Eating a gluten free diet is a very basic, not to mention delicious, way of eating. At first, you will probably spend a few weeks researching, reading labels and learning what the gluten free diet is all about. Do yourself a favor and don’t rush out and buy all of the pre-made gluten free products in an attempt to replace your beloved pizza, bread, pasta and brownies. Instead, focus on all of the fresh, whole foods that you can enjoy while allowing your body to heal. You can also get started on building your gluten free recipe bank.
Build Your Meals from Mother Nature’s Bounty
One of the best ways to ensure success on your gluten free journey is to eat whole foods. Whole foods are described as those that are as close as possible to their original form. This largely includes fruits, vegetables and proteins such as beef, fish and chicken; foods which are commonly found around the periphery of a grocery store. In fact, it would serve you well to not even venture into the middle aisles of the market, as they’re largely filled with processed foods anyway. Not only are processed foods unhealthy, they’re also notorious for hidden gluten. Instead, focus on fresh, natural, organic, locally grown food if you can, especially if that means buying your produce at the local farmers’ market. Be sure to include three ounces of protein in every meal, whether it is fresh fish, chicken, grass-fed beef, pork or farm-raised eggs. One-half to three-quarters of each meal should consist of fresh vegetables; the more colorful, the better. Also be sure to include healthy fats like organic butter, cold-pressed olive oil, grapeseed oil and coconut oil. These fats will not cause you to gain weight; instead, they are essential for optimal health. Finally, use fresh herbs, drink lots of water and eat whole grains, such as rice, quinoa, teff and buckwheat, in moderation.
Finding Good Gluten Free Recipes
Collecting recipes isn’t as easy for gluten free people as it is for people who choose eat grains like wheat, rye and barley. Some of the bigger recipe bank websites have dedicated gluten free sections, so it’s worth checking out your favorite recipe site to see if they have a selection of gluten free recipes. Also, consider visiting some blogs that feature real-life people who live gluten free every day. Not only do many of these sites offer recipes, they also recommend products, techniques and tips to get you on your way to being free from gluten.
Some helpful gluten free blogs include:
If you prefer to feel paper between your fingers, consider one of these favored gluten free cookbooks:
- “1,000 Gluten Free Recipes” by Carol Fenster, PhD
- “Easy Gluten Free Baking” by Elizabeth Barbone
- Any book by “The Gluten-Free Gourmet,” aka Bette Hagman
Don’t Fancy Yourself a Cook or a Baker?
The great thing about eating whole foods is that they are easy to prepare, even without a recipe. Roasted veggies, grilled meat and steamed rice create a complete meal that you can prepare without even cracking a cookbook. So, even if you aren’t a wiz in the kitchen, you will find that gluten free cooking is easy and fun. However, there will likely come a time, once you become acclimated to living without the taste of gluten, that you want to try some of the ready-made gluten free products on the market. In fact, these premade products make maintaining a gluten free diet easy. From snacks to staple ingredients to prepared desserts, you’ll find a wide variety of tasty gluten free products available today.