking for a way to add more fish to your diet I think this is a great way to start!

I got the inspiration for these tuna cakes from Peace, Love, and Low Carb. However, I did change a few things up to suit an Ideal Protein diet.

This tuna cake recipe works great for anyone following Ideal Protein Phase 1 or another low carb diet. There is no breadcrumbs or other filler in the cakes. That being said, these tuna cakes are very delicate! There is not much holding them together. So, handle them very carefully while cooking them! I did find that freezing them for about an hour before cooking did help to keep them together.

You can serve the tuna cakes with whatever vegetable floats your boat. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or rainbow salad would be great sides. However, this time around, I went for the rutabaga fries and broccoli.

Asian Tuna Cakes

  • Servings: 2
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Recipe by: Jamie Boden at My Beautiful Ideal

Ingredients

  • 3, 5oz cans of tuna in water, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix together tuna, eggs, garlic, parsley, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  2. Form 6 equal sized patties. Place the patties on a platter and place in the freezer for 60 minutes.
  3. After 60 minutes, heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or any other heavy pan) over medium-high heat.
  4. Remove tuna cakes from freezer and add to the pre-heated pan.
  5. Cook the tuna cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side. When flipping them be very careful as they may fall apart.
  6. Enjoy!

Nutrition: Calories 269, Protein 36g, Carbohydrate 3g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Total Sugars 0g, Total Fat 12.5g.

 

New recipe from My Beautiful Ideal! Low Carb Asian Tuna Cakes

I mentioned these Tuna Cakes on my Rutabaga Fries post and I figured I would share the recipe.

Author: jboden0408
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Celiac Traveling in Toronto, ON

by on / Gluten Free

Author: g33klady

I was speaking at a conference in Toronto, but this trip I took alone. Hubby had just started a new job and couldn’t come with me.

As a celiac, traveling can be a nightmare. You never know what kind of food culture a place will have. I use the Find Me GF app constantly while traveling – you can see other’s ratings, whether they’re celiac friendly or not, etc. It’s always a gamble, though – nobody’s celiac is the same, where some might feel comfortable eating McDonald’s fries, but I do not. 

Where I was staying in Toronto was very celiac-friendly, so here it is all in one place (instead of just on Instagram)!

My first adventure out was during lunchtime, to a place called Kupfert and Kim – with a tagline like “Wheatless | Meatless” how could I go wrong? They were super attentive to my various allergies/intolerances (everything there is gluten free, but I’ve got some other food restrictions). I thought I’d come back a few times, but only ended up going once. I got an amazing paleo falafel dish, with a side of roasted yams with a lemon tahini and horseradish chimichurri. It was SO GOOD! So many other things on the menu I wanted to try – definitely need to go back!


Dinner that night I found a spot with a teammate called Kit Kat. It was tiny, and the wait was VERY long (even after we got a table). But the food was decent enough. Not enough to go back, unfortunately.

I had a lemon chicken, and creme brulee (of course). 


The next day at lunch, I kinda wanted to go back to Kupfert and Kim, but found another spot nearby called Basil Box. Another 100% gluten free place, and lots of options for a quick lunch.

I decided on a salad with chili lime shrimp. It was supposed to be mild, and maybe I’m a weakling but it was super spicy to me. It was delicious too! Another place I wanted to visit again – so many different things to try!.


After that I gave my talk at the conference, and my teammate and I decided to hit up this place called Sweet Jesus. It’s an ice cream and coffee shop, and the combinations they had were crazy and amazing.

The gluten free option they have is the “Sweet Baby Jesus” with a peanut caramel and some chocolate bits and sauce. I can’t have chocolate (no caffeine) so I got the Sweet Baby Jesus minus the chocolate. I’m sure it’s amazing with, but it was still pretty good with just the peanut caramel!


Right down the street from my hotel was O&B Canteen, and it had good ratings so I checked it out. Not a ton of options but some really good ones!

I got the skirt steak salad, and it was soooo yummy! Their only GF dessert was chocolate, so I had to miss out 🙁


The next day was my last in Toronto, and I had yet to have poutine (in my life!). I found a place nearby on the Find Me GF app, so that was my lunch destination – Buna’s Kitchen.

