Wednesday Wisdom: How To Begin Gluten Free Journey, Stage 6
And we are back with the series after few weeks break. This delay was intentional because I feel we all need a little time to process new information. I don’t want to write long posts about medical aspect of celiac disease and gluten allergy as authentic, clinical and well researched information is already available online. The purpose behind this series of How To Begin Gluten Free Journey is to be of any assistance for people, specially in Pakistan, to understand that with some modification and understanding, anyone can take a leap to start gluten free lifestyle. Stick to the basics and work your way through it at your own pace. As usual, here is a disclaimer that these are my own thoughts and suggestion which aren’t lab tested nor based on any research. To have a pattern, I am doing this seven part series like seven stages of grief only to give it a flow towards progressive understanding and I definitely don’t think grief should follow the diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten allergy. In this How To start Gluten Free Jouney weahve so far covered
- Stage 1 Being Overwhelmed
- Stage 2 How To Move Forward
- Stage 3 How to Modify Lifestyle
- Stage 4 Understanding Gluten Free fLours and Blends
- Stage 5 Exploring Gluten Free Flours/Blends Options
Once you understand what works best for your family, it is time to be pro active and make the best use of gathered information. It is time to practically define your goals.. define what you can or can not do at home or by yourself.
- Gathering information and knowledge won’t be of any use if we don’t use it or apply it, right? True learning comes when our actions are based on what we know and our decisions are well informed.
- While managing gluten, there is a lot to be considered, let us start with age. Nutritional requirements for a growing child would be different as they require more proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins, minerals and even healthy fats to provide fuel and energy to a growing kid. A healthy and active child would be requiring more servings of healthy and nutritious food. Besides age we need to consider activity level, how much does the person know about his own gluten free needs, how much assistance does he require, how much can the patient do for himself, food budget, access to gluten free food and so on. Identify requirements and plan accordingly.
- Planning would be different if you are doing it for yourself or you are doing it for a single or more family members.
- Plan and cook according to your own set of cooking skills. Not everyone is Nigella Lawson. Sticking to the basics is more important than a fancy meal.
- Do not try to over compensate. We all feel bad when we can freely enjoy wheat based food and some family members can not. But that should not push you to go over board and buy expensive imported gluten free stuff that isn’t very healthy in the first place.
- Simple everyday food is good enough. Plan the menu, make a list of ingredients required and shop accordingly. The best way is to buy natural and naturally gluten free food. It will save your time and wil help to stay focused.
- Give yourself simple and doable targets to practice and learn new gluten free food items. Gluten Free Roti or Gluten Free Sandwich Bread or Gluten Free Burger Buns . Assign yourself a goal like you would try and practice a new gluten free recipe each week or two recipes per month, depending on your routine. Sunshine Gluten Free Bread is an easier option, by the way, if you wanna try a simple gluten free bread.
- Plan ahead for busy days or weekends. Pre preparation will be very helpful to keep nerves calm. Those who have a job and cook food at home too, will find preplanning extremely helpful.
- Buy boxed products wisely and only if it is something required. No point buying gluten free granola bars for a young celiac kid.
- Never shy away from asking questions or asking for help. You will be surprised to know how many people around you are in the same boat. Look for a qualified and well informed person. We all are here to learn and when learning stops, progress stops too.
( Featured image is from a previous post Gluten Free Pancakes )