Starting a gluten free diet is a challenge. Following a few simple do’s and don’ts can make the transition much easier.
DO get rid of glutenous items in the pantry. Give them to coworkers, friends, family, or donate to a soup kitchen. If the temptation is there, its easy to say “I’ll start as soon as I’ve finished it.”
DO invest in a separate toaster. It is impossible to clean crumbs out of the old one.
DO keep an arsenal of gluten free snacks on hand. Nuts, fruit, cheese sticks, and potato chips all travel well.
DO read labels carefully, particularly on things like spices, soups, and salad dressings. Read them multiple times. Read it in the store, when you put it away, and before you eat the product.
DO shop the perimeter of the grocery store for foods that are naturally gluten free. Remember that only one food group is changing. Fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, and most dairy products are naturally gluten free.
DO seek out information.
DON’T be overwhelmed by the amount of information available.
DON’T feel the need to suddenly start only shopping at health food stores and boutique grocers. While they are great for specialty items, most regular grocery stores now have a decent selection of items.
DON’T buy every prepackaged GF item on the shelf. While this is tempting, it is often a waste of money. Many of the products do not have a similar taste or texture to their traditional counterparts. Ask around for product recommendations. Start with one or two items a week to figure out what you like.
DON’T cook separate meals for everyone in the house. Make dinners that are naturally Gfree so that everyone can share and enjoy the same meal. This way, dinner is still about family time.
DON’T think of this as a diet. The word diet has such negative connotations in our society, and the word itself has the power to make you fall off the bandwagon, which is not good for your health. Instead, embrace gluten free as an alternative lifestyle.