If you’ve recently been told to stop eating foods containing gluten, you may be wondering what food and drinks there are to enjoy anymore! While most people tolerate gluten, if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or have developed a sensitivity to this ingredient, you’ll have to avoid it. Otherwise, you’ll continue to suffer from various health issues.
Your doctor or dietician will tell you to stay away from foods and drinks containing protein gluten which includes barley, rye and wheat. You’ll be given a list of gluten-free foods and samples of menus that often don’t inspire you to create yummy meals. But, going gluten-free doesn’t have to mean doom and gloom. For one thing, there is such a thing as gluten free beer Australia based breweries are making for people just like you!
Living with a gluten free diet has its challenges but by getting adventurous you can still have fun. Read on as we share three ways of enjoying a gluten-free diet so you can still find pleasure every time you sit down for a meal.
What to Avoid on a Gluten Free Diet
Before you head on down to what can be done to make a gluten free diet healthy and enjoyable, let’s talk about which foods you need to avoid. These include:
- Wheat ingredients such as bran, flour, durum, spelt, semolina and kamut.
- Brewer’s Yeast
This means avoiding foods and drinks with these ingredients such as pasta, cakes, breads, alcohol beverages, cereals, sauces and snack goodies. You’ll be advised to read all food labels before purchasing an item to ensure it doesn’t include gluten. And, the best way to avoid gluten contamination is to eat unprocessed food that’s whole and single-ingredient.
3 Ways to Enjoy a Healthy Gluten Free Diet
1. Make a List of Your Favourite Gluten Free Foods
You may think finding your favourite whole, single-ingredient food is near impossible. But, the following can be eaten and from this list, you can break it down into food items you do enjoy:
- Whole grains: Quinoa, gluten-free oats, brown or wild rice, sorghum and buckwheat are some examples you can experiment with.
- Fruits and vegetables: The list is never-ending here but think delicious strawberries, fresh greens such as spinach or Swiss Chard, tasty brown mushrooms or decadent peaches.
- Proteins: Go for free-range chicken, beef, lamb, turkey or pork to keep it healthy and look out for plant-based proteins too such as nuts, pulses, seeds and soya. You can also add seafood to your list of proteins.
- Dairy: Most dairy products are gluten-free but avoid any that have been flavoured or artificially sweetened.
- Fats and oils: Go with oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, vegetable and sunflower here. Ghee and butter can also be included.
- Beverages: Water, tea, coffee, gluten-free beer and wine, pure fruit juice and sodas can be added to your list.
You can add spices, condiments and sauces to your list but avoid ingredients that could contain gluten such as flavourants, stabilisers and emulsifiers.
2. Get Creative With Recipes
Once you have your list of favourite gluten-free foods, you can start creating delicious recipes. Some ideas:
- Mix different seeds with double-thick Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit for breakfast meals.
- Make a tasty soup with your favourite meats, vegetables and spices.
- Look out for gluten-free tortillas and go wild with flavours by making a combination of steak slices, oyster mushrooms and spinach.
Thinking out of the box and combining various single-ingredient foods together with gluten-free sauces and condiments gives you scope to create tantalising recipes. While you may have to stop eating pasta, brown or wild rice makes a wholesome and tasty substitute when you need to fulfill your carbs craving.
3. Socialise in All the Right Places
Your gluten-free diet may take the joy out of socialising if the norm was alcoholic beverages and pizzas on a Friday night with your buddies. But, it’s possible to still enjoy a beer or two by simply finding a local brewery that sells gluten-free drinks. Restaurants are also finding ways to introduce gluten-free meals to their menu including pizzas. Organic pizzas made with a cauliflower base is the way to go here!
There’s no need to become a party pooper when your doctor tells you to cut out gluten from your diet. This is the time to get innovative and take charge of your social calendar. Do some research and suggest suitable drinking and eating venues to your friends. If they really care about you, they’ll enjoy the change of scenery and menu.
A gluten-free diet can seem bland if you’re not willing to experiment. It takes a bit of planning ahead and buying the right foods when doing your grocery shopping. You’ll have to be creative with your meals, using interesting combinations with your favourite foods but this is what makes your gluten-free diet fun. And, you’ll discover a whole lot of new places in your local area when you start exploring restaurants serving gluten-free meals and drinks. What are you waiting for?