Finding out you have food allergies can be overwhelming. Or maybe (like my caregiver/mom) you develop diverticulitis and have to majorly adjust your diet after 60 years of eating a particular way. Whatever your reason is for going Gluten free, I hope these tips can help you get started and not be so overwhelmed.
- LOOK FOR SUPPORT- Don’t try to do this all by yourself. It may sound easy but you are actually changing a lifelong habit…what you put in your mouth. That may affect where you go out with friends/family, where you grocery shop and how you cook. If you find groups (in-person or online) that you can join, they will provide you with constant ideas, support and help make things not seem so daunting. There’s actually some funny books you can red about it! Granted I do not have Celiac, but I do have many food allergies. I totally recommend reading Celiac And The Beast by Erica Dermer for a hilarious look at some of the curve balls this lifestyle change may throw at you. Trust me… it’s funny (and still informative).
- KNOW YOUR WHY– Keeping in mind WHY you are doing this is extremely important and will help make those times of weakness easier to fight off. Educate yourself on WHY you need to make adjustments to your diet, how it will help you and how NOT doing it will hurt you. Make the knowledge tangible and memorable so it is not just a floating concept around your head…
- START SIMPLE– You’re not a chef or an all knowing gluten free wizard (if you are…no offense). Don’t try to make the most amazing culinary creations at first. For example…I wanted to make Gluten Free bread. I have never baked bread. So naturally the first few batches took some experimenting and I found myself crying in the kitchen exclaiming I would never eat bread again because of my stupid allergy to gluten. There is a light at the end of the tunnel people. Start by simplifying your diet and expand over time when you become more comfortable with gluten free brands, grocery stores, recipes you like, etc.
- FIND YOUR GO-TO STORE– You might currently have a go-to, close-by grocery store or convenience store that you can run into for a necessary last minute item. Depending on what the store is now, you may have to adjust that and learn about new stores in your area. At first it can be a pain but slowly you will adjust your habits and funny enough your car will start driving right to the new store! Amazing how that happens
- BE PREPARED FOR TIMES OF WEAKNESS– Cause it will definitely happen. Eliminating things from your diet is like quitting smoking or anything else that you’ve had for years. It will take time for your body to adjust, and just like anything else, you will have minor withdrawals in the form of cravings. I honestly thought I wanted to eat an entire loaf of bread one night! (My house and spouse weren’t gluten free yet so it was still sitting on the counter tempting me).
- EMBRACE YOUR NEW NORMAL AND DON’T APOLOGIZE– This is not a phase or a fad diet. You are likely doing this for medical reasons. You don’t need to give every friend or curious family member the run-down on your medical “issues” but you can express that you are now gluten free so will likely have modifications to your usual family dinners, places you meet out, etc. This is NOT SOMETHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR. This is keeping you healthy(er) than you have been while suffering from an allergy. Your friends/family/co-workers will adjust and support it quicker than you expect.
- BE ADVENTUROUS- Changing your diet may require you to give up your favorite Italian food restaurant or your weekly go-to spot for lunch. Don’t cry over spilled milk… be excited to find NEW places! This is an opportunity for you to look into new recipes, new restaurants, new websites, new, new, new! While change is scary for everyone, it can also bring some pretty cool opportunities to find things you may like even more! So be open to that… gluten free living is’t all so bad. In fact…. I like it!
If you read this article, I imagine you know what gluten actually is. If not, you may want to check out another post I did on what it is along with some food item recommendations. CLICK ME FOR BLOG POST
If you have any questions, we have lots of knowledge and resources in this area so please… ask away!Back to posts