continuing my three part series on facing the fear, here is my take on how to easily make one of the most common diet changes a doctor may suggest to you.
“go gluten free? you have got to be kidding!”- me, four years ago. i was living in canada at the time but in ohio meeting with a specialist who explained how my current diet was straining my immune system and adding unnecessary stress to my body. because my kidneys were starting to worry us, i decided to just go for it. thankfully, i had a lot of help and it was an relatively easy process. now, you couldn’t pay me to go back!
one of the first things a chronic illness doctor will instruct us to do is to some sort of diet change. this can be overwhelming and often does not get accomplished. let’s break down gluten today (an awful joke) and see what simple steps you can take to gather momentum towards a healthier lifestyle.
first, cut gluten out of your beverages. this is pretty easy- but you’ll want to make sure you aren’t drinking items like beer where it may be hiding. (although you really shouldn’t be drinking alcohol if you are living with dis-ease anyway.)
next, change over all of your snacks to be gluten free. this ensures that you have easy fail safes in place in case your meal ends up having gluten. remember the theory of crowding out—limit the “bad” while eating more of the “good”, until good is all you are eating. items like veggies and hummus, fruit and cheese, nuts or smoothies are all great snack choices that are naturally gluten free and easy to prep. as you start incorporating more nutrient dense foods into your routine, your taste buds will change and new, healthier cravings will start- which is great progress!
now- your meals. pick one to start with and consistently make it GF for a week or so, or until you feel like it comes easily to you. once you’ve nailed down a GF breakfast for example, move on to the next meal time until all three meals are GF.
tada! you just made a significant change for your health! i’ll bet you have noticed that you are feeling better too- less digestive symptoms, more energy, skin clearing up perhaps? it’s amazing what food can do.
one more word about going GF- you have to learn to read labels, and you have to learn to meal plan ahead of time. planning is the best thing you can do to keep yourself on track. once you’ve learned what to avoid, eating clean becomes simpler. remember this rule of thumb- if it comes in a package, can or box, there is probably gluten or hidden forms of gluten in it.
still apprehensive? that’s okay. start with what you feel like you can. it really does get easier over time, especially when you start to feel the improvements in your body. commit to love yourself, and your body by making this change and i promise you’ll be glad you did!
are you gluten free? going to try it? tell me how its going for you in the comments below!