Hello to everyone who is looking for ways to live a gluten free life without feeling like a sacrificial lamb! I realized the other day that no matter what I do, I always find tips and information along the way. The process I went through learning to live a gluten free life is no different. I wish someone had shared with me the things they learned while adapting to a no-gluten life. It would have saved me some time and heartache. So I decided that I need to follow my own advice and share some tips with you in the hopes your transition to a gluten free life goes smoothly.
The first tip is to join a support group so you can get even more tips on living a gluten free life. I tried to do it on my own, and it led to feelings of alienation. I began to feel left out and different. Almost everything we do in our affluent society centers around food.
Even sporting activities always seem to end by everyone meeting at a restaurant for a beer and dinner. It is tempting when first diagnosed as a Celiac to withdraw from those activities enjoyed the most. I did that at first. I quit agreeing to meet my friends when they called. I was so afraid I would be tempted by food and get sick again. It was the first time in my life I felt good and was afraid of jeopardizing my good health.
Eventually, I created the gluten free club and met people who are going through the same experience. I made new friends and began seeing my old friends again. I also pick up useful information every month in the club. If you’re not part of the Gluten Free Club, you should certainly consider a support group of some kind.
Another tip is to carry a list of foods you can eat or a list of forbidden foods, depending upon how you want to approach the problem. Once you have learned the foods that contain gluten you won’t have to carry the list. But in the beginning, a list will help prevent needless worrying. I have been living gluten free for a long while, but I still carry a list of forbidden foods in my purse. I don’t like depending on my memory since this involves my health.
If you are ever concerned about whether a food item contains gluten, don’t eat it. It is better to do without the food instead of taking the risk of getting sick.
Another helpful tip I learned at my support group is to mark the cooking utensils that will be used only for gluten free cooking. I took a permanent marker and wrote “GF” on a cookie sheet, big metal stirring spoon, a set of measuring spoons and so on. I even have a blender that I only use for mixing gluten free recipes. I make juice, soups, sauces and frozen treats in the blender.
I always make sure I have food on hand I am allowed to eat. I discovered that if I don’t have gluten free food available when I need a snack, it is too tempting to eat food I should not eat.
I also have my own jars of peanut butter and jelly. Even though my family loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread, with my own jars, I don’t have to worry about gluten contamination. My jars have a big “GF” written on the label and everyone in the family knows to not use them.
These are just a few tips I wanted to share with you to make living gluten free a little easier.