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 â€“ Iâ€™m notÂ a medical professional.Â This information comes from my personal experience.Â I strongly advise seeking the help of a medical professional before making any dietary changes.
When I realized Iâ€™d have to cut wheat from my diet, I remember walking into the grocery store with my head spinning.Â I wasnâ€™t sure what to eat or what to buy.Â 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 Iâ€™m going to share with you.
- Keep it simple.Make a list of all the foods and meals you already know how to prepare that are gluten-free.Â Think salads, soups, veggies, fruits, grilled meats, beans, and rice.Â Make these dishes the foundation of your diet for now.Â When youâ€™re ready, add one thing at a time.Â Thereâ€™s no quicker way to feeling overwhelmed and botching dinner than making new dishes for an entire meal.
- 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 couldnâ€™t do without today.Â Not only does it save time running back and forth to the grocery store, it ensures that I know what Iâ€™m going to eat and when.Â I donâ€™t have to worry about whatâ€™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.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Â Most of the food on the edge of the grocery store is naturally gluten-free.Â The bulk of my groceries come from the fresh produce section.Â You canâ€™t improve on Mother Nature.Â I also buy lean, organic meats, free-range eggs, lower fat dairy, beans, and legumes.Â All naturally gluten-free.Â Make sure to check individual product labels for gluten-free status.
- 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.Â Youâ€™ll probably feel overwhelmed, stressed, and even angry at times because itâ€™s a difficult change.Â Be patient with yourself.Â Before long, it will become second nature.Â Until it does, make sure to follow suggestion number one and keep it simple.
- Start educating yourself.If you havenâ€™t already, start reading a little every day about eating gluten-free.Â The more you know, the easier it is to eat safely.Â Not only will you find a wealth of recipes to try, altering your favorite recipes that arenâ€™t already gluten-free become simpler, too, because youâ€™ll have more knowledge.There are so many wonderful resources available today â€“ here are some of my favorites to get you started:
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 Oâ€™DeaMagazines:
As your gluten-free journey progresses, keep your eyes focused on better health and a better quality of life.Â 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.Â Â She has been living free from refined sugars and wheat since 2004 and, as a result, is maintaining a 60+ pound weight loss. Â Over the years sheâ€™s learned that eating healthier doesnâ€™t equal deprivation.Â 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.Â 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.