Are you new to being gluten-free? Do you wish you could ask someone like me or any number of other folks who you follow on the web for advice about how to do it?
Imagine this: You just found out your diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and you’ve no idea what to do. You love glutenous food and this feels like a death sentence. Coincidentally you run into an old friend who’s been gluten-free for quite awhile. Your friend is in a hurry and only has a few minutes to chat, so you ask “Could you share with me 3 tips to go gluten-free?”
Not only did I ask quite a few awesome folks all over the webspace, but I also asked YOU! Over on the Gluten Free School Facebook page, I asked you to weigh in and share your 2 or 3 cents. I picked the best and shared them here!
If you need a helping hand with going gluten-free, I’ve got a ton of experience in this department to share with you. Check out a free audio class I recorded that you can learn from by CLICKING HERE!
Erica Dermer of Celiac and the Beast.com
“Take the time to mourn. So you’ve just been diagnosed. Take a few days and be sad. Write letters to whole-wheat pasta, Dunkin’ Donuts, and every other item you’re so bummed out about. Sit in your bathroom and cry that you have an autoimmune disease. Shed a tear every time you hear your friends talking about staying in and ordering a pizza. Cuss out your gluten-filled food as you throw it all away in a massive trash bag.
Okay, are you done yet?
After you’re done feeling sorry for yourself, buck up and realize that everything is going to be okay. Your life won’t be worse – your life will only be different. You’re going to start paying attention to everything you consume, and honestly – I am happy about it now (even though it took me several years). You will start being more in-tune with your body and the fuel it needs to run properly than before. And really, that letter you wrote to the pink frosted donut will seem silly in a year from now.”
Theresa Pease — “Buy a almond flour cookbook and read the grams of sugar on pre-package gluten-free goodies like crackers and cookies because the ingredients, mostly rice & potato flour, will spike your blood sugar!”
Lynn Mendelsohn — “Throw out all of your old pans as they will be laced with gluten and very easy to contaminate your new baking/cooking!”
Rebecca Black of Pretty Little Celiac.com
“This is not an overnight fix. It takes trial and error so you can’t beat yourself up about going gluten-free. Mistakes will happen, you just have to learn from them.
Seek out others online or in person to help you. There are lots of resources available online to find answers and support, you just have to look for them.”
Janet Vines — “Ask yourself how much longer you want diarrhea. How many more days of pain. Then, change what eat every day. One change a day.”
Sandie-Jeff Shackleford — “Know that your family and friends will not fully understand or relate to your new way of life. Be patient with them and always go to gatherings prepared with snacks/foods safe for you to eat.”
Taylor Miller of Gluten Away.com
“Research and learn about the basics of what gluten can be hidden in so you know you can be safe and heal correctly.
Buy lots of fruits, meats, and veggies and learn to experiment and cook with these since you’ll be eating a lot of them. Have fun with it!”
Elaine Morrison — “Don’t cheat and use high protein flours as much as you can. Carbs are higher and you crave too many sugars. Eat, your veggies, meats and fruits more than carbs.”
Claressa Ellinger — “Learn ways to deal with stress; which can include breath works, yoga, exercising, and walking. Most of all, be patient with your self. This is now the path you must walk in order to be healthy.”
Jules Shepard of Jules Gluten Free.com
“Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first. Taking time to explore all that the fresh fruits and veggies, as well as the dairy cases, have to offer, will help you quickly realize how much food there is left that you can still enjoy. Plus, re-building your new diet around the foods that are best for you is the best way to get and stay healthy.
Find a local GIG or other celiac support group and join it! Even if you are gluten sensitive, not celiac, these groups are a wonderful source of recipes, information on local safe restaurants and just plain ol’ support that you will need in making the transition.
Find a good, reliable book and read it word for word, carry it with you to the store as you shop, and rely on its information. Don’t allow yourself to go crazy with internet searches – at least not right away. There is too much misinformation about the gluten-free diet and about gluten-free products, and it can be very overwhelming, not to mention difficult to cull through to find the accurate sources.”
Michelle Sauter — “That it is a compete life style change inside and out. You must be your own advocate at all times.”
Beckie Mccord — “If you can look at this as a change that will increase your health, instead of deprivation, you will be happier. You can do this! One step at a time. One day at a time. One bite at a time. Embrace the fact that you need to know the ingredients of everything you eat. Suspect everything. It will get easier!”
Ken Scheer of Rock a Healthy Lifestyle.com
“Focus on what you can eat versus what you can’t and embrace the change as an opportunity not a curse.
Research restaurants that cater to your new lifestyle.
Build your own support network and empower someone to be your guide, mentor and rock.”
Linda White Wiles — “It seems overwhelming at first, but once you get your mind warped around it, it’s not all that difficult. Learn from others, read, ask questions. It’s all how you must train your brain, in excepting this new lifestyle. You and only you are your best advocate! Don’t except others to know, understand or accept. you bring your own meals/snacks. Most people don’t mind listening or learning.”
Karen Ryder — “Don’t concentrate on what you can’t have, concentrate on all that you can have and there’s a bunch.”
Julie Geis — “Shop the outside edges of the grocery store. The center is all processed goods (typically that contain gluten) at least until you become familiar with the safe processed foods. It is the easiest way to start that is not intimidating.”
Nearissa Kasper — “I have 2 of everything in the house. My hubby is not gluten free and refuses to go. So I have my own chopping board and my own margarine or butter.”
Steve and Jordan of SCD Lifestyle.com
“Keep it simple! Focus on eating meats, fruits, vegetables and nuts not the processed boxed gluten-free stuff, don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.
Get creative and have fun, you have the opportunity to try all kinds of new foods and cooking styles. This isn’t a curse it’s a blessing.
Remember that food buying, preparation and cooking are skills so have patience because you are re-learning how to live in this area of your life.”
Vangie Perez — “Don’t cheat! Stay on your gf diet because it’s not worth the pain and ending up in the hospital.”
Jade Walker — “Feeling overwhelmed and like its going to be impossible is normal, there’s a lot to take in. Just take it one day at a time. Having a list of what not to eat helps, as there’s a lot of hidden gluten in things you wouldn’t think of. Don’t take kids shopping when doing your first few gluten free shops, as you’ll be spending a lot of time reading labels! And don’t forget your list!”
Amie Valpone says…
“Eat one ingredient foods such as avocado, eggs, organic lean turkey, chicken and vegetables. This way you don’t have to worry about reading labels!
Nuts and seeds are great sources of fats, vitamins and minerals but be sure to check the packages to make sure they’re not made in facility that may have gluten contamination. Steer clear of bulk bins where people can use the same ‘scooper’ for wheat products and gluten-free products.
Make-up, lotions, toothpaste and other beauty products may contain gluten. Remember, whatever you put onto your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream!”
Want more info? I dish on how the top 10 spots you’ve got to start with when going gluten-free in this class.
Leave a comment below:
What are your top 3 tips you would share with a newly diagnosed friend?