3 Important Tips for the Gluten-Free Advocate
Being gluten-free has been become more commonplace than ever. There are more options at restaurants, and grocery store aisles have been flooded with gluten-free products. But does this new craze really need all of this attention? Is it really all that "new"? Here are a few tips to improve your gluten-free experience:
Don't approach being gluten-free as a diet
It can be super easy to want to approach being gluten-free as a diet, and want to look up all new recipes and products. Stop. Many foods are already gluten-free, and you don’t necessarily need to buy certified gluten-free products. For example, fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy are gluten-free. It’s how you prepare these foods that makes the difference. You’ll want to eat new foods, and create a positive experience for yourself, not just sort foods by gluten-free or not.
Make Gradual Changes
Eating gluten-free is not only a way to reduce symptoms of celiac disease, but also a way to reduce inflammation in your body. If you abruptly stop eating gluten, you may begin to crave gluten foods and go into a crazy binge-eating downward spiral - yikes! To avoid this, look at the meals you’ve always made, and see what you can substitute for something healthier. For example, wheat pasta can be replaced with brown rice pasta.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Knowing your body is super important, and how it reacts to this new way of eating is crucial. There’s a reason you started eating this way, and you need to make sure it’s right for you. For some, the abdominal pain was too great after eating foods with gluten, or they felt bloated, had a headache or even felt dizzy. Whatever the reason, be sure this way of eating is improving your health. It may be a good idea to write down what you eat each day for the first couple of weeks, and then note how your body responds. This will help you make more informed decisions about food.
If you know exactly why you became an advocate for being gluten-free, make sure your decisions align with that goal. Why am I using the word advocate? Because 'you are what you eat', as the saying goes. You also believe that being gluten-free is the best decision for you.