Whether you just learned that you should follow a gluten-free diet on the advice of your doctor or nutritionist, either from a diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten intolerance, or have you simply made the decision to go gluten-free, suspecting gluten may be at the root of your health issues, I’m sure you are overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to learn.
I understand. I’ve been there. And yes, it’s okay to throw a little temper tantrum or pity party. Mourn the loss of your Grandma’s cake. It’s alright to grieve. It’s a life change, after all.
But it’s also good to get a game plan. Here are a few basics to help you get started on your gluten-free journey.
1. Simple, unprocessed food is best/easiest. Fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and plain rice can be excellent staples. The best part? No label-reading. Which brings us to our next step…
2. Learn to read labels. There are a lot of words that can mean “gluten” on a product. Of course, buying something labeled or certified “gluten-free” can help, but there are also many products out there that aren’t labeled as such that are still okay. Here is a good list of what to look for on your labels.
Go through your kitchen. Either toss (or place in a designated section of your refrigerator and pantry for the gluten-eaters) any items containing gluten. If you have any open condiments in jars, such as peanut butter, butter, jelly, mayonnaise, etc, either mark them for gluten eaters only or toss – if a knife has been in there with bread crumbs on it, it’s no longer safe.
Menu planning is your friend. If you even loosely plan out your meals, and make a grocery list from that plan, you can feel prepared and more in control of your meals, ensuring they are gluten-free (and keeping the 5pm what-will-we-eat-for-dinner panic to a minimum). Bonus points if you schedule in some food preparation in advance (think hard-boiled eggs, cut up veggies, fruit, slow cooker soup to freeze, etc.) for times when your schedule doesn’t allow for cooking.
Join a community. You aren’t on this journey alone. There are many gluten-free/celiac communities all over the United States. There are forums out there. Thankfully, there are a good many gluten-free bloggers out there too – we’re all here to help. Reach out and ask questions. Together, we’ll find the answers!
Want some more gluten-free living tips? Check out my Living Gluten and Dairy-Free page!
Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.