When you decide to go gluten free, the first place to start is your very own kitchen. It’s the center of your food world. Right? Your kitchen will always remain the safest zone for your gluten-free diet. It’s here where you can try and test new recipes and condemn anything that contains gluten if ever you are tempted.
So, to create this safety zone, you will need to set up your kitchen from the start, and for some, this could become a difficult task without a helping hand. So, here are a few useful tips to start your gluten-free journey on the highway of your kitchen.
Gluten, as you all know is a commonly found food protein in grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. But it’s not only limited to only these grains, but other available grains also contain a high amount of gluten.
The Danger of Cross Contamination in a Gluten-Free Lifestyle
It’s necessary that you understand why you need a fresh beginning to become gluten-free successfully because gluten is present on the majority of food in small ingredients in the form of secondary by-products. It can be present in pasta, crumbs, and sauces. That also means everything from toasters, utensils, pans to counters in the kitchen may have gluten remains in it or on it.
When the residue touches your food, gluten cross-contact occurs. Various studies have confirmed that anything above even the smallest amount of flour, bread can cause allergies and inflammation.
Many people also experience symptoms with the little amount of gluten exposure as well. Therefore, you should not risk re-using pans, grills, condiments, and appliances. Such avoidance will help you go a very long way in protecting yourself from gluten contamination. Here are the first few steps to go gluten-free, to begin with.
Reorganize and Clean Out Your Pantry
Start with your pantry cleaning for your gluten-free transition to get started. Sit down and pull out every food containing gluten, review them and make a list to form your first ever gluten-free shopping list. Dedicate a special section in your pantry that is completely gluten-free for everyone in the family who is going gluten-free.
For many, cleaning out their kitchen can end up being an emotional process, and you might end up mourning over foods you once enjoyed. But, see the positive effect this transition of going gluten-free will have on your health.
Pay Attention To Labels To Avoid Using Gluten
If you have been planning to go gluten-free seriously, you need to start paying attention to the labels. Read the list of ingredients and get familiar with the names of gluten based sources such as malt flavor, unspecified thickeners, starches, stabilizers or malt vinegar.
Once you master the basics of reading the gluten-free labels, please stick to the brands that specifically highlight that they are gluten free because many manufacturers don’t necessarily label their foods as gluten-free. Don’t worry about limited availability because all the supermarkets are filled with gluten-free products of almost everything including gluten-free pizza, bread, ice cream, soup, candy, and even beer.
To expand your newly found diet and to figure out what you need to look for in the labels. The terms that will always include gluten are Triticum, flour, Hordeum, Malt, Pasta, and Spelt.
You can also consider getting gluten-free mobile apps that will help you guide on processed products, restaurants, and ingredients. There are several apps where you can check the list of gluten-free items while you are shopping in the supermarket. Certain subscription-based mobile apps also help you scan UPC code to find out if your product contains gluten or not.
Get Your Own Food While Socializing
Once you decide to follow the gluten-free lifestyle, it’s most likely that people around you will cook for you. If possible, don’t let others cook for you unless you trust them to avoid cross-contamination of gluten ingredients. It’s better to take your food during social events because the gluten-free diet follows a steep curve and cannot be mastered by friends overnight, no matter how hard they try and how much they want to do something for you.
When you bring your food, it helps you focus on company more and not constantly worry about feeling sick after eating random food. You and your friends will be more relaxed and assured. Holidays can get tricky and to cope up during those celebrations, make sure you have something that’s delicious and gluten-free. Trest yourself with delicious gluten-free recipes and enjoy tasty food just like everyone.
Start With Fresh Meats & Produce
Lots of people think that dropping wheat and bread will help them go gluten-free, but it’s much more complicated. But the first step to go gluten-free is to remove processed food from your diet and switch to fresh food items like vegetables, fresh fruits, fresh poultry, and meat. You can also get fresh gluten-free prepared meals delivered to your home in case you struggle to cook at home. There are plenty of personal chef services offering gluten-free or vegan meals that deliver to your doorstep at your convenience.
To follow the fresh food diet, shop from the stores with fresh meat and fresh produce department. Try to include simple foods in your diet which includes herbs, pepper, and salt for seasoning. The safest grain would be plan rice that is gluten-free certified.
Gluten-free lifestyle can very challenging, but if you take every step in consideration to your overall health, it will give you a positive effect in long-term. You are guaranteed to make it efficient by taking each step in order with little extra attention.
To ensure that you can maintain this lifestyle, don’t try to deprive your taste buds some good food. There are plenty of alternatives available for gluten-free cakes, bread, cookies and more. The idea is first to clean everything and then start fresh by adding every type of food that you like with a little difference, that it’s going to be “gluten-Free” this time.