I’m curious if anyone resonated with any of the symptoms that could support a person to do a trial of going gluten-free? They best way to know for sure is to remove gluten - 100%. If it’s less than 100% removal you won’t get it out of your system to be able see the improvements, because even a crumb can cause the symptoms to continue.
Avoiding gluten doesn’t have to be hard or restrictive. Eating out can be a task for finding places that do not use gluten or that you can trust when they tell you they do not. For now, I am just going over how to navigate being gluten-free when eating at home. The key is to finding whole food swaps and not relying on processed gluten-free packaged foods, as those tend to not be the healthiest choice.
If you have toast for breakfast, there are many different and healthy (and delicious!) gluten-free breads. However, an interesting change is sweet potato to use for your toast! You can either pre-roast in the oven slices of sweet potato, where they are quite soft and can be used as a base for avocado and poached egg. Or, as a quicker solution, at breakfast time, slice two round 1/4 inch thick pieces and pop them in the toaster, on high, and toast them twice until they are well heated and soft. This can a great swap for bread. Works for peanut better, jam, cream cheese, you name it. Google sweet potato toasts to find inspirations.
If you enjoy cereal, there are many replacements for cereals that are gluten-free, oatmeal being one. Oats are gluten-free but can be cross contaminated due to growing near wheat as well if processed in the same facility as wheat. Find oats with a gluten-free certified stamp so you can be sure there is no cross contaminated gluten. Find recipes such as baked oatmeal with apple and cinnamon to create a less “goopy” oatmeal - more like a cake consistency. Also gluten-free nut and seed granola with yogurt and berries can be a less processed cereal option.
For sandwiches, you can use things like butter lettuce to wrap meat and cheese for a wrap (and get extra veggies with your lettuce!). Also, add more veggie options like thin sliced peppers, cucumbers, sprouts, avocado, etc.
For dinner, to swap spaghetti or macaroni is very easy with gluten-free grains like rice, rice noodles, quinoa, quinoa noodles, buckwheat noodles, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, lots of options!
Also, 100% corn tortillas are gluten-free for making fish tacos, or egg/breakfast burritos (can be great for dinner too!).
For sweet snacks and dessert there are lots whole food options - the lists are growing and more and more bloggers are bringing more incredible and healthy recipes to the table :). We have a favourite chocolate cake made of cooked quinoa. It seriously beats out regular cake hands down.
There are also black bean brownies! Oh my! These are not the yucky cardboard foods you may be imagining. These are right up there with your favourite regular sweet treats.
Even if you do not want to go full on gluten-free, adding in these other foods gives you different nutrients and you rely less on 1 specific food type at each meal. Enjoy!
Lisa Aschenbrenner, RHN - Registered Holistic Nutritionist
For more information please visit RealFoodForThought.ca