Source: Optimum Wellness Magazine
1. Detox Your Kitchen
First, get rid of everything that contains gluten.
That includes wheat, barley, rye, triticale, kamut, spelt, couscous, oats (unless they are certified gluten free), anything with modified food starch, malt and malt flavorings, and many kinds of soy sauce. Bag it all up and drop it off at your local homeless shelter. Then stock up on ready made alternatives, such as gluten free bread, crackers, pasta, and cereals. Make reading labels a part of your life.
2. Get Familiar With Flour
Gluten free all purpose baking flour is now available; other good wheat flour substitutues for baking include buckwheat, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, and quinoa. These usually work best in combination. “Some provide bulk, some add lightness, some are finer in texture so you don’t end up with a gritty bread,” says Jules E. D. Shepard, author of Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating. “You’ll also need xanthan gum or guar gum as a substitute for the binding properties of gluten.” A teaspoon or two per recipe is usually required. Tapioca flour also works as a binder, as do egg whites. Glutinous rice flour, which does not contain gluten but does get sticky can be added (1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of flour). Experiment with several different flours in baked goods; when you find a combination you like, make up a big batch and store it in glass jars.
3. Keep it Simple
Emphasize whole, fresh, unprocessed foods, and you’ll make your diet naturally gluten free by default. Stock your kitchen with dark leafy greens; cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower; deep red-orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and red peppers; fresh fruit, especially berries; lean, organic meats and wild-caught fish; and nuts, seeds, and beans. Season your foods with olive oil, sea salt, spices, and fresh herbs. The high content of antioxidants will also help heal existing damage to your intestinal tract.
4. Order Smart When Dining Out
First, stick to gilled fish, meat, or vegetables. Avoid fried foods; even if the food you’re ordering doesn’t contain gluten, it could have been fried in the same oil used to cook battered foods. Order steamed vegetables without sauces, or get it on the side. “Also, many chefs may not know what ‘gluten free’ really means,” says Shepard. “One option is to bring a card with you that explains your dietary restrictions, and just hand it to the server. That way, he or she doesn’t have to write it all down.”
5. Avoid Some Restaurants Entirely
Skip salad bars and buffets, where cross-contamination is a risk, and restaurants that don’t make their own food (chains, fast-food restaurants, and bakeries). “If a bakery has gluten free bread, it’s tempting,” says Shepard. “But if they make regular baked goods too, there may be cross-contamination.” Stick to baked goods from a gluten free commercial kitchen or bakery.
6. Bring Your own Bread
BYOB -- bread, that is -- to holiday gatherings, potlucks, and dinner parties. You can even bring gluten free chips, crackers, cookies, or brownies. If it’s a dinner party, make your hosts aware of your needs and offer to bring a dish. Other gluten-intolerant guests will thank you for it.
More Tips on Following a Gluten-Free Diet
>> Eat more non-processed foods.
>> Eat an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit.
>> Eat a serving of beans or legumes and nuts daily.
>> Pay attention to your calcium and vitamin D intake to maintain healthy bones.
>> Choose lean poultry and meats as well as low fat dairy products.
>> Balance the food you eat with daily physical activity.
>> Consult with your doctor before starting a gluten-free diet.