What Can I Eat?

DSC_6685Most people begin the gluten-free lifestyle the same way.  In a panic over what they CAN’T eat anymore, they rush to the nearest health food store and buy lots of expensive mixes to replace their favorite foods.  They bake their gluten-free pizza crusts, bread mixes, brownie mixes, and pancake mixes, only to discover that they taste very different from what they’re used to.  The grief sets in, and they cry, “I’ll never be normal again!”

Instead of focusing on all the things you can’t eat anymore, set your taste buds on all the foods you already eat that are just naturally gluten-free.  It’s not that you’ll never have bread, pizza, cookies, and baked goods again, it’s just that in the beginning, you’re going to take a little break.  In time, you will find a gluten-free replacement for almost everything you ate before, but for now, let’s focus on what you’re doing right already.  It’s cheaper, it makes you feel more normal, and it gives your taste buds some time to adjust to some new flours you’ll be enjoying in baked goods.

You are already eating many gluten-free foods.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, deli meat, potatoes, rice, corn, milk, yogurt, cheeses, sour cream, butter, some ice creams, eggs, beans, corn tortillas, crispy taco shells, condiments, peanut butter, jelly, Jello, Chex GF cereal, chocolate, many kinds of chips, salsa, Ore Ida frozen french fries or tator tots, etc… are all OK to eat.

That means you can still have eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, fruit, corn grits, or yogurt for breakfast.  Lunch could be a grilled chicken salad, nachos, a veggie quesadilla in a corn tortilla, deli meat and cheese in a lettuce wrap, tuna salad, or peanut butter and jelly spread over a rice cake.  For dinner, steak, a baked potato or rice, and veggies work well.

Learning what to eat will take some time and adjustment, so start simply, take it a step at a time, and most importantly, remind yourself that by eating gluten-free, you get to feel healthier just by eating the right things.

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