How To Live Gluten Freely

Newly gluten-free? Start here with 7 tips for living a gluten-free lifestyle.

Whether a gluten free lifestyle is a choice that you have made for yourself or a choice that your body has made for you, it does not have to be something that you feel limited by, so don’t let it get you down. There are many resources, recipes, expert tips, and more that can guide you in navigating your new menu. Below are some of the top tips that I have found that will help you live more freely in your life without gluten.

1. Do your research.

The great thing about this is that, since you’re here, you’ve already begun. Learning about gluten itself and the ways it affects your body can help you to learn more about why choosing to switch to this lifestyle might be something really beneficial for you. Your research might also teach you a better understanding of what to look for in certain foods and the secret sources of gluten that may take you by surprise. The more knowledge that you are able to accumulate, the easier this transition can be for you. 

2. Understand what it means to be gluten-free.

Being gluten free means entirely cutting gluten out of your diet and filling your new menu with replacements and naturally gluten-free foods. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Sometimes, a gluten-free diet can be confused with carb-free or grain-free diets, as many carb-heavy grains contain gluten. However, incorporating grains such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and more can help you to keep good grains on your plate. Since we know foods like bread and pasta to be pretty carb-heavy, it is important to keep your body at a balance after cutting these out and replace them with other options which include fruits and gluten-free grains.

3. Find substitutes.

Lucky for us, many new gluten-free options are being produced at a very rapid rate these days. There are things like 1-to-1 gluten-free flour, nut flours, gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, gluten free soy sauce, and so much more that make navigating this lifestyle so much easier. Many of these things are found in most grocery stores today and most often contain instructions on how to properly replace them for your current foods. 

4. Find naturally gluten-free foods.

There are so many foods that are and have always been naturally gluten free. Fruits, vegetables, rice, potatoes, meat, fish, and most dairy products all fall under the category of naturally gluten free. These are all wonderful foods to have in your everyday diet so they can really help alleviate the burden that a gluten-free diet can feel like.

5. Start reading food labels.

Reading the food labels on just about everything will become second nature to you with being gluten free. There are many companies that do a great job at labeling their products “gluten free” somewhere on the product, but others may not provide you this luxury. In that case, it is important to read the ingredient list and look for gluten containing ingredients and also look to the allergen list, where “wheat” is often listed. However, it is important to know that the allergen lists only include the 8 major allergens in the US which are wheat, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and soybeans and as you can see gluten is not on this list. While something may not contain wheat, it could still contain gluten from barley or rye. 

6. Try some new recipes.

Something that I have found to be so funny about gluten-free foods is how afraid many people are to try them, thinking they will be disgusting. There are so many great recipes out there that use both substitutes and naturally gluten-free ingredients and end up tasting exactly identical, if not better, than gluten-containing food. A bonus point is given for the fact that they don’t hurt your gut! 

7. Keep your head up!

Living a gluten-free lifestyle could pose some difficulty here and there, but it is important to view it from the side of how much it can benefit you. Sure, it can be a bummer to crave a restaurant that I used to love and visit often, and not be able to go to it because it is not Celiac friendly, however, the symptoms that follow me after eating gluten are not worth it. Find your power by having control of the way foods affect you, you can do it!

As you can see, living a gluten-free lifestyle, whether by choice or not, does not have to be a negative experience for anyone. With all of the resources, substitutions, naturally gluten-free options, easy to read food labels, recipes, and more, the world is so well set up today to be able to support a diet like this one fairly easily. In the end, we're here to help you so that you don’t feel upset, down, or frustrated about it, and instead can live gluten freely.