5 Steps to Going Gluten Free
When I first tell people I am gluten-free, I am quick to follow it by adding, “doctor’s orders!!!”
Going gluten-free has been pretty trendy for a while now, so I do get a few eye rolls when I tell people I am gluten-free, which always makes me defensive. (“DO YOU THINK I LIKE NOT BEING ABLE TO EAT REAL PIZZA?”) But, I have to admit, when my doctor told me to try going gluten-free, I definitely rolled my eyes at him.
However, I was sick of being sick all the time. Without getting into too much detail, my stomach hurt or was bloated or I had unpleasant issues constantly. It was impacting my daily life, and I was struggling because I always felt so uncomfortable.
So, in December, I finally agreed to go gluten-free and see what happened. And slowly, but surely, some, not all, of my stomach problems got better. While my stomach is far from normal, it is significantly better than I’d like to admit because I do miss beer and real grilled cheese sandwiches. And yes, sometimes, I do roll my eyes at myself.
Going gluten-free has been an experience. Interested in trying?
Here are some tips that have helped me.
1. Don’t rely too heavily on gluten-free products. Sure, I buy gluten-free bread sometimes or we go out for gluten-free pizza every once in a while, but I never buy gluten-free cookies or cupcakes or pasta. Just because they are gluten-free does not mean they are healthier. Instead, I used going gluten-free has a chance to cut out processed food almost completely. (Okay, fine, and tortilla chips and salsa are naturally gluten-free and my favorite snack.)
2. That being said, stick mainly to real food. Real food is gluten-free. Squashes, eggs, fruit, nuts, vegetables and potatoes are all huge parts of my diet now. I personally feel better eating mostly non-processed food.
3. Scope out the menu before you go out to eat. I am the worst person to dine with because I am now a picky, gluten-free vegetarian (so fun). Here are some of my favorite local places that offer gluten-free food:
I have also made meals out of sides and appetizers when needed.
4. Find beer alternatives. Cider is naturally gluten-free and pretty much every bar has at least one kind on tap. If you really miss beer, Omission makes gluten-free beer, and Giant carries it.
5. Use it as an excuse to try new foods. Okay, so I bought a box of quinoa but have yet to make it, but I will! Seriously though, instead of thinking what you CAN’T eat, think about what you CAN eat.