Gluten-Free Living 101

Gluten Free Foods
By Be Well Health Coach Katrine van Wyk

Are you ready to cut out gluten once and for all?  Although the task can seem daunting at first, it’s really quite manageable by making a few small changes to your habits, and remembering to relish all of the delicious foods that are naturally gluten free!

Here are 5 easy tools to get you started.

1. Breakfast Plan

Make a plan for breakfast and avoid getting stuck picking up a bagel or sugary pastry on the go! A quick smoothie with Sustain or Recharge powder in the morning is easy, nourishing and delicious for people short on time.  Eggs are another great breakfast option – soft boiled only takes a few minutes to prepare, or whip up an omelet or frittata full of vegetables chopped the night before.  Have you considered leftover grains for breakfast?  Warm up your quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice with coconut milk, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla. Delicious with a touch of maple syrup and coconut oil!

2. Get Familiar with the Alternatives

Instead of reaching for the gluten-free processed foods (a cookie is still a cookie) familiarize yourself with naturally gluten-free whole foods.  Quinoa, buckwheat, millet, wild rice and amaranth are delicious grains that are also good for you. If you like baking, you’re in luck!  There are thousands of delicious gluten-free recipes online.  Try one out that uses coconut or almond flour instead like these carrot banana muffins. Don’t forget your fruits and veggies! Baked sweet potatoes are a healthy and satisfying alternative when you crave something sweet and soft.  It’s hard not to see this sweet potato and spinach salad as a treat!

3. Wrap It Up

There is something so convenient about a sandwich or a wrap. Luckily, going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give that up. Try using collard leaves, romaine lettuce or nori (the seaweed used for sushi) instead.  Some brown rice, cucumber and avocado make a great sushi style roll. Grated carrots, sunflower seeds, sprouts and lettuce work great in a collard wrap, or try some leftover chicken, mustard and tomato in a romaine lettuce cup.  Fresh, healthy, and convenient too.

4. You Can Still Go Out

Fret not. Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit or never eat out with your friends. When you first make the switch, use the Boy Scout tactic and Be Prepared! Be the one to pick the restaurant if you can, and try to take a few minutes to check out the menu online before you go.  When you know which delicious options on the menu are gluten-free, it will be easier to make a wise choice when it’s time to order.  Get in the habit of looking for the possibilities!  Even Italian restaurants usually have a clean fish or protein dish, or you could always make a meal in a place with plenty of vegetable sides. That being said, maybe stay clear of a pizzeria for now ;)

5. Cut Yourself Some Slack

For many of us, going gluten-free can be a big change from our usual eating habits and daily routine. Take it step by step! You could start by committing to the switch at breakfast.  Stick with that for a few weeks and then tackle lunch and dinner. Go easy on yourself and celebrate the healthy choices you’re making everyday.

I hope you’re feeling inspired and excited to try some new delicious foods that also happen to be gluten-free!  If you’re hungry for more tips and great recipes, check out Dr. Frank Lipman’s Pinterest page, packed with gluten-free goodies and cleanse friendly recipes.

Have a favorite tip for going gluten-free?  We’d love to hear it, so please share with our community in the comments below.

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