Q&A: Is Wheat the Same as Gluten, Best Diet for Diabetes, Favorite Kitchen Gadget and More

Q1: Why do so many people have issues with gluten these days?  It seems like it was never an issue before 2005.

A few thoughts on that are first, that diagnostic tools have improved and therefore diagnosing celiac disease has improved.  Second, the processing and production of hybrid wheat grains might be causing us to be less tolerant of wheat and the gluten in wheat.  Last, with more people being diagnosed with celiac due to better testing and trying gluten-free diets for other issues, there is an increase in awareness all around. Q2: Is gluten free the same as wheat free?

No, gluten free means free of gluten containing foods which are wheat, barley, rye and oats (oats are typically contaminated by wheat).  Wheat free would just mean no wheat and could still contain gluten from one of the other gluten-containing grains. Q3: What’s the best diet for someone with type 2 diabetes?

To reduce blood sugars or A1C, studies show that these 3 plans have the most success for lowering a1c:  Mediterranean, vegetarian and low carb or very low carb.  There is really no “one” best plan.This comparison chart from the American Diabetes Association show health benefits found in studies on various eating plans.

Q4: I want to invest in one new kitchen item to help with meal prep.  Is there one that you would recommend that you think is the most useful?

Good meal prep containers: dishwasher-safe, simple to pack and no searching for matching lids! Pyrex makes good glass containers and similar ones can be found online.

Instant Pot: utilize the instant pot to make your lunches, while in the kitchen making dinner for the night. These pressure cookers can cook frozen chicken breast in under an hour. Q5: Mindy, you mentioned a protein poptart on an episode.  What was the name of that and where did you find it?

Legendary Foods Tasty Pastry. Order them from their website https://www.eatlegendary.com/collections/pastries Q6: I keep reading its best to “cut against the grain” of meats.  What the heck?

Some cuts of meat have distinct fibers in them, which make the meat difficult to chew. Flank steak, skirt steak, and brisket are examples. Cutting through the fibers or grain in the meat makes it tender and easier to chew.

If you look at a steak, you typically see lines running in one direction.  If you slice this steak in the same direction as those lines, you'll have to chew through the fibers. Whereas if you cut across the lines or the grain, the knife will have already done that work of breaking up those fibers. This video from Rachael Ray Show shows you exactly what we are talking about.

Q7: What would be on your menu for a healthy summer grill out and chill out meal?

Keep it classic and simple, so you can enjoy your time outside! Here’s the menu:

  • Grilled chicken seasoned with Code3Spices Top Gun seasoning (I keep a bottle outside by the grill!). Try a whole grilled spatchcocked chicken.

  • Halved, grill-roasted Yukon Gold potatoes: halve them, spray with oil, season with more Code3 or just salt and pepper, and cook them on the grill on a grill pan.

  • Zucchini spears: slice zucchini longwise into quarters; season with garlic, pepper and grill over low-medium heat 10 to 15 minutes turning once. Sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan before serving.

  • Grilled pineapple

  • Dessert might be a great glass of wine or the grilled pineapple with ice cream or yogurt.

Q8: What is a “must have” kitchen gadget that you and Mindy have to have? One that is super useful and one that is more of a “not necessary but useful”?


Hand-mixer for healthy baked goods and shredding chicken in the slow cooker

Kitchen tongs: variety of silicone tipped, stainless steel, short and long for cooking and serving.

Not necessary, but useful:

Garlic peeler

OXO Avocado tool

Q9: I want to lose some weight but unsure where to start. I’ve always failed diets in the past so I know I’m freaking out and overthinking it.  What are a few “baby steps” to get in a healthier routine?

  1. Start with more water intake- natural water, not flavored or sparkling.

  2. Cut back on soda, alcohol & energy drinks- the extra sugar and carbs add up quick! 

  3. Replace your dinners with healthy ones with protein, complex carb and veggie

  4. Set movement goals everyday- maybe it’s 10,000 steps or 30min walk, yoga or weight training

  5. Don’t quit! It can take time to see results- you don’t gain weight overnight so you won’t lose it overnight either.  

Do the work and stick to it and be consistent.   You’ll not only start to lose the weight you want to lose but you’ll also grow your confidence!! 

Q10: I struggle with my days being overpacked with things and can’t get them all done so I give up and feel like a failure each day. What can I do to break this cycle? 

  1. Write down the night before your “plan of attack” the next day

  2. What can you push off? Outsource? Delegate? 

  3. Use Emily’s PNW method:

  4. Priorities- the first things you must do today

  5. Needs- next up things to do today

  6. Wants- things that aren’t necessary but you want to get done eventually.

Listen to the full episode here.