10 Steps to Jump Start your GF Journey

What CAN I eat?
Where do I shop?
What do I buy?
Can I eat out?

Gluten is the protein from 3 grains:

Wheat, Barley & Rye (and although it is not technically a gluten grain, some people find oats bother them because the proteins are very similar). Eating GF can be very overwhelming AT FIRST but these 10 tips will help prevent added pounds, expenses and marketing traps.

1. Know your Glutens.

Not just the 3 grains above, but their code names in the ingredient lists. Just because a product says ‘wheat free’ doesn’t mean it’s GF. Here is a great link to keep on your smart phone.

2. Eat products in their ‘natural’ state.

No, we did not say eat products labeled ‘natural’. Eat veggies, fruit, meat, fish, beans and nuts in the form they were grown. You will save LOTS of money (and calories) if you aren’t exchanging gluten for gluten free (see #3).

3. Don’t eat gluten, but don’t eat gluten free either.

Gluten free products are often made with grains with higher glycemic index (sugar in our body). Sugary snacks = tighter slacks. Just because a pasta is GF doesn’t make it ok. Pasta should be a once or twice a month treat (and portions need to be watched closely!). Sure, we can exchange a few items for GF fav’s, but a donut is still a donut regardless of the grain.

4. Beware of the GF label.

Check out the ‘Gluten Free’ label on the chicken photo. Chicken is not a grain – therefore (without gluten seasonings) is always gluten free!! Many companies use this labeling to fool the consumer. A potato chip is made from potatoes (see tip #2- potatoes are not a gluten grain). And potato chips are not healthy (see tip #3).

5. Gluten Free isn’t always Gluten Free.

Domino’s has recently announced their new gluten free pizza. (Again -see #3), but there is NO WAY I will be heading to Domino’s for a slice of pie! Sure, the crust is made with gluten free ingredients, but pretty sure the teenager in the kitchen isn’t losing sleep over me being up all night with belly pain. Chipotle’s advertises their GF menu but I watched an employee handle a flour tortilla on the counter, then change gloves for the GF patron -but then put the corn tortilla on the same counter… NO THANK YOU (see #6).

6. Say No Thank You.

Some people will bulge out or roll their eyes and say “I could never stop eating gluten!” but others will go out of their way to support your efforts. They will shop and cook for you. They will give you a treat they made and tell you it’s gluten free. You will eat it and you will get sick. Love the friend. Learn from the mistake and say NO THANK YOU.  It’s your belly pain, bloat, diarrhea, constipation, heart race, headache, brain fog. Not theirs.

7. Look at Menus and ASK.

Before you head out to celebrate with friends and family, go online and look at the restaurant’s menu. If there is nothing you like, call ahead and ASK to speak to a manager. Ask them if they can guarantee a meal be made GF – perhaps salad and unseasoned (see #8) grilled chicken or fish on a clean grill or aluminum foil.  If they say “what is gluten”, “yeah, pretty sure”, or “we can only offer a salad” eat before you go or ask your loved ones to change locations.

8. Seasonings and Broths Bite Back. 

Most seasonings, salad dressings and broths have gluten. You can shop for GF ones in the store, but beware of seasoned foods and soups prepared by friends, restaurants and cafeterias. If you haven’t prepared it, ask to see ingredients (see #1).

9. Love the Toddler in YOU.

This is YOUR diet choice. YOUR symptoms you are trying to reverse. YOUR future you want to change (prevent other conditions or symptoms). Expecting others to have what you need is silly.  Attention grown ups… think back to the time your babies were toddlers, would you ever leave home without their snacks? You need to treat yourself with the same love and respect. Shop and prepare meals. Have snacks in your car and purse. Eat before you go places that won’t have GF choices.

10. Cutting down on gluten doesn’t work.

Sure, you may find that you eat less carbs, but if you are hoping to reverse symptoms, you need to cut out 100% – ALL – gluten. It takes the immune system about 2 weeks to decrease ‘alarm’ and another 4 weeks to start to heal. So, cutting back for a week to ‘see if it works’ is useless.

Have a Happy Healthy GF day!



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