Everything you Need to Know about going Gluten Free

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I don’t want to bore you with my long gluten free origin story so I am just going to sum it up. Starting in college I began experiencing nausea after I ate and it progressively got worse over the years. I’ve had minimal tests done but the nurse said to just use a food diary and document when it happened. I did that and couldn’t find a pattern. I took things out and couldn’t tell a difference so I FINALLY had an intolerance test done. 

HERE is the link to the exact company I used + they have deals on Groupon HERE so it was affordable to try it!

The way Allergy Test works is you pluck a few hairs from your head, seal em in a plastic bag and mail it to their center. It takes a few weeks but they email you the results in simple PDF form of two pages. One with food intolerances and one with non-food items and each item is ranked with a percentage of your intolerance! If you have an 80% or above intolerance you begin experiencing symptoms so they only show those.

I was so surprised to find out I have an intolerance to wheat flour! Like everything has wheat flour in it so no wonder I could never figure out what foods to stay away from. I had a few other foods listed like bacon, coconut oil, cornflakes and Fuji Apples. I know random right!

So I decided to test these. I took out ALL wheat products in my life and I almost IMMEDIATELY felt the difference. It was a whole new world!

So before I continue I want to define gluten for those who are clueless (like me). 

Gluten is "a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt and barley” (Medical News Today)

Gluten essentially makes breads and things rise and makes the texture chewy. A few more examples would be most crackers, pastas, cereals, cakes, cookies, pastries… 

While I only have a wheat intolerance I live a gluten free lifestyle.

I want to debunk a few myths about going gluten free!

     1. You lose weight when you go gluten free - MYTH

Just because you take out gluten doesn’t mean you will lose weight! You typically consume the same amount of calories they are just from other types of foods. You start buying replacement cereals, breads, etc and these aren’t = to healthy!

     2. Labels are fact - MYTH

You have to carefully read the nutrition label because if you have health issues where you can’t eat any food even processed NEAR gluten then a gluten free product could still have traces of gluten! It depends on your reason for the gluten free lifestyle. Also there are foods that are gluten free WITHOUT the gluten free label on the box, just look!

    3. Gluten free food = Tasteless - MYTH

Honestly I have had gluten free cake that was just as good as regular cake! Sure things aren’t exactly the same as with gluten but you can find alternatives that satisfy you without upsetting your body.

Okay so I have only been gluten free for a few months and I live in Ukraine where everything is organic making it a little different for me so I asked my friend Katie who has Leaky Gut and other health issues to share her tips too!

Top Tips for a successful gluten free transition //

     1. Get rid of all that gluten in your house especially what’s tempting for you! 

I personally keep flour in my home to make recipes for other people like specific cakes and cookies because ultimately these are cheaper especially for large amounts of people! BUT don’t eat the dough (I am talking to myself).

***Katie Tip!

When you go out and you know you are going places with limited gluten free options bring a treat for yourself! When everyone else is cutting into that cake it’s going to be really hard to say no so just bring something for yourself!

     2. Learn to Read a Nutritional Label

Here is a link to a great article for the basics of finding gluten free products!
Check it out!

     3. Buy Gluten Free Bread

This may take some testing at your local supermarket. Look on the bread isle or sometimes there are gluten free sections in the grocery store specifically. Try different brands until you find one you like. Don’t get thrown off by one tasting bad, try another!

*** Katie Tip! 
If you can’t find products near you, order them online. It’s better to spend more money and be able to eat the foods you are craving then to cheat. Say you are craving a real burger, not a lettuce wrapped, then order some online then freeze the extras! They last a long time and then you can treat yourself when you really miss gluten.

    4. What’s your favorite foods with gluten? Find replacements. 

So if you love pasta just buy gluten free pasta. If you love eating out look up the gluten free menu online. For almost every restaurant someone has posted what they eat there. Your life is NOT ending! Just changing for the better! Key word = favorites! 

    5. Find the best Gluten Free Flour

This is definitely necessary. Look for a 1-1 replacement blend to start with. Since gluten has specific components to make foods chewy these blends typically add anthem gum. Read the label to make sure this is included!

Interested in mixing your own? Check out this recipe!

*** Katie Tip!

Mix gluten free flours. Typically one flour can have a strong flavor (like almond flour) and can result in a dense dish. Mixing multiple creates a more gluten like result! 
Also add more butter because it will make it more chewy.

     6. Eat more Natural Foods

You are taking out a lot of unhealthy food so why don’t you replace it with NATURAL plants that will ultimately make you feel better too! Seize the opportunity my friend, you are worth it!

     7. Plan to Cook More

I know this is work. A LOT OF WORK. Trust me, I live in Ukraine where there are NO fast food restaurants that are gluten free so I cook EVERYDAY. Honestly I’ve learned to love it & I eat so much healthier! I make a plan each week, I shop, I prep and I cook. This helps me save money and time. 

Okay now you have the basics down it’s time to start actually making the food! Here are a few of my FAVORITE recipes and websites to find gluten free recipes!

What to Make//

Blog // Gluten Free on a Shoestring  
Here is a link to a post of different GF bread options Nicole wrote
She even has a gluten free flour mini course for free!

Recipe // My GO-TO Oat Pancake Recipe
(Sidenote: Oats aren’t always gluten free, make sure you read the label!)

Blog // The Big Man’s World
This place is sweet tooth heaven!

Katie Tip!
Follow // Gluten Free Bakers on Instagram
Paleo Gluten Free Eats
Ambitious Kitchen
Unconventional Baker

Stay inspired by others who already have gluten free recipes. This means less fails in the kitchen for you!

If you have any questions or tips you want to share comment below!


 

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