It’s no secret that gluten free diets are popular, and for good reasons for many of us. I’ve been doing a very low gluten diet for a little more than two years to heal some gut inflammation, and I’ve definitely noticed benefits. But it took some getting used to.
I remember the early days of being low gluten, shopping the gluten free aisles of the grocery store in awe. I could have bagels! Pretzels! Crackers! Gluten free Oreos!!!
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try a few of these. But I’d always take the package home, inspect the ingredients more and decide to buy them rarely, if ever again.
If you follow me here, you know I believe food is medicine. Eating nutrient dense, minimally processed food is SO beneficial. And eating highly processed food is quite the opposite, gluten free or not.
When I’ve had clients who go gluten free in the past, I’ve often heard “I thought I would be losing weight?” Or even “why am I GAINING weight”. And we often find out it’s because they’ve replaced processed foods with gluten free processed foods, which often have even more sugar, salt, fat or refined ingredients than their gluten filled versions.
So, how can you be gluten free and still meet your health goals?? Well, first – I always recommend working with a registered dietician who specializes in food allergies (I worked with one who is also a functional nutritionist- that was key for me!) And then make a plan for all the health promoting foods you CAN have.
Thought I’d share a typical day with you, so you can get some ideas I what I eat in a day to meet my wellness goals, while staying gluten free:
EARLY MORNING: I always start my day with my probiotic and a full glass of water. And a shot of my adaptogen elixir
BREAKFAST: My two fave go-tos here:
- nutrient dense superfood shake. The brand I use is dairy free, gluten free, soy free and free of artificial junk. With only 1 gram of added sugar 🙌🏼🙌🏼
- Gluten free oats, made with water. I add a tablespoon of flaxseed, frozen berries and a scoop of my favorite dairy free vanilla protein
- A vegan bowl- brown rice, tons of veggies and/or beans and sometimes some tofu or tempeh thrown on top
- Avocado toast (make this healthier by using brown rice cakes instead of bread!)
- This fun, summer-y quinoa salad is pretty yummy too- and easy to take anywhere since it’s good cold
- And sometimes I make a second meal replacement shake in the afternoon. Honestly, it’s just convenient because I don’t have to think about balancing my macros- it’s a full macronutrient meal. I’ll often treat myself by making it into a mug cake with a healthy, dairy free chocolate melted on top 👌👌
SNACKS: Snacks are so important, but also an easy place to fall apart and choose overly processed snacks with little nutrition. Here are some of my frequent choices:
- A plain or low sugar dairy free yogurt with fresh berries
- Sliced veggies, some hummus and my favorite protein packed, gluten free crackers
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Homeade “energy bites”- so many flavors to choose from
- Homeade pumpkin oatmeal “muffins” (these are actually just baked oatmeal- no flour needed!!)
DINNER: Dinner has been fairly easy for me- I’ll just often make a few adjustments, if needed, to what my family’s having.
- TACOS- the kids loooove tacos and, let’s be honest, they’re super convenient for busy weeknights. Sometimes I’ll have my (veggie) tacos in the corn shells, but I’ll often just choose to have the toppings over brown rice or a sweet potato. Rice and sweet potatoes are your friends in a gluten free diet, and they’re Whole Foods- WIN/WIN!
- If we have fish, we often make a gluten free glaze or (occasionally) use gluten free breadcrumbs. Served with a sweet potato and veggies- how easy is that?!
- Chickpea pasta and veggie salad. My kids have gotten so used to chickpea pasta, they actually prefer it now- and I love that it’s a good protein and fiber source
- Stir fry- with tofu, tempeh or occasionally shrimp or chicken (we’re largely plant based around here)
AFTER DINNER: If you’re looking for an after dinner snack that’s gluten free, its probably best to stay outta the kitchen! It’s best to stop eating 2-3 hours before bed, and the stuff we crave at night…well, it’s not usually the healthiest. How about a cup of camomile tea, a good book or a few episodes of your latest Netflix obsession???
I know my menu ideas aren’t anything made of brilliance, but they are easy, wholesome and satisfying. If you’re starting out on a gluten free or low gluten lifestyle and feeling overwhelmed…stay strong. I promise you (SERIOUSLY!) that someday you will not miss the stuff you are missing right now. And greatly reducing processed foods in your life (gluten free or otherwise) can lead to feeling sooooo much better. Feeling the way you are meant to feel- that’s just the BEST 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
If you’ve found some easy, healthy ways to integrate a gluten free lifestyle, I’d love to hear them!!
As always- to your health! 💕💕