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3 Tips for Eating Gluten-Free, Whether You’re a Celiac or Not

Whether you’re a bona fide celiac or just sensitive to gluten, if eating gluten-free (GF) alleviates your symptoms, do it! The key in GF eating lies in expectations, communication, and preparation. Here are a few tips on executing a GF diet, whether it’s for life or just a test run.

Expect

GF is inherently inconvenient (unless you live in Southeast Asia and eat rice and vegetables seasoned with non-wheat soy sauce everyday). You must accept that it won’t be easy. And then you’ll be flabbergasted when you realize how easy it really is.

By setting expectations low, you will be amazed and joyous when a restaurant has a GF menu or when a pizza place offers GF crust. Low expectations mean happiness.

Communicate

No one likes a needy, picky eater. Being GF makes you that, but if you value and execute communication with those you eat with, you’ll surprise your friends at how easy GF living can be.

Thus, be upfront about your restrictions and don’t set yourself up for failure. Suggest ethnic or fusion restaurants with groups, instead of Italian or American-style bar food that likely won’t have GF options.

If your friends are okay with an Asian restaurant that offers rice bowls and then you get there and realize all of the sauces are thickened with wheat, don’t make a scene. Deal with plain veggies and rice and communicate to your friends that you didn’t expect this to happen so they don’t pity you during the meal.

Friends will appreciate you being open about your diet if you are flexible and forthright about what you expected and why it’s oaky when those expectations fall short. It’s life.

Prepare

Being GF means you need to be on top of your dietary game on trips, camping excursions, holiday parties, and BBQs.

People will forget that you cannot drink beer. Your best friends will forget that you cannot drink beer. You will forget that you cannot drink beer.

Always have cider or wine handy, or if cocktails are your thing, have hard alcohol, and mixers stocked. This way, when you’re heading out the door for a party, you can bring your own beverage. As mentioned before about expectations, in the chance someone gets you GF bevies, you’ll be elated and oh so grateful.

For camping and road trips, bring ample amounts of food. If a group meal list is happening, communicate your GF needs, but state you’re happy to bring backup tortillas, bread, or any substitute if a meal is easier being non-GF.

Bring GF oatmeal packets and traditional, naturally GF snacks like apples and peanut butter. You can never have enough backup options in the chance that a group meal accidentally turns out to be non GF.

Ideas for easy, on-the-go GF meals: RICE, RICE and more RICE. Add veggies, meat, sprinkles, you name it. Having a rice base solves all GF problems and no non-GF person will wonder where’s the pasta. Everyone loves rice.

Do you suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease? Share any tips you have below!


About the Author

Clare Gallagher is an ultrarunner for The North Face and travels extensively for races and philanthropic work. She studied coral ecology at Princeton University where she also ran cross country and track. Clare has taught English in Thailand where she started a non-profit environmental stewardship program, she has scribed in emergency rooms across Denver, and she writes regularly for various running blogs.

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  1. […] when GF diets and foods weren’t nearly as common as they are today, and fortunately, I’ve honed key practices on how to eat GF. Lowering expectations, and executing communication and preparation are the keys to success! […]

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