5 Steps to Gluten Free
The ultimate goal of course is to have every ingredient you eat be clean and gluten free. If you have Celiac Disease or any other condition that requires eating gluten free for treatment, it is very important to jump in with both feet and cut all gluten immediately. If you know your condition to be less serious and are having a hard time committing to the new lifestyle, the transition may take time and working through stages.
1. The first thing you should immediately do is begin recording every meal you eat into your Daily Journal. This should include all meals, snacks, drinks, and desserts. It is important to not leave out anything.
2. Next you’ll want to start substituting out all ingredients for gluten free replacements. If this becomes overwhelming, try starting with your carbohydrates. Substitute your breads, pastas, and flours for gluten free, whole grain, complex carbohydrates. Refer to your Diet Page for your detailed list.
3. At this time, you will also want to start monitoring your portion sizes and eating 5 meals a day. The first meal should be immediately after waking up in the morning and your last should be a few hours before bed. Your second and fourth meals are really just snacks. Keep them small, for example, a handful of pumpkin seeds and/or a piece of fresh fruit. These meals are mainly to keep your metabolism burning. Space your meals three hours apart.
4. Once you begin feeling comfortable with these first few changes, begin making a few more. Start eliminating refined sugars. This means substituting your drinks, snacks, desserts, etc., to foods without sugar, or having only natural sugars. Get creative with fruits, they are the tasty and easy to work with.
5. When you’ve gotten this far, the hard part is done. Now it’s time to fine tune your lifestyle and be 100% gluten free and eating clean. Start converting everything else: sauces, salad dressings, beans (liquids can contain gluten), seasonings, oils, butters, marinades, meats, alcohols, etc. After this stage you should really begin to feel a lot better. If not, give it time. It can take weeks or even months for your body to completely reverse some the damage/symptoms. Just remember to continue steps 1 and 3 at all times.
* Don’t for get to check your vitamins, medications, lipstick, and chewing gum/mints. These often contain gluten and other unhealthy processed ingredients.