Gluten-Free Rules for Beginners: The First Month
One of the important aspects of starting the gluten-free diet is to do it right. Whether you are gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease, beginning a gluten-free diet can be difficult in the first month. The transition to a strict gluten-free diet is more complicated than you may think. For the people that have celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant a gluten-free diet is a must to stay healthy and feel good. In this article I will discuss how to make this journey with ease and confidence
Diving into a gluten-free diet without understanding ingredients and products and why eliminating gluten from your diet is so important is a big mistake. You must know that even a small amount of gluten can make someone with celiac disease very sick or for gluten-intolerant people very uncomfortable, you know… the bloating and cramping in your stomach? For example, spices. We all know that spices should be gluten-free, but because most spices are processed in the same place as wheat, cross-contamination with gluten may happen. So, it is essential to read your labels
Pantry & Utensils Clean Up
If you are the only one in your family that is gluten-intolerant dedicate a space in your pantry for only gluten-free products and your personal cutting board. A cutting board is one of the easiest ways to cross-contaminate food with gluten. All other equipment must be put through the dishwasher on a hot cycle or throughly washed with hot soapy water
Stock Up & Plan Ahead
Make a list of essential gluten-free ingredients for your pantry before you go shopping. Some of the basics are, various flours and flour blends, pasta, rice, spices, condiments, canned goods such as tomato sauce, coconut milk, various broths, legumes, etc. By planning ahead, you can always throw an easy gluten-free meal together, and you won’t be tempted to eat out. When you are a beginner, I would suggest to stock up on healthy gluten-free products such as cereals, bread, snacks, cookies, pizza dough, and soups. This will help you stay on track when cooking is not an option. In order to follow a strict gluten-free diet and succeed your pantry must be well stocked with gluten-free ingredients and products. In addition, always stock up on fresh produce
Recipes & Research
It can be quite overwhelming to search for online gluten-free recipes and tips. I had done a lot of research before I started my www.onlyglutenfreerecipes.com website and found that not all recipes are created equal. My recommendation would be, try recipes from various sites and then stick to the ones that work best for you. In the first month, stick to simple recipes until you get more comfortable with various gluten-free products, that way you will not get discouraged.
Travelling & Restaurants
This is a painful subject for me. Today, many restaurants provide gluten-free options on their menu. Don’t be fooled! Unless the restaurant has a dedicated section only for gluten-free cooking, do not order the meal. I have been to many restaurants and questioned the server about how their gluten-free meals are prepared. Most of the time the answer was “they are gluten-free” couldn’t give me any more information. So, I checked out the kitchens in a couple of restaurants that promoted gluten-free food on their menu. To my despair, I found that all the gluten-free meals were cooked with the same utensils, in the same pots, used the same cutting boards as the other food, and always used bulk spices which are most likely contaminated with gluten. But of course, the pasta was gluten-free. So again don’t be fooled. As far as travelling, I always prepare non-perishable food to go, this way I am not tempted to eat gluten-free food in restaurants that may be cross-contaminated with gluten, and ladened with salt and sugar. A quick note, there are more and more 100% gluten-free restaurants opening now. Check out your area and read the reviews before you chose one. I have been fortunate to enjoy gluten-free meals without being glutened in these restaurants
Cheating Is Detrimental To Your Health
Just very quickly on this subject. To cheat even a small amount of gluten may set your health back for months. So why do it? Now that you started to feel better by following a strict gluten-free diet it is NOT worth it!
To succeed with this diet, you must understand how important it is to follow a strict gluten-free diet. Starting out a gluten-free diet can be overwhelming at first, but once you start feeling healthier and more energetic, you will stick to it. If you get glutened don’t despair, drink a lot of water and get back on track. Whatever your reasons are for following a gluten-free diet, you will find that your quality of life will change to better
To your health!
Note; I have included links to gluten-free products that I personally use and highly recommend. For a more detailed selection of gluten-free products check out our online store.
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