Newly Gluten Free: 4 Tips For Getting Started
Written by Emily Pease. Emily is the Ambassador Coordinator here at Udi’s Gluten Free. She has been with the company for over 1 year and adores our gluten free cookies.
You’ve just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. Where do you start? What foods do you need to stay away from? What can you still eat? Overwhelmed much? Of course! Feeling that way is completely normal. Who wouldn’t be? One thing you have on your side is a wealth of information and a growing number of people in the same situation. Below are 4 tips to get you started.
- Tell your loved ones.
I would suggest telling your family and friends right away. They are going to be your support system in this lifestyle change. Chances are they have seen you suffer from the effects of gluten for a while now. They want to see you healthy and feeling your best. Their encouragement and support will hold you accountable when the cravings for gluten-full items hit you hard.
- Do your research.
There is an abundance of information out there to find! There are cookbooks, blogs, websites, articles, new research, etc. It is important to ask your doctor or healthcare professional about any medical questions or issues. They are your best ally on your gluten-free journey and can help you sift through all the information.
- Start reading labels.
Be sure you know what ingredients to stay away from and which ones are okay for you to consume. Here is an excellent guide on CSA’s website for ingredients to look for and stay away from. Don’t be shy about calling a company and asking about specific ingredients and the facilities where the products are made. For the first year I worked at Udi’s, I was the person answering the phones. I was happy to answer questions about ingredients to ensure customers and their families they could eat Udi’s Gluten Free products without worry.
- Always remember, you are not the only one.
Joining a support group is a GREAT way to network. You can learn from hearing others’ stories and experiences, find new recipes, attend events geared around your dietary restrictions or sample new products at a meeting. Perhaps the best part about joining a group is expanding your system of supporters. Get involved in your local Celiac Sprue Association or Gluten Intolerance Group chapter!
Your gluten-free journey is the beginning of a healthier lifestyle for you. Rather than thinking of it as a restrictive diet, maybe you will get to a point where you can embrace and be creative with the foods you can eat. Heal your body with nutritious, natural, gluten-free foods. It will thank you in return!
This post is the first in our new series "Newly Gluten Free." Be sure to check back for other tips and resources.