Food is such a large and complex part of our lives, and it is very easy to take the things that you get to eat every day for granted. So any time you have to make an unexpected dietary shift, no matter the reason, it can be scary and overwhelming.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with celiac disease knows this reality all too well. The first and foremost suggested treatment is making an abrupt adjustment to a gluten-free diet. Although this process can, at first, feel like a full-time job in and of itself, most people only need a little guidance before they're able to comfortably settle into their new and healthier gluten-free lifestyle.
By removing gluten from your diet you are essentially:
Below are a few guidelines to consider if you need (or choose) to go gluten-free:
Consult With Your Physician and a Registered Dietitian
One of the most important steps to take in the early stages of going gluten-free is to set up an appointment with your healthcare provider. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions and receive immediate, credible information that is specific to your medical background.
It is also a good idea to locate a registered dietitian who will be part of the team that guides you on your gluten-free journey. These individuals are professionally trained to help you safely plan a gluten-free diet that is balanced, individualized, and geared to meet your nutritional needs.
There is an endless supply of books, blogs, and websites that outline the foundation for healthy gluten-free diets. The more time you commit to educating yourself, the more comfortable and confident you will become as you plan your meals and take trips to the grocery store. Here are a few fantastic resources to get you started:
How To Make Anything Gluten-Free by Becky Excell
Celiac Mommy-From My Gluten-Free Kitchen To Yours by Melissa Ontiveros
Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano
Living Gluten-Free For Dummies by Danna Korn
Clean Out Your Kitchen
Since your transition to a gluten-free lifestyle will most heavily impact the kitchen, it makes sense to start there with a clean slate. Take no prisoners when you raid your refrigerator, pantry, and cupboards. If it's got gluten, it's got to go! Rest assured, when you restock, there will be plenty of delicious gluten-free substitutes to satisfy any of your favorite foods that you're kicking to the curb.
Foods with gluten should not be mistaken for garbage, though. Take a trip to your local food bank and donate any of the items that they're willing to accept.
You will find that your diet is centered around buying unprocessed foods that are naturally gluten-free. Some of the more common options include:
Understanding what ingredients are in any of the processed products that you purchase is absolutely crucial to keeping gluten out of your house and out of your diet. Foods that are labeled as gluten-free must possess less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Qualifiers of foods that meet this guideline established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration include:
Foods that are identified as gluten-free have varying levels of nutrients, sugars, salt, and calories. Taking the time to carefully read labels provides you with detailed information to keep your gluten-free diet balanced and healthy.
Connect With a Gluten-Free Support Group
Support groups are designed to help participants makes connections as part of an empathetic community. People who are switching to a gluten-free lifestyle are certainly no exception. Whether your reason is medical or optional, you will experience social camaraderie and benefit by learning skills from other like-minded individuals about shopping, cooking, eating out, and adjusting.
There are searchable database websites where you can find in-person or online gluten-free support that is right for you.
GREEN BAY'S FINEST ORGANIC, GLUTEN-FREE, AND VEGAN BAKERY
Perhaps the best advice for someone who is going gluten-free is to simply take a breath and embrace your new, healthier lifestyle.
If you are looking for a way to reap the health benefits of going gluten-free without sacrificing the flavor of your favorite foods, visit us at Naturally Delightful. Our custom cakes, sweet treats, breakfast options, and anytime meals are all prepared gluten-free. We also have lots of keto options available for our customers who want to cut the carbs without cutting the taste. Whether you are planning a big event or just looking to satisfy a personal craving, Naturally Delightful offers all of our customers a 100% satisfaction and smile guarantee!