What is Gluten??
What is Gluten-Free???
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, KAMUT Khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barely and triticale. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds foods together according to celiac.org.
Yes, this is confusing and seems like you will have to give up everything you ever loved, but really, you don’t! I am here to teach you how to still enjoy the foods you love and cook with the right ingredients.
Is this just fad or fiction?
No this is not just a fad! This is real! An estimated 1 in 133 Americans, has celiac disease. It is also estimated that 50% of the population has a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, that hasn’t even been diagnosed yet. According to celiaccentral.org approximately 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. In Living Gluten Free for Dummies it states, “Other conditions are commonly associated with celiac disease, including cancer, Down syndrome, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders (of the gallbladder, liver, spleen, or pancreas), tooth enamel defects, and cystic fibrosis.” They go on to say, “Certain conditions are associated with celiac disease, meaning someone who has one is more likely to have the other.
It’s not always clear which one developed first (except, for instance, Down syndrome, which people are born with), but if you don’t give up gluten, your chances of developing some of these conditions may increase.” 6 – 10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed according to Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, from The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center.
Don’t worry! I am here to help you get on track.
Some reasons why people avoid going gluten free.
Many people avoid going gluten free because they are not educated in how to go gluten free and there is so much information out there it becomes a matter of what is accurate and what is not.
This is so frustrating! I know! I have been there and I have helped many people overcome this.
Think about this if you were told that you could no longer breathe…what would you do? For some people being told they can no longer eat gluten seems like a death sentence.
The anticipation of what you have to give up becomes overwhelming, constricting, like a battle you don’t want to fight. Many people just give up and continue to eat the way they always have and remain sick.
Don’t worry! Again, I am here for you! You are not alone!
My years of testing different brands of prepackaged foods, flours, and flavors has proven to be a great hit, not just at home but with family, friends and even my employees. They love when I cook for them, and it is so much better for you! Most times they don’t even know what they are eating is gluten free! I mean, how great is that?!
What you can do about going gluten free?
Going gluten free is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Celiac and gluten intolerances do not have a cure other than a 100% gluten free life.
You can’t just quit being gluten free because you have reached the point that you feel better and are not experiencing any adverse effects of the gluten allergy or intolerance.
If you do you will see the symptoms come back on fairly quickly and will need to return to the gluten free lifestyle.
There are a number of wonderful websites out there to help you through the process. www.glutenfreeforthefamily.com, is my website and a great resource. Sites like www.celiac.org and www.celiaccentral.org also offer a plethora of information on the different names gluten takes, the different products where gluten is snuck into the food, like imitation vanilla flavoring…who knew?
But all is not lost! There are so many things that you can still eat that are already gluten free or that just need minor adjustments to the recipes in order for them to become gluten free.
Fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, fish and seafood, beans, legumes, and nuts, rice, and many other products are already gluten free. Even French fries are gluten free as long as they are cooked in fresh oil or baked in a location where no gluten products are prepared so as not contaminated.
Many people say going gluten free is too hard. Well, no change is ever easy, but this change is worth it AND it is not nearly as hard as you would think.
The biggest thing is you need to become a label reading ninja. Don’t trust that someone is as diligent as you about being careful with your food preparation.
Be prepared. Don’t despair! Don’t give up! Don’t be afraid to cry!
We are here for you and here to support you on this journey. It is all about the support and getting the right support. Be prepared to have people in your life that don’t understand, think you’re following a fad, or that try to sabotage you. Don’t let them take you down.
There will always be doubters. And you know what, that’s okay. You are your own advocate! These doubters will always be around. They don’t understand because they don’t know and they don’t believe this is real. But you know! And so do millions of others. You are never alone!
One of the biggest challenges is changing your mind set. Instead of worrying about what you can’t have or what you have to give up, change your way of thinking to what you can have!
You can adjust a recipe you love and think you will be missing out on, by changing the ingredients!
Don’t let me give you the wrong impression, there are some things that take trial and error when trying to recreate your favorite meals, but don’t give up!
