You might be going Gluten Free because you’ve noticed some sensitivity issues after you consume it; or you might be experimenting with your diet. Gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease have a lot of symptoms: fatigue, vitamin deficiency, anxiety, brain fog, migraines, abdominal pain, bloating, weight gain, bone/joint pain, enamel loss, hair loss, and brittle nails. Just to name a few.
If any of these symptoms sound all to familiar, you can pull gluten out of you diet and see if that helps at all. Test drive a gluten free diet for at least two weeks.
I went gluten free about three years ago because I was experiencing multiple symptoms. I didn’t do any research, I just jumped in. There has been a lot of trial and error and icky food consumed then thrown out, meal missed and restaurant avoided. I’ve learned how to blend my diet choices with those around me so I can still enjoy food and the company. I hope you’ll find this post helpful.
You may be down with gluten but maybe your friend or family member isn’t. Here are some tips to help get gluten lovers and haters out.
- Gluten free does not mean healthy. Always check the label and see what ingredients are actually in the product you are considering purchasing. Gluten free is better for you; but just like the famous junk food aisle at the store, gluten free products can be misleading.
- Modify meals at restaurants/parties/other homes. There is no need to be a pain in the butt when you are eating outside of your own home. In nearly every eating situation there are ways to modify your meal so you can still enjoy it. If you are eating at a burger joint; first ask if there are gluten free buns, if not, then ask to have your burger put in a lettuce wrap. Boom! Done! Don’t make everyone around you miserable just because you are choosing to live by a different diet.
- You can always find veggies and protein. This is related to the former tip. If you are unsure of what to order or partake in; veggies and protein are usually always a safe bet. If you are at Applebees, for example, order a steak or a piece of chicken and some veggies and you are golden. No need to stomp your feet and cause a scene.
- Gluten can be used as a filler and a thickener. Some companies use gluten products to fill or thicken. Always check salad dressings, sauces, vitamins, prescriptions, lunch meat, soups, pre-packaged rice/potato mixes, even candy.
- Easy meal and snack ideas: *turkey rolls * salad * bunless burger *eggs *lettuce wrap tacos *quinoa black bean salad *apple & peanut butter * veggies & hummus
- Product recommendations:
- **King Arthur Flour – their gluten free flour is versatile and doesn’t overpower whatever you are making. Also, the pre-made mixes are amazing! We used the gluten free chocolate cake mix for our wedding last fall….sooo good! **
- Namaste Flour – more of an almond blend but really good! Costco sells a good sized bag for ~$12
- Check your local bakery for gluten free items. Jake’s Gluten Free market in Meridian, Idaho is simply fantastic!
- Udis’ is a solid brand that can be found in the freezer section at most stores. I’ve seen it at Albertsons, Walmart, Fred Meyers and Whole Foods.
- Glutino English Muffins – these are so good! My husband voluntarily eats them with me and he’s not gluten free.
- Van’s frozen waffles – if you can’t leggo the eggo try these out. They come in lots of flavors 🙂
I know this doesn’t cover everything you need to know to transition into a gluten free lifestyle or be around someone who has adopted that lifestyle, but it’s a start. Most importantly, know that going gluten free isn’t the end of the world, you will not starve, it does not give you a right to throw a temper tantrum, and you can actually enjoy this diet.