Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Top 10 Pieces of Advice for Starting the Gluten Free Diet

I wanted to write a post for those just starting on the gluten free diet. Here are my top 10 pieces of advice for those starting out on the gluten free diet.

1) Say "Yes" to feeling good. It is harder than it sounds. You are at friends house and they bring out your favorite dessert or the whole dinner has gluten in it. Say "Yes" to feeling good by sticking to the diet no matter what.

2) When you grocery shop travel the outer parameter of the grocery store first. That is where you find produce, dairy, meat, things that are naturally gluten free.

3) Think outside the box. I like to tell people who are going gluten free to look at it like you are going to a foreign country. You are not going to expect to eat the same food in India that you eat in America. Look at Asian recipes that are based in rice or Mexican food that is based in corn. We have discovered lots of food from all over the world that is not based in gluten and taste amazing! I have discovered Asian Markets! They are amazing! I buy my potato and tapioca starch for next to nothing as well as discovering all kinds of Asian food I had never even heard of before.

4)You can keep your favorite food at a grill out simply by changing one thing. You can wrap your hamburger in a lettuce leaf instead of using bread. Instead of barbecue sandwich eat barbecue nachos corn chips.

5) Realize that a lot of what you eat is gluten free. Meat, potatoes, rice, vegetable, fruit are all gluten free!

6) The hardest part of the diet is the first 6 months. That is when you have to figure out how to shop, how to cook, how to explain it to others, how to eat out or how not to eat out. After 6 months you kind of have a routine down and it gets easier. It sometimes even starts to become fun. I love to find new foods or recipes to try.

7) The internet is a great resource to find list of what is or is not gluten free. There are a lot of wonderful resources out there. A great place to start I think is this website.

8) Find a good flour mix that you can substitute for most things. You can buy one at the store or make your own. My favorite flour mix is: 

1 cup rice flour
1 cup corn starch
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sorgum flour
4 tsp. xanthum gum

9) Most people eat 9 meals over and over. Type up those recipes with a list of ingredients you need. Take that to the grocery store with you and make sure you have what you need to make those meals. Also, make a list of gluten free snacks you like and buy those with your ingredients. That way you always have something to eat and never feel hungry. It is when you feel hungry that you feel deprived. 

10) Remember that even when this diet gets hard you can still eat sugar and chocolate! 

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