Have you just found out that you need to live on a gluten-free diet? Clueless on where to start; well, I will give you my tips.
First and foremost – Yes, celiacs are sensitive to any kind of exposure to gluten, period! Even some breadcrumbs!
You just don’t see the effect because it is too complicated to turn your small intestine inside out to see how you are damaging it.
But here is what I will do, I will try to paint a picture that you can relate to.
You are a teenager, and your face is full of pimples. You’re embarrassed to go out with your friends because you’re ashamed of your looks. What are you willing to do to change that?
You google like crazy and find out that there is a lot of stuff you should avoid eating to get healthier skin, so you go all the way! You stop eating chocolate, and all those horrible things you know are intoxicating your skin. Well, celiac disease is more or less the same, but the “pimples” are on the inside, and they look even worst than the ones in your face!
Some celiacs are lucky because they are so sensitive that they get real physical warnings when they eat the smallest amount of gluten. They throw up, get belly cramps or even when they become extremely tired. All this just from some small and insignificant contact with gluten, like when someone uses the same knife to spread butter or cut open their bread roll with gluten. This is not a joke it is real!
I have a daughter that is like this, and at first I too was surprised there was so little to it!
Others won’t feel a thing, but the damage is done and will be registered inside without them knowing. With time, it can develop and manifest other diseases and intolerances.
So here are my top tips when starting a gluten-free diet:
- No conceptions allowed! Establish your gluten-free zone if you share a kitchen!
- Buy a new cutting board and a new set of knives (bread knife and bread knife) – label them and store them separately.
- Buy a new toaster, label it and store it separately.
- Identify all items containing gluten and throw them away or label them well. Establish a place in the kitchen that is a gluten-free zone where you will be keeping YOUR stuff!
- Now it’s time to start reading all the small letters in your premade food’s ingredients and identify what the bold letters mean – they are what we know as allergens. There are many ways of saying gluten – So go and check your sauces, soups, meals, etc. – you will be surprised to find out that there is gluten in many of them – examples are soya sauce, some types of mustard, fried onion, even some chips may contain traces of gluten, so keep looking! Here is a list of other names for gluten!
- Make a list of all the food you eat that is gluten-free.
- Identify those you already love – make a list, print pictures of them and pin them on your refrigerator door – this way, you will be constantly reminded of what you already can eat and that you love!
- Plan your meals well in advance!
- Keep reading the small letters every time you buy something; you never know when the producer will change the original recipe.
- Don’t go on a buying strick! First, find out what you need to replace!