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How To Go Gluten Free
Going gluten free can be incredibly challenging. I have been eating completely gluten free since early 2012, and I remember how difficult it was to start. There is gluten in everything! Today I am sharing 7 tips on how to go gluten free.
My story: I suspected that I was having some issues with gluten in early 2012. I had struggled with digestive issues for most of my life, and despite seeing more than one doctor, I was left with no answers. I decided to try cutting gluten from my diet in a desperate attempt to start to feel normal again. Although I didn’t get an official diagnosis until 2013, I knew almost immediately that gluten had been the source of all of my problems. It was hard for me to cut out gluten. I hear people say “I could never do that” but I assure you, if I can do it, you can do it. My diet was based around foods like pasta, bread, and more pasta.
Maybe you, like me, suspect that you have a problem with gluten. Maybe you have an official diagnosis from a doctor and are trying to figure out where to start. I want to share my best tips for how to go gluten free with you. It’s a difficult journey, but it has been so rewarding and worth it. Going gluten free changed my life.
The one thing that you absolutely must start doing right now is reading labels.
2. It isn’t just the bread (seriously, read labels)
Gluten is everything. I know that it’s hard to give up traditional bread and pasta, but unfortunately it goes so far beyond that. Soy sauce, twizzlers, chicken broth. If you didn’t think that these items could have gluten in them, you’re wrong. I know I already said to read labels, but it is worth saying again, reading labels is critical.
3. Learn how to cook
If you already know how to cook, you are one step ahead of where I was when I went gluten free. Unless you like spending a lot of money, buying pre-made food won’t be much of an option. If you’re going gluten free for health reasons, pre-packaged food isn’t a very good choice anyway. Learn how to cook from scratch, and try your hand at freezer cooking. It really will make your life easier!
4. Find gluten free substitutes
This almost contradicts step #3, but it’s important. I don’t recommend eating a lot of gluten free pre-packaged food. It isn’t very healthy, and it’s also expensive. With that being said, it is important to find substitutes when you first begin your gluten free journey. If you REALLY want a bagel, it’s much better to have a gluten free bagel than to ruin your progress and have to start over again. Getting gluten out of your system for a minimum of 6 weeks is necessary to tell whether or not you actually have an issue with it. When I started to eat gluten free, I allowed myself to purchase one gluten free pre-packaged item per week. I found several products that I liked while I was in the process of learning to cook them myself.
5. Find gluten free restaurants online
Restaurants are finally realizing the need for gluten free menus. If you are planning a night out, check ahead of time to see if the restaurant has a gluten free menu. Sometimes restaurants will have special menus online that servers might not be aware of. Most larger chain restaurants now have gluten free menus and understanding staff, but it’s still a good idea to check ahead of time. Make sure to let the server know that you can’t have gluten. I always say allergy because if I say “Celiac disease” they might not have any idea what I am talking about.
6. Educate your friends and family
I spent a lot of time trying to convince everyone that eating gluten free wasn’t just a diet. Try to educate your friends and family about gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. If they won’t listen, don’t let it get to you. Going gluten free alone is not a good way to lose weight. Cutting gluten and other grains from your diet is a great way to eat healthier, but that wasn’t my intention when I started eating gluten free.
7. Find support online
Find gluten free blogs (like mine!), check out Pinterest, and find others that are eating gluten free within your social networks. It’s great to have support when you are first starting out.
These are my top 7 tips for how to go gluten free! Don’t worry, there will be lots more coming on the blog soon! Make sure to check out everything that I have posted in gluten free tips and gluten free recipes! I will also be posting a new gluten free recipe every Monday. Subscribe to my newsletter down below and make sure that you don’t miss out on anything. If you have any questions about how to go gluten free, please ask them in the comments below. I am always happy to help out in any way that I can!