Three Gluten Free Diet Observations

On February 6, 2014, in Gluten Free, by Anne Bergman

Just over a year ago I changed my diet to be gluten free. The reasons and results are not the purpose of this post. I want to describe the many options and pit falls that exist with a dietary change that includes removing gluten.

The first thing I noticed, was the excitement I felt at seeing gluten free (GF) junk food. This was bizarre because I avoid junk food, yet seeing a GF Oreo made me do a happy dance. I don’t remember if I bought them, but I do remember setting one of our daughters onto the task of making a GF equivalent which was excellent and far superior to any store bought chocolate sandwich cookie.

A gluten free diet (or any other specialty diet) is not necessarily healthy just because you have removed the thing(s) that were making you unwell. A healthy diet will be the one which also brings healthy foods into your system. Junk food is always junk food, whether it contains gluten or any other trigger/allergen, or not.

The second thing I noticed is that many prepared foods really helped the transition, while I figured out how I was going to manage this new way to plan meals, and function in the kitchen. I don’t normally use prepared foods, but following a gluten free diet requires more time, and more ingredients to get decent results. At first people are often trying to reproduce wheat-based results. That is a pitfall because there are better ways to eat, but it’s a natural tendency to want to stay as close to the familiar as possible. Prepared foods made it easier to transition, in two ways. First, I could have edible meals, which gave me hope. Second, they afforded me a bit of extra time, which I needed to figure out how to cook and bake new recipes. The same has been true with flour and baking mixes.

Finding support groups and joining discussions was essential. There are many pitfalls for gluten free people. Keeping each other up to date on things to be aware of is essential. Also, the Canadian Celiac Association’s website, membership and annual and meeting were a great introduction to a very large domain of science-based information, discussions, advocacy and support.
Talking about it led to making new connections, finding out that old friends were already on this path, and making the learning curve a bit less daunting. There are so many new products, books, websites and eateries offering GF options that there are many experts already in your network, including you! Share!

I need your help:
I am currently developing a series with a chef, and hopefully and pastry/baking chef too. We want to create content that really helps the client to re-think their patterns, ingredients, meals, as well as provide real meal time solutions for the daily meals. Finally, because many of us like the baked goods, some delicious recipes that are gluten free. As a mother, I know these also have to be nut free if they are going to school, and have a low glycemic index to keep up the energy. What would be most helpful to you? Do you know anyone who is already doing this? Could you share this post with them, so I could get even more input and feedback? Thank you!

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