14.5.2016 | 01:18
But it doesn’t have to be….
I’m specifically referring to “trigger foods” here, gluten in particular.
So many people seem to give up before they even begin:
“Oh, I could never give up bread!”
“But what will I eat, if I can’t have bread/bagels/pasta/cookies/crackers?”
First of all, you don’t necessarily have to give up any of those foods; you certainly don’t have to give up all of them.
And you don’t have to rely on processed, mass-market gluten-free products that are filled with starchy, sugary … and let’s face it, bad-tasting substitutes.
I remember the first gluten-free pizza I tried, with a rice flour crust … chewy, gummy … ick.
Of course, my alternative wasn’t so great either: a spelt crust.
Spelt is a bit tricky. It’s wheat-free, but not gluten-free. There’s a difference.
Some people can tolerate spelt, but others can’t. And it can come down to more than whether or not you have Celiac Disease.
Debra and I eventually moved on from spelt too, although it took a while.
I won’t lie to you:
Giving up gluten can be really difficult for a lot of people.
Let’s face it: A lot of our favorite “comfort foods” just happen to be made with flour and sugar….
It’s not just a matter of “Eat this, not that” – there’s a mindset aspect that many people genuinely struggle with.
These might be favorite foods from childhood, or family recipes handed down for generations.
It can be difficult to let go, physically and emotionally.
That’s where having a guide can come in handy.
Debra and I have been gluten-free for several years now.
We started out wheat-free, but eventually realized that even that wasn’t enough.
Neither of us has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease – and I’m not about to start eating gluten-containing products, a necessary part of the testing process, to find out for certain.
But we’ve both felt better since removing gluten from our diets.
When we were first introduced to the “gluten-free” concept – by a naturopath, in 1999 – there wasn’t such a thing as gluten-free beer.
Or if there was, it wasn’t as easy to find as it is now….
There were a lot of processed gluten-free products on the market, but most of them were filled with sugar, potato starch, rice flour … a lot of high-glycemic, unhealthy “filler” ingredients.
There weren’t a whole lot of Paleo products available at the time – so we didn’t have all the options made with stevia, xylitol and erythritol for sweeteners.
We didn’t find cookies and breads made from coconut and almond flour on store shelves….
We had to create our own recipes, tweaking the ones we had with healthier substitutions.
And guess what?
It didn’t hurt the taste at all!!
We would frequently make baked treats to share with friends and family, since we couldn’t eat their versions.
We received “rave reviews” – including from our step-father, who is a retired professional baker…. (If we can come up with goodies that meet his high standards, we must be doing something right!!)
Yes, you can find a huge variety of gluten-free goodies at your local grocery store these days, and if you need them to help you get over the first hurdle then don’t hesitate.
But there are healthier options out there, and they aren’t as hard to find as they used to be.
Or hard to make, for that matter….
So yes, breaking up can be hard to do, but it doesn’t have to be.
Not if you have an experienced guide at your side, steering you past the gluten-free junk to the healthy food beyond….