I got the “comfy” duck poutine, and a fall harvest millet salad. I was not prepared for the amount of food I had just ordered! The poutine had a GF gravy, a perfectly cooked egg, and omg the duck! I am supposed to stay low sodium, and this dish was packed with sodium but OMG so worth it!

The harvest millet salad would have to wait for the next day – it was yummy with cranberries, garbanzo beans, and roasted butternut squash and a light dressing. Slightly sweet but very tasty.


Before leaving town I stopped at a Balzac’s for a decaf latte and an Energy Circle – can’t seem to find them anywhere else!


Another great trip! Travelling can really suck, so it’s amazing to find such a celiac-friendly place!

Author: g33klady
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New Post has been published on Living a Life in Colour

by on / Gluten Free

New Post has been published on http://www.livingalifeincolour.com/buckwheat-and-jam-cake/

Buckwheat and jam cake

Buckwheat seeds by Mariluna

Buckwheat seeds by Mariluna

Buckwheat tends to be associated with soba noodles, Brittany crepes and kasha (Russian buckwheat grains). While buckwheat is tends to be associated with wheat, it is in fact not a wheat at all or even a grass. The seeds of the buckwheat are a cereal which are related to rhubarb and sorrel and are enjoying a surge in popularity as they are gluten free. In the Alps of the Lombardia (Valtellina), Trentino Alto-Adige, Veneto and Friuli Venezia-Giulia, buckwheat pops up on menus in bread, polenta (usually mixed together with corn and called polenta taragna), frittatas (schmarn di grano saraceno), pasta (pizzocheri), soup (zuppa di grano saraceno), dumplings (canederli di grano saraceno),  pancakes (cicc and sciatt), in cakes sandwiching jam like the one below and on its own cooked with milk and served with browned butter and syrup. In Italian, the word for buckwheat is “grano saraceno” meaning arab wheat. It is hypothesised that perhaps the Arabs introduced buckwheat to Italy and so it was named for them. Another supposition is that it was named thus for its dark colour.

Maltagliati di grano saraceno con burro e parmigiano (buckwheat pasta with butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese)

Maltagliati di grano saraceno con burro e parmigiano (buckwheat pasta with butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese)

Buckwheat has a nutty, earthy flavour that is deeply comforting. It was historically considered a food for the pure as white refined flour was considered more refined. For farmworkers, buckwheat was nourishing and provided the calories needed for high energy work. Today, buckwheat is thought to calm the nervous system and benefit the intestinal system. Buckwheat cake is a deeply satisfying cake that everyone, including celiacs, can enjoy.

Torta di grano saraceno / Buckweizentorte (buckwheat cake filled with lingonberry jam) – Trentino Alto-Adige

For step-by-step illustrated instructions, click here.

Torta di grano saraceno (buckwheat cake layered with lingonberry jam)

Torta di grano saraceno (buckwheat cake layered with lingonberry jam)

250 grams butter, room temperature

250 grams sugar

6 eggs, yolks and white separated and brought to room temperature

250 grams buckwheat flour

250 grams ground almonds (can substitute walnuts or hazelnuts if preferred)

16 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder

1 vanilla bean, seeds removed

Lingonberry jam (can substitute blueberry or raspberry jam)

Icing sugar for sprinkling

Whipped cream, to serve 

Butter and flour a cake tin. Heat the oven to 180C. 

Whip the butter, egg yolks and 150 grams of the sugar until soft and fluffy and has lightened in colour.

In a separate bowl, mix together the buckwheat flour, almonds, vanilla and baking powder. Add this to the butter mixture. 

In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining 100 grams of sugar to stiff peaks. Take a spoonful of the egg whites and stir it through the buckwheat mixture. Fold the rest of the egg whites into the buckwheat mixture. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden stick poked in the middle comes out dry. Le the cake cool. Cut in half horizontally and use a cake lifter or clean board or cardboard wrapped in foil to lift the top half off. Spread lingonberry jam across the bottom half and put the top back on. Alternatively, the cake can remain intact and the jam spread across the top of the cake. Sprinkle the top with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.

