Gluten Free College Kid

A gluten free blog, from the eyes of a college girl in Boston!


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Vega Sport Review

Today, I finally decided to take my workout outside! It’s been so cold here in Boston, so I’ve been dying to get outside for a run. Last night I got the sudden urge to, but knew better because it was around 9pm, it’s really slippery outside, and I won’t run outside in the dark here in the city. 

But. I’m starting to digress. 

I had a lot of energy today, despite not sleeping too well. Last night, I picked up this nifty thing at Whole Foods and decided to try it today, before my run! It’s from Vega Sport, and it’s there sugar-free energizer, designed to prepare you for a short workout, which is exactly what I wanted it to be- a quick 2 miler (which ended up being about 2 and a quarter, but who’s counting?)

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Honestly, I have no opinion on preworkout supplements, mainly because I don’t use them. Not for any particular reason, it’s just that I’m a college kid, and I’d rather spend my money on going out, food, clothes, gifts, etc. This guy was on sale for less than a dollar, so obviously that caught my attention. Marketing, man, let me tell ya, they getchya every time! 

Because I can’t compare it to any pre-workout supplement I’ve had before, I can’t base it off of that, but I can tell you that my energy levels skyrocketed! Not too the point where I was jittery, but enough so that I could notice and was wicked stoked for my run. It was acai berry flavored, and came out looking like an orange powder. Because it was sugar free, it didn’t leave the best aftertaste in my mouth, especially since I haven’t had anything sugar free in a long time, so I’m not used to it. But in terms of energy, it did what it was designed to! In terms of taste, it could be better. Not bad, but there is definitely room for improvement, I think.

Have you ever tried this pre-workout supplement, or any other kind of supplement for before workouts? Let me know in the comments! 

This review was unpaid, and all opinions are my own. 

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Snacks On Snacks On Snacks (and a bit of food/exercise experimentation)

Today is an incredibly busy day for me! Actually, this whole week has been busy, in terms of classes, work, school work. I feel like I can barely keep up!

This past weekend I went home for a couple of days to get away from the “hustle and bustle” that is college life. For me, de-stressing is so important, so taking the time to really center myself is just something I have to do. I keep saying to myself, “Only one more year, only one more year!” Motivating? Hardly. But it’s true, and it actually does help, believe it or not.

While I was at home, I made sure to cook extra food to bring back to school with me. I love doing this because, for me, food at school is very limited. I refrain from gluten, and more recently grains (they upset my stomach), soy (hormonal reasons), and now I’m trying to cut out dairy (bloating). The reason behind this is to see how it affects my mood, sleep, and overall performance. I’ve also been toying with a higher fat, moderate protein, and lower carbohydrate diet to see how that affects the three aforementioned factors. I’m not a student athlete, so I’m not worried about it having a bad effect in terms of that type of athletic performance, but I do workout 4-6 times per week, including weightlifting and cardio. I’m really interested to see how this goes!

Here’s an example of one of the dinners I had this week. Broccoli, kale, grilled chicken breast, and half an avocado with sriracha. That yellow stuff sprinkled on top? That would be nutritional yeast. I’m a huge fan of this stuff! :)

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Since I’ve been so busy this week, having that extra food I cooked on hand was a serious godsend. For. Real. It’s made it easy for me to have meals ready when I’m hungry. On a side note- it’s not that I don’t eat the food at school. I do. It’s just that there are only so many salads with eggs and tuna that I can consume. A girl’s gotta have variety!

But really, this post is about snacks! I’ve been trying to stick to whole food-based snacks, like dried fruit, nuts, eggs, avocados, gluten free turkey jerky, and when I’m really in a pinch, some bars. Below is a picture of todays unfortunate lunch. Unfortunate in terms of my goal to consume whole foods, but very fortunate in terms of taste and convenience. This one does have whey protein isolate in it, but I’m making an exception for today. The isolate has less lactose than a concentrate. I would rather be fueled for the day than not.

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And these are the rest of my go-to snacks that I have lying around right now. Thank goodness for Larabars, Tanka Bars, and trail mix!

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Easy Egg/Kale/Cheese Scramble (gluten-free, grain-free)

So it’s back to school and that means back to school food…

But that’s not so bad! If you’re in college and want to have a decent breakfast, I have a really easy recipe for you below! It was my pre-workout breakfast and it gave me a good amount of energy to push through even though I’m a little sick right now.

Better yet, it’s gluten free and grain free. Recently, I’ve been toying around with abstaining from grains, as they’ve been upsetting my stomach and just not digesting properly. I did it for a week and felt great, then went back to eating gluten free bread, rice, quinoa (a seed, I’m aware, but it still affected my body), and felt awful. So I cut it out again and felt better, then I ate corn and again, didn’t feel well. So I guess it’s best to listen to my body and refrain from the grain!

So here’s the recipe for an easy, dorm-friendly, gut-friendly breakfast!

1 whole egg
1 egg white
A handful of fresh kale
A low-fat cheese stick
Ground pepper to taste
Sriracha because sriracha, that’s why.

You literally just put it all into a microwaveable bowl, pop it in the micro for a minute, stir, pop it in again for a minute again and you’re all set!
I topped it off with some sriracha, and had a banana and coffee on the side. I tried flax milk to avoid soy for various reasons, but I’m not a fan. Almond milk, too, even. Soy milk and coffee is my favorite!

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The Greeks Know What’s Up

And when I say that, I mean in terms of their yogurt, of course! 

At school, my proteins aren’t extremely limited, but I won’t eat any meat that they cook, so really, I’m left with eggs, cheese, yogurt, and beans as my main protein sources. At home, I’ll go for chicken and turkey, but that’s really as far as my animal product eating goes. 

