I’d like to welcome my first guest blog post from a wonderful, inspiring and truly glowing lady, Suné Markowitz-Shulman who happens to be a health coach, nutritional therapist and chef, oh and a teacher. She is effortless in the way she talks about diet and nutrition, with so much knowledge her approach is truly refreshing. She has a holistic and realistic approach that food should be enjoyed and taste good, but still be nourishing. She says if we want to look after ourselves then eating well comes more naturally. She talks us through key nutritional principles for the best start to a gluten free life, but they also apply to us all and are a great overview on how to make some healthier changes to any family diet.
The best start for gluten free living
Have you recently had a child or yourself diagnosed with having coeliac disease after months or years being
prodded and bothered, referred from GP to specialist without any clear answer? The desire to fix,
care and protect your child is primal and you will do everything to help them. (As adults we tend to
ignore symptoms way too long, before acting)
Being diagnosed is both a blessing but can also feel like a sentence. Blessing, because you know what
you’re up against and can act, sentence because ‘what now?’ where do you start and what needs to
change. We don’t like change much and when it comes to food there are so many factors that play a
role in our preferences (that’s even before the diagnosis that is food related that can be life
There is a three-throng approach when it comes to managing a newly diagnosed health issue.
1. Get pro-active: Do your research, find solutions that works for you and be open and willing
to experiment. Everyone is different and what may work for your neighbour may not work
2. Act to implement changes around diet and lifestyle and nutritionally support the body for
the best possible chances of living life to the full regardless of the diagnosis
3. Rediscover the importance of food as nourishment and also invest time in practicing how to
become a mindful eater
On the point of food preferences, and the behaviour around food, I do believe that is vitally
important to not make the child feel ‘other’ because of food allergies and instil a healthy relationship
with food regardless of limitations, for both is a lifetime commitment.
Are you mindful of the following?
- What is your own relationship with food?
- What is the message your child hears when you speak about their condition within ear shot?
- Are mealtimes a punishment for the whole family or is it a fun, loving, accepting
- Do you see the diagnosis as a label or a part of your life?
Nutrition 101 principles
Regardless of being vegan, vegetarian, having coeliac disease or a peanut allergy, these nutrition 101 principles
apply to everyone.
1. Manage your blood sugar to prevent energy dips, hormonal fluctuations and keep you
satisfied for longer periods of time
2. Eat the rainbow, everyday
3. Eat a well- balanced, mostly unprocessed diet
4. Eat slowly, mindfully and not to close to bed time
5. Move your body like no one’s watching – often
What does a healthy plate look like?
This image does have pictures of breads and pasta, which can be replaced with gluten free options.
The important point here in the context of blood sugar balance is that the carbohydrate portion of
your meal should be the smallest and not like we’re used to eating with most of the plate filled with
carbs and hardly any veggies or lean protein.
Another very important ingredient for every meal is 1tbsp essential fats like oily fish, olive oil, flax seeds, nuts etc. These are called essential fats because
every cell in the body needs them and our bodies don’t make them, we must get them from our diets.
Tap into your own body wisdom and teach your children to do the same. Before eating always
stop…..observe your thoughts, listen to your heart (what do I really need right now, it may be a hug
and not food) and ask your tummy how hungry it really is, these are the first steps towards
becoming a mindful and intuitive eater.
It will always be wise to work alongside a professional who specialises in coeliac disease or allergies. They
should work with you to implement strategies so that this can be a part of your lifestyle and at the
same time support your whole body during the process so that you can experience food to be
nourishing and enjoyed at the same time.
In good health
About the Author:
Suné Markowitz-ShulmanI works with women aged 40 plus who want to lose weight and keep it off for good. I use a three-step programme that works on their mind, body and lifestyle, to help them transform from feeling stuck and uncomfortable to body confident and healthy.