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My Journey on a Gluten Free Diet (and Great Recipes)

My Gluten Free Diet

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I never pictured myself having to embark on a gluten free diet, so I have to admit I didn’t pay that much attention to how difficult an adjustment it might be to those people who suddenly find themselves having to drastically restrict their diets.

Then, with a few non-life threatening but chronic issues that seemed to be getting worse, I went to a naturopath (a fabulous naturopath as it turns out).

The result of that one decision? I was put on a gluten free diet.

And not only a gluten free diet, but also dairy free, nut and seed free, no tuna, no corn, no chocolate or sugar. What!!?? My first reaction was “what the heck do I eat? ”

My common response when people asked me what I could eat was “tree bark and strawberries”. It was my way of joking about it, but the truth was that I was forced to embark on what seemed for me a very difficult and frustrating journey – to find meals that I could really enjoy that were gluten free, dairy free and what seemed like “almost everything else that is good-free”.

What is a Gluten Free Diet?

Being on a gluten-free diet means not consuming anything that has any wheat – bread, crackers, breading, flour, cakes, cookies – anything. Rye and barley also contain gluten.

Someone who is very gluten sensitive, or who has celiac disease, also has to be careful not to eat things that may have become contaminated by gluten. That includes things like oats and other products that may have been processed in a facility that also produces gluten containing products. Some facilities take great care not to cross contaminate their “gluten free” products or produce them in a totally gluten free facility (even better).

The bottom line is that if you have to eat gluten-free, it’s very important to read labels, all labels, until you find those products that are safe for you to eat.

If you love oatmeal, it’s perfect on a gluten-free diet, as long as you make sure it is truly gluten free. Labels are our friends on this journey.

But even more important than labels is your own body. If you are highly sensitive to gluten your body will react badly to foods that contain even a trace of it. So paying attention to how your body responds to different foods is essential.

How to Start a Gluten-Free Diet

Everyone is different and what works for one doesn’t work or isn’t necessary for another person. So I can tell you how I went about converting my house to a totally gluten free environment, but your story may be different. (Please share your story in the comments section below. Let’s share this journey).

The first thing I did was clean out my house of everything I can’t eat. No use keeping temptation so close it hurts to look at it every day. Or risk the chance of reaching out for something on my extensive Do Not Eat list.

I literally gave away a table full of food. Breads, crackers, pastas, tuna and nuts (not gluten containing but off my list of healthy foods for a while). It felt like I was giving my life away and I have to admit I felt a bit sorry for myself for a bit.

But I was determined to make this work for my health.

So once the nasties were out of the house (well the delicious, but now on the nasty list), now what? I hadn’t paid much attention to gluten free products in the grocery stores or health food stores because I didn’t need them. Wow, what a shock when I went to the store and had to begin reading labels on everything. SO many things were unavailable to me (and to all those on a gluten free diet). I was shocked at how limited my diet seemed like it was going to be.

I made several attempts at trying store bought gluten-free bread. Almost all of them were a real disappointment. There is just something about gluten that makes bread…. well, bread. Most gluten free breads lack the texture and complexity of really good bread. And I love good bread. So my journey of discovery continues with bread.

I do have some gluten free bread recipes I want to try, but I haven’t gotten to them yet. I’ll let you know how they work out. That said, I have a few bread recipes from other people on the site. You can find them here.

I do keep gluten-free bread on hand, but over the months I have begun to rely on bread less and less in my diet. I have gluten free crackers in the cupboard. Not being able to eat nuts and seeds eliminates most of them from my diet as well, but there are a few that I can eat and I always keep those on hand.

The solution for me has been lot of vegetables and fruit. Back to the basics of healthy eating.

Of course, when you can’t use butter, yogurt or cheese you feel a bit limited, but I have been really pleased with the variety of delicious meals I’ve prepared over the last several months.

(I’ve got several examples for you below).

It’s been challenging for sure. Dining out is especially difficult, although I have found that many restaurants will try to accommodate you if they can. I really appreciate and I am always grateful when I can find a few choices on a menu that I can eat.

But most of the time of course we are eating at home, so making easy gluten free meals became a real priority for me (and still is. I am still inventing).

As someone who needs to eat gluten free I’m sure you know how wonderful it is to find new recipes to try that aren’t going to hurt you. For that reason I ask you to please add your favorite gluten free recipes in the comments section below. Others will appreciate it as much as you do.

Also, all of your tips for making tasty, easy gluten free meals are welcome. Let’s support each other on this journey that so many of us are on.

Below you will find some of my favorite gluten free recipes (plus dairy free recipes too).

Many of these recipes are vegetarian or vegan. You certainly don’t have to eat vegetarian when you are on a gluten-free diet, but I did want to show you that there are wonderful meat free dinner ideas that are gluten-free too.

I hope you enjoy them.

Gluten Free Dinner Ideas

Here are some of my favorite gluten-free dinner ideas. Add your favorites in the comments below.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Orange Chicken

Split Roast Chicken

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Bean and Vegetable Burritos

Vegetarian Tacos

Lentils and Rice

Chickpea Curry

Chickpea and Quinoa Salad

Raw Beet Salad

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

Herb Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Vegetables

Greek Lemon Potatoes

Of course these aren’t the only gluten-free recipes on the site. You can browse all of our gluten-free recipes here.

I’ll be adding more easy gluten-free recipes to the site on a regular basis, so please come back often, or better yet:
Subscribe to the site (it’s Free!) and never miss a great gluten-free recipe.

You will find a wide variety of vegetarian recipes to try here.

If you like this page, please take a moment to share it on your favorite social media. You can add your comments below. Thanks a lot.

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