I acknowledge you for taking such a significant stand for your health by removing gluten from your diet. Gluten can feel like such a hard thing to live without at first; however, I think you will find, once you’re in the swing of things, it becomes more about preparedness, organization, and being aware.
By taking a stand for yourself, you’re taking a huge stand for the overall health for your family. I find when working with families, it is so much easier to move the whole family together versus one of the parents becoming a short-order cook and catering to each individual’s needs. Below are some easy tips for going gluten free.
The most obvious forms of gluten to avoid
- Sprouted wheat
Incremental removal of gluten products
Start by eliminating gluten from one meal per day, then work your way to two and three meals.
- Week 1: Begin by making all breakfasts gluten free.
- Week 2: Now that you’ve got all breakfasts gluten free, add in lunches.
- Week 3: Once lunch is mastered, add in a few gluten free dinners.
- Week 4: Within a month’s time, most of your meals will easily be gluten free.
Gluten free breakfast ideas
At first you’ll find yourself grabbing every gluten free pancake mix or box of prepared items. After a while you’ll find those items are, for the most part, pretty starchy and full of sugar. Before you know it, you’ll be purchasing ingredients and finding new favorite recipes to make from scratch.
- Waffles, pancakes, English muffins, and bread — all of these can be found or made gluten free.
- Your favorite egg dish can be made without the bread, crust or with gluten free bread or crust.
- Smoothies are a favorite of many families.
- Boiled eggs and sausage links are a quick and easy go-to breakfast.
- Oatmeal can remain on the menu as long as it’s labeled gluten free.
Gluten free lunch ideas
- Sandwiches made with Rudi’s or Canyon Bakehouse breads
- Tuna salad served with gluten free crackers for scooping — we love Nut Thins, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Glutino, or Flackers brands
- Lettuce wraps — put everything you’d normally put between bread into a large iceberg, romaine, or butter lettuce leaf and enjoy
- Turkey, cheese, and gluten free cracker towers
- Quesadillas on gluten free tortillas
Gluten free dinner ideas
- Soups and stews are easily made without flour — if you need to thicken use coconut cream or arrowroot starch
- Grilled meat — everyone loves meat off the grill, just watch the spices you are using for ingredients such as “natural flavors,” which may be hidden sources of gluten
- Roasted chicken
- Lasagna — yes, there are gluten free lasagna noodles, try using thinly sliced zucchini or potatoes
- Pasta — gluten free pasta is cheapest on Thrive Market or at Trader Joe’s
Of course you want to make sure your meals are loaded with fresh produce — we want more colorful (and helpful) carbs and fewer brown/cream/white carbs (think waffles, bagels, bread, pasta) for proper nutrient balance. Add a concentrated protein source for each meal as well.
Keep snacking easy with freshly chopped fruits and veggies with dips such as nut butters or hummus.
Easy swaps for family favorites
- Pizza: Bob’s Red Mill makes a great mix or try my grain free pizza crust recipe (you won’t believe how good it is until you try it)
- Mexican: At Chipotle, instead of the burrito have a burrito bowl or hard shell corn tacos. For those quick quesadilla nights, use corn tortillas, though both Udi’s and Rudi’s have a soft shell gluten free version that work great.
- Asian: Just make certain ALL noodles are rice noodles.
Eating out gluten free
The great thing about being gluten free today is that it’s fairly commonplace and more and more restaurants have options for you. Here are a few website and apps to find options near you:
I hope these ideas will help you wade into the world of gluten free living. Remember, it’s all about being willing to try. When we find a disposable diaper gives our baby a diaper rash, we give those away and try another brand, right? Same here. We want the best for our family and that means a little trial and error. Stick with it, ASK FOR HELP, and you’ll soon be on your way.