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A Celiac’s Favorite Chain Restaurants for Gluten Free Date Nights

by on / Gluten Free

New blog post! Whether you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or another reason to need a gluten free diet, having dietary restrictions can make enjoying a date night out on the town a little more challenging. Thanks to the increase in gluten free restaurants over the past few years, though, it’s more than possible to enjoy a gluten free date night; it can also be downright delicious!

Today, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite gluten free date night restaurants, limiting my choices to chain restaurants that can be found in multiple locations around the United States. As always, the quality of a restaurant’s gluten free food and protocol can vary by location, and I always suggest calling ahead of time to ask about a restaurant’s celiac knowledge and staff training. However, this list contains six of my favorite gluten free restaurants for fun date nights, roughly ordered by price/fanciness.

Six of the best date night restaurants when eating out gluten free

Whether you need cheap date night ideas, a date restaurant for an extra-special night or just a gluten free restaurant that everyone can enjoy, these six date night restaurants are exactly what a tasty relationship needs.

1. Chick Fil A

If you’re looking for a cheap date night that’ll still be packed with flavor, Chick Fil A is one of my favorite choices. As I’ve shared before, when I’m craving a “balanced” meal – AKA a salad in one hand and waffle fries in another – Chick Fil A always delivers. Chick Fil A offers a variety of gluten free options, including fries (be sure to double check that your location uses a dedicated fryer), salads and grilled chicken. Chick Fil A also recently added a gluten free bun that comes in a plastic package (yay for no cross contamination!). Just order a grilled chicken filet, toppings and a gluten free bun, and you can make your own gluten free grilled chicken sandwich.

Six of the best date night restaurants when eating out gluten free

I typically order the Grilled Market Salad, which comes with grilled chicken, fruit and greens, along with a small order of fries. The food always tastes fresh and is delivered quickly, which makes Chick Fil A an ideal date night restaurant if you need to catch a movie or rush off to another romantic adventure after eating. While Chick Fil A cashiers haven’t always been well versed in celiac disease or gluten free meal orders, I’ve never had an issue when ordering off the GF menu. My dates have never complained about the restaurant choice, either!

2. Chipotle

Another fun date night restaurant when you’re rockin’ a strict budget is Chipotle! (In fact, all the first dates I’ve gone on thus far started at Chipotle…). Whenever I order from Chipotle, I tell workers that I have a gluten allergy and ask them to wash their hands and change gloves. I’ve never had a problem at any of the locations I’ve visited, though some employees are better trained about the gluten free protocol than others. 
Six of the best date night restaurants when eating out gluten freeSince Chipotle’s plan to add a wheat-filled dessert to their menu seems to have stalled out, the only gluten in Chipotle’s menu is in the tortillas. When ordering a burrito bowl or salad, though, I’d recommend asking for lettuce and cheese from the back to reduce the risk of cross contamination, since those items are usually added with the workers’ hands, instead of a spoon. Chipotle items made with corn are also questionable in how safe they are for celiac customers (and the picture I’ve included below with chips is from a few years ago). If you love the Chipotle goodies that are gluten free, though, and live near a Chipotle location that knows how to do gluten free right, Chipotle might become your new favorite date night restaurant.

3. PF Changs

Eating out gluten free and a craving a little fancier of a date night dinner? Then PF Changs is your edible soul mate. I tried PF Changs for the first time a little less than two years ago, and was blown away by their gluten free protocol. Besides having a gluten free menu full of tasty options – ranging from chicken lettuce wraps to my personal favorite, the street noodles with shrimp, chicken, rice noodles and veggies – PF Changs uses separate woks and prep stations for all of their gluten free orders. As an added bonus, PF Changs delivers all gluten free meals on different plates, so it’s easy to identify a gluten free order.

Six of the best date night restaurants when eating out gluten free

PF Changs can also be the secret weapon to a fun date night because of the shareability of all of the meals. Many of PF Chang’s gluten free meals are identical to options on the regular menu (minus the gluten, of course!), so it’s easy for your date to order what they’d enjoy anyway from the gluten free menu instead. As a result, not only can you split meals and enjoy a little taste of everything, but you also don’t have to wait to kiss goodnight until after your gluten-eating date has brushed his or her teeth. (‘Cause nothing ruins a good date night like getting glutened!).

