For the next six days, I'll be introducing you to a different coach each morning. These women will be the backbone of The Daily Dietribe Gluten Free Health Challenge. They will coach the challengers, provide support, and share their delicious recipes with us all at the end of every month.
Today, meet Shirley Plant, Health Coach for Team Avocado.
Shirley Plant was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and multiple food and environmental allergies 25 years ago. She became gluten free 5 years ago, and has learned through personal experience how hard it is to change your life for the better. She understands first hand the difficulties of trying to plan creative, nutritious and affordable menus while having to avoid such common foods as gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, and sugar, just to name a few. But through understanding, education, and a keen interest in helping people find food alternatives to fit into their life schedules, Shirley has developed an expertise and well-known reputation as a dietary designer. In addition to individual consulting, Shirley offers seminars on food allergies, cooking, and menu planning.
As a nutritionist and dietary designer, Shirley brings a sound expertise and understanding to clients and their families that few can match. Her pleasant and caring manner, her own experiences as a food allergy sufferer, and her creative design flare make working with Shirley "a must" for clients struggling to find the light at the end of the dietary tunnel.
Shirley is the food editor for General Store Publishing house, and the author of Finally...Food I Can Eat, an inspirational dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies and food intolerance. She has written articles for Eco- Sense, the Celiac News, and Total Fit Magazine, as well as Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Life blog and Mindbodygreen.
Want to know more about Shirley? Here's how she answered my questions:
Favorite go-to meal when you're too tired to cook: Brown rice pasta with organic garlic pasta sauce - yes, from a glass jar - or now that I'm eating paleo: nitrite free lamb sausages, sweet potato and steamed spinach.
Favorite dessert: My almond flour banana muffins or my gluten free lemon pie, which will be in my next cookbook. And my cocoa hemp dessert, which is in Finally...Food I Can Eat.
Favorite vegetable: Asparagus.
Tips for gluten free newbies: Clean out your pantry. Get rid of all the gluten foods and replace them with healthy gluten free snacks (flax crackers, nuts, seeds, dates, gluten free granola) and gluten free flours so that when you have time, you can bake your own treats.
One thing you know now that you wish you had known when you first went gluten free: That there are so many options out there, it is not limiting at all; You just have to get back to basics and maybe do a little baking and cooking yourself.
If you are what you eat, what would you be? An avocado.
What is the most common struggle you see when people come to you for nutrition advice? Giving up sugar and getting back to basics and into their kitchen. They say they don't have time, but it's because they don't like change.
Learn more about working with Shirley on her website, Delicious Alternatives.
Purchase her cookbook, Finally...Food I Can Eat.
Follow Shirley on Twitter and Facebook.
Tomorrow, meet the coach behind Team Kale.