How do I begin a gluten-free lifestyle?
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Going gluten-free for the first time?
First of all, I’m going to tell you this the same way we talk to our daughter. Don’t be sad about the foods you can’t eat, flip the script, tell yourself that you are taking excellent care of your body!!! Try your best not to tie your emotions to your food, it makes it that much harder. If you have any doubt about going gluten-free just make this gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe and you won't be disappointed.
Second...there are several “levels” of gluten-free, so you’ll find quickly that everyone has an opinion about how to do it, I’m going to explain some of the differences I've run into....
What is gluten?
Gluten is a group of food - but essentially it is wheat, barley, rye and malt. The way we process it in the USA makes it that many people have inflammatory responses to it.
The Dabbler (low-gluten)
“I just don’t eat bread, but I still drink beer and I don’t read labels”
They have simply noticed they don’t feel great when eating HUGE amounts of gluten, so they are on a low-gluten diet, which is totally fine. This is NOT what a celiac needs, or someone with a food allergy (like myself).
"The no gluten way"
I never eat gluten, I read labels carefully, but if it is processed in the same facility as gluten or wheat, I don’t worry about the cross-contamination. (This is where I lie.)
Committed Gluten-Free Lifestyle (only certified gluten-free)
This person, has had extreme reactions from even cross-contamination (something being made in a facility that also processed gluten). Anyone who has celiac should be following this level, the way I've heard it explained to me is that when a facility also uses gluten, think about when you cook with flour, it gets everywhere, you even breathe it in, so the chances of it getting into your food this way, is almost guaranteed.
I'm all about using my resources, so I've done a bit of research and found some great info about reading labels for gluten. There is a learning curve on this, and I can almost guarantee you'll make mistakes in the beginning, but it's about making progress. Check this article out in order to learn more about specifically what things you should be reading labels for.
Also, a couple of my favorite products that are a must have in your kitchen.
1. Namaste gluten-free flour blend
I use this in all my baking, as a 1 to 1 substitute for regular flour.
I absolutely love ordering my foods through Thrive Market, use the links above for the products or click here to get 25% off your first order.