4. Red Robin

If I had to sum up Red Robin in one word, I’d have to go with their infamous commercial ending: “Yummmmm.” I’d never tried Red Robin before my celiac disease diagnosis (I know, crazy), but I’m very happy to have their gluten free burgers in my life, especially when I want a fun date night restaurant that’s more high end than fast food but still casual. 
My biggest complaint about Red Robin is that, at least in the locations I’ve tried, the gluten free menu is found online only. As a result, I highly recommend looking over the menu and deciding on your order ahead of time. Besides that one caveat, Red Robin usually earns a 10/10 when it comes to gluten free food. I usually order their turkey or chicken burger with a gluten free bun, lettuce, tomato and avocado, though I’m hoping to try their new salmon burger sometime soon. 

Six of the best date night restaurants when eating out gluten free

Of course, you also can’t forget about the endless gluten free fries. As usual, you’ll also want to double check that they have a dedicated fryer to make the gluten free fries (all the locations I’ve visited so far have had one). In my experience, the gluten free bun (I believe they use Udi’s) is always soft and warm, the fries are made fresh and not super oily, and the burgers are stacked high and big enough for two meals. For burger lovers, Red Robin is the ultimate allergy friendly date night restaurant. 

5. Outback Steakhouse

I saved my fanciest/priciest date night restaurant for the near end of this list, but Outback definitely deserves to be included in this round up. I will say that the staff’s level of gluten free awareness definitely varies by location, and I’ve had one bad experience with an Outback in Grand Junction, Colorado. However, every other Outback I’ve tried has been very gluten free and celiac friendly. 
Outback has its own gluten free menu, with gluten free options ranging from fish to steak to chicken, plus sides like baked potatoes and veggies. As an extra bonus, they also have an AMAZING gluten free dessert: an epic flourless brownie. (It does contain nuts and dairy, unfortunately, but if you can tolerate those allergens, the Thunder Down Under is one of the best gluten free restaurant desserts I’ve ever tried). 

Six of the best date night restaurants when eating out gluten free

As with all restaurants, I highly recommend calling your location ahead of time to check their gluten free familiarity and discussing your gluten free needs and the importance of avoiding cross contamination with your waiter or waitress. Nonetheless, if you want a restaurant for a special occasion and need to eat gluten free, Outback Steakhouse is one of my favorite go-to’s.

6. (BONUS) Whole Foods Market

This last “bonus” date night restaurant is a bit of a cheat because Whole Foods Market is more of a grocery store than a restaurant. However, if you live near a Whole Foods Market with a hot bar and you and your date love trying new cuisines, dinner at Whole Foods can be as delicious as it is fun!
As I’ve shared before, people with celiac disease do need to be careful when eating from the Whole Foods hot bar and pay attention to possible sources of cross contamination. However, the Whole Foods hot bar does usually contain plenty of delicious gluten free options – ranging from comfort foods like chicken and mashed potatoes to soups to (my personal favorite) Indian – and this would be an easy way for you and your date to both leave full and happy if you have very different taste buds or dinner preferences.

Six of the best date night restaurants when eating out gluten free

I can also attest that the only thing better than eating at the Whole Foods hot bar is eating the leftovers…so consider this a two-for-one dinner and don’t forget to take a doggy bag home with you!

Eating Out Gluten Free: The Bottom Line

It’s impossible to deny that having celiac disease or other dietary limitations can make dating a little more complicated, whether it’s because your date needs to brush his or her teeth before kissing you or you have fewer date night restaurants to choose from. As this list shows, however, there are still plenty of options for eating out gluten free with your significant other, ranging from cheap date night eats like Chick Fil A to more fancy restaurants like Outback Steakhouse.

Not to mention that, if all else fails, there are tons of gluten free recipes you can whip up for a romantic dinner in…and at least when your date night restaurant is your own kitchen, you can enjoy a side of Netflix with your delicious meal!

What’s your favorite date night restaurant? Have you tried and loved eating gluten free at any of the restaurants I listed above? Tell me in the comments!

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Dietary restrictions can pose a

by on / Gluten Free

Dietary restrictions can pose a whole new set of issues to consider when planning a trip. Especially when the trip you are planning might be to a country where you don’t speak the native language. A language barrier can make an already tough spot a bit harder to navigate.

