Fortunately, these days coeliacs and gluten intolerant sufferers are no longer limited to a small collection of food and drinks to choose from. In fact, there are many ways to enjoy a diverse and tasty diet.. here’s how.
Who would have thought that such a small protein such as gluten could wreak such havoc on our intestines, diminishing our quality of life in such a disruptive way? But, if we look on the bright side, discovering that we have a disease and intolerance is a positive step, as we can now avoid those things that cause us trouble and regain a better quality of life.
Does that mean we have to work harder to have a more interesting diet? Yes. Although once you hit a rhythm and fill your kitchen with a few fantastic alternatives and naturally gluten-free items – that’s where the real fun can start.
Let’s discuss this in detail and appreciate that a gluten-free life is not the huge burden it used to be. With the right mindset and vetting process you can enjoy delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners!
#1 – Never stop experimenting
If you’re gluten intolerant, it might sound counter-intuitive to get into experimentation with new foods. Many people stick to the ingredients they have tried and tested and know to be safe, without necessarily trying different ideas. This means that they have a much smaller base to draw from and the diet can become quite boring.
If you have a new diagnosis, now is the time you can return to gluten-free versions of whatever food and drink made you feel lousy before your diagnosis, and see if you like them now that the gluten element is eliminated. For example, if beer has never been your favourite due to bloating, why not get a six-pack of gluten-free beers and see if they are a refreshing change?!
#2 – Consider naturally gluten-free meals and ingredients
If your pantry is a shrine to your past life with a “gluten-free” version of everything you once loved, you’ll know that not everything tastes great. Instead, explore naturally gluten-free foods like Indian cuisine and Mexican cuisine, which are vegetable-heavy and use corn instead of wheat most of the time to make those wraps and bread.
You should also make an effort to stock up whole foods, which aren’t processed, meaning they cannot contain gluten in the first place and needn’t be altered. An example of tasty and versatile whole foods that are naturally gluten-free include, eggs, beans, lentils, vegetables, fruits, quinoa, brown rice and many other grains that are free from gluten (yes, they exist!).
#3 – Get familiar with the best gluten-free brands
As well as the brands that offer tinned, naturally gluten-free foods, you also want to research which gluten-free brands produce fantastic food that can inject some fun into your diet. ‘No Nasties’ have done well to position themselves as a brand that is free from any additives, and this reputation means they continue to produce food at a high level.
You might also want to find restaurants that have coeliac or gluten intolerant chefs or persuasion, as they will use more gluten-free ingredients in their menus as a matter of course. Further, they’ll have a deeper understanding of the struggles people with dietary restrictions face when dining out, so most likely the menu will be more varied and accommodating.
#4 – Join groups and stay connected
Your diet will feel limited if your friends and family eat a normal diet around you, and it’s only you that’s eating gluten-free. It’s a great idea to join some Facebook groups with other coeliac people in your community, to get ideas and inspiration on where they eat and any hacks they use in the kitchen you can try for yourself.
These online communities might give you the scoop on new restaurants that are opening in your city with a coeliac head chef, any great finds at major supermarkets that are gluten-free, and even just some friends to lean on when you feel overwhelmed and just can’t be bothered researching another ingredient alternative on your own.