Tag Archives: Advice

5 Simple Steps to a Gluten Free Life

Beginning a gluten free lifestyle can be a rewarding yet overwhelming experience. Live a gluten free life by using these 5 simple steps:

1. Accept removing gluten from your diet as a complete lifestyle change. Embrace the rewards of feeling healthy and treating your body better. Pay more attention to how your body feels after eating foods. Keep a food diary to track the food you eat and how it makes you feel. This will help you keep track of foods your body is intolerant to, and narrow down the ingredients causing the reaction. This is a key guide to help you not rule out ingredients too quickly.

2. Read ALL food label ingredients very carefully. Learn about common foods not allowed and foods at risk for cross-contamination. This may seem like a long list to learn at first–especially when everywhere you look you see gluten! The best way to learn which ingredients are allowed, questionable and  not allowed is by using a Gluten Free Food Cheat Sheet. Keep this list with you to provide an easy reference for when your shopping or eating out. Focus first on all the foods you can eat before becoming overwhelmed with all the questionable and not allowed foods.

3. Take a multivitamin. When beginning a gluten free lifestyle it can be difficult to get all the vitamins the body needs. Taking a multivitamin is not the best way to get the essential vitamins our bodies need, but can be helpful during the transition to a gluten free life. As always, consult with your family doctor before taking any medication.

4. Eat gluten free 100% of the time. Dedicating yourself to a gluten free lifestyle means going all in. Embrace eating gluten free, and try it for at least a month in order to allow the body to heal and recover from all the years of eating gluten.

5. Call restaurants and research menus online before eating out. Eating out can be one of the most riskiest and scariest task for people living a gluten free life. Many restaurants and grocers have become more accommodating to gluten intolerant customers over the years. Call restaurants ahead of time to see if there are gluten free options available, and check online for menus and allergy information. Also check out more quick tips on eating eating.

This may seem a little overwhelming at first, but that’s okay it can be. There is a lot of information on the Internet, in book stores and even at your local grocer.

Talk with your friends and coworkers about this to find other people living a gluten free life. Speak with them about any advice, recipes and tips they may have. This can be a great way to help you get started as well.

What is Gluten?
Learn more about gluten, celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

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Gluten Free Flour Tips

Many gluten-free flours are available in stores and online from a variety of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. However, purchasing gluten free flours can be an expensive and daunting task; especially if your new to a gluten free lifestyle.

Here are some tips I have found helpful:

Purchase gluten free flours, such as rice flour, at Asian Food Markets in larger cities for lower costs. Most larger cities and college towns tend to have Asian Food Markets. I’ve found gluten free flour blends for less than $1 per lb at these markets! My local grocer, Hy-Vee, sells gluten free flour for $15 per five-pound bag. Purchasing flours at Asian Food Markets keeps more money in your pocket, and allows more flexibility to try different recipes.

Experiment with different flour blends in recipes until you find one that works best. Also, try making your own gluten free flour blends. If you don’t have easy access to an Asian Food Market, then check out various health food stores and web sites online that sell gluten-free flour blends. However, be aware these flours can be considerably more expensive.

Store high fiber flours and high protein whole grains in the fridge for longer keeping. High protein gluten-free whole grains include: brown rice, flax seed, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, cornmeal, quinoa, popcorn, corn flour, millet and amaranth.  These flours also help add moisture to baked products.

Always read the labels! Manufacturers may change ingredients in a product from one purchase to the next. Be sure to always read labels on every brand!

Add Xanthan Gum in small amounts to gluten free flour mixes to increase the flour’s stickiness.

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes
Learn about Xanthan gum and quick tips for adding it to gluten free recipes.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.