5 Delicious Gluten Free Protein Powders

A few weeks ago, I wasn’t feeling like my normal self, and I decided to go on a quick 3-day cleanse.  I wasn’t looking to lose weight, simply trying to gain some mental clarity as I was preparing for the busy weeks ahead.  My plan?  It looked like this:

  • Morning Coffee Replacer: Cup of Green Tea (no sweetener)
  • Breakfast: 1 scoop gluten free protein powder, a few berries and and 12 oz of water
  • Snack: 1 apple
  • Lunch: 1 scoop gluten free protein powder and and 12 oz of water
  • Snack: 1 apple
  • Dinner: Mixed greens, grilled chicken

My friends know that I get a little cranky when I’m hungry (who doesn’t?), so I was nervous about the cleanse.  Would it give me enough calories to keep my energy high and my attitude in check?  I’m pleased to report that yes it worked!

After the cleanse, I felt lighter and my mind was clearer than it had been in months.  In fact, it even brought me back to feeling like my old self before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Before going gluten free, I didn’t think twice about the ingredients that were used in my protein powder.  Now the gluten free label is the first thing I look for on the container.   I’ve tested about 20 different gluten free protein powders, and here is a list of the top 5 gluten free protein powders:

1. 22 Days Plant-Based Protein Power Chocolate

81J2RG6YYqL._SL1500_

Why is this the clear winner for me?  While, I’m only gluten free and have no problems with dairy, a lot of my Celiac friends are also soy-free and/or dairy-free.  Not only is the 22 Days Plant Protein plant-based and gluten free, but it is also USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Soy-free, Dairy-free, and contains no sugar!  I like both the chocolate and vanilla flavors, but if I had to choose then it would be chocolate.  Get the 22 Days Plant Based Protein Powder on Amazon for only $34 here.

2. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein

71-rciUI9DL._SL1500_

Nutiva is made from 100% organic hempseeds.  This protein powder is made from 50% protein, 20% fiber, 12% beneficial fats plus vitamin E and iron.  I’m anemic, and the additional iron supplement provided in this protein powder helps a lot when I’m not taking any iron pills.  Get the Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein here.

3. Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Nutritional Supplement

81nldQPmJSL._SL1500_

While I consider this more of a meal than a protein powder, Garden of Life makes my list because of the live probiotics and enzymes inside that promote healthy digestion, which is beneficial for Celiacs.  I prefer the Chocolate and Vanilla flavors over the Vanilla Spiced Chai.  Get the Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Supplement here.

4. NuZest Clean Lean Protein

61k-1VCPikL._SL1500_

Not only is NuZest a clean pea-based protein, but it is also chalked full of 9 essential amino acids + 9 of the non-essential aminos. As someone that struggles with vitamin and nutrient absorption, this makes a huge difference! Get the NuZest Clean Lean Protein Powder here.

5. Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Organic Chocolate Infusion Powder

81txtEc6iRL._SL1500_

This meal replacement powder is made from plant based proteins, green superfoods, phtyo nutrient rich fruits and vegetables.   Additionally Amazing Grass has digestive enzymes and probiotics, too. The Chocolate flavor is my current favorite, but I haven’t tried their Pomegranate Mango flavor, which sounds amazing. Get the Amazing Grass Amazing Meal here.

These are my five favorite gluten free protein powders.  Like one that’s not included here? Leave it in a comment below!

7 Alternatives to Tortilla Chips with Your Guacamole

photo (31)

Guacamole is one of my all time favorite snacks.  It’s served at my house as a snack or appetizer about 3 times a week (usually more) because avocados boost immunity, promote healthy skin, aid in digestion and are even heart healthy.  Here’s a great post that talks all about the healthy benefits of Avocados.

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, and guacamole is one of the easiest ways to eat them.  But, you have to be careful what you’re dipping in your guacamole.  Don’t diminish the healthy benefits of avocados by only eating it on corn tortilla chips!

Here are seven of my favorite alternatives to eat with guacamole:

1. Cucumbers

Sliced cucumbers are my absolutely favorite pairing with guacamole.  In fact they often replace crackers or chips in my house for all sorts of appetizers because they promote healthy glowing skin, can help reduce inflammation and even lower blood pressure! If you’re using an organic cucumber, leave the skin on for a little extra fiber.

2. Cocktail Shrimp

While I’m allergic to shellfish, Shrimp is a delicious paring with guacamole.  If you’re serving it at a cocktail party or dinner, serve it as you would a Shrimp Cocktail but replace the cocktail sauce with your homemade guacamole.

3. Zucchini Sticks

Zucchini is a powerful vegetable. With one serving of zucchini, your body gets 22 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 24 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 29 percent for women, set by the Institute of Medicine.  And it protects your cells from free radicals, too!

4. Sliced Red Bell Peppers

Red Bell Peppers give you a lot of flavor and nutrition for just a few calories. One full cup of bell peppers is only about 45 calories. Plus, it will give you more than your daily levels of Vitamin A and C!

5. Tomatoes

Much like cucumbers, sliced tomatoes can be a great replacement for crackers.  While they might not have the crunch like a cracker, they have many beneficial nutrients and antioxidants like alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene and lutein.