As with any part of the planning process, a little research goes a long way. Regardless of the type of restrictions you adhere to, looking up restaurants and hot spots that offer accommodations is a good place to start. The good news is that even with avoiding something so prevalent like gluten, it is possible to find bakeries that cater to the restriction in France!

It is relatively easy to navigate a menu for any obvious no-nos. The hidden ingredients can be a little bit harder to avoid when you don’t speak the language or know the local cuisine.

Learn how to communicate some of the necessary phrases in the local dialect. Even a floundering attempt to convey your needs can ease the tension and a server/cook will be more sensitive to your dietary needs.  There are a number of places where you can find allergen cards in just about any language. Companies like Dietary Card and Select Wisely have cards not only for food allergies but for drugs/medications, animals/insects, skin contact and health emergencies/hospital stays.

Another trick I use, which also saves some money, is to pack some dehydrated foods from home. Dehydrated soup, instant rice dishes, breakfasts etc. are light weight and take up little space in your suitcase. By carrying a few of these, a little hot water is all you need for an easy meal on the go. You can find many gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options at outdoor stores like Cabela’s or REI. Making your own fruit leather and jerky are other great options for packing snacks on the go.

It may seem intimidating when traveling with dietary restrictions, but it doesn’t have to be. A little planning and creative packing is all it takes to ensure that you can enjoy the local cuisine without discomfort!

“Keep your heart open, a suitcase packed and wander often, for the world is wide and adventure awaits.” ~ Emylee

Can I Eat Anything? : Dietary Restrictions

Dietary restrictions can pose a whole new set of issues to consider when planning a trip. Especially when the trip you are planning might be to a country where you don’t speak the native language.

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This Thai larb recipe is

by on / Gluten Free

This Thai larb recipe is so fresh and flavorful. It’s Paleo + Whole30 and you can make it with either chicken or pork to suit your taste. Experience authentic Thai flavors with this larb recipe and enjoy it guilt-free knowing it’s squeaky clean and Whole30 compliant!

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[Blogspam] Paleo + Intermittent Fasting A Match Made In Heaven

by on / Paleo Diet

Surely our Paleo ancestors went without food often?

Below I’m going to outline some scientifically verified psychological and physiological benefits of intermittent fasting for the body and mind that I think are worthy of mention.

Remember that you should check with your medical professional if it is safe for you specifically to try.

In studies, they have looked at judges and observed that as the day progresses, judges seem to lose their ability to make consistent rationally grounded decisions hence “decision fatigue”.

As the day progresses they become more inclined to make poor choices. The same can be applied to the way we eat, later in the day, we crave more junk food.

Many people have the issue of snacking late at night and ruining their caloric deficit during these late hours.

Intermittent fasting works great because it gives one so much leeway by restricting calories early on.

You not only make better decisions from not suffering from decision fatigue but you also give yourself an advantage by having so many calories available later on during the day.

Fasting is being theorised to reduce the risk of our biggest killer – heart disease.

We know that when insulin reduces insulin levels, inflammation decreases.

Inflammation is the root cause of so many of our ailments.

Intermittent fasting increases BDNF levels. BDNF is a protein which increases when you consume anti-depressants. This increase is said to be responsible for the uplift in mood when fasted.

Autophagy increases its processing when you fast. Autophagy is basically the bodies recycling system. When autophagy works better, your body works better.

It seems that because of improved autophagy the body may be more resilient against age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and even cancer.

Fasting has been showing to have a mean increase in your metabolism of 3.6% (up to 14%)

The most obvious and commonly cited benefits are decreased insulin levels. This is why fasting becomes a great solution to people’s type 2 diabetes, Cushing’s disease and many other metabolic diseases.

Fasting increases insulin sensitivity, improves insulin resistance and allows your body to use the hormone insulin more effectively (which is important for fat loss).

Intermittent fasting increases your growth hormone by more than 2000% for men (generally the ideal time-frame for this occurring is between 18-24 hours).

Intermittent fasting is a great way to preserve muscle when in a diet.

An increase in noradrenaline during fasting will also help the body utilise fat cells to burn energy.

