It’s a new year! So it’s out with old and in with the new, right? The funny thing, is that this saying doesn’t just apply to us when it’s a new year, it also applies to us when we challenge ourselves to try something new. For you, it might be your new gluten free diet. Whether you are first starting out or you’ve been gluten free for years, I guarantee you will want to keep reading.
If you have been following my journey, you can see how I do it with my little ones, and well, even if I make a gluten free diet look easy, it’s definitely not. I have just had a lot of practice.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s easier than it used to be, but with kids all you really want to do is provide them with normal everyday food that doesn’t look or taste different from their friends.
Over the past year, I have been truly humbled reading your stories in my Stay Gluten Free Community (it’s FREE to join, click here). It’s been so amazing reading about where you’ve been, and where you would like to be. My passion and mission is to help you find success in your journey. If you haven’t joined us yet, I really hope you will.
I want to give you the basics, and share with you some of the things you might not have thought about when beginning and maintaining your gluten free diet and lifestyle. I want to share strategies with you that will help you succeed and stay the course.
Nothing is worse than going gluten free, only to find out you are actually still consuming gluten in the unlikeliest places. Or you have been completely gluten free for weeks, you feel great, but you left the house hungry with no snack on hand and you resorted to something from your pre gluten free days. This.completely.changes.everything.
So tell me, how did you start? Did you wipe out your whole kitchen and start new? Did you ease into it? Either way, I want to make sure you build a solid start so that you are set up for a long successful journey. This has been my mission with my community. It’s not about me, it’s about YOU!
So let’s get started! What is the fist thing you must do when starting your gluten free diet? It’s my first and most important strategy. The answer might surprise you.
Deciding to go gluten free is the first step to a successful gluten free journey. You have to be all in. Just thinking about it, will not set you up for success. You can’t just eat a little gluten here and there and think that it will not effect you. For some of you the decision has been actually made because you have received a celiac diagnosis. But there are others of us who are intolerant to gluten and it has just been recommended to eat gluten free. Either way, each and every day you must decide.
For celiac’s the symptoms are more visible because of the level of GI discomfort and distress that eating gluten can bring. For those of us that are intolerant to gluten, however, most of our symptoms are silent and we cannot see the inflammation that is building in our bodies with that one simple cracker.
This is why whether you have been forced into the decision by your physician or not, you have to keep yourself accountable each and every day. Deciding to eat gluten free can be the first step toward your optimal health and the best you that you can be.
Earlier I mentioned easing into the diet. I know some people who have tried this and more often then not they fail. Keeping gluten containing food in your kitchen is very very dangerous! Having it at your fingertips gives you the opportunity every single day to cheat. Cheat the diet and cheat your health.
I speak from experience on this one. My husband is not gluten free. In the first years of our marriage I allowed cheezits, frozen pizzas, bread, and many other snack type food to be available in a certain location of our kitchen. I thought I was strong enough to never be tempted. I was wrong.
It wasn’t until I began to have increased symptoms each time I “cheated” and especially when we had kids that my flexibility had to change. There is absolutely nothing in my home that I am tempted by anymore. Which also makes for a healthier (might not be happier) husband.
I have never required him to be gluten free, but our dinners and any snack food that are in our home meet the allergy guidelines of myself and my kids. Your home must be your safe zone because you will not have a safe zone anywhere else.
So the bottom line is, if it has gluten it must go! You will be so glad you made this step when you find yourself wanting to grab that night time snack.
The next thing to consider is your pots, pans, utensils, appliances and all kitchen gadgets. If you’ve used them with your gluten containing food for years. Consider replacing them.
Before you disregard this, let me introduce you to something you will forever have to watch for, cross contamination (we will discuss this more later). Honestly, there are things like dishes you can wash and sanitize and be ok. Just be sure to check for dried old food particles. I don’t ever mix pots and pans, pizza trays, utensils, can openers and etc.
The one appliance you MUST replace is your toaster. You will need a new toaster for 2 reasons. 1) The toaster you own now is completely filled with gluten and will contaminate anything you put into it. 2) Most, if not all, gluten free breads taste better after they’ve been toasted. You’ll see!
You need to really clean every single space in your kitchen. It is so important that you can get rid of any left behind gluten containing residue. The last thing you want to do is contaminate your new food.
Have I given you enough to do to keep you busy? Lucky for you it’s January and the idea of “getting rid of” feels very good. I just spent 2 days cleaning my house and it felt amazing, (not the work, just the final result).
Next time we’ll talk about grocery shopping on a gluten free diet. It will be time to fill your new gluten free kitchen with all of the good things you will now love to eat.
Look for even more strategies to come. Tips on asking the right questions when eating out and in addition surviving gatherings on a gluten free diet. I will walk you through it every step of the way.
Remember to join me in the Stay Gluten Free Community (It’s FREE, click here) to learn more every single day. January is all about appetizers with Super bowl Sunday coming very soon. You won’t want to miss out on the recipes.
Until Next time!