A Gluten-free Guide

Good morning!

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.

***

Hi Sarah,

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?

Thank you

***

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:

The Intolerant Gourmet
Elana’s Pantry
Karina’s Kitchen
Gluten-free Girl
Choosing Raw

***

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).

🙂

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12 thoughts on “A Gluten-free Guide

  1. It’s so hard to balance blogging, work, family, exercise etc isn’t it! I hate it when I don’t have time to read blogs or blog but sometimes it’s so difficult to fit it all in.. I hope you find a balance that works for you soon!

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  2. Too bad you are so busy at the moment but I’m sure it will all calm down soon. It’ll all be worth it in the end! Great post about eating gluten-free with some good tips for those who might need them.

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  3. Hey, glad you’re back, I was getting worried ;-). And good luck with all the life-stuff till next time…thanks for your comment on my blog, I am definitely sticking around, I am just having such difficulty eating anything at the mo that blogging about it just doesn’t make sense – speaking of food, I’m definitely checking out bbc? The temperatures really dropped here, so I’m hauling out the big coats and the warm beverages…stay safe (and gf, ha!) till next time.

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  4. Brilliant guide: I wish I’d had a resource like this when I was transitioning into gluten-free eating.

    Hope things settle down for you soon and you’re bearing up okay: IBS and stress are never a good combination so make sure you’re taking excellent care of yourself 🙂

    ~Jess~
    xxxxxxxx

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  5. What a great list of tips for those who are thinking about/trying to go gluten-free.

    I’ve been missing you! So glad to hear that everything is going well – and I totally understand that sometimes blogging gets put on the back burner when real life settles in. No worries! I’m happy to hear from you whenever I can.

    Take care of yourself and enjoy everything that’s going on right now:)

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  6. great advice on being GF. I would add that it can take awhile to feel results sometimes so be patient! hope you friend feels better soon.

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  7. Thanks for the book recommendation and the tips for eating gluten-free. After a weeks long cleanse I ate a bran muffin and had stabbing pains in my stomach – I wonder if gluten or wheat might be a problem. I have been cutting back on wheat, but have not eliminated gluten entirely. Thanks for your blog! I write about creative ways to live a healthy, frugal, green and fun existence, would love for you to stop by when you are less busy!

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  8. Good advice as always:) The only thing I would add is that before changing your diet it’s worthwhile ruling out coeliac disease because if you want a diagnosis in the future you’ll have to eat gluten again (which is not fun). As Bitt says, it takes a while for the effects of going gluten free to show (if you’re coeliac your gut will be damaged and will take time to heal) but if there’s no change in your symptoms, it’s a good idea to get a full food intolerance screen done by a nutritional therapist because something you might not even suspect might be causing problems. Also people who have coeliac disease or wheat/gluten intolerances are more likely to have additional food allergies or intolerances.

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