Tips for Starting a Gluten-Free Diet Monday, March 31 2014
New to a gluten-free diet? Whether you have a wheat allergy, gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, we've compiled some of our best advice for happy, empowered eating.
1. Get a Grasp on Gluten
Know exactly what’s off limits and what you can still enjoy before embarking on a gluten-free diet. Not all grains contain gluten, but wheat, rye and barley are strictly off-limits. Corn, rice, potato, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and sorghum, among others, are all gluten-free. Enjoy oats with caution. They're a little tricky, and not all are safe for a gluten-free diet. When in doubt, check the label and opt for certified gluten-free products.
2. Eat Certified Gluten-Free With Confidence
Even naturally gluten-free products can easily become contaminated when processed in a facility that also processes foods containing gluten. Trust in gluten-free certified products and brands for everything from breakfast cereal to spices, especially for those with Celiac disease or strong sensitivities.
3. Become One With Your Kitchen
There’s no way around it. Going gluten-free is going to require you to spend a lot more time in the kitchen. While it’s becoming increasingly easy to find gluten-free options at your local market or at restaurants, we strongly recommend getting cozy in the kitchen if you have any type of food allergy. You’d be surprised at how rewarding it is to cook and enjoy your own dinner, and how much better it feels to have control over what goes inside of your body.
4. Always Plan Ahead
When you’re busy, on the move and hungry, it’s not always convenient (or easy) to find gluten-free snacks and meal options. Avoid temptation and serious hunger by planning out your meals for the day ahead of time and always leaving the house with an emergency snack in your bag.
5. Fruits and Veggies are Your Friends
Fill up on naturally gluten-free fruits, vegetables and sources of lean protein for healthy, satisfying meals. Enjoy them raw, mixed in smoothies or seasoned with spices for an unending array of snacks, sides and main courses.
6. Know Where Sneaky Gluten Lurks
You probably know to avoid whole wheat bread and cookies. But did you know that soy sauce, beer, canned soups and many pre-packaged snacks can also contain gluten? Always look for the certified gluten-free label to make safe eating decisions.
7. Get Involved in the GF Community
The gluten-free community is vibrant, and the internet is filled with great ideas for how to enjoy and thrive on a gluten-free diet. Bookmark favorite gluten-free blogs, check out publications like Simply Gluten Free magazine and find others who are going through the same lifestyle changes as you.
8. Speak Up!
Navigating restaurant menus isn’t always easy for someone new to a gluten-free diet, but don’t be afraid to vocalize your allergies/sensitivities and ask questions. Inform your server of your dietary restrictions and ask for a gluten-free menu or safe recommendations from the kitchen.
9. Beware the Cosmetics
Think about the other items you might ingest without thinking, like lipstick, toothpaste and vitamins. Check the label to make sure none of these items in your medicine cabinet contain gluten.
10. Accept Reality
When first dabbling in a gluten-free diet, it’s easy to stumble off track. Be patient, listen to your body and enjoy the experience. Find friends to support you and make the most of your lifestyle change.
Have a story you’d like to share with the Spicely Organics community? Leave a comment below.
Spicely Organics dedicates itself to quality organic, gluten-free products that you can enjoy with confidence. We strive to nourish your body and respect the environment by certifying each of our products organic and gluten-free, using pure ingredients ethically sourced from around the world and embracing sustainable, eco-friendly practices, always.