Baked on the Bright Side


Tips for Regaining Your Stride in Your Gluten Free Life

April 16, 2012

Gluten-Free. Whew. It’s quite a hassle isn’t it? Not only is it difficult to find yummy gluten free products to satisfy your cravings, but it is also very frustrating to see your friends and family tackle that piece of German Chocolate Cake in one sitting. Am I right?

I personally am fortunate enough to not have the diagnosis of Celiac Disease, but I do however have a true gluten intolerance. I’ve been living this way for about one year now and looking back, the hardest thing has not been finding GF products but rather maintaining the willpower to not slip up and cave in to those crispy french fries, my dad’s homemade bread, a thick slice of deep dish pizza… you get the point.

I know there are people who don’t have a problem with this at all. They never get down about their limited diet and may be fully satisfied with the foods that they do eat. That being said, I would say that there are plenty of people who are in my boat. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of tips for gluten free living and how to keep your smile on the bright side!

1. Check restaurant menus before going out. One thing that always gets me down is going to a restaurant with a bunch of friends and having to settle on a salad as my meal. The best thing you can do is do some research before you hit the town. Most restaurants now post their menus online which can be a life saver for those of us who require gluten-free foods. If they don’t have a specific GF menu, look through the appetizers and sides, you can often order a few different items creating your own perfect gluten free meal.

2. Do a pantry scan every few days. Have you ever had a craving for something only to be left empty handed? Do an inventory check of your pantry every few days to make sure your gluten free staples are as plentiful as ever before. Being gluten free you often have to rely on the same bases for meals and snacks, i.e. pasta, grains, nuts and seeds… Making sure you are fully stocked will leave you with endless possibilities to satisfy your hunger.

3. Make your own goodies. It’s no lie that gluten free products have a considerably higher ticket price than their fully gluten counterparts. Avoid spending the extra money on packaged snacks and make your own at home! If you have a favorite cereal you like to snack on, throw some in a baggie with a variety of nuts and dried fruits and voila, you have gluten free trail mix! Little snacks like this are healthier and more satisfying than those you find in stores, leaving you with even more to smile about.

4. Do some blog hunting. We all know that there are a few minutes, maybe a few hours of every day that we spend online. Instead of doing pointless web wandering, do some useful research and find yourself a few go-to gluten free blogs that you really like. While it is unfortunate that so many people now suffer from Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance, it has opened up a whole new realm of online resources. Bookmark your favorites and join those email lists – a gluten-free recipe emailed to you daily will build up a recipe book pretty fast!

5. Take every step as a challenge! As I mentioned, I tend to get down every so often about the foods that I am limited to and sometimes even give in to those too strong cravings. But, when I find myself in this state I remember that this lifestyle is an adventure and embracing it with a can-do attitude is what will really keep you going. Join a recipe club, create weekly meal plans, heck, do what I did and start your own GF blog! Whatever it is, find your own inspiration and know that by living this lifestyle you’ll feel better, be happier and will inspire those around you!

To get some recipe inspiration, visit my blog at www.itreallyworksrecipes.blogspot.com.

~Melaina

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