Living gluten-free is not always an easy adventure, but it is one many people find themselves going on. It might be necessary if you have Celiac disease or if you have a sensitivity to gluten. Gluten, which is found in wheat and grains like rye and barley, likely takes up more of your regular diet than you think. Here are some tips to handle the beginning stages of living a gluten-free life.
- Plan Your Meals From the Beginning
One of the first things you should do when you find out you need to cut out gluten from your diet is begin meal planning. This allows you to learn more about different foods, come up with recipes you can make that won’t contain gluten, and also be fully prepared for the days and weeks coming up. Try to plan every meal and snack if you can, so that you aren’t stuck at a fast food restaurant or convenience store with no clue as to what you can have.
- Start Reading Labels
You will need to become familiar with reading labels so that you can be sure nothing you eat contains gluten. Many processed and packaged foods have some ingredients with gluten, even if they wouldn’t seem like they should have it. A lot of new food packaging will say gluten-free right on the front, but you should still know what to look for on the ingredients list. You want to look for things like wheat, rye, barley, grains, spelt, and triticale to name a few.
- Eat at Home Before Leaving
If you have a party or social gathering to go to, the best thing you can do is eat at home before you leave. There is really no telling if and when gluten-free food will be available, so it is safer to eat a meal or snack before you leave. Even if you do get a little hungry while you are out of the house, you shouldn’t be starving, which prevents you from going for food with gluten in it. Also bring along to-go snacks that are safe for you to have.
- Keep Your Food Simple
You may eventually want to make your own bread and tortillas, but until then, just make things simple. Try to find gluten-free food that is from your current diet, as these will be easy for you to fit into new meals and snacks. If you still want sandwiches, get a loaf of gluten-free bread. Don’t make it complicated and sticking to a gluten-free diet will be much easier to do.
- Be Careful With Alcohol
If you like drinking casually or at home to unwind, make sure you know which alcohol is gluten-free. You will no longer be able to drink regular beer, ales, or stouts as they usually have gluten. However, you should be okay with most wine, sherry, liquor, and port. Just make sure you read the labels so that you don’t accidentally drink alcohol with gluten in it.