How to go Gluten Free
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Published on Mar 14, 2012
How to go gluten free? I asked myself the very same question a couple of months ago. I 'm still learning about nutrition but the one gripe I have with the experts is they never tell you how. I don't know about you but it helps to know the how every once and a while...it makes things easier. Today, unlike many of the experts, I'm going to tell you how I went gluten free for 7 days with ease.
If you don't know what the big deal is about gluten you may want to read my "are you gluten intolerant blogpost". It will give you the whole story on why I decided to go gluten free.
Alright, here's how I did it and its step by step so even a baby could follow it. :)
Plan - I just didn't decide to go gluten free forever. I've failed before with diets and meal plans by thinking too long term. My philosophy is its easier to eat an elephant piece by piece then it is to try and eat it whole. I knew if I broke it down into a week, it would be easier for me to do then just going cold turkey. I'm not a crack addict but the thought of giving up cakes, cookies, and those hot buttered rolls at restaurants was a major downer for me :( When I broke it down to 7 days, It made it seem achievable. I can always commit to things I can achieve.
Harm's way - I took myself out of harm's way by making sure I had plenty of things to eat which didn't require bread. Have you ever given any thought to how easy it is to overdose on gluten? Think about it...I'm exaggerating her but there are about 7 million sandwich shops in any city. Its so easy to walk into one and order a sandwich. If you're part of corporate america, how many lunch and learn meetings do you have where pizza and sandwiches are the norm? Taking yourself out of harm's way means bringing your own lunch or finding alternatives. When in doubt, always get a salad but watch it...the dressings because sometimes they can contain gluten. Remember, bread is cheap and its plentiful.
Find Alternatives - One of the things I absolutely hated to give up when I went gluten free was pizza and cookies. I scoured the internet and blogs looking for alternative recipes and I found them. I was able to find a pizza recipe where the crust was made from almond flour. I was even able to find a cheese that was nondairy that actually melted and didn't taste like cardboard. By the way, coconut flour and almond flour have been absolute saviors in my quest to remain gluten free. You can make so many things from these gluten free flours!
Ask - Ask and ye shall receive. You would think that not partaking in the pleasantries of wheat anymore would limit my going to restaurants, right? Well it didn't. I learned how to ask my server how the food was prepared. If the server doesn't know then they check with the chef. This has been invaluable to me in not giving up the things I love to eat. For instance, I went to the Outback Steakhouse and I happen to love their Kookaburra wings but I knew they added flour to them before they cooked them. I asked my server could they prepare them without the flour and he asked the chef and they said yes. I was able to get my wing on! You can add this into your own 7 day strategy.
Cook - I cooked my own food so I know exactly what it contained .This is not often the case when you order out. Anyone can cook for 7 days, right?
Scout - Scout for gluten free friendly restaurants in your area. I was a bit down in the dumps because I had to give up burritos due to the wrap but I was able to find a great Mexican place near me that has corn tortillas. Now I can still enjoy my guacamole and mexican food. This actually came after the seven days but its good to know you can still enjoy your favorites if you're able to find restaurants in your area.
Read Labels - I read labels on everything I ate and had in my refrigerator. I was horrified when I saw soups and sauces in my refrigerator contained gluten. I ended up throwing them all out. I just didn't need the temptation.
These are tactics I used to go gluten free with ease. It took preparation and taking it day by day. I didn't focus on what I gave up...I focus on what I gained. After 7 days, I was convinced gluten wasn't for me because my arthritic knees just weren't bothering me anymore. I also had much less bloating and gas in my stomach. I plan to steer clear of gluten forever. Take this post and formulate your own plan on how to go gluten free in 7 days...it just might change your health!
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