Going completely gluten-free is one of the most difficult, yet healthiest lifestyle choices you can do. Opting for foods and beverages that don’t have any gluten are not easy to find. At the same time, you mostly have to prepare your own meal instead of ordering outside because honestly, you don’t trust the food being completely gluten-free.
Plus, when you’re a gluten-free person, grocery takes longer compared to other people. And you have to prepare your grocery list in advance to make you’re getting all the essentials you need. But don’t worry because all these efforts and change of lifestyle, are worth it.
Going completely gluten-free provides plenty of health benefits. It can reduce the risk of chronic inflammation, ease digestive symptoms, promote healthy weight loss, and boost energy. Gluten-free diet is also a lifelong necessity for people who are suffering from celiac disease.
If you already decided to go gluten-free, or if you’re just getting started, here are five of the best tips for beginners!
Stick to easier gluten-free food swaps
Switching to gluten-free can be overwhelming, especially when you’re just new. But if you start replacing the major food sources of gluten, your gluten-free journey will become more manageable.
Here are simple examples:
- Replace your regular bread with gluten-free bread. This can be easily found on many grocery stores.
- Opt for gluten-free crackers instead of your usual crackers.
- Reach for gluten-free flour and pasta for that guilt-free carb intake.
- Start swapping your usual sauce and condiment into gluten-free versions.
Additionally, take some time to get familiarized with the grocery stores. Most of them have sections intended for gluten-free and natural foods.
Be careful for gluten cross contamination
Unfortunately, if you’re the only one who’s on a gluten-free diet in your home, you can still eat gluten unintentionally due to cross contamination.
Cross contact with gluten can happen when a non-gluten food is placed near the gluten-free food. And if you accidentally used the same utensils for food with gluten.
Here are some advice to avoid this from happening:
- Always have a separate butter knife or spoon for gluten-free and non-gluten-free spreads. It’s best if you label each one or have them in color coding so that all family members are aware.
- Gluten-free and non gluten-free foods must be prepared on different food prep surfaces and cutting board.
- Label each condiment, sauces, flour, and bread, and have them stored separately to avoid mixing them up in meals.
- Observe table manners both at home and when eating outside. Your family members should respect your boundary when it comes to food choices. They shouldn’t get food from your plate to avoid gluten cross contamination.
Focus on natural gluten-free edibles
Many people think that completely going gluten-free is less enjoyable. But the truth is, it’s all about focusing on what you should eat, rather than feeling bad about what you cannot eat.
There are plenty of delicious and natural gluten-free edibles you can enjoy. Like fruits & veggies, some low-fat dairy products, eggs, lean meat, fish, poultry, non-processed foods, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans in their unprocessed form.
In short, foods that are already processed mostly contain gluten additives. That’s why you should always stick to all-natural and fresh foods for that complete, gluten-free lifestyle.
Watch out for sneaky sources of gluten
Many people who are going on a gluten-free diet often overlooked sneaky sources of gluten. It’s because gluten goes by various names. They can be labeled as — starches, artificial flavors, malt, and caramel coloring.
In addition to the list are gravy, sauces, alcohol, condiments, malt vinegar, and soups. These are also commonly missed hidden sources of gluten.
In order to stay completely gluten-free, you have to devote more time to reading labels, and do thorough research about the ingredients that you should avoid to help you find hidden gluten in foods.
Plan ahead and ask for support
To make your gluten-free lifestyle easier and more enjoyable, you can join support groups or online communities. Surrounding yourself with people who share common goals with you can make your journey easier and better.
Plan your daily meals and check your grocery lists frequently, so you will have enough time to prepare for your gluten-free diet. This way, you don’t have to waste time on the store figuring out what foods you should buy. Or spend a very long time thinking about your meal for today.
Lastly, make it a habit to continuously learn about recipes and experiment in prepping different gluten-free meals. As you get used to this lifestyle, you’ll love making foods that you can also share with non-gluten-free eaters. Who knows? You might encourage them to join your journey one day!
Go farther with a healthier lifestyle by going completely gluten-free!