Yes whether you’re gluten intolerant or have celiacs disease, living a gluten-free lifestyle can definitely be difficult at times.
Sometimes, a gluten-free lifestyle can feel like you are extremely limited in what you can eat.
Yes, flour and wheat are foods that are found in MANY food products.
However, in today’s world there are SO many gluten-free options.
Yes it may take a bit more planning and a bit more time grocery shopping, but made sure you set your mind to realizing that you have so many food options in today’s gluten-free world.
If you study anything about mindset you know just how very powerful the mind is.
When you focus solely on all the foods you miss eating, or that you wish were gluten-free….quickly replace those thoughts with your favorite foods that are gluten-free or some new gluten-free options that you are enjoying.
Mindset is everything with a gluten-free lifestyle.
So what if you bring your own bread to the party?
At least you have gluten-free bread right?
Shop at different grocery stores…diversify your food options and you will see just how blessed we are to live in a time when gluten-free options are widely available.
It takes practice to not feel disheartened about gluten-free living, but over time, with a lot of work…you will see that gluten-free living with a positive outlook is possible.
So before I continue on about this post I have to honestly say, I know there’s far worse things than having to eat gluten-free.
In fact, when I was diagnosed with celiacs disease my nurse told me that celiacs is the best disease you could ask for…meaning if you had to choose a disease, celiacs would be the easiest one to deal with.
And I agreed and still do agree.
However what’s easier than Celiacs or being gluten-intolerant?
Not having celiacs or being gluten-intolerant.
Really, this post may sound like a venting session, but it’s meant more so to be a validation post on how the gluten-free lifestyle can be hard.
Here are my 3 Reasons Living a Gluten-free Lifestyle can be Annoyingly Hard..
Living a gluten-free lifestyle can be hard because your mind is constantly living in food limitations.
Yes there are so many great gluten free options these days, but there are still plenty of items that aren’t gluten free, which makes food choices seem limiting.
Think of fast food , there’s a few fast food chains that have caught onto offering gluten-free food items, but not many.
So really, there are very few fast and convenient gluten-free options. Again, limiting the types of food for people with celiacs or gluten-intolerant.
The limitations can be hard.
There may be some people that like the attention that living gluten-free brings, but if you’re like me, you’d prefer to not drive all the attention that comes with living a gluten-free lifestyle.
For example, a group of close friends wants to go to dinner..they start discussing restaurants and the opinion always comes back to you because you’re the one that can’t eat gluten.
Your friends want you to help choose a place that is “gluten-friendly.” Of course this is very kind of your friends, but sometimes you feel like it could be nice to say “I don’t care where we eat.” And yet, you have to care.
And then when you get to the restaurant, you ask the waiter/waitress for a gluten-free menu … more attention, and then when the server brings your meal they always say “this is the gluten free entree”… more attention.
There’s no way around the attention, it’s not a terrible thing, but some days I think it’s the simplicity of things that is missed the most.
3-Fear of Food
Honestly, this is one point I’m working on myself.
There is definitely a different connection with food when you have celiacs or are gluten-intolerant.
There’s a fear of getting sick from all types of food.
Sure there comes a point where we all feel more confident with finding gluten-free food.
And yet, there are still times where gluten can be disguised in different food items which can result in many side effects if consumed. For many with celiacs and gluten-intolerance , we get very sick if we consume gluten.
So yes there seems to be now a new relationship with food.
Almost like a trust issue with food.
There’s somewhat of an anxiousness connected to food.
And food is something we have to have every day, throughout the day.
So yes if we don’t control that fear of food, it can quickly cause someone to be quite anxious.
And it’s no fun to live everyday worrying about what foods you can and can’t eat.
Yes it gets easier as you become more accustom to a gluten-free lifestyle.
However, it can be a constant battle to not gravitate to “fear” when it comes to eating foods.
All in all, living a gluten-free lifestyle is definitely something anyone can do.
A gluten-free lifestyle is not always easy, and yet, thankfully, things have improved in our day and age and there are many more gluten-free options than ever before.
Gluten-free living comes with many challenges, but I have learned a lot through my gluten-free journey, and I’m grateful that celiacs is a very treatable disease.
I would love to hear your experience with living a gluten-free lifestyle.
It’s no secret that being new to any lifestyle change is hard. So when it comes to beginning a new journey of becoming gluten-free, and cutting out all things flour and wheat, eating can get hard!
I myself have been gluten-free due to my celiacs disease for twelve years now, and I myself made some rookie mistakes at the beginning of my gluten-free journey.
Here are some mistakes that many people make as they start out gluten-free. Hopefully, you can learn from other people mistakes. Even more, hopefully this can help your gluten-free journey to be easier and simpler.
ROOKIE MISTAKES PEOPLE NEW TO THE GLUTEN-FREE LIFESTYLE MAKE
#1- Buying way too much gluten-free food in one shopping trip without knowing how the products taste. Buying a lot of gluten-free items can be very expensive, and you may be disappointed in the taste and texture of some gluten-free products. Stick to trying no more than 3-5 new gluten-free food products in one shopping trip.
#2-Assuming that others know what gluten-free entails. Most people have heard about being gluten-free, but actually don’t know what it entails. I have heard everything such as “oh you can’t eat potatoes,” or “you only eat meat right?” Make sure that especially those in your inner-circle know EXACTLY what eating gluten-free entails. This drastically can help you avoid get accidentally “glutened” by friends.
#3-Not being specific and proactive enough when eating at restaurants. My biggest push on this is ask a lot of questions. I usually ask my waiter/waitress about 2-3 times that they made sure my meal was gluten-free. I have gotten sick the most from going out to eat so I can attest it’s ok to be the “buggy” customer at the restaurant. Your health is more important than trying to win best restaurant customer of the year.
#4-Making sure to question all the ingredients if someone tries to make you a gluten-free meal. Honestly, I politely turn people down when others ask if they can cook me a gluten-free meal. Why? Because there are so many seasonings and small ingredients that have gluten that get overlooked. My exception to this are people that eat gluten-free themselves, OR friends that I am comfortable with having them break down the recipe for me. Again, no one wants to be rude or ungrateful, however, getting sick from homemade fun is never fun either.
#5-Trying to cook gluten-free products the same way you cooked regular (gluten-filled) products. For example, gluten-free noodles turn to gooey, gross messes if you don’t watch them carefully while boiling them. The time limit for gluten-free noodles is different than regular noodles. When it comes to baking you have to remember products bake much differently than regular products. Gluten-free baked products usually don’t rise and fluff up like regular items. So just remember, cooking and baking gluten-free takes time and it can be frustrating at first.
#6- Not vocalizing your frustrations with your new gluten-free lifestyle. This may sound bizarre, but it’s hard to have a diet change, especially when it becomes a life long diet change. This change is not easy and it can be a struggle. I recommend finding Facebook groups, understanding friends and family members that you can lean on for support. Try your best to be optimistic, but also realize it’s ok to have days of frustration.
#7- Overlooking books and resources that can teach you more about living a gluten-free lifestyle. We are blessed to have so many resources to lean on when it comes to being gluten-free. Dig deep and find those gluten free blogs, books, Instagram accounts etc. the more knowledge you have about a gluten-free lifestyle, the better!
Hopefully your gluten-free journey can be a positive learning curve. Yes, it will be a learning curve but you will do well.