There are so many things that you CAN continue to eat.
Cracker jacks…gluten free! T-bone steak…gluten free! Salsa…gluten free! Wine…gluten free! Fritos…gluten free! Most Thai food…gluten free! There are even some beer and spirits that are gluten free! Hello?!
All those comfort foods you think you will be missing out on. Why? I eat them all the time! My family would be lost without some of these all-time favorites. I have my favorite comfort food recipes, how to prepare your meals in 20 minutes or less, and even how to dress a turkey gluten free, and they can be found in my receipes on this site!
What Can You Eat?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and from there can be hidden in many packaged foods, sauces, seasonings and more.
Transitioning to a gluten free diet may be difficult at first, but once you figure out what gluten is and where to find it, you can start to focus on the foods you can eat. Wheat, rye, and barley are grains, which is just one of several food groups, and there are still many gluten free grains out there.
Avoiding it is easy as long as you thoroughly read food labels and ask questions when you aren’t sure about the ingredients. The easiest way to live gluten free is to choose naturally gluten free foods. Meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and gluten free grains are all safe options!
As always, double check seasonings and sauces for hidden gluten before using them on your food!
Reasons to quit doubting.
The biggest reason to quit doubting is by the end of the first week you already begin to feel better, at the end of week two even better, pretty soon you have been living gluten free for so long you won’t even care about the things that you did have to give up because you will have opened an amazing new world of gluten free, delicious foods that you can eat without getting sick.
What an amazing thought! It is truly a no brainer…don’t eat gluten…means I feel better…why would you want anything else?
Another important thing to remember is that you are not alone in your life style change 50% of the population has some type of gluten intolerance.
With the membership to our website, not only do you get support of others just like you, but you get the support of myself and my staff! With all the information on the web, there is so much that can confuse you. So many recipes that aren’t tested and true to actually still satisfy your taste buds.
Wouldn’t it be great to still eat your favorite foods and feed your family putting back the LOVE in your foods?
What people don’t know and aren’t always told.
So I have talked about how easy going gluten free is. Shared with you some resources to help you with your journey. Now, what nobody tells you.
In the beginning, it sucks! There will always be something you really miss from your gluten filled life, but remember the new world of tasty gluten free food that you are exploring. There is lots to love out there!
It WILL be hard in the beginning. I can’t express how important it is to view this as a lifestyle change and NOT a diet.
It will not just be as simple as ordering takeout food when you do not want to cook, unless you can get Thai delivered, most Thai food is gluten free. But there are companies out there that make gluten free frozen meals too!
Dinner at someone else’s home, a business function, and holiday parties will almost always make you feel like a pain in the butt.
In these situations talk to the host, the caterer, whomever is in charge and ask questions. But be prepared as well, as sometimes it still gets overlooked, even in higher end restaurants where you think that it will be easier.
I can’t stress this enough, No one cares more about your intolerance than you!
People will ask lots of questions. What do you eat? Will you get better? Isn’t gluten free just a fad?
The best advice here is to take the time to politely and quickly educate them. I eat many of the same foods as you. You will get better as the gluten leaves your body, but you will always live with the gluten intolerance. But it is okay! This doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, it will get better. You will notice a positive change in your body if you are going gluten free for medical reasons. Less bloating, less fatigue, clouded mind, abdominal pain, etc.
One of the problems with celiac and gluten intolerance disease is that to the outside world those diseases are invisible.
While there is so much information out there about celiac and gluten intolerance there are still a large number of individuals that have no idea that going gluten free isn’t just a fad for part of the population.
That for us it is a matter of whether we feel good or not, whether our body is functioning at 100%.
After all those clinging to the “fad” idea of gluten free diets make up a portion of the $5 billion dollar industry (celiaccentral.org) and are helping to lower the costs of gluten free products.
There are so many delicious recipes out there for many of your favorite foods that are gluten free. Chicken wings, brownies, almond sponge cake with lemon curd, and many, many more. I have tested and perfected so many of these types of recipes and you can find them right here on my webpage!