Don't Be Afraid of Gluten-Free

dont-fear-gluten-free

Gluten free is nothing to fear…I promise.

It’s certainly not all fun and games, but if you’ve recently received the dreaded celiac diagnosis, do not be afraid of gluten-free.

If you are like me, and most celiacs I’ve heard from, the first time in a supermarket after your diagnosis is an absolutely jarring experience. I still remember, five years later, walking up and down the aisles just stunned at all of the foods I could no longer eat.

I remember picking up item after item of my once favorite foods and checking the ingredients, hoping upon hope that there would be no wheat, barley or rye listed, and being constantly disappointed/frustrated/angry (really…just pick an adjective) at the results.

That was then and this is now.

While there are indeed many things to be afraid of (unending wars, our election process, the Kardashians), going gluten free is not one of them.

Don’t think of it as needing to give up all of your favorite foods. If you get stuck in the “I can’t have” mentality, it’s going to be a long journey for you.

Just think of it as a “lifestyle adjustment”. And if you make the right choices, a healthier lifestyle to boot (hint…stay out of the gluten free aisle in your grocery store as much as possible).

Yes, you can still have bagels (I recommend Udi’s).

Yes, you can still have pasta (I recommend corn pasta over rice pasta).

Yes, you can still have beer (I recommend…well, I’m still waiting to be impressed).

You can still have meat, veggies, fruit, vodka, sushi, fish, shrimp, rice, cheese and the list goes on and on.

Do you need to be unbelievably careful every time you eat? Absolutely.

Will you miss the spontaneity of grabbing a bite without thinking about it? Unquestionably.

Is going out to eat a huge pain in the ass at times? Unequivocally.

But don’t fear it. Embrace it. You will adjust. You will survive.

And before you know it, going gluten-free becomes, dare I say, normal.

The Gluten Dude App: For a Better Gluten-free Life

Eating out with celiac disease is stressful. The Gluten Dude app lists only restaurants that have been personally vetted, so you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying yourself.

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8 thoughts on “Don't Be Afraid of Gluten-Free”

  1. Amy Ratner, Associate Editor, Gluten-Free Living

    We have always advised anyone new to the gluten-free diet to take the “what can I eat” VS the “what can’t I eat approach” that you recommend here.

  2. Hello,

    I have heard from various sources that gluten free food can actually make u fat mostly because its a lot more higher in calories…is this true?

    1. It all depends Amanda. If you replace your normal foods with processed gluten-free foods, then it’s definitely possible that they are more fattening.

      But the key is filling your new kitchen with healthy alternatives. Instead of having oreos as a snack, have carrots and hummus. Instead of ice cream for dessert, have a gluten free sorbet.

      Don’t just look for the exact same foods you’re used to in a gluten free alternative. Look for new foods.

  3. Speaking from my own experience – this is great advice! I remember going through the “mourning stages” and they do last for a while but now I have adjusted, I eat well, I have learned to adapt my favorite recipes to be GF. Key is to learn all you can about being GF. Glad you are feeling better gluten dude!

  4. I assume that you’ve found beer you like by now, but in case you haven’t, check out Omission’s Pale Ale. They also make a lager, but the Pale Ale is so much like I remember Sierra Nevada tasting that I was afraid of it at first!

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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