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Ten Rules for Going Gluten Free
First off, this post is not for those who think going gluten free is “healthier” or if they’re trying to lose weight. From someone who can no longer ingest gluten: if you can, please, do!
But, if you think you have a gluten sensitivity, then you might be wondering how to cut the gluten from your diet. It “sounds” easy enough, but the practice of it may actually be kind of daunting.
For me, it took several attempts to finally understand that I could only eat a gluten free diet and be healthy at the same time. Something clicked and now the smell of bread makes my stomach turn.
If you think you have a gluten intolerance, you’ll definitely want to connect with your healthcare professional to run some tests. It’s the right thing to do. When you’re ready, I would try going gluten free for 2 weeks or one month and see if you feel better.
What to look for when you cut the gluten:
Some symptom relief you could look out for are sleeping better, less anxiety, clearer skin, less stomach issues, more energy, clear mind/no brain fog, not as cold.
Have you always been clumsy? When I removed gluten from my diet, I stopped tripping over myself. In fact, if I fall these days, I can almost always trace it back to the last 48 where I was glutened.
Celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity have over 300 symptoms which is why it is so common these days for people to wonder if they have an issue with gluten. Basically, if you have a feeling, it could be gluten related. But the only way to know for sure is to visit your doctor, advocate for your health and start experimenting with your diet.
Before you jump into a 2-4 week experiment without gluten, I recommend trying to adopt a whole foods attitude about eating. If you just replace junk with junk, chances are, you’re still going to feel like junk.
If you need even more help easing into the idea of living without gluten, start by just removing one potential allergen a week, by eating what you have and not replacing it when you’re ready.
One more note about this post: you will find some incredibly helpful tips to adjust your mindset as you experience this new challenge, but I am not a food blogger. I might come up with some awesome recipe round up posts, but this post is really to focus on mindset. There are some of my favorite resources below for removing gluten from the diet, and the books come with some really great recipes.
List of resources to help ease into going gluten free:
Tim Ferriss Post about Slow Carb diet
Rob Wolff Paleo Diet
Leanne Vogel at Healthful Pursuit, Author of The Keto Diet
1 – instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, focus on what you can
This is probably the most important step. When you’re making a lifestyle change, especially one centered around food it’s hard to remember why you’re making the change in the first place. Focusing on the positive aspects will help decrease cravings, guilt, and anxiety. When you’re removing gluten from your diet, a lot of your favorite processed foods go with it. But you open yourself up to a whole new world of cuisines, flavors, and experiences.
I used to hate fish. My favorite saying is “Fish are friends, not food.” but I’ve learned to adapt my taste buds, and the other day when I had gluten free crab cakes, I was pleasantly surprised and finally understood what the fuss was about.
Sometimes it’s not our diet causing us to be sick. But if you notice a correlation between eating and feeling poorly, keeping a food journal can be an incredibly empowering experience. I’m personally not a fan of tracking everything I eat all the time – if I binge, that list can be pretty depressing. But it is empowering to have actual proof to show when you speak with your doctor. If you’re noticing you have a meal, and for the next several hours your body aches, you should write that down. Be analytic and scientific in your tracking.
Before you eat, write down how hungry you felt.
After you eat, write down if you felt you ate enough to be full, or over full.
Two -4 hours after eating, write down any symptoms you might be experiencing.
Once you have a solid record of your feelings before during and after, you can start the discussion with your healthcare professional or whoever, to start making positive long term changes.
3 – Don’t beat yourself up -be gentle!
Changing a way of eating is hard, especially if you have emotional attachments to certain foods.
So often we use food to reward ourselves. Win a promotion? Go out for dinner. Have a hard day? Drink all the drinks. Break up with your boyfriend? Eat ice cream until you pass out.
Changing so many things at one time can be hard. But I would challenge you to be mindful of your feelings of anxiety and stress. Take five or ten minutes to meditate or do yoga. If you’re fighting a craving, ask yourself where it’s coming from and how you could provide that same level of comfort without food. Sometimes it comes in the form of a hot bath or shower. Other times it’s running, or playing with the dog.
If during your two-four week trial you do give into temptation, don’t call yourself a failure. Don’t talk poorly to yourself. Instead, in your journal track it. Write down why it happened and how you can prevent it in the future.
