Sunday, March 18, 2012

As a physical therapist I have seen firsthand the impact that gluten sensitivity and/or intolerance (be it Celiac or Non-Celiac) can have on the human body.  Gluten can negatively impact not just the gut, but many other parts of the body including the nervous system, joints, muscles and skin.  It can be very difficult for someone’s body to heal and repair, if they are consuming something that is keeping them in a perpetual state of inflammation.  (I will go into this in greater detail in the upcoming news letter.)

“Going Gluten Free is too hard!”  - is generally the first thing I hear from someone who has just learned they need to go gluten free, not that removing gluten from their diet wouldn’t be helpful. Since I went gluten free last spring I understand.

Here are some helpful tricks I found helpful when making the transition.
1.                  Focus on what you can have.and realize there is a lot you can have!
2.                  Take 10 minutes on the weekend to write out a quick menu for the upcoming week.
3.                  Prepare extra food on the weekend to have on hand during the week (eg. baked chicken breast, baked potatoes and rice)
4.                  Stock your pantry, swapping out wheat bread, bagels, bread crumbs, pancake mix and pasta with gluten free versions. 
5.                  Keep some extra bread, bagels and waffles in the freezer. 
6.                  Keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand.  My kids love baby carrots and apples.
7.                  If you are cooking a meal, put aside an extra serving and have it the next day for lunch.
8.                  During busy weeks, make 1-2-3- Chili:
            -1 pound of ground meat browned,
            -1 jar of your favorite salsa, and
            -1 can of your favorite beans (2 kinds of beans if you don’t do meat). 
If you want to jazz it up, add cumin and cayenne pepper to your liking.  
I will make double batches during the school year to manage those meals on the fly, doing corn taco’s one night with lettuce, tomato and cheese, and then the next chili over rice or potatoes with a side salad. 
9.                  Use your smart phone!  There are lots of great gluten free sites that you can access as well as apps for recipes and finding a place to eat while you are on the go.
10.              Don’t be afraid of the kitchen…………start cooking!
Joining the support group and subscribing to on line blogs for me were a big help. I was able to get practical advice, restaurant tips, and information about gluten free products as well as learning different cooking techniques from those who had already been through the process.

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