Sometimes making the transition to a gluten-free diet is one of the hardest parts of understanding you have a gluten intolerance!
Yes, you heard that right!! It happened to me!!! This is the hard truth!!!
Most people with a gluten intolerance do not realize that they are suddenly faced with the hard fact that they need to change almost everything about the way they eat!
This initial stage is a hard realization that you need to stop eating… ok, get ready and take a deep breath… foods you grew up eating and have become accustomed to for most of your life…. there, I said it!!
You want to feel better, cure your headaches, and improve your indigestion by changing your diet, but actually doing it can be a bit of a culture shock as many of the foods you eat on a daily basis will no longer be ‘allowed’ and you need to become a stickler for reading ingredient lists on everything you eat… unless you eat fruits and veggies all the time…
Not to worry! Here are some simple tips for transitioning to a gluten-free diet ASAP!
Start With Your Favorite Gluten-Free Foods
When you are making the transition to a gluten-free diet, you should first consider what foods you already eat that will still be allowed. This piece of information alone makes it easier for you because you can rely on some of your classic staples that you enjoy eating on a regular basis without feeling like you are missing out on anything!
For example, most vegetables and fruits you eat as a part of your daily diet are already a part of a healthy gluten-free diet and can be enjoyed every day!
These are foods like sliced avocados with lemon and salt (my favorite), celery sticks and carrots with dip or orange slices and apples as a snack. Berries and pineapple are delicious any time of day and leafy greens compliment eggs for breakfast well.
Traditionally cooked meats can also be eaten, though you need to be careful with processed meat, such as packaged deli meat and beef jerky as they may use gluten during processing and packaging.
Buy Gluten-Free Substitute Products
While you may eventually want to start making some food items from scratch to avoid unwanted fillers or undisclosed ingredients, the transitional period may be a challenge. During this time, it is helpful to find some gluten-free substitutes for the gluten filled foods you should avoid.
For example, you can usually find replacements for your favorite type of breads, biscuits, cookies, crackers, and cereals in the gluten-free (dry and frozen) sections of your grocery store.
Yes, there are lots of options available! Many people are surprised at the magnitude of gluten-free choices available in traditional grocery stores!
It used to be that only health food stores sold substitutes which were much more expensive than the standard forms of these foods, but since gluten-free has become more and more popular, it is easier to find replacements at your local supermarket.
Find Friends Who Want to Join You
It can be hard when you are doing this alone! Try finding friends, family members or a group that focuses on reducing their gluten intake in order to help your transition become less painful.
Doing this makes it easier when researching recipes and finding new ones on Pinterest. Swapping ideas for meals and going out to restaurants won’t feel as uncomfortable and daunting as it could otherwise be if you were doing this alone.
If you have kids, you should transition them to a gluten-free diet as well. Children and very adaptable and may not even realize the changes as quickly as other adults. Start gradually by slowly replacing grains in their diets such as sliced bread and bagels before transitioning them to eliminating breaded proteins or snacks such as crackers and cereals so that the changes don’t seem as significant to them.
Making sure your entire family is on board will make things easier for you so that you do not have the temptations in your household. Get your family together to come up with delicious gluten-free meals to make the transition even easier. Planning a gluten free menu is not as overwhelming as you may think it is at the early stages.
Health is just around the corner for you and your family. Small steps will lead the way to big changes!
To your health,