4 – Plan ahead
Work towards removing gluten items and replacing them with non gluten items. If you want to keep it as simple as possible, Amazon has an incredible section of gluten free pantry items. All the premix cookies, cakes, pie crusts you could ever want. Some of them are even good. ( I highly recommend the Goodie Girls Mint Slims. My absolute favorite cookie!) but when we’re talking about health, replacing old sugars with newer even more refined sugars probably shouldn’t be the crux of the conversation. Programs like Whole 30 and The Paleo Diet are both great ways to plan a head. They lay out all the steps and menus you need.
When I went gluten free, I only ate meat, rice, vegetables and fruit. Eventually I cut out the rice too. It doesn’t have to be boring or filled with complicated recipes. Just keep it simple.
5 – Reach out to your health care professional
If before, during or after you start to realize that gluten is affecting your health, you need to connect with your healthcare professional for further testing.
I’ve mentioned this several times. It’s so important to get your health care professional involved early in your experiments. If you discover you feel better on a gluten free diet, they may want to test you for Celiac disease which requires a certain level of antibodies and inflammation still occurring in your body in order to be quantified. If you’ve been gluten free for too long and then get tested, you’ll pop up a bunch of false negatives because your body has healed. People who have been off gluten for several months are asked to take a gluten challenge – you eat the amount of gluten in 4 slices of bread every day for up to two months.
If you’ve been gluten free for awhile, you know how awful that could be.
6 – Treat yourself!
Being gluten free shouldn’t be a punishment. Goodie Girl thin mints are freaking amazing. Easily found at walmart or Amazon. Some of my other favorite gluten free treats are Larabars, Beef Jerky, and fresh fruit.
7 – Connect with community
MLSG which is there for all things millennial life related, or other gluten free communities on Facebook. You might also be able to find meetups in your area.
8 – Read Labels
This probably should have been closer to the top, but at least it made the list. Gluten hides in everything. It hides as vitamins, it hides as emulsifiers, and it hides as modified food starches and “natural flavors”. Even worse, it still isn’t mandatory for companies to disclose gluten or potential cross contamination. Even things labeled as “Certified Gluten Free” can have up to 20 parts per million of gluten inside of it, and be made in a facility where glutenous food is produced. Reading labels helps, but there is still so much more the food industry as a whole can do, and we should expect from them; namely, keeping the gluten far and away from the gluten free products.
While you’re experimenting, sticking to strictly certified gluten free products shouldn’t be your highest concern. If however it looks like it should be gluten free, but you experience a reaction, make sure you note it in your food journal.
9 – Choose whole foods instead of gluten free replacements
I’ve talked a lot about this already, but the best way to minimize cross contamination is to stick to whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, seeds, fats. Keep it simple. Keep it fresh.
10 – Get your family on board
If you do find you have celiac disease, you need to keep your kitchen as gluten free as possible. When you’re not the only person in the house, this might seem impossible. The best way to protect your health though is getting the family on board. People who don’t experience issues with gluten will never really get just how debilitating it can be to be glutened. Through consistent conversations, testing, and trial and error, hopefully you’ll be able to create a meal plan that the family will love so much they won’t even notice gluten is off the menu. Getting family to adopt a gluten free way of eating can be hard, but it’s the best way to protect your health long term.
My favorite book about Celiac onset (so far) is In Memory of Bread by Paul Graham. Look out for my full review coming soon. In the meantime, one of the things that really struck home with me in this book is that the author’s wife decided to remove gluten from her diet, and didn’t cheat on it, in an effort to protect him. To hear him talk about it was very moving.
Are you getting ready to Christmas shop this year, and are struggling on what to get for your spouse, or parents? Maybe you want to pamper one of your friends who just had a child, and need reminding to take care of herself. Luckily for you, Here are 11 of the Best Subscription Boxes this Christmas.
With subscription boxes, you have the choice to buy a one month option, or often you can buy them in three, six, or twelve month packages. Each one will be delivered as they ship. It’s convenient, and always fun to get a surprise box full of goodies. They’re always filled with things you never knew you always wanted. My favorites for myself include, Love with Food, Ipsy, and Keto Box. If you haven’t heard of these yet, that’s okay! They’re on the list, and I can’t wait to share them with you! You get to pick and choose how it fits into your budget. If you choose several month packages, they will often bill you once, so you don’t have to find out how to slip it in your budget until June.
