When we changed our diet, now going on 5 years ago… one of the requirements was to limit gluten… well, at least ‘wheat’ gluten. So… the goal was always at least 2 meals a week, completely gluten free.

One way is via Polenta. Polenta is quite possibly, the most simple mix, yet the most complicated thing to cook. It is essentially 1 part cold water to 1 part corn meal (mixed), and pouring into 2 to 2 and 1/2 parts boiling water.

With about 1/2 to a teaspoon of salt. (depends on the recipe)

And it is not a ‘walk away while it cooks’ meal… it requires CONSTANT monitoring and stirring for the full 10 to 20 minutes.

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Polenta, though is very tasty and versatile. You can cook it like a mush and serve it with sauce and veggies, or you can pour the concoction into a dish, let it cool overnight (about 12 hours), slice it, bread it (or not) and fry or broil it with olive oil.

Back to the ‘gluten’ mention. Gluten, by definition, is a protein.

This ‘protein’ is only found in grains. Therefore, all grains (rye, wheat, corn, etc.) contain some form of Gluten. However, many people are born with, or have developed (due to a dietary over-abundance) an allergic reaction to wheat gluten.

Why? It’s a common emulsifier and additive to shelved and frozen prepared foods. (Just take a browse down the frozen food aisle if you don’t believe me…)

Allergic reactions are an overblown immune system response… which leads to inflammation throughout the body’s systems. Arteries, nerves, digestive… you name it. Inflammation was, and still is, the precursor to arterial (and other systemic) damage. Not high cholesterol or even blood sugar…. although having insulin/sugar imbalances are known to create much of the damage to arteries that lead to blockages.

Anyways. Sorry for slipping into the science mode there… I am by no means a dietician or doctor… so please take my information with a grain of salt, as they say. Always make sure to do your own research and work with your doctor or medical professional on any dietary changes.

We have moved to serving the polenta in the soft ‘meal’ mode with roasted vegetables and homemade sauce:

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Add to that some sautéed cabbage and onions (yes, cabbage is almost a weekly meal, lol):

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And you have a yummy, gluten-free, vegan meal:

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As far as diet (not the verb “to diet”, the noun), we follow the rule of moderation and variety…

Other than that, we make sure to drink plenty of water (6-8 8 ounce glasses/day), limit the sugar (all types – new AHA, APA guidelines are maxed at 25 grams/day). Also… we make sure to get fiber from natural sources only (USDA says 25-35 grams per 2000-2500 calorie/day diet)… and the vitamins and minerals we need are all there, without fail.