These days, it’s impossible to stroll down the grocery store aisles or order a sandwich at a deli without seeing that gluten-free label everywhere you turn. You’d think that there’s a war on gluten going on, and for many people, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Humans have been consuming gluten for many centuries at this point, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a relatively new component of our daily diets.
Prior to the agricultural revolution, it was impossible to intake high concentrations of gluten, but modernity has made it tough to avoid. This stretchy, glue-like protein is found in bread, pasta, cereals, crackers, and all types of pastries.
While there’s definitely an indulgent quality to gluten-rich products, many have identified it as a problem, parting ways with gluten for good. If you think it’s time for you to say goodbye to gluten as well, here are six things you should prepare for on your journey. Best of luck!
1. Identify Your Intolerance
Before you take the first step towards gluten-free living, you’ll want to know exactly how your body interacts with gluten and what you can expect from going without.
Everyone has a unique reaction to gluten consumption, and it helps to understand your sensitivity as you prepare to go gluten-free.
For example, one percent of the population suffers from Celiac disease, which is a destructive autoimmune condition resulting from the body’s overreaction to gluten proteins. If you’re one of the few people with Celiac, you’ve likely been on the gluten-free path for a while now.
More likely, you have some degree of gluten sensitivity, which can have different symptoms for every individual. Nearly 13% of the population has some kind of adverse reaction to gluten, and that figure may even be higher as research progresses in the coming years.
Analyze any chronic health issues you think could be attributed to gluten. Stomach pain, bloating, and other types of gastrointestinal discomfort are some of the most common, but there also may be skin issues like eczema, acne, or rash the persists from gluten intake.
Then, run a few simple experiments on yourself. See how you feel after a gluten-heavy meal versus a meal completely free of gluten. Take note of any and all reactions. Do you feel weighed down and sluggish both physically or mentally? Do aches and pains flare up in certain areas? Do you notice any inflammation or scratchiness on the skin? These could all be indicators that you have some degree of gluten intolerance, and it’s time to make a change.
Maybe you want to do away with the gluten altogether or just cut down drastically. Figure out exactly what needs to happen so you can operate at 100% and enjoy life.
2. Know Where Gluten Is Hiding
It’s time to start treating gluten like the hidden enemy lurking around every corner. While it’s likely not a matter of life and death, you should be vigilant about scoping out exactly where gluten may be, taking a hard stance to keep it off your plate.
To start, take a tour through your pantry in its current state and set apart everything that contains gluten on the nutritional panel. If it isn’t clear whether there is gluten in a particular item, run a search online, and set the record straight.
Once all the gluten culprits are rounded up, make them disappear any way you can (except for eating them, of course). Give them to friends, family members, work buddies, or just toss them in the trash can. Don’t sweat it—it’s for the best!
You probably already know which gluten-heavy foods to avoid just based on your daily experience. Most bread, white pasta, cookies, crisps, and pretzels are made with all-purpose flour, which is the main source of gluten in the modern world.
Gluten can be found in some unlikely places, and you’ll want to make an extended mental (or physical) checklist of these glutinous foods as you turn over a new leaf. Look at the labels on marinades, salad dressings, and other items that contain sneaky gluten.
Create your no-go list of foods and make sure they stay out of your kitchen.
3. Do A Cleanse To Reset The System
If you’re like most Americans, you have been living the majority of your life fueled by the American Standard Diet, known accurately as SAD. These are all the processed foods you eat every day—sugary fruit candy, corn-syrup loaded cereal, burgers, fries, shakes—the whole nine yards of nutritional neglect.
Knowing that your body has probably incurred some damage from these unfortunate foods over the years, it may be smart to do a hard cleanse of your system before going all-in on the gluten-free way of living. Science suggests it could be more effective to reset the body this way, especially for the gut microbiome.
The best way to cleanse safely and effectively? Some suggest fasting is the way to go, while others say you should simply try to eliminate all sugars and processed carbs from the diet for a few days. This is also advised if dairy products or seed oils are a problem.
It helps if you have a food you can rely on—like a fibrous, protein-packed bread—to navigate the cleanse without wondering what to eat.
A cleanse like this can be a great way for your body to snap out of its old ways, and it has psychological benefits as well—from this point on, you are gluten-free. No tapering, no wavering. 100% commitment!
4. Create Your New Gluten-Free Menu
It’s time to start building your new menu of gluten-free foods that you can refer to daily. It’s easier than you think to live the gluten-free life, and the truth is that most quality, delicious foods contain no gluten at all.
Head out to the grocery store with the intention of loading your cart with the best gluten-free foods available. Avoid the snacks and knockoff sweets—stick with the basic whole foods that you know are good for you.
Veggies, meat, eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit are all good bets. Pick up some fermented products like pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi as well. These are tangy and tasty while helping your gut win the battle against bad bacteria in your system.
This is a great opportunity to change up your body composition with proper diet and exercise, so aim for higher protein foods with healthy fats and moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates. You’ll find it far easier to gain muscle and lost fat when your gut is rebalanced, and you can actually absorb the full range of nutrients you’re eating.
5. Be Cautious At Restaurants</h3>
Remember, you aren’t being annoying by asking if a menu item contains gluten. It’s a super common question, and it’s a matter of protecting your health, so take it seriously!
The same rules apply for any convenience stores, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, or anywhere else you may be tempted to pick up a snack and nibble without forethought. Always be scanning items with gluten-vision to see if they’re safe for you to eat.
When dessert rolls around, you’re going to want to snag a bite of that brownie or cookie. Avoid temptation with a piece of dark chocolate or an espresso to fix that sweet tooth.
6. Treat Yourself With Classic Snacks
By far, the toughest part of acclimating to the gluten-free lifestyle is giving up those feel-good comfort foods that we all love. In moments of doubt and struggle, sometimes all you want is to dig into something sweet or savory to take your mind off the craziness of the world.
Unfortunately, most gluten-free snacks just don’t offer a ton of flexibility in the comfort food department. You can’t rely on celery sticks or scrambled eggs when all you want is to turn back the clock and enjoy a childhood classic like grilled cheese or French toast.
While some gluten-free bread offers a vague approximation of what real bread should taste like, it tends to miss the mark in terms of consistency and flavor. What if you could enjoy bread with no added gluten that actually tasted and felt like the real thing?
That’s what we accomplished with our Superfood Bread, which is delivered right to your door in convenient Keto Kube form. Enjoy your all-time favorites without worrying about gluten lurking behind the corner. This makes everything easier—just ask our satisfied reviewers!
When you make the commitment to gluten-free living, you’re in it for the long haul. Once you’ve been clean from gluten for a while, eating even a small amount can spell disaster for your system, so it’s super important to stay on track.
Use these tips and try our Superfood Bread to make your new gluten-free life as enjoyable and healthy as possible.