I’ve adopted the keto way of life over the past year in an effort to help control my celiac, and heal my body and it has totally worked. I eat a largely whole foods diet with tons of fat, and very few carbs. But every now and then, I just need something that tastes life my old life. Enter: The Keto Box. Every month get a selection of keto/paleo approved treats ranging from dressing, chips, exogenous ketones and more. Perfect for that friend who “doesn’t eat anything anymore!”
First up, we have Amazon Prime. We all know Amazon. We love it and we use it. And who doesn’t love free 2-day shipping? Hundreds of movies, thousands of songs, and countless books. If your person you want to shop for loves EVERYTHING, Amazon prime is probably the best gift you can get. Because it makes EVERYTHING on Amazon so much more accessible! Awesome for kids with their Kindles!
Ipsy is the original makeup subscription box, and by far the most inexpensive on the list. If you want to do something, but you can’t do much, this is the subscription box for you. For $10 a month, your person will get a cute makeup bag, and several fun things like moisturizers, blushes, eyeshadows, primers, and always at least one full sized item. The total value of these bags are often $30 or more.
I don’t know about you, but I can think about about 6 moms who could use a break, or who are always looking for a thing that’s safer than the other thing. Or maybe they just need a break. Ecocentric Mom is awesome with the different subscription boxes they have. They’re specifically curated for pregnancy, mom and baby, and just being a woman who is also a mother. Tell me one mom who couldn’t use a little bit of a surprise gift box?
This is the only food option on here. I am very sensitive about food. I don’t eat carbs anymore, but if I did, I’d want them to be carefully curated by the people behind Love with Food. First of all, for every box bought, a donation is made to a food bank. But more importantly, their Gluten Free Box is full of only Certified Gluten Free items. The ones that pass an actual test. For someone who struggles with severe gluten intolerance, knowing that my food isn’t going to make me sick is the most powerful thing for me. And knowing that you would choose to show me Love with Food would make me feel very grateful, indeed. (They also have an organic option.)
GLUTEN-FREE THREE MONTH PLAN
from: LOVE WITH FOOD
And here we are, option number 11. If somehow your person or persons did not fall into any of the above categories, then this is your mark. (Unless they are’ underage. Lets keep it legal around here.) Wine never goes out of style. It always goes great with a meal, with company, a good book, or a long bubble bath. With Winc, you are saving lots of dollars by purchasing four wines at a time. They have all sorts of plans and you should explore them. And then purchase it immediately. For yourself, or for someone else, is irrelevant. Also make sure you live in a state that allows for the personal shipment of alcohol. Not all of them do. (Alaska doesn’t, I’m sad to report.)
If you have a person in your life who keeps wanting to try new things or build up their skills in cooking, photography, business, or something else, consider giving them the gift of education. Creative Live offers classes that are taught by the professionals. They’re the top experts in their field and these classes are so thorough, you’ll wonder how you got it for such a great price. You can buy as a gift card, or just pick the class for them. The best part about Creative Live is they are always having great sales happening (especially around the holidays – heyoo!) so keep checking back to see if the classes you’re interested in are up for grabs.
Woven Pear is probably my favorite place on this whole list, which is telling. Here’s their deal: Socks. Yes, socks. Not just socks. The cutest, most comfortable and adorably cute socks you’ve ever seen. The socks Dobby dreams of, even as he holds the one that set him free. These are those socks. And you can get them every month for the rest of your life. I mean, you can set your person up for 3 months of the most extraordinary socks. If you have a person who has a particular habit of mismatching their socks, this is for them. (Which is to say, when they were coming up with their ideal client, they were thinking of me.)
Decidedly not a subscription box to be sure, but I wanted to make sure that my favorite mattress company got a shoutout somewhere. These beds are made for comfort, and they are so affordable. If you’re looking for a mattress, Amore Beds will give you 100 nights to try it out – if you don’t like, you can get your money back. Is there anything better than the gift of a good night’s sleep?
Give the gift of exploration with Viator. Viator is the leading tour aggregate online and the offer the best prices you’ll find anywhere. I personally used this service during my recent holiday and it was fantastic. Even when I needed to contact customer service – I was very pleased.
You don’t have to choose exotic locations – go explore your own backyard. They have tours listed for basically everywhere in the world. But if you know your person is preparing for an epic trip, surprise them with a guided sight seeing tour, paddle boat excursion, or zipline trip.
