When I found out I needed to become gluten free, I panicked. “How will I survive without bread, pasta, pizza, cookies??!” I thought enjoying life was over—even though I knew it was worth it. For years I’ve struggled with tummy issues, skin breakouts, and feeling lousy. It was time for a change. And I needed to commit fully to this, or else I knew I couldn’t heal my body. Does that sound familiar to you? Are you always struggling with feeling bloated or tired? Try life without gluten. It could be very beneficial to you. I’ve piled together a few of my favorite tips to eating gluten free. Of course, I can’t cover everything, living a gluten free lifestyle is endless! But here are the more important factors to keep in mind while eating gluten free.
Trash the Gluten
Let’s get rid of it! If you’re part of gluten friendly family, store it in other cabinets of the kitchen. Designate certain cabinets to yourself and others to your family members. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. If you’re family IS on board to become gluten free with you(hooray!) then let’s throw out all those gluten filled products. Read the labels, products such as soy sauce and spices can contain hidden gluten. Look for ingredients such as wheat, rye, barley and oats. Unless specified with a GF label, it may not be 100% gluten free.
Make Meal Prepping your Friend
Talk about life saver right here. When we make healthy, allergy free food in the beginning of the week and store it–We will EAT healthy, allergy free food. It’s as simple as that. When you get home from a long work day, or a tough workout what do you reach for most often? Crackers? Cookies? Maybe a soda? Well, let’s break that cycle. Keep gluten free treats in your fridge or cupboards. One of my favorite go to mid-morning, or late afternoon snacks are energy bites. I make them in my food processor with REAL nutritious packed ingredients. It’s satisfying to know that I’m eating substantial food after a tough workout. And I can ensure it’s 100% gluten free, because I made it! Try Meal Prep Calendars, it’s a helpful way to keep track of all the foods you prepared and an excellent way to plan for family meals.
Get creative! Eating, Cooking and maintaining a gluten free diet is about variety. I mean who wants to eat salads and lettuce wraps every day? Not me. Let’s dive into the flour substitutions, this will be your biggest challenge (easy to overcome) when it comes to eating gluten free. It’s easy to buy GF products at the grocery store. But that can get pricey. The most frequently used substitutions for wheat flour are; almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour and rice flour. Read the instructions when using these products. Not all flours will substitute 1:1 for wheat flour. For example, coconut flour needs much more liquid and much less flour. Other flours require additives to recipe. More baking soda or baking powder. Make Pinterest your best friend. Lots of great and EASY gluten free recipes.
Maintain a Balanced Life
Going gluten free, or learning you have an allergy to a certain food group can be overwhelming. Try and focus on other aspects of your life. And get plenty of exercise. It isn’t healthy to constantly be thinking about your food choices or your next meal. Adapting a healthy lifestyle takes time. It is about the journey and the progress. Not the number on the scale. Focus on how you are feeling in that moment, and serve your body what it is calling for. Take up a new hobby or try a new fitness class. Go for a hike, or bike ride. Involve the family! Exercise is proven to reduce stress and release endorphins in the body that make you feel good. It’s an excellent balance to a healthy diet.
I could go on forever about eating gluten free. The possibilities are endless. I will leave you with this though. My FAVORITE gluten free pizza crust. Made out of ….. VEGETABLES.
And always reach out to me, Rachael, or Tracy for any food or health related questions! If you need a little food inspiration follow my Instagram page @gingeandspice. I uploaded daily videos of healthy meals, and tough workouts to challenge you.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut flour
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- Ground pepper to taste
For the topping
- ½ cup pizza sauce (low sugar content)
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Any other toppings you want!
- Put ½ cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. It will resemble rice. Then do the other half of florets.
- Microwave cauliflower for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F and line a large pizza pan with parchment paper.
- Let cauliflower cool. Once cool enough to handle, transfer the cauliflower to a clean dish towel or cheesecloth. Squeeze out ALL the water. Make sure it’s very dry.
- Next, transfer cauliflower pulp to large bowl and add in the egg, coconut flour, garlic powder, oregano, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to create a soft dough.
- Place dough in middle of prepared pan and push out with hands. Cook for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned. Top with sauce and cheese and toppings. Cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove and let cook. Serves roughly 8 slices.