If for some reason you find yourself in the position of having to eat a gluten free diet,
DO NOT PANIC
These days gluten free is not as hard as you may think. 13 years ago my daughter, who was already dairy free, had to move on to a wheat free diet, 2 years later she became gluten free. Not only did I have no idea where to start, the products available were few and far between which made the whole business complicated and time consuming. The few breads available were extortionately expensive, very, very white and full of strange sounding ingredients.
For years I toiled away trying to make palatable gluten free equivalents of breads, cakes, pastry and other flour based foods. The results varied and I eventually gave up trying to make anything resembling real bread. Rice cakes became a staple in our house and it wasn’t till years later when I too had to move to a gluten free diet that a nutritionist advised against rice cakes. It seems they are not good and especially not good for our blood sugar levels, way too white!
I then tried a flat bread recipe given to me by my nutritionist. It was made by adding gluten free flour to a type of buckwheat and millet porridge. I liked it better than nothing at all, but really it was a huge compromise and effort to make. The breakthrough for me came when gluten free oatcakes came on the market. I ditched attempts at making bread and plumped for them instead.
Nowadays it’s much easier, there is a plethora of breads, cakes and snacks to be found in any gluten-free section of the supermarket. It means the transition from a gluten based diet to a gluten-free one is easier, in that, we can more or less replace what we ate before, with a gluten-free equivalent.
I would however urge caution. A look at the packet of many of these products reveals lists of ingredients it’s hard to identify or pronounce. They are highly processed and often full of sugar which are not good for our health. A move to gluten free is usually made for health reasons therefore I would suggest considering whether or not you really want to eat these processed products.
Here a few suggestions for making the change to a Gluten Free Diet:
- Go on an exploratory shopping trip. Most large supermarkets have a gluten-free section where you can find many of the staples we eat in a standard western diet, go and check them out. Think of these as transition foods to help you make the move away from the standard diet to a diet which will help you live a vibrant healthy life.
- Identify what most freaks you out about it? It’s easy to hear gluten-free as a huge obstacle that’s just landed in your life, but it needn’t be. If you work out what most frightens or worries you then that’s a good place to start. Once you work out how to manage that, the rest will be easy.
- You’ve been eating gluten up until now so if you don’t become gluten free immediately, as in over night, it will be ok, and you will be ok.
- Set an intention to become gluten free and then work out how you are going to get there.
- Make a list of all the things you already eat that are gluten free and all the things you think you could eat that are gluten free.
- Start with one meal i.e. breakfast and plan a week of gluten-free options like smoothies, eggs, buckwheat pancakes and start there.
- Acknowledge the loss; how unfair it feels. Sometimes this is what can make the transition hard, never actually letting ourselves feel the grief about what we can no-longer have. Maybe you love white bread toast dripping with butter and you can’t imagine how you could live without it. Allow yourself to feel the loss.
- Start reading labels. There is gluten hidden in many products where you may not imagine it to be, soya sauce for example. There are often alternatives, in this case tamari is the gluten free alternative. If you cannot find them in the supermarket it’s worth checking out your local health food shop.
- Make it easy for yourself. In the initial stages use the gluten free alternatives on offer and then start to think about how much gluten needed to be in your life anyway. Focus on meals and snacks that never use gluten and build your diet around these.
Sometimes the loss, anger and frustration connected to a dietary change is more than we can bare. It gets in the way of us achieving our goals; we cheat, sneaking things we know aren’t good because we feel it’s unfair, we want to rebel or we just plane and simple we can’t deal with the cravings.
If this rings true for you EFT coaching can help with all of that. I’ve tapped my way through all of the above and more and can testify to the relief to be found. Once learned EFT can be used as a self-help tool available in the moment as you are about to cave in.
For a delicious, home-made gluten free bread recipe which really works and does not contain any of the unpronounceable ingredients found in the shop bought varieties check out my post below.