In our last blog we talked about whether gluten could be making you ill; so now time for the practical advice behind the scientific know how! Read on to see how you can take our top ten steps towards your gluten free journey.
2) Check the ingredient labels of store cupboard staples for “hidden” gluten; swap stock cubes for gluten free ones like Kallo; exchange soy sauce for tamari. Check out your local health food shop or online health food stores like Goodness Direct for healthy gluten-free alternatives.
3) At breakfast time replace sugar laden, gluten based cereals with green smoothies, make your own granola, omtattas (what you get by crossing an omelette with a frittata!) or overnight gluten free oats. Check out all the details on this in our breakfast post and our recipes.
4) Eat food that satisfies you and balances your blood sugar to stop cravings for biscuits and cakes. Include protein with every meal and eat healthy fats like avocado, flax seed, walnuts, salmon, sardines, coconut oil and olive oil. Fat takes the longest amount of time to be digested and absorbed and protein the second longest so including these in each meal will keep you fuller and help you to feel energised for longer. Add a handful of gluten free oats to your smoothie to fill you up to lunch time. Flavour-full food is more satisfying; add in ginger, chilli, spices and herbs for extra yum.
5) If you’re having soup for lunch, swap bread for gluten free oat cakes or sweet potato and seed bread. If you’re trying to lose weight, avoid the bread altogether and make the soup satisfying on its own by packing it with protein and vegetables or add a can of beans (kidney beans, aduki beans, cannellini beans, butter beans etc.).
6) Swap sandwiches at lunchtime for healthy salads or wrapping the contents of your sandwich in a crispy lettuce leaf instead of bread. It really works well! Or you can use rice paper wraps.
7) Spiralising really is the food fashion craze of the moment so get “inspiralised” and swap pasta and noodles for courgetti and zoodles. Instead of cous cous try quinoa or chuck a cauliflower into a food processor to make cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice can be cooked in 4 minutes compared to 25 minutes or more for brown rice. Making your veg look like their carb equivalents is easy and far more nutritious! Or just stir fry a load of veg to go with a fillet of fish or chicken breast and don’t bother with starchy carbs at all.
8) Don’t be tempted to buy gluten free bread, cake and biscuits from the “free-from” aisle at the supermarket. They tend to be laden with sugar and chemicals so if you want to include these things in your diet still then try making them from scratch using one of the myriad of gluten free flours available such as coconut flour, buckwheat flour or gram flour, and a healthier sugar alternative such as xylitol or maple syrup. Try Orange, Carrot and Almond Cake!
9) If you like your chicken or fish breaded, use ground almonds mixed with herbs and spices to coat chicken or fish instead. Sarah makes breadcrumbs out of her sweet potato and seed bread instead and says the secret is in double dipping! Coat in gram flour, egg, breadcrumbs, back to the egg and then back in the breadcrumbs. It’s healthier and kids love them cooked like this too! Bake them in the oven rather than shallow frying.
10) Finally, everyone needs some support and accountability. So get your friends and family on-board and get them excited about following a healthier food lifestyle too. Not everyone reacts badly to gluten, but everyone benefits from less in their diet. And once you look healthier, have dropped a few pounds and have more energy everyone will be wanting to know the secret of your success! You can show people how to make meals at dinner parties and family occasions which use non-gluten containing ingredients. More and more gluten free cafes and restaurants are now springing up and menus are far better annotated with gluten free items than they ever were too so suggest places to go that you know will cater for you.
Whatever you do; make it delicious, make it easy, make it nutritious! And don’t forget to leave us a comment below, get in touch or ask us any questions. We’d love to hear from you!