**Our blog author, Jennifer Sacket, is a green-market booth owner, cooking teacher, and kids’ yoga teacher**
Several years ago, I embarked on a lifestyle change. I found out after years of battling with an upset stomach that I was gluten and lactose intolerant. I came home and emptied the cupboards of all goldfish crackers and practically everything else in the cupboard. It brought cries and protests from my two children. It meant that we had to find a new way of eating. This was about eight years ago and the marketplace was not that gluten-free friendly as it is now. The majority of the gluten free products tasted like cardboard at best. Gluten is a sticky substance that holds most baked goods together and gives them their elasticity. I decided to play around in the kitchen creating different snacks for the kiddos.
A couple of months ago, my partner went to the doctor and the doctor suggested that he go on the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet is a diet that relies mainly on animal protein and eliminates sugary foods and starches. I can’t say that it’s been easy, but I’ve seen the benefits of this diet. You can eat most leafy greens and lots of protein. There is a twist here. I am a sometimes vegan and a vegetarian. For me, I eliminate some of the animal proteins, but will occasionally add wild caught fish to a meal. We’ve come up with a lot of pretty good and tasty dinners.
In combination with the paleo diet, we run several times a week, and eliminated a lot of sugar from our diets. Most people think that diets are hard. I think that it’s all in your perception. I like to look at it as a lifestyle change. Maybe, you’re changing your lifestyle for different reasons. There are many benefits to eating better. It’s not just one thing that promotes a healthy well being. It is a combination of physical exercise, diet, and meditation. Incorporating these things into your life and making positive changes can promote a healthy life style for anyone.
One of the biggest questions I always got at my cooking classes was: how do you get children to eat this way? It was pretty simple . I didn’t buy sugary treats. We substituted sugary , carb-laden treats with nuts, raw desserts made from dates, and nut milk ice creams if we needed a treat. It exposed the children to many different choices in foods.
Each body is different, so we shouldn’t all be eating the same things. There is a plethora of information and recipes on the internet for whichever lifestyle or combination of lifestyles you choose.
This is one of our favorites and it’s pretty quick and easy:
Spaghetti Squash and Sausage (vegan sausage can be substituted here)
Medium sized spaghetti squash
Handful of chopped fresh basil
3 – 4 chopped cloves of garlic
Vegan sausage or chicken sausage links
Directions: Cut and seed the spaghetti squash . Oil, salt and pepper the insides of the squash. Place the squash face down in a pan of water. Place in oven which has been preheated to 375. Cook for 45 minutes or until the skin of the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, chop garlic and basil. Sauté garlic in a pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add sausage which has been cut up into bite size pieces. When squash is done roasting, scrape the inside of the squash out with a fork (squash will start to look like threads) . Place the squash threads into pan with sausage, basil and garlic. Stir to combine. Serve in bowls with vegan parmesan cheese sprinkled on top or vegan butter.
What I like the most about this recipe is that spaghetti squash is very inexpensive as compared to the price of pseudo, gluten-free pasta. You can cook the squash ahead of time and then add to the pan when you are ready to finish preparing the rest of the meal. It tastes pretty darn good! It’s filling, too!!