It was over a year ago when I discovered that wheat was the biggest contributor to PMDD in my body. Going grain and dairy free with a whole 30 was like miracle and really saved my life, or at least he quality of my life. 10 months ago I had a tumor removed from my left breast that again, was a big life changer for me and I discovered that I had colitis. The antibiotics I took after made it very clear that going wheat-free was going to have to be a permanent part of my life. As soon as I cleaned up my diet, my body went back to normal in very few days and if you have ever experienced this illness you will know exactly what I mean.
So I needed to go Gluten Free Forever because it was simply the easiest method to remove wheat from my diet. Here is what I have learned so far on my Gluten -Free health journey.
1. Talk to your family.
Without a team effort going Gluten Free is really difficult. Chewy wheat bread is addictive and even the strongest willed person will bend when a carb craving hits and Gluten bread is in the house.
Tip- Create school lunches that either have no bread, like steak bites or gluten-free chicken nuggets and veggies with crispy popcorn. Or make several nut-butter sandwiches and freeze them, at least the frozen state will give a gluten-carb craver time to think it through while it thaws.
Your family needs you at your best and if you need to be gluten-free then they need to help you be gluten-free. Plus, there are so many wonderful things to eat as a family that do not have gluten that it will hardly be missed after a while.
2. Get educated and don’t buy into all that processed Gluten Free Food.
I have discovered that I feel much better eating a predominantly whole-fresh foods diet of mostly plants and vegetables with just a little bit of meat with an occasional serving of rice or oatmeal, but I did not get this far in the game by chance. I researched on-line, have read several books and watch every documentary I can get my hands on that are related to eating healthy and the food industry.
The most recent film I enjoyed was Forks Over Knives which supports veganism.
Don’t be alarmed, I did not watch these films to become a food extremist. I am gathering knowledge, and much of the knowledge or statements in the films I have watched seem to have the same facts and/or suggestions. The similarities I have found in the films are my smoke. You know the old saying, ” Where there is smoke there is fire.” Well, I am gathering up smoke signals from all of my studies and creating a big fat bonfire of my food journey for now and for my future and my family’s future.
Going gluten-free should not mean, going processed food gluten-free. Yes, it is not a perfect world and we are all busy, but keep in mind the rule that you should be able to read all packaging very easily and the ingredients should be REAL FOOD!
3. Plan, Plan, Plan
Plan a few meals in advance and keep your pantry and fridge filled with safe food that you love. If you keep foods that you love handy you will be less tempted to cheat and hit the DREADED GLUTEN DRIVE-THRU.
Keep a detailed FOOD SAFE shopping list on your Smart Phone or other device/ paper. Make sure our list includes all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables and make sure you have at least two GO TO items for quick meals. Also keep a copy in a home-binder or handy for your spouse or other adult in your life. If you are ever ill and need food brought home to you, your diet will not suffer.
5. Local Eateries
Research the local restaurants in your area for Gluten Free menus. Keep a list of these establishments handy for those occasions that call for dining out. If someone suggests dinner out you can encourage a Gluten Friendly Place nearby.
6. Be Prepared for a Snack Attack
Keep a healthy snack in your handbag or glove compartment, like raw nuts or a gluten-free oatmeal bar. I also keep an organic apple handy as often as I can in my computer bag or purse. This is another way to not make a DRIVE -THRU GLUTEN MISTAKE.
7. Find Your Local Farmer’s Market
The easiest way to stay gluten-free is to eat whole fruits, seeds, and vegetables first and add a taste of meat and a hint of safe grains. This can be done so wonderfully at a farmer’s market with local fruits and vegetables.
8. Learn to Read Labels
I read every single label when I buy food these days. I am honestly appalled at what companies have the nerve to put in food that folks actually think are good for them. See number seven and embrace it. Gluten Free is a must, but healthy whole foods without gluten are the best.
9. Mistakes are Not Failure- Quitting Is Failure
When you change anything about your lifestyle, especially the way you eat, it can be a real learning experiende. When we learn a new task the tasks takes practice. The only way we can fail is to quit. If you have a wheat intolerance only, or just want to go gluten-free for personal reasons you have some learning wiggle room. If you are required for health reasons to go gluten -free than I would ask the doctor if there is a support group for folks in your area to deal with obstacles on this lifestyle change.
10. You Are Worth Your Health and More
If you feel better when you eat gluten-free and it makes you healthier and in many cases keeps your body-safe from harm if your are diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease your are worth every single second, minute and hour that it takes to prepare healthy food for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.
Every morning get up and look yourself in the mirror and proclaim to the world I am worthy and shockingly awesome. I deserve good health and I am determined to do the best I can today to make it happen.
Write your own ME- MANTRA for life and health.
” Today, I Love Me Enough To Eat Well, Be Well and This Will Help Me Do Well by Others.”
That is mine. What is yours??
I hope these tips are a bit helpful, but remember your doctor is the best starting point for any major diet change, I am just a mom trying to get healthier and these are my thoughts.