You found out you have Celiac or a gluten intolerance…now what?? Or maybe it’s just a life change to cut out unhealthy foods. I have 4 easy tips that will surely make life easier as you adjust to your new life. This is truly a huge life adjustment! When I found out I had to eat gluten-free due to Celiac Disease and my thyroid, it was quite the shock. My friend had to cut gluten from her diet, and it was a struggle watching her navigate through this unknown world. I often said things like, “There is no way I could ever make that adjustment.” Or, “I would starve if I had to eat gluten-free!” Then a few years later…here I am!
It was a little easier when my mom had to make the change right before me, so she was already studying everything about eating gluten-free and making it an easier adjustment. She figured out great tips and tricks to help make our food taste similar to how it use to. Don’t get me wrong, there were many chocolate chip cookie trials, and cakes that didn’t turn out. But these tips I’m sharing with you today are tried and true tips that I wish I knew when I had to make the change.
Tip #1: Reduce Cross Contamination
In the beginning, you may try to cook your food gluten-free, but keep the family dinners the same. It is really hard to have a shared kitchen, although it can be done. If you need to have a shared kitchen, make sure family members know what dishes have to be used for gluten-free meals. I used to make 2 versions of dinner, gluten-free and regular. I ended up doing twice as many dishes and would worry I would get sick after eating. When you find the right foods that taste how you like them, and get a good rhythm, your family members WILL NOT be able to taste the difference and they will get use to eating what you cook.
A few things to never share are the toaster, cutting board, wood utensils, and colanders. If you can find a toaster with 4 compartments, that would be helpful! Then with the cutting board, wood utensils, and colander, it is more difficult to make sure all the gluten is cleaned from these surfaces.
Tip #2: Take a Digestive Enzyme Before Eating
Digestive enzymes help break down your food so your body can digest it better. Chances are, if you have to be gluten free because of an intolerance or Celiac Disease, the gluten you used to eat did some damage in your intestinal tract. This makes absorbing nutrients from foods and breaking foods down a lot harder and can cause discomfort. If you aren’t super sensitive to gluten, and have cross contamination, the digestive enzyme will help your body not gain a reaction and will break down the gluten without you noticing you had any. Finding a good one is so helpful for your body and to give you some peace of mind. I suggest going to a local health food store to find the right one for you.
Tip #3: Find Me Gluten-Free App
When I found this app, I squealed! Finally, an app that gives a rating on whether a restaurant is good when it comes to eating gluten free! All the ratings are given by people that are gluten intolerant or that have Celiac Disease and have experiences with the particular restaurant. It is so easy to use! You can put in your location and it shows you all the gluten-free options around you, which was super helpful when we would go out of town. Then I wasn’t spending so much time looking up the restaurant’s menu online and trying to decipher whether it was safe to eat there. It also gives you a percentage if the restaurant is Celiac friendly, which is a HUGE deal to me. Restaurants are way more careful when you tell them you have Celiac Disease! Another thing I like is that the app has ads just for gluten-free websites and gluten-free products. I didn’t see this as spam at all and appreciated the suggestions. One ad was for a website that gives coupons for gluten-free foods and restaurants! It’s called www.coupons.findmeglutenfree.com . I totally recommend getting this app and then leaving a review after you eat at a restaurant!
Tip #4: Be Prepared if You Accidentally Eat Gluten
I learned this the hard way in the beginning. When I would have just a little gluten or any cross contamination, my body acted like I had food poisoning. My body was just trying to get this new toxin out. It was the worst. Slowly we found different supplements to help the body recover quicker. The first supplement, and I dare say the most important, is activated charcoal. The hospital gives this to patients when they have food poisoning or toxins in their body. The charcoal grabs any toxins and takes it out of the body, through throwing up or through the bowels. The charcoal helps so that if your body needs to throw up, it gets everything out quicker, instead of you suffering through many bouts of throwing up. Charcoal is also good for the stomach flu or intestinal bugs. The key to taking activated charcoal is to drink lots of water after, as long as you are holding down liquids. Activated charcoal is also great for teeth whitening, scalp detox, and face mask.
Other great supplements to have on hand are probiotics, a soothing herbal tea like Throat Coat Tea, and Marshmallow Root. These will help sooth and rebuild good bacteria in the digestive tract, making it easier to digest food again.
And of course drinking plenty of water will help flush out the toxins faster! Try drinking at least 8 glasses of water in 24 hours, to get it out quicker. Adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar to your water will also help alkalize the water, reducing the acid in your stomach.
You can find Dani on Instagram at @a.day.with.dani.