If you have a gluten intolerance or the more serious celiacs disease, it’s important to start thinking about how you will cut gluten out of your diet. Giving up gluten can give you more energy and stop you feeling tired and sluggish.
Where is Gluten Found?
Gluten is known as an ‘elastic protein’ and is found in wheat, rye and barley. It is also present in semolina, spelt, bulgur wheat and durum. Most commercial oats also contain gluten due to cross contamination during the processing period, although you can find gluten free alternatives. Stay away from recipes that use white flour, whole wheat flour, bran and barley flour. Cous cous and ramen noodles are not gluten free, and neither are beer, ale and lager. You should also avoid malt vinegar, soy sauce, malt flavourings and barley malt.
Embrace Fresh Produce
Going gluten free will give you a great opportunity to reconnect with fresh fruits and vegetables. Get as many of these into your daily diet as possible and you won’t feel as though you’re being restricted. You can also indulge in eggs, fish and meat, although it’s important to be wary of sauces, glazes and marinades as these may not be gluten free. Eat plenty of nuts, seeds and pulses as these are naturally free from gluten. It’s the heavily processed foods that contain many ingredients that you should avoid, and this can be a blessing because many of these items are not particularly nutritious.
Preparation is Key
It’s very important to be prepared if you’re gluten free. You won’t be able to guarantee that there are gluten free snacks, lunches or dinner options when you’re out and about, so it’s useful to pack your own food. This way you can be sure that you’re not eating anything you shouldn’t be. You can even shop specifically for gluten free items at retailers like House of Goodness, and there are plenty of gluten free recipe ideas available online.
What Happens if I Slip Up?
If you ‘fall off the wagon’ and eat something that contains gluten, try not to berate or punish yourself afterwards. It’s natural to make mistakes and be tempted by food you’ve given up. It may help to keep a food diary in the first couple of months, so you can track when and where you’re most likely to break your gluten free routine. This way you take steps to prevent it happening in future.
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