If you’ve read a magazine, cookbook or newspaper in the past few years you have seen how popular gluten-free recipes, meals and dishes are. If this has you curious about eating gluten-free, then make sure you are doing it the healthy way!
We will show you how to way to eat gluten-free, give you some ideas for breakfast, snacks and dinners AND we even sent up a sample gluten-free menu that you can follow on your first day of gluten-free.
The Slippery Slope Of Going Gluten-Free
If you are going gluten-free just because (when you don’t have an allergy or sensitivity) there are some things to be cautious of before you start. Removing an entire food group from your diet may cause you to develop a negative reaction when/if you do ever start to include the food into your diet again.
Nowadays, there are shelves filled with foods and packaged products labelled “gluten-free” but don’t let that trick you into thinking it is healthy. A processed and convenience food is still a processed and convenience food – with or without gluten. When gluten is removed from a food, more often than not, sugar, additives and preservatives are added to the product. Gluten is what holds a food together so something must be added to keep it from falling apart and it normally isn’t something whole and natural.
If you want more information on what to avoid when going gluten-free, check out our in-depth article here.
The Most Beneficial Way To Eat Gluten-Free
If you are wondering how to consume only healthy gluten-free foods, then we recommend eating a whole, natural foods diet and avoid any of the processed “gluten-free” products. There are plenty of foods that are naturally gluten-free such as, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, potatoes, all fruits, vegetables, beans, meats, nuts and oils! That’s a lengthy list if you ask us…
The reason you want to focus on eating whole foods is because you want to ensure you are getting a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3s, etc. for a healthy body inside and out. This will also provide healthy amounts of fiber, which North Americans tend to be low on. Especially, when eating gluten-free because you are avoiding bread, cereals and other foods that may contain added fiber. Consuming a whole food diet is beneficial for everyone, whether you are gluten-free or not.
Low-Carb And Gluten-Free
If you are following our recommendations on how to eat healthy gluten-free foods, then you are most likely eating lower in carbs! Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Removing gluten-containing foods such as pasta, bread, baked goods, pizza, desserts, etc. you are cutting out where a majority of your carbohydrates are coming from. While carbs are a healthy and essential part of a balanced diet, the type of carbohydrates in the foods listed above are full of sugars and unnatural ingredients. They give you constant blood sugar spikes in the body which can potentially lead to diabetes, weight gain and other chronic illnesses.
Consuming lower amounts of carbs can lead to a more balanced blood sugar which means no more cravings and a healthier body weight. That sounds great to us!
What Do I Make For A Gluten-Free Breakfast?
Here are a bunch of great options to make for your first meal of the day, and they’re naturally gluten-free!
- A vegetable omelet topped with avocado
- Gluten-free oatmeal topped with almond butter and fresh blueberries (oats are naturally gluten-free but they are processed in the same facility as gluten, so look for some labelled “gluten-free”)
- Greek yogurt topped with slivered almonds, fruit and a drizzle of honey
- Green smoothie made with spinach, banana, coconut flakes and chia seeds
- Tofu scramble and vegetables if you are gluten-free and vegan!
What About Gluten-Free Dinners?
Don’t worry about not knowing what to make for your gluten-free dinner because we have some ideas for you!
- Chicken and vegetable stir fry on top of some brown rice
- Zucchini noodles in a homemade tomato sauce
- Grilled salmon, salad and cauliflower rice
Pretty much any dish can be gluten-free if you are using whole, natural foods so include a lean protein, a gluten-free carb source and tons of vegetables and you have yourself a healthy gluten-free meal!
If You Aren’t Celiac, How Much Gluten Is Allowed?
If you are choosing to remove gluten from your diet without having a medical reason such as an autoimmune allergy or a sensitivity, you may be wondering how much gluten you can have.
Truthfully, since your own health isn’t affected by gluten, you can have as much or as little gluten as you would like. This is a personal preference if you want to exclude gluten 80% of the time but allow yourself some gluten-filled treats and meals on special occasions. Just be mindful that removing gluten has been shown to have some benefits, so to really reap them, you would want to avoid dabbling in any gluten at all.
Healthy Gluten-Free Snack Ideas
Avoid any of those packaged snacks and convenience foods that are labelled gluten-free and try some these healthy snack ideas:
- Apple dipped in peanut butter
- Cut up vegetables dipped in hummus
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Handful of almonds
- Homemade trail mix
OR… Our personal favorite is our No-Bake Energy Bars! – Just be sure to use gluten-free oats.
Example of a Gluten-Free Menu
Here’s a “Day in the Life” meal plan for a gluten-free eater:
Breakfast: Cauliflower Hashbrown Egg Cups – these can be meal prepped so in the morning you can just grab and go!
Lunch: These Tuna Lettuce wraps won’t have you missing out any tortillas!