beetsalad.jpg

beet saladI love beets. And I'm totally saying that in my Oprah Weight Watchers "I love bread" declaration voice. I. Love. Beets.

My mom used to serve them with potato salad when I was kid, and it was seriously the best treat ever. What can I say, I was a wild child. These days, I've been serving up it a lot more as I am now completely gluten-free. After two years of playing around with the idea (even though my doctor had been urging me the whole time), I finally dove right in. It all happened after an art show with a friend of mine, who told me that she actually does not eat gluten at all. My reply was "Ohhhh, that's what you mean by clean eating?" Doh. I knew she had a lot of food particularities, but I can't say we ever discussed it at length until that night. It gave me the courage to stop salivating over breads that are obviously causing more harm than good. According to my labs, I had a lot of inflammation and issues that my naturopath was convinced is food related. In fact, she thinks that it has contributed to my TMJ disorder.

Of course I never listened. I felt so miserable for so long from chronic pain, you were not going to tell me to put down that sandwich. Give up Pad Thai? Ramen? The thought of it was unbearable. And don't tell me that substitutes taste just as good. I'm a New Yorker, I know a good sandwich when I eat one. But. Gluten was making me feel worse. The bloating and fatigue was just awful. And if letting it go meant that I will feel better, then why would I deprive myself of that?

Related: My TMJ story

Prior to this revelation, I started working with wellness coach, Morena Escardo, who gave me a list of things to do to help with my digestion and inflammation. I will write another post on all those details. She's now helping me with this new gluten-free journey and has encouraged me to add more vegan dishes throughout the week. My doctor is also strongly encouraging foods rich with manganese for joint and ligament support. Beets are packed with manganese, fiber, folate and Vit B. I need all the help I can get with my ligaments. They are so stretched and weak at this point. I used this recipe Beet and Walnut salad recipe (but I added a bit of kale as well). I love that it curbs my occasional craving for something sweet and crunchy, and it pretty much goes with any protein or a simple green salad.