How I Stopped Eating Gluten and Changed my Diet

As a follow-up to my last post about NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY I wanted to address the question of “How did you change your diet?” which is a question I’m asked repeatedly. Firstly, when you start feeling a million percent better, it’s not difficult to make the changes. Secondly, in order to set yourself up for success, you need to change your food shopping habits.

When my meal plan was prescribed (using the term prescribed which is equivalent to highly suggested) I knew I needed to buy things that weren’t normally on my shopping list. You can succeed if you have on hand what you can eat, not what you can’t. Avoiding the snack and nosh isle is a must, and frequenting the gluten-free section and health food store will become a new normal.

To summarize WHAT I CAN EAT

  • protein- eggs, chicken, nuts (not peanuts), tuna, fish. I’ll eat beef in moderation, but I’m not a huge beef-lover, so it’s not an issue.
  • vegetables, especially orange ones and greenbean and peas are recommended for me
  • sprouts
  • mushrooms
  • quinoa and buckwheat
  • fresh fruit
  • olives
  • tachina
  • seeds

What I can’t eat or eat minimally

  • sugar, sweets, honey, dried fruit
  • rice, corn, potatoes, beans
  • snack foods, sweet drinks, nosh

What I MUST AVOID

  • gluten
  • dairy
  • soy
  • peanuts

With those categories delineating what I can have, it makes it clear what goes in my shopping cart and what doesn’t. Non-processed, whole food is always better than processed, but since I don’t have time to prepare everything from scratch and get cravings for the mouth-feel of former favorites, I’ve found substitutes. I found a coconut-based cheese that has no soy or dairy. I’ll have Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts instead of peanuts. Craving for chocolate chip cookies? I’ll get a package of gluten-free ones. A craving for something crunchy? Homemade popcorn, sweet potato chips, or gluten-free cereal. In this decade, there are plenty of options found at the local grocery, health food store, or online.

Given any two items, one tends to choose what is comfortable and familiar. It takes time to get used to making different choices. For example, while my kids can have gluten (for the time being, anyway) it was recommended to switch from products made with wheat to products made with spelt. If there is wheat pita in the fridge alongside spelt pita, take a guess which one they will gravitate towards. If you said wheat, you are correct. The wheat pita really has no right to be in the fridge any longer as not to tempt the spelt-eaters.

Related to the topic of what to eat and not to eat is WHEN to eat. I was told to eat at specific times which for the curious-minded are 9am, 1 pm, snack at 4 pm, and 7pm. The quantity doesn’t matter as long as I stick to the menu of dos and don’ts. Previous to this schedule, there was no schedule and I was grazing all day (and evening). If 11am rolls around, I shouldn’t be hungry if I ate properly at 9am. If I feel the need to put something in my mouth, it may be because I’m thirsty or bored or emotional, but not hungry. So I’ll have a drink. Then there’s the gum option if it’s the need to chomp on something. For the most part, I keep to this timetable. Can I keep to this perfectly? Absolutely not, but I do my best and stick to the plan for the majority of the time. It really cuts down on noshing and allows me to ‘look forward to my next meal. So back to the shopping…

Once you get into the hang of it, there will be new staples in the fridge and pantry that you never previously. This will be a transitional process, as you have to get used to having new things.
My fridge and pantry now has black olives, ground flax seeds, a bottle of liquid chlorophyll (one of my recommended supplements), Omega 3 (recommended for the children), buckwheat-quinoa crackers, almond butter, green beans, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and hazelnuts, and spelt bread and pita (for the kids who should have spelt instead of wheat), coconut cream, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free cereal, and a chocolate mint chocolate bar (no soy and no dairy) which is my splurge for chocolate as I’m a mint girl. We’re still transitioning, but when you realize how many products have wheat, it opens your eyes to what shouldn’t be in the home and substitute what can.

Since this is mainly a blog for organizing (plus my practical wisdom posts), I’ll add an organizing comment by noting I organize my “stuff” in different sections of the fridge and the contraband like wheat and cheese go on a separate shelf. I’d love to phase those out completely, but there are other family members who aren’t on board with the changes.

So that’s the ‘how to’ of how to stop eating gluten. Support is out there. Seek and ye shall find, so to speak. Having a support system with like-minded folks is invaluable.

I can do it. You can, too. #YouGotThis

Published by Karen Furman

Hi. I’m Karen Furman, a home organizer and decluttering professional. Organizing is something I’ve been doing since 1st grade when used to straighten everyone’s desks. Fast forward a few decades later, I turned my passion for organizing into a business. Philosophy = Your home should be organized so you know where things are, to the degree that you feel relaxed and not stressed in your space. Method = A combination of Marie Kondo + FlyLady + my own style. YOU make the decisions. YOU decide what to keep and not to keep. I help provide clarity. Attitude = Positive, enthusiastic, non-judgmental

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