Here we are at the end of 11 of the Best Subscription Boxes this Christmas! If you got any value out of this post, please click on one of the sharing buttons below, or leave a comment telling me which subscription box is your favorite for this Christmas!
This note is to let you know that the affiliate links in this blog post are there to support the costs associated with owning a blog. There is literally no cost to you. If you found value in this list, please use the links to purchase your items. I get a small commission, you get your gifts. Win win!
I recently went shopping at Thrive Market. Have you heard of it? They’re a social enterprise market, helping feed the world, while they feed you. They have top selling brands at wholesale prices, which I must say is nice to my wallet. And all from the comfort of your own home.
They have several different categories to meet your specific dietary needs, like Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, and of course, Gluten Free. Thrive Market makes buying your dry gluten free foods a breeze, plus they have so many options.
I made my first purchase the other day, and got it in the mail. I was able to find things I haven’t found in the stores around my town, and certainly not for the price I purchased them at Thrive Market.
The coconut oil was free gift with my first purchase, and while shipping is free for orders over $49, mine didn’t quite reach that. But it was still totally reasonable. I remember feeling so surprised at how cheap it was!
The cereal was demolished in about two days. I love and miss cereal like it was my best friend. Being gluten intolerant now means it’s basically impossible to find cereal that isn’t made of wheat, or that contains, malt. I also have a high intolerance for oatmeal, but that’s another story for another day.
And the mushroom soup by Pacific Foods is the first time I’ve ever seen it, so I just had to try it. When I lived in Oregon, the Pacific Foods factory was near my house and I always felt an affinity for their products.
To sign up at Thrive is easy. First, you make a free account, so you can browse and see all your options. When you’re ready to make a purchase, you’ve unlocked a free 30-day subscription to the market. If you find you’ve really enjoyed the service, you can sign up for a membership and continue to receive amazing savings, plus for every membership they get, they sponsor a low-income family who is struggling to provide healthful food to their family. Plus if you use my special link, you’ll save an additional 15% off your first order! Pretty sweet deal, right?
I’m really excited to start trying all the gluten free hygiene products they have, like masks, shampoo and conditioner, and body lotion. I’m convinced because all of my stuff has vitamin E, I’m getting cross contaminated all the time, which is why I never feel like I’m getting better
I think the coolest thing about this business is that they’re making it accessible to families who live in food deserts, or who have such highly specialized diets that regular grocery stores often cannot accommodate them in the way they deserve. Thrive Market is filling a gap and helping to end malnourishment.
The contest for the 7 Day Gluten Free Start Guide Giveaway has ended, and the winners have been contacted. Thank you to everyone who entered. If you missed your chance, you can pre-order your copy here.
The 7 Day Gluten Free Start guide is a Slow Carb style meal plan designed to get you eating clean, whole foods, and removing excess sugars, and accidental cross contamination which can make you sick. If you have basic cooking skills, and you’re ready to to take control your health and your gluten free life, you have to check out this book.
The difference between Slow Carb diets and Low Carb diets is just that; carbs. Slow carb diets encourages caloric intake from beans, legumes, and lentils. Low Carb diets allows for caloric intake of dairy (like cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream) but for those who have Celiac, consuming dairy can be particularly hard on the system.
The 7 Day Gluten Free Start Guide has seven days of recipes that are simple and fun to prepare and are full of flavor. If you’ve been gluten free, but doing your best to stick to the Standard American Diet, stop right now! The Standard American Diet isn’t doing anyone any good! All of that processed crap is just keeping you sick. Now is the time to try something full of whole, fresh foods that are truly enjoyable.
You can pre-order the 7 day Gluten Free Start Guide here. The Release date is July 25th, 2016.
Since going gluten free, it has been a real struggle reclaiming my health, and trying to maintain the new lifestyle. Figuring out what I can and cannot eat is often like crossing a field of landmines. The regular size Hershey’s chocolate bar is safe, the the King Size is not. Cheerios claim to be gluten free and I just can’t tell if when I have a reaction, if it’s because the Cheerios process for eliminating gluten isn’t good enough, or if my body just doesn’t like oats at all. Things you would never guess had gluten do, like, Pepsi 1883, vitamin E, many other kinds of chocolate, candies, and gum. I have to try to read between the lines on the packages of toothpaste, OTC’s, and cigarettes. (Note:I don’t actually smoke, but I just found out that gluten can exist in the paper, and the cotton filter of cigarettes. Crazy!)
