How to live your best gluten-free life
If you’re reading this article, then you are likely already aware of all the challenges of sticking to a strict gluten-free diet. If you or one of your children suffer from coeliac disease or a severe gluten intolerance, even the smallest amount of bread or wheat could lead to the onset of a medical ordeal you want to avoid. It also doesn’t help if you have a gluten-intolerant child who is also in the age range of fussy eating behaviours.
However, just because you might need to cut gluten from your or your child’s diet doesn’t mean you have to give up on all the foods and meals you both love! In fact, there are plenty of delicious gluten-free meals out there both young and old can enjoy, so why not give them a go? Here are several very important tips that gluten-free individuals need to know!
Always read labels It’s also very important that you’re always reading and checking the labels on all food items you purchased. Even if you think you’re purchasing something you believe to be gluten-free, it’s crucial that you double-check the ingredients. You never know what things might end up in the food on your plate. At the same time, don’t assume that something contains gluten, just because it normally would. More and more food manufacturers are retailing gluten-free alternatives, like gluten-free pizza bases.
Don’t give up the recipes you love Just because you may not be able eat gluten anymore doesn’t mean you have to give up all the great foods you enjoy. You can still eat most forms of meat poultry, and vegetables are completely fine. It’s easy to enjoy being gluten-free when you can prepare some chicken and roast vegetables or a similar dish without having to second guess yourself.
Use your new diet to your advantage If you have recently been diagnosed as a coeliac or have developed a gluten intolerance, you should be using your new dietary restrictions to your advantage! Most fresh fruit and vegetables are gluten-free, so consider swapping your morning toast with canned peaches. Not only is it just as delicious, but you’ll derive a huge host of benefits. Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can improve your cardiovascular health, reduce your risk of cancer, improve your digestive system and your overall vitamin intake.
Make your own sauces and dressings
If you’ve been a coeliac for a long time, then you’ll be aware that a lot of sauces and salad dressings are not gluten-free. This can be very annoying if you’re dining out with friends or family and you simply want a sauce to add to your lean beef. The problem is a lot of sauces are pre-packaged and manufactured on a large-scale, meaning flour or a gluten-based formula is used as a thickener.
Instead, consider making some of your own sauces from scratch. Not only will they be healthier, but they will taste a lot better! Forget about all those nasty sugars and unnecessary preservatives – jazz up your weekend meals with delicious, homemade sauces and dressings!
Get yourself a bread machine It’s true to say that one of the toughest foods to give up on a gluten-free diet is bread. Thankfully, there are more and more gluten-free bread recipes out there; however, it’s certainly worth making your own if you’re committed to the gluten-free life. In addition, you can guarantee that all bread you are eating is 100% free of gluten, since you made it yourself. At the end of the day, you don’t even have to give up your lunch-break sandwiches.
Try rice and quinoa If you’re running out of lunch and dinner meal ideas, reinvigorate the creative spark with rice and quinoa dishes. Quinoa is a great and healthy alternative to oats and couscous, and thankfully, it can be used just like those items. Because it’s a seed (not a grain), quinoa has a lot of fibre and protein. It’s certainly worth throwing it in a few of your lunch-time salads or weekend snacks.
Another great gluten-free option is rice. There are so many different types of rice: jasmine, brown, white and basmati. Just pick a flavour you like and use it in all your dinner meals. It cooks quickly and easily as well, so if you’re average day is very hectic, you don’t have to worry about extended meal preparation in the evening.
Conclusion So, it’s quite clear that the gluten-free lifestyle isn’t that difficult if you’re well prepared for it. It can certainly be challenging, especially if you’re someone who likes to snack throughout the day. However, with a lot of willpower and commitment, you’ll find yourself snacking on healthy foods that are gluten-free and improve your overall health and wellbeing.