Being diagnosed with celiac disease or with a gluten intolerance can have a major impact on your daily life. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is caused by eating the gluten present in various grains.The symptoms can be very debilitating and in addition can cause the sufferer to lose weight. Although I do not have celiac disease Iwas diagnosed gluten intolerant 4 years ago and had to do lots of research to find a way of eating that eliminated gluten from my diet. This was no mean feat as there seemed to be so many foods I ate on a daily basis that contained gluten in one way or another: bread, cakes biscuits, crackers, sauces, pasta, gravy, stuffing, nut roast, oats, barley, couscous to name but a few. Not that I ate many cakes and biscuits but the other foods where a regular part of my diet.
Gluten Free Options
In the early days I was delighted to find lots of gluten free options in the supermarket and health shop and I started to learn about different grains I could try and how to cook with them. I made my own bread with gluten free bread flour and used the gluten free pasta and occasional gluten free biscuits and snacks. However I soon started to realize that although on the surface this diet seemed to be healthier for me I became aware of the hidden dangers of such a diet. Many of the foods are refined flour gluten free grain products and are consequently high on the Glycemic Index. Many of the processed biscuits and cakes had some rather undesirable ingredients that I would prefer to avoid.
Removing gluten from your diet can be far from a healthy option if you don’t change your relationship with the food you eat. Healthy eating is not about removing one item and replacing it with something equally as damaging to your health. Eating processed foods whether gluten free or not is not generally a good rule to follow. Of course we all do it from time to time, the problems arise when it becomes the mainstay of your diet.
A Healthy Gluten Free Diet
Over the last 4 years I have become more and more aware of what I eat and how it affects my health and well being. If I want to feel that I am well nourished it is vital that I eat wholesome unprocessed food that is as near to nature as possible. It is also important that I eat food that has been produced in the best way possible and by that I mean organically grown or reared. No pesticides, no antibiotics, not hormone treatment et etc. Eating food that our bodies recognize makes it far easier for us to digest that food. Eating foods that resemble cardboard may not be so easy to digest. I am being facetious but I always felt that dried breakfast cereals were closely related to cardboard!!
Don’t be too Hard on Yourself
Of course we are all human and whether we are gluten free or not we all have days when it is almost impossible to stick to our dietary principles. (This may not be so easy for someone with celiac disease as they will suffer the consequences if they stray from their diet.) Days when we are visiting friends or days when we have to rely on restaurant food can be quite a challenge. I believe it is important to be kind to ourselves on those days and allow ourselves the right to lapse temporarily without feeling guilty. Apart from anything else it will ease the burden on your friends and family who maybe feel thay have to cater to your needs all the time.
My New Kindle ebook
I am in the process of writing a Kindle ebook that goes into far more detail about gluten free diets and how to ensure that you are having a healthy gluten free diet and how it is important to not only eliminate gluten but also to heal the gut wall that has been damaged by the gluten. I am hoping to publish my book “ Really Healthy Gluten Free Living” by the end of next week so watch this space!