I share a kitchen, and if the other person in the home wants to have a bread, she has a bread. And crumbs get all over everything, but they’re so small I can’t see, and somehow I end up with headaches, and queasy stomachs, and a hulk like attitude about the sun shining too brightly. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I was making it up. That this was all in my head. Life would be so much easier if I could just eat whatever I wanted.
But I understand that is not how life works, and to be perfectly honest, I feel blessed to have this disease. Not all the time, mind you. But it is nice to have some required forethought into my meals. To really pay attention how food affects my body and my moods. To explore new types of foods. It is forcing me to reclaim my health, a health I hadn’t realized was so far gone until I was off the gluten.
Now my days are spent searching for recipes, meal planning, and trying to be intuitive with my cooking. I recently cut out dairy because I noticed how my mood depletes when I’ve ingested it, how my bowels seem to protest entry and exit simultaneously. Its not all about food though. I was left weakened by my experience, and gaining back my strength is something I have to focus on as well.
I try to limit my simple carbs these days. Sugar just slows me down. It also happens to be my favorite food group, so it’s not always the easiest thing, but I feel my absolute best, and cleanest when I’m on a low/slow carb meal plan. You can learn more about a slow carb diet here.
As previously mentioned, I’m training for the Denver Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon this fall, and I’m raising money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital because no family should have worry about how to pay for their child’s treatment. You can support this amazing cause here.
Playing with Dog:
Getting a dog was possibly the best decision I could have made coming home. No matter how hard life gets, or impossible things may seem, this little boy needs a damn walk, and good long belly rub. It’s hard getting caught up in your own life when you have someone dependent on you.
I chant the Daimoku, and when I do, I see and feel active change around me, and in me. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. It brings change, and clarity, and strength.
It’s so important to stay hydrated. I try to drink at least 3 20 oz bottles of water a day, and at least one of those bottles has a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help clear out the decay inside of me. Incidentally, drinking so much water has had a beautiful effect on my skin. Cleared it right up!
Are you on a mission to reclaim your health? What steps are you taking?
A couple of months ago, I joined a celiac support group on Facebook. Every day since, I’ve seen post after post of people asking, “is this gluten free?” or, “What do I eat now?” And more often than I would ever care to see, “Guys, it happened again. :(” These posts just kill me! Often, when people ask if its Gluten free, its some highly processed sugar laden replacement for the “real thing” because the Standard American Diet hasn’t already done enough damage.
There are more and more people being diagnosed every day with Celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and I decided I would try to do what I can with the knowledge I have, to help ease the transition.
Enter: The 7 Day Gluten Start Free Guide.
This book includes seven days of recipes of delicious and healthy foods that are easy to make. There is a lot of cooking involved, but I don’t want that to scare anyone off. Half the problem with The Standard American Diet is that it requires so little cooking on our part.
When I came home from the Peace Corps, I got glutened even more often than while I was away. It was because I was desperate to include all the old foods into my life that I missed out on, and suddenly things that should have been safe, became landmines. Things like soy sauce, king size chocolate bars, ice cream, and assorted frozen foods became little bombs that would set me off. Learning to eat again was dangerous, and I realized that once I had gone gluten free in Botswana, I stopped eating all procesed foods. I only ate meat, vegetables and beans and I finally started to feel healthy.
So please, if you’re interested in fixing your diet, consider using my new book, The 7 Day Gluten Free Guide to help get you started.
To honor the publication of my new book, I’ve decided to have a giveaway! I’m giving away FIVE copies of The 7 Day Gluten Free Start Guide! Winners will be chosen at random, and there are several ways to enter!
First, You can tweet to your followers on twitter about the giveaway. You can do this every day during the contest.
Second, you can start following me on the twitter.
and Thirdly, you can visit my Facebook page and like it. Just leave a comment below saying you’ve liked my Facebook page.
The contest will run form July 7th, 2016 to July 16th, 2016. Winners will be announced on July 18th, 2016,
The release date of The 7 Day Gluten Free Start Guide is July 25th, 2016, and you can pre-order it right now!.
Savvy? I hope we get a lot of entries, so make sure you tell your friends!
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