How have you been since I last stopped by? Hope you’re enjoying the weekend. Things are SO busy at the moment that I can barely catch my breath, hence the lack of posting. The scarcity of blog posts will probably continue for the next month as I try to manage work, uni and family commitments. But, hopefully, I’ll be able to post once a week. I’m still reading your blogs; I love them and it is one of my fave ways to relax, I’m just not commenting as much. Please don’t be offended.
Today’s post is going to be a little different. A friend of mine who is suffering from IBS recently asked me about following a gluten-free diet in a bid to try to get it under control. I’ve blogged about this before (here) but I thought it may be helpful for others out there to read my reply.
Do you remember we had a chat last year about IBS & gluten? Well I’ve come to the conclusion that I definitely do have it 😦 so I’m giving up gluten for a few weeks to see if it makes any difference. Was really gutted about the no porridge thing… until I saw your blog post on Nairns gluten free oats. Winner.
Anyway, I was wondering if you have any tips on how to do this well? If this works then I’m gonna be gluten free for a loooong time so thought I would get some wisdom from the expert! Any favourite recipes you can recommend?
Here are my gluten-free tips on doing it well…
– When you’re starting out, it’s best to keep meals and snacks as basic as possible so that you don’t feel too overwhelmed.
– Breakfast, you’re sorted with the gluten-free oats. Nairns also do gluten-free oat muesli (awesome). And there’s always fruit- my favourite breakfast.
– It may be worth buying gluten-free bread to use in the interim until you get used to being gluten-free (if you need to be full-time) for lunches etc.
– In the evenings I eat a lot of stir-fries with rice (the wok-rice pouches are great if you don’t have much time). I also eat alot of baked sweet and normal potatoes.
– Snacks are easy- fruit, nakd bars (see here for my review), carrots and hummus, rice cakes and peanut butter.
– If you’re eating out, lots of places have gluten-free alternatives. Indian restaurants are the best for gluten-free meals, as long as you stay away from the naan and poppadoms (although after my recent glutening I’m not too sure about this anymore).
– Check labels for gluten- in the UK they all state if they contain them now, I think. Remember gluten is barley, rye, spelt, wheat, semolina, and is in sauces, condiments, cous cous and pasta as well as the obvious places. But think about what you CAN eat rather than what you CAN’T 🙂
– Stir-fry sauces are tricky as they often contain gluten. But I always use tamari sauce instead of soy sauce, and Blue Dragon sweet chilli sauce (which comes in a bottle and is gluten-free).
– For recipes, the BBC Good Food website is great as you can choose a filter so that you only see meals that are gluten-free. Other sites that contain gluten-free recipes (but not necessarily vegan) are:
Hope this is helpful. There are so many other points I could include but these are the bare bones. Please feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions. The great thing about being gluten-free and vegan is that there’s already a greater flexibility in the vegan world as vegans are used to having to adapt recipes to suit their dietary needs. Also, raw food vegan recipes are helpful as they eliminate most common allergens already (which I suspect may be one of the reasons why they are so popular and have such health benefits).