In Nutrition

#1 Macaroni Salad

Let’s start out with what is so wrong with Macaroni Salad, well let’s say that you or your friends actually cooked this food from scratch. Because honestly, if you bought this at the store, its death in a container. Okay so you made this dish yourself, what kind of noodles are you using? If they are standard macaroni, you are way off base. Most macaroni noodles are gluten based, which indicates an instant gut bomb of gas, bloating, and overall discomfort. Not to mention the canola or soy bean oil based mayo you are using. Even if you think you are using an olive oil based mayo, think again, and check the label. Next, are your accouterments organic? Probably not, so we are furthering the chemical shit storm that is this dish. So what is a person to do? You can still eat macaroni salad, just switch out the main ingredients, trust me, no one will notice!

Use GF Macaroni Noodles, Primal avocado oil based mayo or homemade olive or avocado oil mayo, organic veggies and spices, voila!

#2 Hot dog and Hamburger Buns

Imagine you have already added the gluten bomb of macaroni salad and now you want to add more gluten, sugar, and carbs to your meal by adding a bun. Sheesh! The carbs and sugar will still be present if you keep the bun, however, GF buns will save you the bloated agony post summer food binge. Most people think GF alternatives are less than, but they are poorly mistaken. Not only will you feel better after wards, but you won’t even notice the difference. So it’s time to switch it out.

#3 Chips and Crackers

Do you really need to add the chips and crackers too?! Oi vey! Okay let’s begin. What type of chips are you eating? Check the label. Do they have food dyes and 5 million unpronounceable ingredients? Is the flavor real or artificial? Is it corn, rice, or potato based? What type of oil is it fried in? Just because it started as a vegetable doesn’t mean it even remotely resembles one now. So what is a person to do if they want to get their crunch on? Here are my favorites list for adding a low carb, high fiber, nutrient dense crunch: Cassava Chips, Potato and corn chips kettle cooked in avocado or coconut oil, Plantain chips.

* If you see saffron, grapeseed, olive, soybean, or canola oil stay away from it.

#4 Hot Dogs

I’m almost positive most of you aren’t buying even 100% kosher beef let alone grass fed beef. So let’s break it down for a second, did you know that if you are not purchasing 100% certified grass fed beef hotdogs they are coming from over 500 different slaughter houses around the world and may have other animals and animal parts in them. People say, oh whatever it’s all meat right?! Wrong. That grain fed, feed lot meat is what is giving people heart disease and digestive distress. Gross right?! So let’s get a little more label conscious and nourish our bodies while supporting the REAL farmers.

#5 Dips

What most people don’t know is that the “low-fat” dips or easy to make powders come with a multitude of chemicals and are typically very high in sugar. When we already only have foods that are high in sugar and chemicals it quickly makes for an easy segway to ruining your health and having prolonged complications with diabetes, digestive disorders, thyroid conditions, bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. The list goes on and on. It’s unfortunate that we can’t trust food companies to look out for our well being, but their main concern is what is the cheapest way to make food taste good? So you end up with franken-foods that prolong your health concerns and medication use.

#6 Potato Salad

Some of you have no idea what a night shade is, and that’s okay. Knowledge of this inflammatory food group is not common place. The nightshade family includes, white potato, tomato, eggplant, and all peppers. These foods seem harmless, but unfortunately exacerbate any inflammatory condition like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or MS. Great ways to avoid them, especially when making potato salad, is using “jersey white sweet potatoes” you won’t even know the difference.

#7 Soda

I’m positive we don’t even need to have the conversation as to why soda is on this list. May I remind you that soda consumption creates a process in the blood that literally deteriorates your bone structure and leads to long term damage… A great alternative that I have become quite addicted to myself is Kombucha. This amazing drink not only has billions of live probiotics, but it also helps to heal the body with its many nutrient dense properties.

#8 Cake

So when we talking about cake in this context, it doesn’t matter how homemade it is. Just like we discussed before, if we are not using healthy gluten free flours then we are doing more harm than good. Make an almond flour cake with coconut sugar, pastured eggs, and grass fed butter. Not only will your tummy thank you, but so will your guests. We had GF cake at my wedding last year and not only did no one know, but they also said it was the best wedding cake they has ever had! Take the chance, and if you aren’t a baker, there are countless of bakeries that have them. You just have to look.

#9 Ice Cream Sandwiches

Here is yet another way to torture your poor body after hitting it with the gambit of insulin overload. Ever thought of making cookies from scratch? What about grain free cookies with real (less than 5 ingredient) ice cream?! Yet again your body will thank you!

#10 Popsicles

Not to harp on an American tradition, but I’m not a huge fan of cooling down with food dyes and artificial fruit flavors… What about squeezing fresh juice into a silicone mold? You could even leave pieces of whole fruit to make it prettier. If you like it really sweet, add some coconut sugar, it’s low glycemic and tastes great!!


Okay so If I didn’t scare you off in the beginning and you stuck around to then end, I just want you to know that you don’t have to become a chef! I just want to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and maybe follow a path of least resistance. These healthier scratch and minimal ingredient foods are what heal bodies and make happier homes. Unfortunately the norm is to eat crap from a box or a plastic container or a can, but guess what, that’s why Americans are so sick. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t jump off the bridge with everyone else, and save ourselves from a world of hurt. Eat healthy so you can truly enjoy your summers and your life. Tis all! 

Written by Daniele Della Valle, NTP

Owner of Bio + Well Nutrition

36 Gluten Free Picnic Foods

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