Guest Post: Five Tips for Starting a Gluten-Free Diet by Amy Green

by Michelle on August 9, 2010 · 15 comments

in Guest Post,Information

Hi Everyone. Today I have a great guest post by Amy from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. I love Amy’s blog and her wonderful recipes. I hope you enjoy her guest post! ~Michelle.

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Five Tips for Starting a Gluten-free Diet

Disclaimer – I’m not  a medical professional.  This information comes from my personal experience.  I strongly advise seeking the help of a medical professional before making any dietary changes.

When I realized I’d have to cut wheat from my diet, I remember walking into the grocery store with my head spinning.  I wasn’t sure what to eat or what to buy.  After what seemed like hours of reading labels and feeling defeated, I bought fresh produce, meats, and dairy to get me through until I learned a few tricks, which I’m going to share with you.

  1. Keep it simple.Make a list of all the foods and meals you already know how to prepare that are gluten-free.  Think salads, soups, veggies, fruits, grilled meats, beans, and rice.  Make these dishes the foundation of your diet for now.  When you’re ready, add one thing at a time.  There’s no quicker way to feeling overwhelmed and botching dinner than making new dishes for an entire meal.
  2. Learn how to meal plan and write an organized grocery list.Though it took me a while to figure out, this is one skill I couldn’t do without today.  Not only does it save time running back and forth to the grocery store, it ensures that I know what I’m going to eat and when.  I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner anymore.Cheryl, from Gluten-Free Goodness, is currently heading up the Gluten-Free Menu Swap if you want to see how other people plan their meals.
  3. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.  Most of the food on the edge of the grocery store is naturally gluten-free.  The bulk of my groceries come from the fresh produce section.  You can’t improve on Mother Nature.  I also buy lean, organic meats, free-range eggs, lower fat dairy, beans, and legumes.  All naturally gluten-free.  Make sure to check individual product labels for gluten-free status.
  4. Give your mind and body time to calibrate to your new diet.It takes time to adjust to a new way of shopping, planning, and eating.  You’ll probably feel overwhelmed, stressed, and even angry at times because it’s a difficult change.  Be patient with yourself.  Before long, it will become second nature.  Until it does, make sure to follow suggestion number one and keep it simple.
  5. Start educating yourself.If you haven’t already, start reading a little every day about eating gluten-free.  The more you know, the easier it is to eat safely.  Not only will you find a wealth of recipes to try, altering your favorite recipes that aren’t already gluten-free become simpler, too, because you’ll have more knowledge.There are so many wonderful resources available today – here are some of my favorites to get you started:

Blogs:
Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
Gluten-Free Easily
Gluten-Free Goddess
Tasty Eats at Home
The WHOLE Gang
A Year of Slow Cooking

Books:
1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster
Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Reiley
The Spunky Coconut by Kelly Bronza
The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen by Alison Sergeson & Tom Malterre
Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O’DeaMagazines:
Living Without
Delight Gluten-Free

As your gluten-free journey progresses, keep your eyes focused on better health and a better quality of life.  That was my objective and the rewards have been greater than I could have ever imagined.

About Our Guest:

Amy Green, M.Ed., authors Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, a blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and gluten, and maintaining a healthy weight.   She has been living free from refined sugars and wheat since 2004 and, as a result, is maintaining a 60+ pound weight loss.  Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation.  Much of what she cooks is naturally sugar-free and gluten-free so her blog contains many recipes using ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

A former elementary teacher and small business owner, Amy is currently writing her first gluten-free, sugar-free cookbook, which will be released in January 2011.  She lives with her husband and four dogs in Dallas, TX where she teaches local sugar-free, gluten-free cooking classes.

Submitted to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Michelle

Health Food Lover is Michelle Robson-Garth. A student-naturopath-in-training, writer, recipe-creator and all-round foodie from Melbourne, Australia. © Copyright: 2009-2012 Michelle Robson-Garth. Please ask permission first when using any text or images on healthfoodlover.com. Read the disclaimer here. Have a look at the recipe index for more health food lovin’ recipes. Join the Facebook page & follow Health Food Lover on twitter.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Christy August 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

I ate g/f for about 3 years – while cooking for my family of 10 – it is possible. One thing I would suggest, that I kind of got sucked into in the beginning, is not to buy all the g/f processed foods. G/F cookies are still serious junk food when you buy them premade at the store. But do it in moderation because at first you may just need some of it to “survive” until you get a better handle on g/f living.

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Butterpoweredbike August 9, 2010 at 4:08 am

Great advice. I remember how daunting it all seemed when I first started out. I’ve found it most helpful to focus my energy on all the wonderful foods that I can have, instead of missing foods I can’t eat.

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Destination Healthy Foods August 9, 2010 at 8:21 am

I think gluten and sugar free is a very healthy combination!

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Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective August 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Great tips! I think this would make the transition easier!

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Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free August 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Thanks so much for letting me share with your readers, Michelle. It’s an honor to be featured. Hugs!!

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Michelle August 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Thanks for writing such a great post Amy :)

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Elizabeth @ The Nourished Life August 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Excellent post! While I am not 100% GF, during the past few months I’ve steadily been reducing the amount of gluten we eat in our home. The tips above are so valuable. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you first start cutting gluten out. Suddenly it’s like, “What do I cook???” But in all honestly with a little patience I’ve come to realize there’s a whole world of food available that has nothing to do with gluten, and it’s getting easier and easier to exclude it from our lives.

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Julie August 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Loved the article! Not sure if you’ve tried them yet, but Garden Lites has some great dishes and they are all gluten free and delicious. Might be a good starting point for someone new in the gluten free world.

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tigerfish August 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for the tips :)

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Alta August 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Great post, and thank you for the recognition!

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Melodie August 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

What a nice simple and smart post. I thought I would need to go gluten free for my daughter a few years ago and started writing a grocery list that had potato starch on it, amaranth and all sorts of other things I wasn’t even sure what to do with. It ended up we didn’t need to go GF and I was so thankful just because I already felt so lost!

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Health Blog August 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

It is wise to be informed beforehand of problems you may experience so that you don’t feel excluded from normal life.

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