One of my favorite meals is pasta. Coming from a half Italian background, I grew up on it. Now I’m married to an Italian who loves his pasta so I find myself craving it a lot. The problem with pasta is that the gluten triggers my fibromyalgia symptoms in a terrible way. Immediately after eating it I would get strong heart palpitations, my stomach would bloat up in a painful way and the day after I would have the “typical” fibro neck and back pain that would inevitably lead to a three day headache. In fact, having adopted a gluten-free diet that pain rarely if ever comes back. It makes me think that my fibromyalgia was largely a symptom of my body reacting to the food I would eat. Because since having changed my diet in a drastic way I almost never have the fibro pain that I suffered with for so long. Of course there are many other facets to fibromyalgia that could trigger it, but diet surely is one huge factor.
Nowadays I eat a mostly raw food diet so I love making my raw version of pasta with zucchini noodles. But when I want a nice cooked pasta dish I use either the corn or quinoa pasta which are gluten-free and it totally hits the spot! They taste good, the texture is just like the real thing and I am quite the happy girl that I get to eat pasta with the rest of my family. I personally love these two kinds of pasta much better than the rice pasta which ends up mushy and tasteless. Oh and just an FYI you can pick up these gluten-free pastas at any WholeFoods, Sprouts, Trader Joes or most any health food store. Actually nowadays most grocery stores are catching on and carrying more gluten-free products, which is awesome!
To be honest, even if you are not gluten sensitive I still recommend this eliminating gluten from your diet because whether you feel it or not gluten is directly linked to so many inflammatory conditions. I have a friend who was having arthritic symptoms to the point you couldn’t even take showers anymore. Her doctor diagnosed her with rheumatoid arthritis. Once she eliminated gluten in her diet she no longer had pain or any symptoms.
Even when I eat a cooked meal, I always try to keep half of it raw. So, I will include a big salad or have raw veggies with it. It helps with digestion. In this recipe I use a raw dairy-free arugula walnut pesto. It is one of my faves! Can’t get enough of it. And of course a nice big salad would go great with this too.
For convenience the pesto can be made in advance, and kept in the fridge for about three days.
1 batch of Arugula Walnut Pesto
4 oz. quinoa or corn pasta
Bring water to boil on high. Add pasta. Cook according to instructions on package. Drain pasta and place in a medium size bowl. Pour the pesto sauce over the cooked pasta mixing in evenly. Garnish with fresh basil.