Guide to Living Gluten Free

GlutenFree

Many people report having more energy and vibrancy when embracing a gluten-free lifestyle, relieving them of aggravating digestive symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain/cramping, diarrhea, gas, anemia and malnutrition.

Conditions that produce these symptoms include:

• Celiac disease (only 1 percent of the population)

• Wheat allergy

• FODMAPs allergy (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols, a group of poorly digested carbohydrates)

• Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine

• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

• Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)

Gluten-containing grains wheat, barley and rye are all high in FODMAPs. FODMAPs are found in a variety of foods that contain fructose, lactose and sorbitol, such as milk, some fruits (apples, watermelons), some vegetables (onions, asparagus) and legumes (lentils, chickpeas). 

A whole foods, holistic approach is best.  While eliminating all gluten products can have benefits, it is important to consult with your primary care doctor, nutritionist, dietitian and/or holistic practitioner for an accurate diagnosis and to address any nutritional deficiencies that may exist as well as the emotional and social challenges that come with adopting a new lifestyle.  The goal is to treat the cause, not mask symptoms. 

 

TIPS

☛  Eliminate all foods that contain wheat.

☛  Keep a food journal to help track your reaction to different foods.

☛  Introduce a whole foods diet consisting of the full spectrum of colors, including:

☛  Green leafy vegetables

☛  Citrus fruits to boost immune system and decrease inflammation

☛  Avocados, which aid absorption of nutrients in other foods 

☛  Coconut kefir, which promotes bacterial balance in the digestive tract and helps boost the immune system

☛  Look at the foods you already enjoy that are gluten free and really fall in love with them.

☛  Join a gluten free or gluten intolerance group that can provide support, recipes and tips on how to read labels (some condiments and vitamins use gluten as a filler).

☛  Download a gluten-free cheat sheet with advice on cooking or baking substitutions.

☛  Plan and prepare foods  ahead of time to take with you in case a long day becomes longer.

☛  Embrace the process with love. Love and healing go together.

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