Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Gourmet Cuisine: Invaluable Recommendations for a Healthy Immune System

Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Gourmet Cuisine: Invaluable Recommendations for a Healthy Immune System

Dr. Seckin believes that following a gluten- and dairy-free, organic diet can help endometriosis patients manage their symptoms. He recently met Aslihan Sabanci, an author and entrepenuer, who has written an excellent cookbook and gluten-free guide that is great for endometriosis patients. Her book is called, “Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Gourmet Cuisine: Invaluable Recommendations for a Healthy Immune System.”

Mrs. Sabanci was delighted to answer questions and give tips on how to start eating gluten-free. She started eating gluten free many years ago for her the benefit of her own health and wrote this cookbook out of her need to find tasty and practical recipes. Here is what Mrs. Sabanci had to say:

Q: I read that from the time you were a little girl you were experimenting in the kitchen and using your friends and family as taste testers! You take pride in your recipes. How important is it for you that your food not only be gluten-free, but taste good?

A: I think it is very important that my recipes taste great. Great-tasting food is the key to eating a well-balanced diet. Don't forget, if your healthy food does not taste great, you will always prefer the fried, super-fattening and super-tasty unhealthy food over the healthy food.

Q: You stress how important it is for your recipe ingredients to be practical and expressed your frustration in many gluten-free recipes having bizarre, hard-to-find ingredients.  

A: Today, especially in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, there are more gluten-free options to choose from. However, many gluten-free ingredients are still hard to find when you are traveling or when you are not living in the cosmopolitan cities. That's why for my book, I wanted to use easy to find ingredients, from any regular grocery store or supermarket.

Q: Dr. Seckin believes there is an immunological component to endometriosis. Some women who are diagnosed with endometriosis also suffer from other autoimmune-inflammatory diseases. Women with endometriosis also suffer from chronic fatigue.   In your book, you talk about ways to boost your immune system through diet.  What is an easy way an endometriosis patient can boost their immune system on a daily basis?

A: To boost the immune system, it is very important to eat a well-balanced diet full of whole foods and plenty of antioxidants. I mention all of these valuable antioxidants, their resources and how much they are found in which nutrients in my book, and I worked with an award winning doctor and a dietitian, and a nutritionist to figure out the antioxidant values of each and every recipe in my book. These doctors then formed charts to graphically present these calculated antioxidant values. This way my readers can be informed about the health benefits of my recipes.  To help boost the immune system, the most valuable antioxidants to consume are: fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc. The most efficient way to increase antioxidant intake is to increase the daily consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes. I also dedicated a chapter in my book on these nutrients and their natural resources.

Q: Many women reach for gluten/dairy/sugar filled foods when they are stressed or when they have their period, which can only inflame their endometriosis. It can be a physiological response, just as much as an emotional one. What is your “go to” recipe in your book that can replace any chocolate/salty/fried comfort foods?

A: When I am craving chocolate, it usually works for me to eat a handful of pistacchios to harness the craving. In addition, fruity deserts are an excellent way to stop cravings for the high calorie deserts and in addition, by consuming fruity desserts you will also get plenty of antioxidants as a bonus! For example, Kabak Tatlisi, a savory and sweet pumpkin dessert, has plenty of vitamin C, A,B1, B2 and magnesium in it.

Q: For the woman just diagnosed with endometriosis, what would be staple items from the supermarket you would pick up right away to get started on a gluten-free diet?

A: Quinoa flour (to make bread or any other pastries), quinoa pasta or the actual quinoa, all kinds of rice to make variety of rice dishes, so you do not get bored with cooking only one type of rice (wild rice, basmati rice, risotto rice....) and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Q: When you first started eating gluten-free, what was the hardest to give up?

A: Pastries....

Q: How did eating gluten-free change how you feel?

A: I felt less swollen and bloated. I started fitting into my jeans again.

Q: Gluten-free eating is hard, although your wonderful book makes it easier! What words of encouragement do you have for people taking on gluten-free eating?

A: Do not be scared! Go beyond the books and experiment for yourself. Do not forget to exercise and to get enough good night sleep. Try to make best out of it, and have fun!

Mrs. Sabanci’s cookbook is excellent. You can find simple and delicious recipes that are great for the Endodiet. Within the pages, one can find a multitude of easy, fresh recipes from guacamole to sesame chicken, to delicious desserts and smoothies. Although some of the recipes contain dairy, many of the dairy ingredients are optional or can easily be substituted with almond milk or Earth Balance.  You can find Mrs. Sabanci’s cookbook on Amazon: //www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Mediterranean-Gourmet-Cuisine-Aslihan/dp/6058882613

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Patient Reviews

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  • Angela Aro

    I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…

  • Emi O

    Seckin and Dr. Goldstein changed my life!

  • Kristin Sands

    Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…

  • Wilfredo Reyes

    Dr. Seckin literally gave my wife her life back. I am eternally grateful to him for his generous, determined spirit to see that Melanie finally live free from the prison bonds of Endometriosis.

  • Carla

    I am so grateful to Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein. My experience was nothing short of amazing. I was misdiagnosed with the location of my fibroids and have had a history of endometriosis. Dr. Seckin was the one who accurately diagnosed me. Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein really care about their patients and it shows. They listened to my concerns,…

  • Melissa Boudreau

    When I think of Dr. Seckin these are the words that come to mind. Gratitude, grateful, life-changing, a heart of gold. I feel compelled to give you a bit of background so you can understand the significance of this surgery for me. I am passionate about Endometriosis because it has affected me most of my life and I have a…

  • Jaclyn Harte

    Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein radically changed my quality of life. They treat their patients with dignity & respect that I've personally never seen in the literally 25+ doctors I've seen for endometriosis. This summer, I had a surgery with Dr. Seckin & Goldstein. It was my first with them, but my 5th endo surgery. I couldn't believe the difference,…

  • Megan Rafael Moreno

    I was in pain for 2 years. I was getting no answers, and because dr Goldstein and dr seckins were willing to see and treat me I'm finally feeling almost back to normal. They were very down to earth and helpful in my time of need. Dr Goldstein was easy to talk to and caring, she took care of me…

  • Nancy Costa

    Dr. Seckin is one of the best endometriosis surgeon. Every time I go to the office, he really listens to me and is always concerned about my issues. Dr Seckin's office staff are a delight and they always work with me. I feel I can leave everything to them and they will take care of it. Thank you to the…

  • Rebecca Black

    Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…

  • Monique Roberts

    I'll never stop praising Dr. Seckin and his team. He literally gave me back my life.

  • Erin Brehm

    I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…

  • Anita Schillhorn

    I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…

  • Nicholette Sadé

    Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…