Food plays a huge part in our daily lives. It enhances experiences and keeps us from being completely ravenous. But once we’re accustomed to eating certain types of food especially from a specific culture, it comes as a complete shock when we’ve newly discovered that we have to eliminate gluten from our diets. You’re no longer free to eat as you please. Now you have to actually pay attention to what you’re eating a find a healthier alternative to what you’re accustomed to.
For those of you out there who are new to the gluten-free lifestyle, you’ll agree that it can be difficult to stay motivated sometimes. Here are some tips that have gotten me through this journey.
1. Do your research
Just because you are on a strict diet doesn’t mean you have to miss out on eating out with friends and family. Many restaurants are now aware of their gluten-free customers, and they want to do anything to keep them coming back. So take advantage of it! Before picking a restaurant, scan some of you’re favorite restaurant menus online. Usually, there is an allergen statement of some sort at the bottom of the menu. This will give you an idea on what your options are. If you’re running short on time, you can always as the waiter what gluten-free options they have. They will either tell you off the top of their head or give you a specially made gluten-free menu. You always have the option to tweak up your meal to make it gluten-free.
Before going out grocery shopping, do a little research on the normal food items you usually head for. If you have some favorites, research the ingredients online to make sure it’s gluten-free. This will save you some time at the store. But don’t worry, once you get the feel of how to shop for gluten-free items, shopping will go a lot smoother and quicker.
2. Keep your kitchen stocked
There’s nothing worse than opening the fridge to find out you have absolutely nothing to eat. It makes it that much easier to order some take away that may or may not be gluten-free. Don’t take your chances! Make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand at all times. This will at least give you enough time to be wise about choosing your next meal.
3. Eat before going out
If your friends or family invite you over to their place for a meal, unless they also eat gluten-free, don’t count on their meal to be gluten-free. Eat beforehand or offer to take a side dish or two. That way you don’t feel like you’re missing out and you won’t be tempted to take “just one bite” of that chicken fried steak. It’s never “just one bite.”
4. Think about the consequences
Every person is different when it comes to being “glutened.” For me, it’s days of bed rest because of stabbing pains in my stomach, depression, cold sores, and other stomach surprises… For others, it could be worse, different, or sometimes not as bad. Despite the after effects, gluten is doing damage to your body. You don’t feel any good after you’ve eaten it, and you could also be making yourself more sensitive to other foods. You don’t want to have to cross out any other foods off the list!
Mindset: If you eat gluten-free foods, you will be more energetic, confident, and your body will thank you for it later.
Disclaimer: I am in no way a health expert, but if you have any questions about making your gluten-free lifestyle a little easier, please don’t hesitate to ask! I’ll try my best to help.