St. Patrick’s Day has us all seeing green! Just because you can’t indulge in a green bagel or a green beer doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the festivities! In fact, you can (and should) go the alternate route and choose to add green to your diet the healthy way. We’ve shown you in the past how to sneak greens into your St. Patrick’s Day, but let’s focus on a lesser-utilized green vegetable: CUCUMBERS! Cool, refreshing, and crisp, they really add a mellow taste and unique bite to every meal. We’ve teamed up with NatureFresh Farms to create these delicious cucumber meals below—try them out this St. Patty’s Day to keep yourself hydrated (cucumbers are 95% water after all) – what a perfect remedy for all that corned beef and Irish dancing!
Breakfast: Try out our Hydrating Green Drink recipe. Drink this when you wake up to start your day hydrated and healthy! (The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: It’s a little more appetizing than those fake green pastries anyway). Running late? This smoothie is also a perfect on the go breakfast option that will keep you going all day!
Lunch: Make time to pack a healthy lunch so you aren’t stuck at work without any gluten-free options—or worse, temped by some Irish soda bread in the break room! There are many delicious gluten-free breads out there, but we like a veggie swap for an even healthier and refreshing break to the day. Try out this unique crunchy vegetable as the “bun” in these sliders:
Dinner: In the mood for sushi takeout? Save some money and keep it extra healthy by satisfying that sushi craving from your kitchen! We promise it is easier than it sounds, and will really hit the spot. Bonus: this is an impressive dish to whip out if you are hosting guests tonight for a few celebratory drinks!
So, why gluten-free, you ask? About one percent of the population has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with only one known treatment: avoiding gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, and rye. Others may have skin issues such as dermatitis herpetiformis, a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, or just feel better avoiding processed grains in general. For some, eating gluten-free comes naturally when sticking to a healthier diet; most whole, unprocessed foods are naturally gluten-free, so many healthy meals are gluten-free without even trying, and without any processed carb replacements!
Looking for a trusted resource to help you get started or stick to a gluten-free lifestyle? The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) is a nonprofit organization that strives to meet the gluten-free community where they are and take them to a place they never thought they would be: a place of optimal health, happiness, and inclusion while living a gluten-free lifestyle. We have close to 20,000 members who receive our free eMagazine filled with recipes, research, coupons, and helpful lifestyle tips. We are well-known for our Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) – the “GF in a circle” logo that you may have seen on products at your grocery store — in fact, we’ve certified over 40,000 products out there! This means we ensure anything with our label tests at 10 parts per million (ppm) or less of gluten. Translation: safe enough for a celiac to eat. We also certify restaurants as safe places to eat through our Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) program. We work with kids, teens and young adults through our Generation GF initiative, a program that has local groups across the country, a free magazine subscription just for kids, and gluten-free camps in the summer. Still looking for other ways to get involved with GIG? We’ve got local support groups across the globe, and you’re bound to find one near you (and if not, you can start one up – you never know who you will meet)! Just head over to www.gluten.org where you can find more information about the above and everything else we do. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter too!
We know healthy eating can sometimes be challenging, and incorporating vegetables into your diet, especially when replacing some less-healthy alternatives, is a great way to find balance and make big strides. We hope with these recipes you see that healthy eating is possible while gluten-free—even on a social, food-centered holiday.
Make your own traditions and feel good in every way! Slainte!