Fasting will also make you more productive. How? By restricting the pleasure of food during the day allows you to compensate for the lack of a pleasure with your work and other ambitions.

Overall intermittent fasting has MANY health benefits. But, it’s not for everyone. For example, pre-menopausal women shouldn’t be fasting every day because of hormonal disturbances. For others, they may be too sensitive to the stress of being in a prolonged fasted state.


Sources:

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5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

by on / Gluten Free

New blog post! After a week or so of relaxing with family, enjoying time unplugged and away from work or school, it can be challenging to suddenly jump into the swing of a new year. Especially if you’re like me and don’t like coffee or caffeinated tea! So what’s a grad student to do besides research how to increase energy naturally – and add a few new foods that increase energy to my usual gluten free diet?

Today, I’m rounding up the five research-backed tips I’m using to boost my energy levels as I start another semester of grad school and teaching. Whether you’re looking for a quick energy boost, are curious about which foods increase energy or just want to feel your best in 2018, these tips are exactly what you need to take the first week of January by storm.

How To Increase Energy Naturally: 5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

So let’s dive on in…

1. Walk it (AKA, mental and physical fatigue) off.

One of my favorite ways to naturally boost my energy levels during long days of work is taking a walk. When I’m spending most of the day blogging, grading papers or working on my computer, a mid-afternoon walk keeps my muscles from tensing up and lets me get a hit of fresh air. If you work in an office, try taking a stroll during your lunch hour or have a phone meeting while enjoying some rays outside. If you’re a student like me, take longer routes from one class to the other, or catch up with friends by taking a walk together between classes.

Research has found that taking even a 10-minute walk can boost people’s energy levels for two hours after the walk ends. If you turn a short walk into a habit for at least three weeks, researchers also reported that people’s overall energy levels and mood got a boost. Now I know why short (or long) walks are some of my favorite activities!

How To Increase Energy Naturally: 5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

2. Make sure your cup (of water) is full!

As I’ve shared before, hydration and I are very good friends. Because of certain medications I take for my fibromyalgia, I have dry mouth and rarely go anywhere without a water bottle in hand. My digestion is also a lot happier when I start my day out with a lot of water (including a mug of warm water with squeezed lemon and a little apple cider vinegar).

While you’ve probably heard of the importance of staying hydrated before, though, you may be like me and have not realized that water is a natural energy booster. In fact, feeling extra tired is one symptom of dehydration. Personally, using a water filter (like this one) and eating water-rich meals like homemade soup or hydrating foods like watermelon, lettuce and berries helps me make sure I’m getting plenty of liquids. So, if you feel like you’re dragging this January and need a quick energy boost, maybe keeping a full water bottle nearby is an easy answer.

How To Increase Energy Naturally: 5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

3. Unplug from all of your gadgets for at least a few hours (or even a whole day).

As a blogger, it often feels nearly impossible to not have some gadget within reach almost 24 hours a day. If I’m not writing blog posts, I’m researching for them, promoting them or managing related social media channels. (Any fellow Instagram addicts out there?). As I discovered last year, though, taking some time – even a whole weekend – to unplug from social media can make a big difference in your mental and physical energy levels.

Why? Well, I’m no researcher, but as someone who uses social media a lot, I can attest to the fact that constantly keeping up with others online can be mentally draining. It’s also no secret that technology can mess with people’s sleep schedules…which means a bigger need for energy boosters the next day. Even ebooks can be problematic, with one study finding that people who read an ebook versus a traditional paper book before bed took longer to fall asleep and felt more tired in the morning.

How To Increase Energy Naturally: 5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

If you’re still shopping for a 2018 New Year’s Resolution, perhaps cutting down on your social media use or going technology free one day a week can give you the exact energy boost you’re craving…

4. Give yourself a mental vacation – even if it’s only five minutes long.

If I had to sum up all of the (awesome) advice I got in 2016 using only one word, it would be “mindfulness.” My physical therapist encouraged me to be more mindful when exercising in order to avoid injury. My dad encouraged me to be mindful during my first semester of grad school, and remember to enjoy as much of the experience as I could. And you can hardly log onto Instagram or Facebook without seeing some colorful meme encouraging more “mindful eating,” “mindful living” or just plain “mindfulness.”

