When Monique Harpur’s daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease, it changed her whole family’s approach to food.
When Naomi Harpur was 3 years-old, her mother Monique noticed she was becoming a picky eater, fatigued and not gaining weight. “Our doctor ran some blood tests, that suggested she was celiac. We put her on a gluten-free diet with iron supplements immediately, and her stomach condition and iron levels improved dramatically very quickly.”
Faced with a condition that a decade ago was not considered mainstream, Monique says gluten-free cooking resources were scant. “I joined the Celiac Society for information like nutrition and recipes, and gradually gained confidence. Now that celiac disease is quite common, there is a steady stream of readily available information.”
With a husband and two other children to feed, Monique decided to only cook gluten-free food – a transition that was a challenging one, but meant her family were eating the same meal. “It became our normal,” she says. “Suddenly the pantry was very edited, and so was the way I cooked. Everything from Vegemite and flour to soy sauce and red wine vinegar was the gluten-free version. Now we all eat this way. If a recipe calls for pasta I’ll use rice, as well as make my own dressings and sauces.”
Naomi’s typical gluten-free daily diet.
Breakfast - Quinoa porridge with milk. “Gluten-free cereals are mainly rice-based and high GI, whereas quinoa porridge is low GI and really satisfying,” says Monique.
Mid-morning – Nuts and fruit.
Lunch – Sandwich made on gluten-free bread with cheese, tomato, and avocado, or a salad of quinoa and roasted vegetables.
Mid-afternoon – Tortilla strips with homemade guacamole.
Dinner – Meat, salad and/or vegetables, and a side of grains or lentils.
Sweet – Fruit.
“Too much wheat gluten can act like glue in the intestines,” says WelleCo’s Dr Simone Laubscher PhD, “so look for products like spelt, where the gluten content is very low. Be aware of swapping out gluten products for brands that call themselves ‘gluten-free’. Often they add nasties like palm oil, potato starch, corn syrup and colouring. Instead make simple swaps like pasta for brown rice, or cous cous for quinoa.”
Monique says that cooking and eating gluten-free has changed her family’s taste buds for the better. “We have lost our collective sweet tooth and carb cravings,” she says. “Sugar and carbohydrates give that high GI hit so you feel hungry quite quickly. Being gluten-free means you always feel satisfied and definitely healthier.”
Do I have Celiac Disease?
Dr Laubscher PhD says that a blood test or elimination diet is ideal for diagnosis. “At WelleCo we like to encourage people to incorporate cutting gluten, by taking our 30 Day Challenge, which entails taking 2 teaspoons of THE SUPER ELIXIR supergreens everyday for 30 days for increased energy, curbed sugar and carb cravings and a desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. It’s best to rate your physical and mental health after 3 weeks and then again 3 days after eating gluten. How you look and feel will tell you, it's that simple. The body loves to communicate with us, but often our bodies are so bombarded with so much junk each day it is no longer able to communicate with you. Eat clean for 3 weeks and open up the communication again between your mind and your body and instead of a whisper you will get a shout if a food doesn't agree with you!”