Saturday, August 29, 2015

Just getting started...Gluten-Free

Just getting started...Gluten-Free

 For someone starting their new Gluten-Free journey learning to navigate their own kitchen can be just as challenging as traveling to a new country.  I always get questions from people who are new to living Gluten-Free and they're usually feeling pretty overwhelmed. It can certainly seem like Gluten can hide in anything. They want to do what's best for their own bodies, or their loved ones, but there's just soooo much information to try and process. And they want to feel better fast. Sometimes the best thing to do is to stop a moment, take a step back and begin again with a slower approach.

Yes, you want the Gluten out of your life – but it's not going to happen overnight.  Be patient with yourself.  Give yourself a little time and go back to basics. Once you manage to remove the gluten from your life…please don’t race to replace everything with Gluten-Free substitutes.  That’s the biggest mistake I see so many people making. It’s one of the reasons why so many people still feel so sick many months after going 100% Gluten-Free. 

You have to remember that your gut has been damaged…it’s going to need time to heal. Once you break that gluten addiction you’ll probably go through withdrawal, you’ll have some incredible cravings, a roller coaster ride of emotions, your body may want to purge all the junk out of your system through every conceivable orifice, and you’ll wonder more than once if you’re doing the right thing.  Hang in there…it does get better!

I normally ask people to dedicate the first 6 weeks to just cleaning up their diet. Learn how to eat real food again.  Go back to basics…real proteins, real fruits, real vegetables.  Good quality foods that feed the system and the soul.  Understand exactly what gluten is and what it is not.  Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in Wheat (Durum, Emmer, Spelt, Farina, Farro, Kamut® Khorasan Wheat, and Einkorn), Rye, Barley and Triticale. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as glue that holds food together.

CLEAN UP - start with a good cabinet cleaning and don't forget the fridge and the freezer too. Get rid of the obvious – WHEAT – and while you're at it learn how to read ingredients. Take some time to read up on Gluten, but get rid of the wheat in your diet ASAP. Don't worry about replacing it right away. Give yourself time to get used to pulling things out of your diet without adding Gluten-Free items back in. Gluten-Free foods can be expensive…and often times very disappointing at first.

NOTHING PROCESSED - which means if it comes out of a box or a can put it back on the shelf and step away. Eat real food. Focus first on quality foods…real meat, real fruit, real vegetables. Try making everything from scratch…so that you know exactly what goes into it. Frozen fruits and vegetables are fine…provided that's all that's in the package.

NOTHING WHITE – generally the whiter something is the more it's been processed.  Just replace your whites with a bit of color. Instead of white potato try sweet potato, instead of white sugar use brown or raw sugar, honey, or molasses.  Instead of white rice use brown or wild rice…you get the picture. Even milk…if you can handle it try an alternative…or go organic and get lactose free. Many people with Celiac have lactose intolerance due to the damage already done to their gut. Try going lactose free for a while and you might be able to go back later without the distress.

VITAMINS & MINERALS – if you haven't started with these yet…it's time to find one that works for you. I generally recommend liquid or capsules, powders are great too…stay away from tablets. Your gut already has a hard time digesting, why add to its distress.  You should be taking a good multi-vitamin, multi-mineral every single day.

Give yourself just six little weeks to get used to all the new changes you'll be adding to your life. Don't let yourself get so overwhelmed. You can do it…one step at a time.
Carolanne LeBlanc

Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
               Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse
               101 Imperial Palm Drive
               Largo, Florida  33771

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