4 Ways You Can Embrace a Gluten-Free Diet
Here are four ways you can get aboard the gluten-free bus and still enjoy every mealtime.
Experts have recognized that 1 in 133 people have celiac disease, which accounts for 6-7% of all Americans. This doesn’t sound like a lot of people until you calculate that that equates to over 20 million people—no small number. But while many are switching to a gluten-free diet for specific medical conditions, many more are making the change because they believe that a gluten-free diet is healthier for them. While the Gluten Intolerance Group says it’s only healthier if you are, in fact, celiac, they agree that if you eat a diet high in breads and carbs, going gluten-free will undoubtedly make you feel less sluggish and more full of energy. Regardless of your reasons, if you’ve chosen to make the leap to eliminate gluten from your diet, you may be wondering how restrictive it will be (and just how much you’ll miss your gluten-heavy favorite foods). Worry not, here are four ways you can get aboard the gluten-free bus and still enjoy every mealtime.
If you’re a health supplement aficionado, you may be worrying about whether you’ll have to pause your daily vitamin regimen, but this isn’t the case. The team of health experts at Le-Vel Thrive points out that many supplements are now gluten-free as well as being all-natural and plant-based, so you can continue to feel your best self without having to compromise on the extra support health enhancements provide. Just be cautious about reading the fine print and making sure that the vitamins you’re using are definitely gluten-free. You don’t want to be fooled by misleading language into taking something that isn’t good for you.
Who doesn’t love sandwiches? They’re a packed lunch staple and there’s nothing better than tucking into a hearty BLT when you’re ravenous. But, if you can no longer eat bread, you’ll surely have to say goodbye to this humble lunch, right? Thankfully, not—not if you think outside the box a little. A large lettuce leaf has become the unsung hero of the gluten-free sandwich world by becoming your new filling holder. Using it just as you would a wrap, pile in your favorite (gluten-free) sandwich filling, wrap the leaf around it, and you have the perfect snack. In fact, it’s become so normal that many sandwich chains actually offer it as a menu choice.
If you’re a baker at heart, the only thing you need to change is your flour—and you’re certainly not short of options. There are at least 10 variants you can choose from, including almond, buckwheat, chickpea, oat, coconut, brown rice and tapioca flour. You’ll need to prepare yourself for a little trial-and-error bakes while you work out which flour gets the best results for each recipe, as some work better than others. For example, some will thicken faster, whereas others are higher in protein. But with a little practice, you’ll be creating sweet treats and baked goodies in no time.
Crudities are Your Friend
If you have previously looked forward to the bread basket before every meal, going gluten-free is going to make a significant difference to your dining experience. But you needn’t miss out on a pre-dinner nibble to ward off the hunger. Raw vegetables will provide as satisfying a snack and are really very good for you—they’re packed full of antioxidants and will leave you feeling more energized than dozy (which is what bread can often do), so you’ll feel more alert and ready to enjoy your main meal. Your palette will feel fresher too.
These are just a few ideas as to how you can live gluten-free and still enjoy many of the foods and health items you have previously. Do your research and ask around for more tips and advice—the gluten-free marketplace is rich with brands that are helping consumers embrace the trend—and keep your eye out for new products launching all the time.