1. Clean out your fridge and cupboards. Don’t tempt yourself by having gluten-containing foods in plain sight. Remove the foods you won’t be eating and then fill your kitchen with nourishing foods you can eat. Make sure to check for ingredient on products that may have hidden gluten like we discussed on the previous post, and substitute those too. 2. Plan your meals and snacks. We recommend this for everyone, especially at the beginning of embracing a new way of eating. It eliminates guess-work, stress and frustration that you may experience when you first start eliminating gluten. It is a great learning tool, as it causes you to critically think of the foods you’re going to put into your body. Download our free PFC Food Tracker and fill in the blanks! You can also use our PFC Balanced Eating Guide as a reference. Both of these handouts are included in our free Getting Started Guide. 3. Allow yourself an extra long grocery trip or two. Don’t rush. Read labels carefully. Nutrition labels are required to include disclose common allergens so where it says “contains:” it may say milk, soy, etc. and what you’re looking for is WHEAT or GLUTEN. And then double check the ingredients panel for gluten containing grains. 4. Consider starting a food diary. In addition to planning your meals and snacks, it can be really beneficial to write down what you actually ate (feel free to jot it down on your meal and snack planning sheets next to what you planned to eat). This can help you make connections between any symptoms you have and what you ate. Maybe you start to feel amazing after a week or two of being gluten-free, but then suddenly your stomach cramping and diarrhea return. If you have a food diary, you would be able to look back and make the connection that for dinner you used a dressing that wasn’t gluten free after all. 5. Heal the damage. We believe in a 2-pronged approach to healing: first, no longer consuming the offending food (in this case, gluten) and second, healing the damage that took place from putting that food into your body in the first place. Our regimen for healing is embracing healthy fats, as outlined in A Simple Guide to Gluten Free, and using 3 key supplements:
- Probiotics: help repopulate the healthy bacteria in the gut, which are essential for the healing process and which can get depleted over time.
- L-Glutamine: works on healing the integrity of the thin lining of your digestive tract which becomes inflamed over time from consuming gluten.
- Fish Oil: specifically targets inflammation and also helps heal from gluten exposure.