Although “mindfulness” might be one of 2017’s buzzwords, that doesn’t mean mindfulness isn’t part of a healthy life. In fact, mindfulness – at least in terms of giving your brain a break – might be an easy way to boost energy. Why? Well, various studies have linked high levels of stress with low levels of energy. Since mindful meditation has been shown to help those feeling stressed or anxious, maybe a five-minute “brain break” featuring deep breathing, yoga or soft music would be a better option for an energy boost than a cup of coffee or an energy drink.

How To Increase Energy Naturally: 5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

5. Upgrade your nutrition plan.

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Well, if you’re trying to learn how to increase energy naturally, foods (especially these edible energy boosters!) can play an important role. Chia seeds have recently been thrust into the spotlight as energy boosting superfoods, thanks to their high amount of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. I can’t say that chia seeds have turned me into an energizer bunny…but they sure are delicious in recipes like chia seed pudding, chocolate superfood smoothie bowls and pumpkin spice quinoa flakes porridge.

Even more recently, I’ve added another kind of food to boost energy to my gluten free diet: Better Than Coffee Bars. When BTC reached out and asked if I’d like to try their energy-boosting gluten free snack bars (in return for possibly talking about BTC on my blog/social channels <– yay, full disclosure!), I thought about my crazy second semester of grad school and replied a big Y-E-S. Better Than Coffee Bars are gluten free, vegan, soy free, kosher, nut free (except for coconut), low sodium and GMO free. Plus, they get their energy boost powers from South American plants, maca and guarana.

How To Increase Energy Naturally: 5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

Since I don’t consume caffeine regularly and each BTC bar contains 100mg of caffeine, I’ve enjoyed chowing down on small pieces of a BTC bar along with my mid-morning snack. Better Than Coffee Bars come in four flavors, and, so far, the Dark Chocolate-Coconut is my favorite. The dark chocolate and guarana give the bar a slightly bitter flavor, which is offset well by the shredded coconut. I also like that the bars are full of pieces of seeds, making for a crunchy bite. Do these bars really boost energy levels? I can’t say for sure. If I ate a full bar (or the half of a bar that BTC recommends people start with), I’m sure the caffeine would have me jumping, for better or worse.  For now, though, I’m enjoying Better Than Coffee Bars as a tasty gluten free snack to fuel me through the rest of my day…and that’s enough of an energy boost for me!

How to Increase Energy Naturally: The Bottom Line

The more I’ve researched and the more energy boosters I’ve tried, the more I’ve decided that the quest for increased energy levels is a lot like the quest for any other aspects of healthy living: it requires discipline and finding the schedule and diet that works for you. Maybe that means you enjoy a cup (or several) of coffee or tea every day. Or maybe that means you experiment with other activities or foods to increase energy, from going for afternoon walks to snacking on chia seeds or Better Than Coffee Bars.

How To Increase Energy Naturally: 5 Easy Energy Boosting (Coffee Free!) Tricks for the New Year

If you take anything away from this post, I hope it’s that energy boosters differ for everyone and what works for me may not work for you. However, you may never know what can increase your energy until you try unplugging from your electronics for a day or drinking extra water – and there’s no better time to experiment with new healthy habits than the start of 2018.

And if you learn any other energy booster secrets along the way…well, let’s just say that your favorite gluten free college celiac is always open to more ideas!

*I received samples of Better Than Coffee Bars for no charge in exchange for editorial consideration. However, all opinions and photos are my own, I was not paid for this post, and I only share gluten free products that I sincerely enjoy. If you do decide to try Better Than Coffee Bars, visit their website and read their full disclaimer about the effects of these bars on different individuals, etc. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac!*

What’s your favorite way to boost your energy levels? Are you a coffee or tea fan? Tell me in the comments!

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Whether you are hosting some

by on / Gluten Free

Whether you are hosting some friends, having a dinner party, going to bunco night or just want a tasty snack in the fridge, this Paleo and Whole30 healthy buffalo chicken dip is always a good idea! Everywhere we take it, it quickly becomes a crowd pleaser and topic of conversation. This healthy buffalo chicken dip is Paleo and Whole30, so it’s dairy-free, grain-free and there are no added sugars. You’re seriously going to be craving this dip!

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