6. Carrots

Carrots are called a powerfood for a reason.  Not only do they help with your eye sight, but they also are great with healthy skin, anti-aging and can help prevent heart disease.  Perhaps the most important role they play is the ability to reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.  So consider slicing these into discs or sticks to dip in your next batch of guacamole for cancer-fighting nutrients.

7. Lentil Crackers

Some of us are texture people, and you might want a little crunch to go along with the texture of guacamole.  That’s where Lentil Crackers come in.  Not only are these low in fat, but they are also packed with protein, iron, vitamin B1 and essential minerals for a healthy diet.

If you’re looking for a delicious recipe, click here for my homemade guacamole recipe.

Jenna’s Ten Tips for Making Smoothies

Making smoothies is really easy, but it can be intimidating at first – especially when you’re brand new to juicing, raw food or making your own smoothies.  I’ve been juicing and making smoothies for the past five years and have seen the transformation they’ve made in my morning routine.  Now instead of my daily coffee routine, I start my day with a smoothie which really gives me a boost of energy to start the day.  Based on my own experience making smoothies, here are ten of my biggest lessons learned over the years and tips to help you make your own smoothies.

photo (30) copy

My Ten Tips for Making a Delicious a Smoothie

  1. Using ice or frozen fruit will create a thicker consistency than using liquids – but if you use ice your smoothie won’t be as smooth as when you use water or milk.
  2. Make sure your ingredients are cut into small pieces. Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are typically small enough as is; however, strawberries, cucumber and other fruits and veggies need to be chopped smaller. Even if you have a high intensity blender, like a Vitamix, you don’t want to over work your blender.
  3. Add the liquid first so it can help move your ingredients around.
  4. If you’re after a sweet treat, use a fruit juice as they contain more natural sugar.
  5. For a smoother treat, use milk, Greek yogurt or ice cream.
  6. Start by blending on a slow setting to get your ingredients moving. Then gradually increase the speed until fully blended.
  7. Any liquid can be added including water, coffee & tea to make your smoothie just right.
  8. Freeze juices, coffee, tea, etc into ice cube trays so your smoothie isn’t watered down.
  9. Add interest by adding a dash of spice such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mint, etc – but a little spice can go a long way.  Add a little spice at a time to find your perfect taste.
  10. Boost the nutrition by adding ground flax seed, chia seeds, raw cacao, matcha, nut butters, and avocado, certified gluten free oatmeal and protein powders.

Are you stuck blending the same ole ingredients day after day and need some smoothie-spiration or new recipes to try?  I’ve just released my brand new ebook Blending to a Beautiful Body: 100 Savory Smoothie Recipes.  Click here to get it for only $4.95 or sign up for five free smoothie recipes on the right!

5 Signs You Should Eliminate Gluten

Going gluten free is one of the most popular diet trends today. Hollywood celebrities are touting the weight loss benefits. Health, fitness and nutrition experts commonly recommend a gluten free lifestyle.  Others are going gluten free for medical reasons like Celiac Disease or to reduce inflammation, chronic pain and fatigue.  More and more manufacturers are creating “gluten free” foods. With all of this media coverage you may be wondering if the gluten free diet is right for you.

Let’s explore if going gluten free might be the right choice for you:

1. Digestive Problems

If you find that you have chronic diarrhea or loose stools it may be a sign that you have a sensitivity or allergy to a protein found in wheat and other grains containing gluten. If you struggle with cramping, gas or other digestive issues gluten may be the cause.

2. Sinus Problems

If you struggle with chronic congestion and sinus problems it may be a sign that you have a gluten allergy. Just like pollen allergies, food allergies can cause congestion, runny noses, and other sinus related complaints.

3. Chronic Fatigue

Do you struggle with low energy day in and day out? Gluten may be the cause. Gluten is also commonly found in bread, pasta, and other starchy carbohydrates which can also contribute to drops in blood sugar and low energy. Before eliminating gluten you may want to try cutting back on or eliminating starchy carbs from your diet to see if your energy levels improve. That being said, if you are sensitive or allergic to gluten, it can affect your sleep and your energy levels.

4. Bloating

Do you look or feel bloated? This can be bloating but it can also be facial puffiness and overall water retention. If you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten your body may be constantly inflamed as it tries to deal with the gluten. Cutting back on gluten or eliminating it from your diet can help you lose weight quickly.

.5 Frequent Infections, Illness, and Depression

When your body has an adverse reaction to gluten you may experience surprising results. For example, if you’re unable to absorb food when gluten is present in your stomach you may be low on calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for proper immune function and it helps regulate mood. If you struggle with chronic illness, infections or even depression you may be sensitive or even allergic to gluten.

What to Do Next?

If you think that gluten may be causing some of your problems consider trying my 21 day gluten elimination program, Say Goodbye to Gluten + Hello to a Healthier You™. That means eliminating all foods that contain gluten from your diet. Gluten is sneaky. It’s in cereal, meats and sausages, it’s even in condiments. You have to know what to look for.

Keep a food journal and document your body’s reaction. You may feel sluggish or uncomfortable the first two weeks you’re on a gluten free diet. This is because your body is going through a bit of withdrawal. Make sure you consume plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. That boost of natural, non-starchy, carbohydrates will help you through this trying time.

Drinking lots of water will help too. Not everyone experiences this withdrawal. Some people begin feeling better immediately. Give it a full month and evaluate the changes in your body. Listening to your body’s response to food is the best way to recognize the signs that gluten free is right for you.