Well it was no surprise that there were many references to my career during our wedding this past weekend. So much so that my husband included in his vows “I promise to nourish your body with wholesome, healthy and, wherever possible, organic & gluten free food”. And my brother-in-law observed how I continue to love my man despite the fact that he put a spoon in my Vitamix. All of which were great for a laugh when I needed it most.
So, what did this crazy gluten free nutritionist serve at her wedding? This was a sticky point for us, as we wanted our wedding to represent our tastes and beliefs in food, while making sure we didn’t turn any noses when we said the menu was going to be healthy. We wanted a real party atmosphere, so while there was ample food and tables to sit at, there was no formal sit down dinner. We had appetizers, including smoked salmon on strawberries (even though this is technically bad food combining), bruschetta on baby romaine, and vegetarian mushroom caps. There was a hint of my Spanish background in the tapas style antipasto table (olives, hummus, rice crackers and more) and sangria for cocktail hour. (For more on the Mediterranean diet, check out this previous article I wrote.)
When it came to the main courses, we were conscious to ensure there were vegetarian and gluten free options. The various dinner stations consisted of barbequed bison and veggie skewers, wild salmon, and a free-range organic chicken and bison fajita station (gluten free tortillas were available of course). An abundance of fresh veggies abounded, as well as a midnight dose of gluten free pizza!
So why did we decide on these choices of meat? First, bison, one of my favorite meats, is much leaner than beef, and unlike commercial factory farm beef, it is typically finished on grass and not fattened on grain prior to slaughter. Grass fed and finished animals are much easier on our bodies, as they tend to help decrease inflammation rather than promote it (which is what grain finished meat has a tendency to do), as mentioned in the fabulous book “Anti-cancer, a new way of life” by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. Keeping inflammation under control is a key factor in optimal health, and decreasing our risks of diseases such as cancer.
Second, wild salmon is a great source of omega-3 fats, which are instrumental in reducing inflammation, among other things such as regulating hormones, boosting immune function and decreasing blood pressure. Wild fish are also preferable to farmed fish as they do not receive pesticides, antibiotics and consume their natural diet vs. highly contaminated fish feed.
Organic and free-range chicken (or all meat for that matter) is always preferred over commercially raised factory farm meat. In these types of farms many animals are confined to small spaces, which consequently become unsanitary and serve as breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses that then force farmers to use antibiotics. It also insures the feed they receive is organic and not genetically modified foods like corn and soy, which are fairly commonly used to fatten up our meat. Animals, like us, store toxins in their fat and therefore they are especially important to buy organic and free range. (Check out another article on going SLOW – Seasonal Local Organic and Whole.)
Following dinner, and perhaps the best part of all, we served delicious gluten-free, sugar-free, raw desserts (including our wedding cake)! I am fortunate to share my business space with an amazing raw food chef, Joanne from Tasty Life Food. She and our shared employee, the lovely Tori, donated their time and efforts as a wedding gift to creating the most amazing raw food treats I’ve ever tasted: an almond tart with blackberry jam (made with dates and chia seeds, topped with gooseberries to match our wedding colors); orange creamsicle flavored RAWEO cookies (orange cashew icing sandwiched between 2 almond chocolate coconut cookies); and fudge claws (raw cacao, coconut oil & dates topped with a pecan). Oh yes, and I mustn’t forget our fresh fruit and raw chocolate fountain LOVE LOVE LOVE!
For more photos and details from our wedding, please visit Orange Girl Photographs blog on our day. The amazing and talented Kirstie Tweed captured every little detail beautifully (also featured on Style Me Pretty Canada).