Going Gluten Free: Why and How We Do It

When people find out that I eat a gluten free diet, I’m often asked quite a few questions. Although food allergens and sensitivities are much better understood than times in the past, occasionally people still don’t understand. And people who know I have a large family often have lots of questions about how my eating style works for the whole family.

In today’s homemaking post, I’m sharing some answers to common questions I get about eating gluten free. At the end of the post, you’ll also find more information about a fun freebie that is available until September 6- The 4 Essential Habits of Healthy Families Audio E-course. You don’t want to miss this freebie because it’s a good one!

Going gluten free- why and how

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Q: Does everyone in your family eat a gluten free diet?

No. I eat a 100% gluten free diet. My oldest daughter eats primarily gluten free and vegetarian. But she has been known to “cheat” on occasion because she’s doing it for reasons of choice not for medical cause.

Q: Does that mean you’re making six different meals all the time?!

Definitely not! For breakfast, everyone makes their own food. My youngest child is ten and can easily do so. When I first began eating gluten free and they were younger, I did make breakfast for the kids and a separate breakfast for me. For lunch, I make my food and one regular lunch meal. Some of them eat the lunch I make (easy lunches) and some prefer to make their own- especially my vegetarian child. For supper, I make one family dinner and it is gluten free. It is not always meat free, but I try to make the meat an option- for instance spaghetti with meat sauce or red sauce.

Q: Why do you eat a gluten free diet?

This is one of the most frequent questions I get. It almost seems as if some people think that eating a gluten free diet- or a vegetarian diet- is just a fad. I was actually tested for Celiac Disease because my sister has it. She was diagnosed as a child. My test was negative. But I’ve long suffered with migraines and, in the last five years, with fibromyalgia. About two and a half years ago, frustrated with my pain levels increasing, I decided to try a gluten free diet.

My sister had long been telling me of the links between gluten sensitivity and issues like chronic pain and migraines. A gluten sensitivity won’t show up on any test. I finally decided it was worth my sanity to try the diet. Eating gluten free has been beneficial. It doesn’t entirely end my pain. It did greatly decrease the frequency of the migraines. And the body pain is less than without the gluten free diet.

My daughter had been considering eating vegetarian for some time. When I went gluten free, she decided to drop gluten and meat and soda. She was doing it for preference reasons, but in eating gluten free, she notices some definite positive changes in hormonally related issues.

Q: What do you eat?

I am going to be honest here. I’ve always been a picky eater. I was as a child, and it has continued to some degree. I’m one of those people who would honestly rather not eat than eat what I don’t happen to want. It’s a bad trait to have, and, as an adult, I’ve worked to change. When I first went gluten free, I felt a little lost because some of my food staples were gone. What helped me was to build up a variety of foods that were gluten free that I gradually began to like more and to choose foods I already liked that were gluten free and try to always keep them around.

For breakfast and lunch I eat the same thing every day. Every. Single. Day. I’ve always followed this pattern, though- even when I wasn’t gluten free. I just had to change the staples to choose gluten free. For breakfast, I eat bacon and a piece of gluten free cinnamon toast. For lunch I eat an almond apricot Kind Bar, sliced cheese, and applesauce. For supper, we eat a good bit of gluten free pasta and rice- along with other gluten free recipes I find and try out. I do have things I cook frequently that I know the family actually eats and that I can cook well.

Q: Can you go out to eat? 

Well, we honestly don’t go out much anymore because of cost anyway. This was true even before I began a gluten free diet. But, there are things I can eat to enjoy a dinner at a restaurant. Most larger chain restaurants can provide an allergen menu. And so many places are becoming more and more aware of what it means to eat and eliminate certain ingredients.

Although I don’t have to be extremely careful about cross contamination- as a true Celiac would- I am always reluctant to eat at someone else’s house when I don’t know the people well. In a restaurant, I can ask for an allergen menu and be assured of the ingredients. When someone has cooked, I’m sometimes hesitant to demand an ingredient list. And there have been times I’ve eaten something I assumed would be perfectly safe, only to find out it had some unusual ingredient.

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