Part 1: How to go gluten free? It all starts upstairs!
So you just got the word you have to go gluten free for life. I assume you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy. My condolences. As if your life wasn’t challenging enough, you just got it kicked up a notch.
Right now, your head is spinning. What do I do? Where do I start?
Take a breath…relax…I promise you, while not easy, you can and will do this.
But before you go crazy emptying the gluten-free shelves at your grocery store (a typical newbie reaction), you need to mentally accept that you can never have gluten again. I will say it again…you can never have gluten again…ever.
It stings, doesn’t it?
When I was first diagnosed five years ago, I remember telling Mrs. Dude that I can’t make any promises I won’t cheat. It just seemed so overwhelming. And permanent. And not knowing too much about the disease, I figured the occasional slice of pizza couldn’t possibly harm me. Thankfully, I educated myself, I never caved and this has allowed me to heal.
But I know not everyone’s will-power may be up to the challenge. Take my advice. Give yourself time.
You’re pissed…and rightfully so. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to mourn the loss of your old life. It’s ok to long for the care-free days when food and spontaneity could be used in the same sentence. Be angry. Be sad.
But then move on. Look forward and not back. You have to or you’ll lead a miserable, bitter life. You can’t have gluten. Oh well. Face it…there are worse things in life. Much worse.
You have to rise to the mental challenge or you will never succeed in going gluten free. A friend of mine recently stated over dinner that my disease must be great for my will-power. It is indeed. Once you get it through your head that you CAN do this, it really gives a jolt to your self-confidence that you can carry over to all aspects of your life.
So for the next few weeks, focus on brain-training. And I promise, eventually your mindset will shift and you will indeed transition from “I can’t have that???” to “I don’t want that.”
And once you achieve that, you’re half-way there.