The first couple days of getting off gluten can be challenging. About three days prior to getting diagnosed, I literally went grocery shopping & stocked up on snacks, all of which had gluten. It was really sad. I had my bread, goldfish, ritz crackers, Costco muffins, chips, & a few others. I had a pantry full of gluten.
I didn’t know where I could go to shop, what I should do, what I could eat. You feel like you’re in Apollo 13, right next to Tom Hanks in the lunar lander when everything goes wrong. What do I do now? “Houston, we have a problem.”
So how do you get started?
Go through your pantry & fridge. It will take loads of time but you will need to go through every item & ingredient you own. What I did was typed the name of the product into Google, including the brand, & put the words gluten free in there somewhere. I went to multiple sites to confirm whether or not it was gluten free. You can also call the manufacturer & ask- I just didn’t have time for that.
Start small with the essentials.
Go get bread, flour, noodles, pretzels xanthan gum, cold cereal, cookie crackers, pancake mix, etc- anything that you eat regularly. Building up a stash of gluten free food is not only difficult, because you probably don’t know much about it, but its expensive so you have to do it gradually. So start with what you know you will need.
Go through your hair & beauty products.
Yes, you are what you eat so if you’ve been eating gluten it will show up in your hair, skin, & nails BUT what you put ON your hair skin & nails is just as harmful to them. Stop using your shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, & any other hair care products you’ve been using. Before researching to find the perfect gluten free product for your hair, find something that’s gluten free to use while doing the research. Here’s a great gluten free shampoo you can find anywhere that’s cheap & will at least get you by. Sexy Hair Healthy Reinvent Color Care Shampoo & Conditioner.
Go through your medications.
There are quite a few medications containing gluten, you might not be aware of. Be sure to go through all your over the counter & doctor prescribed drugs. Here is a wonderful list that includes a ton of gluten free drugs you can search through.
Locate a grocery store that carries gluten free items
The best thing to do is go to your grocery stores OR call them & ask if they have a gluten free section. Also locate a health foods store. Health food stores often carry a much wider selection of gluten free items. The grocery store will stock a smaller selection but the items they stock are usually the most popular in the gluten free community.
Locate restaurants that have gluten free menus.
To get you started, here are a few chains that carry gluten free items: (ALWAYS KEEP THIS IN MIND- You run the risk of getting cross contaminated every time you eat out. That is the nature of the beast.)
- Wendy’s- They are FABULOUS about gluten free. They have a whole ton of options so when you go, be sure to check it out!
- Chipotle- Get the burrito in a bowl with some corn tortillas! Simply tell them you’re gluten free & they will EVEN change their gloves! Here’s a link to the gluten free menu!
- Arby’s- I like to get their Jr. Roast Beefs wrapped in lettuce & enjoy that sauce, cause its gluten free, see!
- Chic-Fil-A- They have a large gluten free menu. Just ask for it when you get there & they’ll be sure to fill you in if you have ?’s
- In-n-out- Ask for a burger “Protein Style” with an “Allergy on it.” Be sure to grab a fry! Unfortunately I couldn’t find their allergy menu.
Keep gluten free snacks on hand.
If you get the munchies & you don’t have an easy, on hand gluten free snack, you are more likely to cheat. Be sure to have a few easy go-to snacks to get your mind off of gluten.