Going Gluten Free with Ease: Week 1

It’s been a week since I decided it was time to fully commit to the gluten free lifestyle.  We don’t bring it into the house except for the odd pizza anyway, so our pantry and fridge haven’t seen gluten in a few years.  I’m pretty sure pizza was the only thing really holding us back.  That, and restaurants, but I’ve successfully eaten at 2 restaurants this week and it was actually really easy.  You just have to be sure to ask the right questions!  If you’re not sure, always ask.  Here are my ramblings from week one:

Soups, Sauces, and Salad Dressing. 

Always ask if they’re gluten free.  I ordered eggs benedict without the English muffin, which many would assume made the meal gluten free.  But, I asked about the sauce, which turned out to be made with wheat.  Traditionally it is made from egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and butter, but a lot of lower scale restaurants rely on a dry “just add water” mix.  Gross.  If you want to make it at home, here is a traditional Hollandaise Sauce recipe!

Bread.

Obviously, bread and other obvious wheat containing items are no longer options.  But instead of focusing on “I can’t have it,” focus instead on all of the things that you CAN eat.  Where attention goes, energy flows.  Put your energy into energizing foods such as salads, proteins, and vegetables.  If you find yourself sulking about what you can no longer eat, then it’s time to change your focus!  Think about how your pants are starting to fit looser, or how much energy you have now that you’ve given up grains. Sometimes I just think about chocolate and how grateful I am that my favourite treat is gluten free!

Environment is Everything.

It may be time to change a few of your current hang outs.  If you’ve always gone to a coffee shop and ordered coffee and a doughnut, the habitual energy of that establishment may pull you back in and you may find it hard to cope – unless your motivation is extremely high.  Some people can do it, because their reason WHY they’ve gone gluten free is so strong.  If you’re finding it difficult, it is important to put yourself in situations where you can thrive.  Most cafes in Urban areas have gluten free options, but if you find yourself in Tim Horton’s country like I am, my advice is to stay far, far away!

“Gluten Free” Doesn’t Mean Healthy

Just because the label says gluten free doesn’t mean that food is fit for human consumption.  Many large companies are jumping on the gluten free bandwagon and their foods are not pretty.  Many packaged items contain corn, oats, and rice, which are all inflammatory foods that will spike your blood sugar higher than table sugar.  There is really nothing redeeming about packaged foods!  They’re likely high in sugar and rancid oils as well.  It’s always best to make your own at home.

Drink Plenty of Water.

I have been incredibly dehydrated this week and I know it’s because I’m not getting enough water!  When you give up grains your body releases a lot of water, and since our bodies are 75-80% water, it’s important to stay dehydrated so the body can perform its trillions of daily tasks.  The easiest way to tell if you’re getting enough water is to keep track of your urine.  If it’s deep orange, you’re in trouble.  It should be almost clear!

What I’ve Been Eating

I’ve been eating lots of eggs, meat, salads, homemade pate, smoothies, green juice, and chocolate!  I went to The Beet in Toronto yesterday which is an “organic restaurant that focuses on sourcing local, organic and sustainable ingredients.” I had a green juice and a steak sandwich in a gluten free wrap.  It was amazing.  Restaurants like The Beet make going gluten free very easy when eating out.  I hope you all have amazing restaurants like it available to you!

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