Now that I’m back at college, I’m forced to fend for myself! The horror! Haha, I think a kid in her 20′s can manage that. Or I should hope so. Regardless, I mostly make my own food whether I’m at school or at home. At home, eggs are always a breakfast staple because I can’t just make this amazing omelet at school. I don’t have the proper cooking utensils, I’m really not willing to lug them from home and then remember to bring them back and forth because that just seems silly to me, and I think I can manage making other foods that are a little quicker to prepare in the morning. 

One of those foods being, as you may have assumed, Greek yogurt! Thank all that is good that I can eat yogurt and cheese because I feel like my intake of protein wouldn’t be nearly as close to what it should be. 

In lieu of my first day back, I made a breakfast that serves as its own staple to my breakfast meals here at school. I usually change up what I put into it everyday, otherwise I’d get bored of it, but below is an incredibly easy, healthy, and protein-filled breakfast. Enjoy!

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Apple-Cranberry Chia Seed Greek Yogurt 

1/2-3/4 cup greek yogurt 
1/2 medium apple, chopped (I used a gala this time. My fav!)
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp dried coconut flakes 
1 tbsp chia seeds 
cinnamon
vanilla extract 

It’s pretty simple, but my routine is to mix the cinnamon, vanilla extract, and chia seeds into the greek yogurt first so I can get them all incorporated. It also helps to let the chia seeds absorb liquid from the yogurt. Then add in the cranberries, coconut flakes, and chopped up apple. 


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Chocolate Pudding (Made from Avocados!)

Alright. Let’s get one thing straight. If you don’t love avocados, there’s gotta be something wrong. Have you had one? Maybe it was rotten. Maybe you have it confused with another food? Either way, avocados are definitely one of my favorite fruits.

The other day, my dad went to the grocery store and asked if I’d like anything there (a perk of being home from college is not having to pay for food!). So I gave it a bit of thought and, amongst some other things, avocados were on the list. I didn’t know he’d planned on bringing home about 5 of them, but he did. Usually, I just buy one or two, since I’m really the only one in the house who eats them, out of a family of four…five if you count my dog :)

Not knowing what to do with five avocados, and knowing they would go bad soon if I didn’t figure it out, my mom helped me brainstorm some ideas that didn’t involve your usual guacamole or just topping them on some eggs. Instead, Lil Kim (as I like to call her, because she is little, and her name is, in fact, Kim) found a recipe for chocolate avocado pudding.

Now, I am all for trying something new, especially if it’s something homemade, fresh, and has whole ingredients. But pudding made out of avocados? Well, okay Lil Kim. Let’s give it a shot!

So we did! And holy guacamole (haha like what I did there?) was it AMAZING. Avocados are great not only for their various nutritional benefits, but also because they’re quite bland, so they easily take on any flavor. This pudding was better than I expected. Next time I make a trip, or someone in my family does, to the grocery store, avocados will be on the list- and lots of them!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding (serves 4)

4 ripe avocados (make sure to take the peel off, if you didn’t already assume that haha)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk (you might need to use a little more, you be the judge!)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all of it in a food processor and process away! You’ll want it to be nice and smooth and have no leftover chunks of avocado. Stick it in the fridge until it’s cold, or eat it right there. I definitely recommend eating it when it’s nice and cold- it’s much better that way. Seriously the easiest, fastest dessert. Enjoy guys!

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(Clearly not beautiful or elegant, but delicious, nonetheless!!)

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Achoooooo!

Allergies just aren’t sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and using an ungodly amount of tissues and Zyrtec to try and combat all of those lovely symptoms we tend to feel throughout the year. They’re also associated with foods.

For me, I have celiac disease, which is just a really dramatic way of saying I can’t eat gluten or it will wreak havoc on my gastrointestinal system, primarily.

Gluten is the binding protein in wheat, rye, and barely. Sometimes, oats can be contaminated when they are processed in a facility in which gluten ingredients are also manufactured. So to be safe, there are dedicated gluten free oats that are available.

When a person has celiac disease (or a gluten sensitivity), it means that their body literally attacks itself. Essentially, there are microvilli in your small intestines, and when you ingest gluten, these little villi end up getting damaged. They are supposed to be like little finger-like projections that line all of your small intestines, but when damaged, they look flat. This is detrimental to your health because their job is to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. If they’re flattened out and damaged, then your body can’t absorb those nutrients properly, no matter how much or how healthy you may be eating.

Do you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity? Do you think you might? Tell me your story!


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Post-Workout Grubbin’

My posts today seem to follow the trend of “post-blahblahblah” today, huh? ;)

Not only am I a self-proclaimed gluten free foodie, I am also a health nut. Peanut, to be exact. Those are my favorites! Well, legume actually. It also helps that I’m tiny, so the name is fitting, I’d say! Regardless, back to my health talk.

I’m interested in food, but I’m more interested in the food I eat being good more me. Both in terms of body and soul. I wouldn’t eat salads if I hated them, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. Just like how I don’t eat meat because I don’t like the texture. It seems simple. Eat the foods you love. Sometimes, the foods I love aren’t healthy, but thankfully my taste buds tend to steer me towards healthier options.

Below, is a really simple and easy post workout snack I whipped up after an hour of cardio. Cardio is really all I’ve been doing this break since we have an elliptical and a new treadmill (score!!!!).

After cardio, I try to get in more carbs, moderate protein, and light fat from plant sources.
After weight training, I try to get in more protein, moderate carbs, and light fat from plant sources.

So here is an example of a typical post cardio snack!

Cottage cheese
Almonds
Strawberries
Drizzle of agave
1 tbsp coconut shreds
Cinnamon and almond extract

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What are your favorite kinds of post workout foods?

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