Going Gluten Free

So you’re going gluten free.

Don’t worry it’s all going to work out.

It just takes a bit to get used to everything. The label reading, the sudden realization you’re favourite foods are no longer an option. Meals that were once easy now require 1001 ingredients, planning and preparation. Worse yet was trying to travel – get food on the go, especially by plane. As a 30 something I can tell you that was worse than knowing Montreal bagels were now a forbidden food. Every trip now required an added level of strategy to know what I could eat quickly on the go without causing myself insufferable pain for the duration of the flight.

There is an upside. You feel fantastic. No really, it’s unbelievable. Especially after (if like me) it took years to figure out why my stomach was in such a state for probably longer than I even knew. No longer do I suffer from continuous bouts of migraines, and I can more easily control my weight. Gone are the stomach pains and bloating which used to plague me on a daily basis.

The first three months are the toughest. Grocery shopping takes forever, going out to eat becomes a chore and you’re constantly checking a re-checking ingredients. Pretty soon you get into a rhythm and things become easier. You have a plan, you know what to look for and what to stay clear of.

One of the best blogs I found to walk me through all the new ingredients was the Gluten Free Goddess and her Gluten Free Cheat Sheet it’s been indispensable and her recipes are delicious!

Here’s some tips I’ve found helpful along the way:

  1. Fire up that BBQ – When in doubt, grilled meat and veggies are a tasty and easy GF meal.
  2. Get to know your local bulk food store – this is the best place to find a variety of GF flours & starches at reasonable prices.
  3. Get comfortable mixing your own combinations of GF flours – you’ll find it easier to control tastes and textures even though it means you’ll need to keep more ingredients on hand. Trust me it’s worth it.
  4. Don’t feel bad about asking questions when you’re out to eat. Don’t assume anything. Restaurants are getting much better at providing GF options.
  5. Experiment and try things out – you only learn from doing!

 

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