How I Made the Switch to a Gluten-Free Diet easily! Have a look


More people than ever are joining the gluten-free movement for its health benefits, particularly due to medical conditions that prevent them from digesting the substance without harmful side effects and because of these concerns some of us are willing to know more about it, in that case we can look up to for more information. Although switching to a gluten-free diet is the best thing for someone with gluten intolerance or even just gluten sensitivity, making the change can be difficult and overwhelming. The choice requires uncompromising commitment and a sacrifice of the majority of foods sold in supermarkets and dishes on restaurant menus.

My own switch to a gluten-free diet began about two years ago when I finally decided to take control of the painful symptoms I was experiencing on a daily basis. I have lupus, a disease that causes a variety of health conditions and symptoms, one of the most common of which is continuous joint pain.

Although I do not suffer from gluten intolerance, I have found that eating gluten triggers joint and muscle pain. I’d had lupus for four years when I finally admitted to myself that a gluten-free diet and the relief it would bring was better than the toast I was having at breakfast.

Giving up baked goods, virtually all desserts, cereals, pasta, junk food, and so much more was one of the most difficult endeavors I have ever undertaken. Fortunately, for those of us making the big switch, gluten-free products are making more and more appearances on store shelves everywhere. With more people going gluten-free, the demand is even greater, propelling the advancement and production of GF food products forward.

Only a few years ago, gluten-free foods were bland, dry, and hard to find – poor substitutes for the real thing. But with the growing number of those switching to a gluten-free diet, more and more people are experimenting with alternative flours, creating and perfecting recipes. Gluten-free food companies, grocery stores, and restaurants are also recognizing the movement, expanding their selections to cater to this up and coming consumer demographic.

I just attended Rudi’s Gluten-Free Expo in St. Petersburg and was pleasantly surprised at the range of options that are now available. Baking mixes, specialty cakes, cookies, brownies, animal crackers, oreos, snack foods, pizza, and so much more – all completely gluten-free and thoroughly delicious. This rise in availability and quality of gluten-free products is what has most helped me stick to this lifestyle. Just the knowledge that I can purchase gluten-free bread, pasta, and baking mixes for those occasions when I crave carbs and sweets gives me the willpower to pass up gluten filled foods.

For the most part I have simply made healthier choices. Because snack foods like pretzels, crackers, and most chips contain gluten, I have given them up altogether. Instead I snack on popcorn, tortilla chips, fruit, or granola. Cereals – with the exception of plain rice or corn ones – contain wheat gluten as well. My breakfast alternatives include fruit, yogurt, fruit smoothies, or eggs.

Switching to a gluten-free diet takes undaunted dedication, as you will have to learn to prepare your meals at home. Yes, this takes time. No longer will you be able to pop a bagel in the toaster, stop at the drive-thru for a burger, or pull a frozen pizza from the fridge. Gluten-free meals take forethought and planning. They require fresh ingredients and preparation.

To help facilitate grocery shopping and the quandary of what to make for dinner, I dedicate some time at the beginning of the week to plan a menu and make a list of all required ingredients. Then I get all my grocery shopping done on one trip and have everything needed for the entire week.

As a result of the sacrifice I originally thought would rob me of all culinary pleasures, the foods I’ve given up allow me to stay trim and – other than that small issue of lupus – quite healthy. I rarely suffer from joint pain or stiffness. You wouldn’t believe me now but if you stick with it, it does get easier.

I no longer crave bread and desserts so badly that it hurts. The gluten-free alternatives available at my local grocery store give me the option of having those things without the consequence of swollen hands and feet. I am ever thankful for the rise of gluten-free products and the companies – big and small – who are making it happen. These innovative foods are restoring dietary joys to those of us who have committed to the difficult road of a gluten-free lifestyle. Now I can have my cake – and eat it too.