A gluten-free diet can be a bit of a double-edged sword. If you have an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity to gluten, it means avoiding it will help your digestive system, gut health, and overall wellbeing. Unfortunately being gluten-free oftentimes makes you feel like you’re missing out. But with the right attitude and nutrition know-how, a gluten-free diet can be extremely satisfying and enjoyable. Here are four tips for eating gluten-free without feeling deprived!
Focus on what you can eat
Instead of obsessing about the foods you can’t, focus on what you can. Eliminate foods from your pantry and fridge that invite temptation or comparison, then stock up on the food you can have. That includes naturally gluten-free foods like meat and fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, veggies, fruit, dairy products, potatoes, rice, and corn, plus plenty of incredible modified snacks and treats.
Keep your favorite snacks on hand
When you feel restricted or deprived on a gluten-free diet, it’s usually because you don’t have enough options to choose from. That’s why it’s helpful to keep a stash of tasty snacks on hand for situations when you need to fuel up. Apples, oranges, and bananas make great whole food snacks, as well as nuts and sliced veggies.
Embrace gluten-free substitutes
Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your favorite foods. There are many substitutes available to satisfy your cravings. You can always pick up a pack of fresh everything bagels or make your own banana bread with almond or coconut flour. Don’t forget, you can always cook pasta made from buckwheat flour or brown rice.
Experiment with new recipes
When you have diet restrictions, it’s tempting to fall into the habit of cooking and eating the same foods over and over again. What you might not realize is too much repetition will make you feel deprived. If you notice yourself gravitating toward the same chicken-veggie-potato meal for dinner each night, mix it up.
Make a point to try at least one new recipe every week. Browse Pinterest for creative gluten-free meal ideas, or search “glutenfree” hashtags on Instagram for inspiration. If you find a recipe you like, don’t be afraid to adapt it to your taste. You can always try adding different spices, swapping ingredients, or switching up the cooking method.