This health key and dietary needs story, as well as the gingerbread muffins recipe, is a sponsored shop on behalf of Mariano’s. I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.
An Update On Gluten
The new year will bring a lot of changes. I have discussed gluten a couple of times before but I haven’t made a huge change yet. I’ve learned the dangers of gluten on the brain and I certainly have been making little steps to move away from using so much gluten. Since I do not have celiac, nor do I get any digestive issues from eating gluten (as far as I can tell anyway), avoiding gluten entirely will not be easy nor do I expect it to happen.
Because I will be doing this for the sake of better health rather than avoiding pain, making this change is harder than it would be for someone with digestive issues, I think, since I don’t really have something to “punish” me for my gluten consumption (and I am grateful that I have no problems with it, trust me – I am). But I am making a conscious decision to move away from gluten whenever possible.
I’m happy to say that my mother has become more open to the idea of being gluten-free too even though I know they will not ever become more gluten-free than not, since my dad has no intention of eliminating it from his diet. I’m just glad she has started looking at gluten-free baking and limiting her gluten intake more than before. Little steps.
From “Yogurt & Whey Queen” to Lactose-Free
Another thing that is changing and has changed in the last 2 weeks is my relationship with dairy. I was never huge into dairy. I haven’t been drinking cow’s milk for many years now – switching to a variety of non-dairy milks. I haven’t been a huge fan of cheese, although it’s nice sometimes but it’s definitely not something I eat that frequently. My vice was yogurt. I was a HUGE lover of yogurt. Greek yogurt all day everyday. And that is not even a big exaggeration. There were certainly days where I ate something with Greek Yogurt for every meal of the day (not my proudest moments). I was also really into frozen yogurt. Like, very much. I’d eat it numerous time per week.
I know the combination of that along with sugar was not making a good habit formation. Sugar is another story I’m going to get into in another post. But let me continue about dairy… so yogurt was a big player in my diet. HUGE. I didn’t think I was eating a lot of dairy since my variety of dairy intake was limited to just yogurt but the AMOUNT of that yogurt I was eating was making things a bit out of balance.
Then… something started being not so great. My tummy started giving me more trouble. I never had tummy issues. It wasn’t a huge problem but it consisted always of bloat, gas, and this weird feeling in my stomach.. this strange “empty” feeling. Like it was burninig a hole in my stomach. It also often gave me heart burn as well. This did not happen overnight. The symptoms gradually increased over time until it came to a point where I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Again, the symptoms are not severe by any means. But they are enough for me to notice and want to take action. So here I am – making my “taking action” decision prominent and clear to all. I am putting a limit on my consumption of lactose products.
I realized that since I was also eating a good amount of whey protein, this could have also been a culprit. I didn’t realize that whey contained lactose until I looked more into it. But surely, it does. I think the reason why the symptoms came about more now than before is because I did have a time in my life where I really overdid it on whey protein AND yogurt. It was way out of balance in terms of how much I was eating it compared to other foods and I think that’s what created this imbalance in my body. Maybe I exhausted the lactose-digesting enzymes? I don’t know. Moral of the story is – no more yogurt or whey protein for this girl. I got rid of my whey products (and there were A LOT of those lying around everywhere) and I am making a conscious decision to limit my intake of lactose from now on.
Mariano’s Health Key System
Now, how does this story relate to Mariano’s health key? Well – grocery stores have a ton of products. All kinds of products. But if you are a person with a specific dietary need, how are you supposed to find the right product for you in the sea of similar-looking products? The health key system that Mariano’s has implemented makes shopping easy because underneath each product that has a specific dietary need fulfilled, there is a note about it. This makes shopping easier for those of us who have specific dietary needs and don’t want to spend hours upon hours of reading label after label of each product. Need a gluten-free option? This helps.
Mariano’s Health Key really makes things a lot easier. They have a lot of different specifications too so it makes your life easier, no matter what specification you need.
You already know I am a big lover of #MyMarianos. I shop there as often as I can. I love that going there is more of an experience than a mere shopping trip. They have so much to choose from – many different areas of the store that make the whole thing really pleasant and fun. But then again I might be biased, I actually enjoy grocery shopping 😉 But the reward card certainly helps too. Gotta love saving a few bucks!
Healthy Paleo Gingerbread Muffins Recipe
Now, finally onto the recipe I’m sure you’re just dying to print and make yourself! These gluten-free and dairy-free gingerbread muffins are fabulous. I haven’t made anything gingerbread this whole holiday season and I thought, better late than never, right?
I am a big fan of gingerbread in general and I knew I just had to make it in a gluten-free and dairy-free version! It’s too delicious to pass up, plus it’s so healthy. It just turned out to also be considered a paleo recipe. I’m not paleo but I guess with my recent changes in diet that I’ll be incorporating, paleo is the closest to what I’ll be doing.
Note: These muffins are NOT very sweet at all. Because I used blackstrap molasses rather than regular, these pack a great nutritional punch – but they are also much less sweet. If you prefer sweeter muffins, you can add 10-15 drops of Stevia to the mix or simply use dark molasses instead of blackstrap. But you really can’t substitute the great health benefits you’d get from using blackstrap molasses in this recipe if you substituted it with regular.
Enjoy this fabulous healthy holiday recipe!
Questions for you:
- Do you have any dietary restrictions? How long have you followed these?
- Did you have gingerbread this holiday season?
Let me know in the comments!