Tips on How to Make Gluten-Free Living Simpler and More Enjoyable

Some tips on how to make gluten-free living, baking, and cooking a little easier


When I first heard the term “gluten-free”, I thought to myself : this is absolutely not for me. Being a lover of bread, pasta, and almost anything else that contains gluten, it was hard for me to picture a life where my meals and snacks did not include this key ingredient. As I started my journey in wellness and began trying to find the foods that worked for me, I wanted to attempt to limit gluten to see how my body would react. Not only did I learn a lot, but this experience also pushed me to explore more gluten-free foods and alternatives. Now, I find myself naturally leaning more towards these types of foods, and incorporating them into weekly meal plans. Although I do not live completely gluten-free, I have found that finding alternatives, and adding in naturally gluten-free foods, has allowed me to feel more balanced and energized.


I have put together this short post for others looking to limit gluten in their diet, in order to provide some guidance and tips that I found helpful in my journey so far. The information in this post comes from my personal experience, so some of it might not fit for you, which is more than okay! As always, I recommend you consult with your doctor when looking to make dietary changes, and I have provided resources at the bottom of the page if you are hoping to do more exploring or looking for additional information.




Some foods that are gluten free-


◦ Fruits

◦ Vegetables

◦ Nuts

◦ Seeds

◦ Legumes

◦ Rice

◦ Soy

◦ Quinoa

◦ Millet

◦ Flax

◦ Chia

◦ Potatoes

◦ Corn

◦ Oats (these are naturally gluten-free but may come into contact with gluten, which is why it is safest to buy certified gluten-free oats)



Some foods that are not gluten-free (unless specified otherwise)-


◦ Wheat

◦ Spelt

◦ Farro

◦ Rye

◦ Barley

◦ Brewer’s yeast

◦ Pastas

◦ Breads

◦ Baked goods

◦ Tortillas

◦ Cereals



Tips on cooking gluten-free-


Focus on the things you can eat- when I first tried to limit gluten in my diet, all I could think about was the foods I was no longer going to be able to eat. This made starting this journey a bit challenging, and I knew I needed to change my perspective. I sat down and made a list of all the ingredients and meals I could still eat, and once I shifted my focus onto these foods, I found that I became a lot more inspired. Creating this list also helped motivate me to find recipes that I could use for meals and snacks.


Try gluten-free substitutes- If you are a pasta lover like me, experimenting with different gluten-free options can be helpful in creating a substitute for some of your favorite dishes. There are also many other gluten-free alternatives available now, such as gluten-free breads, cereals, granolas, tortillas, and more! It may take a few times to find ones you love, but it will be helpful in the long-run because it allows you to make (or eat) similar dishes to what you are used to, but with a more nourishing alternative.


Experiment with flavors- When cooking certain dishes gluten-free, it can be a bit more challenging to find the flavors in a meal. Experiment with ingredients, seasonings, spices, and herbs that allow you to bring the dish to life and make the meal preparation process more fun.


Look for gluten-free restaurants in your area- having good go-to restaurants that offer gluten-free options can be helpful if you ever need to grab a meal on the go, or if you are looking to eat out. It can be frustrating to go to a restaurant only to find they don’t have options that work for you, so having some ideas in advance can help the process go smoothly.



Tips on baking gluten-free-


Mix gluten-free flours- this has been one of the most helpful tips I learned along the way in my gluten-free baking journey. I have found that using more than one flour alternative (such as oat or almond) in a recipe helps give my baked goods a better texture and flavor. Many gluten-free baking recipes will include a mix of oat, almond, coconut, or even rice flour.


Try gluten-free mixes- If baking isn’t for you but you still love baked goods, there are many gluten-free mixes that can be found that make the process easier and quicker. One of my favorites is the vegan and gluten-free pancake mix by “purely elizabeth”.


Slowly limit the gluten- if you are not living completely gluten-free and instead trying to limit gluten, making baked goods with some gluten-free flour and some regular flour is a nice way to start. For example, mixing whole grain flour with oat flour can be a good way to lower the amount of gluten in a baked good. However, be sure to look for recipes that already do this, as substituting with flour alternatives won't always work in recipes that aren't supposed to include gluten-free flours.


Find inspiration in a community- exploring different gluten-free blogs, websites, and videos to find inspiration is a great way to connect with others. Most of the time the recipes provided by these blogs and/or videos will allow you to find other gluten-free recipes or more information on gluten-free living. In addition, you may find other people who are going through a similar journey as you! It can be nice to have people to share struggles and successes with, and you might even find yourself inspired to make your own recipes to share with the world.


Be kind and patient with yourself- living gluten-free or limiting gluten in your diet can be difficult, and at times, frustrating. It takes time to make impactful changes in our lives, so as always please remember to be kind and patient with yourself throughout this journey.


One of my favorite gluten-free cookie recipes: https://www.faustinemicheyl.com/post/chocolate-chip-cookies


Additional resources:


Source for information provided here and where to find more information on gluten-free living:

https://celiac.org/


Information on celiac disease:

https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/


Gluten-free and vegan meal ideas:

https://simple-veganista.com/recipes/diet/gluten-free/


Gluten-free and vegan meal ideas for kids:

https://thecolorfulkitchen.com/2018/02/26/kid-friendly-recipe-roundup-vegan-gluten-soy-free-options/


Gluten-free diet overview:

https://www.beyondceliac.org/gluten-free-diet/overview/


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