Welcome to week 3 of Gluten Free Awareness Month! For this week I am starting it off by sharing my “Gluten Free Survival Guide” with you all. It’s been about 2 years (this fall will be 3) since I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease so I have had some time to perfect the lifestyle 😉 However, my body is always changing and I am constantly finding new and exciting products to try to help make my gluten free life a little bit easier.
In this post I will be sharing all of my top tips and tricks to get you through the world of gluten free. These tips are not, by any means, the only tips out there. They are what seem to work best for me and my body and maybe they can help you too!
My Gluten Free Survival Guide
Doctors and medical professionals. First and foremost, what may seem like the obvious, but is what most individuals do not do, is seek medical attention. I cannot stress this enough. You are the best listener when to comes to your body so one of the best things to do when you feel off is get checked out. It could save your life. I know that may sound a little dramatic but it is true. And don’t stop until you get answers and feel better!
Check labels. When you have specific dietary restrictions you can’t just grab things off the shelf anymore. You have to throughly read each label on the products that you are shopping for. This includes, body products, hair products, make-up, AND food. Not only read the labels to see if it is gluten free but also to check if there are any other harmful ingredients to replace the gluten.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. Not many people know what gluten is, let alone what it means to be gluten free. So speak up! (Read my post on gluten to learn more! What IS Gluten? – Gluten Free Awareness Month Post #1) Don’t be afraid of what people will think. Chances are they have no idea or they’ll understand and can serve you to the best of their ability, AND yours. We are talking about your health here, so don’t sit back and let other people control it. This goes for doctors, waitresses, and any other people you may have to speak with to get answers. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to friends, family members, and your boyfriend/girlfriend. Educating them will make it easier on you when it comes to meal time. Keep pushing until you know it is safe for you and your body.
Trial and error. This can be the hardest part but it is crucial. Some products may work great while others may cause more problems. Start with what you know and go from there. If what you tried doesn’t seem to work, look around, and try something new. Our bodies are always changing so what might work one month could hurt you the next, so always listen to your body.
Research. GOOGLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Seriously. If you are a little confused, research it. Whether you just got diagnosed with Celiac Disease or you want to improve your overall health, research the crap out of it so you can better understand. This goes for products too. Look up the ingredients and origin of the product before buying it. Read reviews and reach out to people who used the product. It will only help you.
Listen to your body. DUH. This is a given. You know your body best. If something doesn’t feel right then do something about it. That could be changing your diet, seeking medical attention, or adding a supplement to your morning routine.
Learn how to cook. This is a big one. If you don’t know how to cook, learn. Chances are you will start eating out a lot less because of cross contamination (we will get into that soon) or they aren’t any safe gluten free options. Also, friends and family may not remember to check labels. Knowing how to cook your own meals insures you are 100% gluten free and lower your risk of cross contamination.
B.Y.O.F. (Bring Your Own Food) I ALWAYS always always have food in my purse. Just ask my fiancé if you don’t believe me. Not only do I get hungry fast, but wherever we are going may not have a gluten free option for me. I also eat a meal before we leave just in case we are gone longer than expected. Good, healthy snacks that are perfect on the go are granola, nuts, bars, fruit, and even prepped foods that can be stored in a container easily. An extra tip for this is, if you are going to a picnic or party, always offer to bring food (for yourself and the guests). This way it ensures you have options but they also can enjoy the event as well.
I know what it is like to feel lost and an outcast when it comes to strict diet needs. That is why I created this guide, to help others. I hope it was helpful and inspired some of you to branch out and not be so worried when it comes to your health choices. There is always a solution to your problem, you just have to do some digging.
As always, make sure to leave a comment here or on my Instagram page (@iamdevonjade) to share any tips you guys may have, I would love to hear them!