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4 Starter Tips on Your GF Journey

4 Starter Tips on Your GF Journey
11 March, 2013
4 Tips on GF Journey
4 Tips on GF Journey
This is first of 3 blog posts I wrote for Goodalls Ireland in February 2013 focussing on tips for those starting out on a gluten-free diet and suffering from coeliac disease. Coeliac disease differs from food intolerances as it is an autoimmune disease. The tips below I found useful when learning to overcome the effects of food intolerances and being gluten sensitive. The other two posts are 'Gluten-free & Happy' and "Gluten-free: A Life Journey'.

Starting out with any food restriction can be difficult, take me as an example. As well as avoiding gluten I also have to avoid wheat, dairy, egg and a host of others. But over time the changes you make to your diet and your kitchen become so commonplace that you'll forget you ever did things any other way. Soon you'll feel great again and armed with new foods, amended recipes, and new recipes you'll forget you ever had the problem foods in your diet. The good news for you in Ireland is that most people are very aware and knowledgeable of the gluten-free diet, than even 5 years ago, which has resulted in a huge selection of gluten-free options being available. Here are a few tips that got me on the road to remove difficult and unsuitable foods from my diet. They may help you on your gluten-free journey.

  1. Keep a Food Dairy: This is very beneficial starting out as it highlights your pressure points where you eat gluten. Armed with this knowledge you'll quickly remove suspect foods, write a better shopping list and prioritise finding replacement foods to fill the gaps left by the discarded foods.I only use my food diary now if the symptoms come back for a week or so. The food diary helps me find the problem which is usually down to trying some new food or visiting a new place to eat. You'll more than likely find the same.
  2. Make Your Kitchen Coeliac Friendly:You need to go through your cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer and remove products that could contain gluten. Replace them with gluten-free options instead. You'll have the list of approved foods from the Coeliac Society and this will guide you on the ones that need to be replaced and your most suitable non-GF alternatives. Watch out especially for spices, pastas, soy sauce etc. So long as you are only avoiding gluten there is a great selection of gluten-free breads for you to choose from. Some are even wheat-free as well.The more coeliac-friendly you make your kitchen the more hassle-free your cooking and baking will be. If any member of the family wants a gluten-free alternative then buy it in and only add it to their dish. I buy in Tony's wheat bread rolls and the like.
  3. Hosting Family Events/ Parties/ Special Events As your home will be coeliac friendly and you are doing the catering then you know the food is going to be safe for you to eat. Also you'll be the 'GF Hostess' and your friends and family with similar food issues can relax knowing your dishes will be suitable for them. You'll have fun quizzing each other and sharing tips together as you bring out your fabulous gluten-free meals and especially your gluten-free desserts.If you have outside catering then for a party or big event you be able to ensure there are gluten-free foods on the menu.
  4. Recipes: Check your most regularly used recipes and keep the ones that are gluten-free. For the rest see if they can be easily adapted, if not replace them with new ones that fit your new eating plan.   

The information contained in this blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider.

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