I started writing about something else, but I can’t work on that anymore. It will come shortly, but I’ve got a lot more research to do! However, at the new year, there are lots of people that have started a gluten free diet to satisfy their want for better health. If you want to eat gluten free, great, let’s do it!

Here are my top 10 rules for eating gluten free!

Eat whole fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy, rice, and unmarinated proteins for at least 3 to 6 months. It’s just a healthy diet for all. Of course you will feel better on this diet because you have cut out all the junk. Whether you add gluten filled or gluten free grains to this is up to you, but eating whole foods is always a good idea!

Eat enough and a wide variety of food. Many people when implementing a gluten free diet restrict their food too much for fear of having a gluten reaction, especially those with celiac disease. Restricting foods too much will lead to boredom and a lack of calories and an inability to continue the gluten free diet.

For those with celiac disease, after 1 year do a personal gluten challenge. This is not to hurt yourself, but it is an exercise in discovery. Everyone needs to understand their gluten reaction so that they can tell the difference between a gluten reaction and something else.

Here’s the perfect example, many people complain about being bloated and gassy after eating gluten free beans. People question whether the beans were really gluten free. They probably really are gluten free and the bloating and gassiness have nothing to do with celiac. Everyone gets bloated and gassy after eating beans because they are full of fiber.

Also, if you know your personal gluten reaction, you will never have to guess if you got glutened or not! You will know. And NO it will not set you back forever or kick you into a cancer state. I’ve talked to several doctors and researchers about this and they all agree it is a good idea.

Never expect anyone to understand or accommodate your dietary needs but always be grateful if they do. Celiac disease is our problem, not anyone else’s. Take care of yourself and make sure you are always prepared with snacks for the unexpected. This also will save a lot of heartache when “someone doesn’t respect your gluten free needs.” It isn’t their job. Its your job. You don’t expect them to pay your bills – think of the gluten free diet like that. If someone pays your bills you are grateful, but it is never expected.

Don’t let this diet take over your life and restrict you from going on vacation or enjoying friends and family. Sharing a meal is a large part of social interactions and can cause panic in those of us with gluten issues. Think about how long it took you to learn all you needed to know about a gluten free diet. Furthermore, expecting someone to be able to get your gluten free needs right for the one night you are at their house is unrealistic. When in social situations, always talk to the host about your needs, explain the difficulty, and offer to help them provide you something safe. If all else fails, saying that you, “ate a big meal” before coming will solve a lot of problems. Other than southeast Asia or cultures with a lot of soy sauce, I am confident one can find gluten free options all over the world.

Occasionally, take a risk and eat the food. You might pay the price and be sick for a while. You might not be sick and have found a new restaurant or food. I don’t mean eat an obviously gluten filled food, like a Krispy Kreme, and expect it to be okay. I mean go to a new restaurant that probably has good cross contamination protocols, but you aren’t 100% certain and eat. See what happens. And because your reactions from above, you know if things are okay or not. If you aren’t confident in your ability to know if you got glutened, you have a few tools that might help – Nima Sensors and Gluten Detective Urine and Stool tests.

Don’t read too much on the internet about celiac disease – especially social media because some of the information is inaccurate and some is downright dangerous. Some might even say my suggestions to take a risk or doing a personal gluten challenge would be downright dangerous. Sometimes I post serious, scientifically validated information and sometimes I post opinion. This is an opinion post, so all advice should be taken with a grain of salt. Make sure you know the difference and only read scientifically valid sites – celiac.com, mayoclinic.com, etc.

Most recipes can be easily modified to be gluten free, except baking. Replace soy sauce with gluten free soy sauce and if it is less than 1c of flour in a recipe it can be replaced with a gluten free all purpose flour. Gluten free panko is easily obtained at most grocery stores. I even made Coq Au Vin over the weekend without an issue and tonight is meatloaf with gluten free breadcrumbs instead of the regular kind.

Never eat at a pizzeria or Italian restaurant, even if they have gluten free options. There is just too much risk for contamination. Even using gluten free pizza crust involves the sauce and other toppings having been contaminated by making gluten pizza. Often times Italian restaurants cook gluten free pasta in the same water as regular pasta – which will make most people with gluten issues violently ill. Its just easier to not eat there.

Gluten free processed foods are higher in sugar and fat than their gluten filled counterparts and should only be consumed infrequently. Eating a gluten free cookie or cake is great. Gluten filled staples are inexpensive – a loaf of bread can be obtained for less than $2 per loaf and its gluten free counterpart is normally $7 and half the size. From a budgetary and health standpoint, making the transition to eliminate sandwiches, pastas, and other typically gluten filled foods is better.

This is just my opinion because it is my blog. I have opinions on a lot of things and would love to hear from your if you have more suggestions.

I’m not a doctor, so you should check with your doctor before implementing any new diet.

2 thoughts on “Newbie Ideas!

  1. Great post. Changing your mindset from one of expecting people to cater to you, to being grateful if they are, makes a huge difference.

  2. I think the recommendation to *never* eat in an Italian restaurant or pizzaria might be a little absolute. I certainly am much, MUCH more careful when going to one of those places, and am very careful to make sure I’m calling ahead, asking a lot of questions, and when I get there, meeting with the chef and/or manager, but I have had some truly wonderful experiences in Italian restaurants and pizzarias! Italy is one of the best countries for identifying Celiac and giving us options – a true Italian restaurant run by someone from Italy (or similarly familiar) can be a very safe place to eat. I recently stopped in a small neighborhood Italian cafe with a friend of mine for a glass of wine, assuming I wouldn’t be able to eat. The chef was nearby when I told the server why I couldn’t eat and he came over to explain what they did to prevent cross contamination in the kitchen, how seriously they took Celiac disease, and what he could assure me was safe to eat. It was great!

    There are also several pizzarias by me that have isolated areas in their kitchens where gf pizzas are made, complete with separate pans, toppings, and utensils (2 fancy sit-down ones, 2 fast-food/Chipotle style ones). Granted, I live in a large city that’s unusually GF friendly, but I’ve found some of these kinds of safe places here and there all over the country.

    We definitely need to be incredibly careful with those kinds of restaurants, but don’t cut them out completely! Just be super selective 😉

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