How to be Gluten-free while on a Tight Budget

Going on a gluten-free diet is an extreme lifestyle change. It is by no means easy. You will not be able to consume the foods that you love. Any food that contains gluten or traces of it is out of the question.

Many gluten sensitive people suffer withdrawal symptoms and many quit the gluten-free diet because of the sacrifices that are required. They’d rather put up with the discomforts of gluten intolerance than give up their comfort foods. This should never be the case because in the long run, the toll on their health and well-being will be heavy.

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Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, you realize that most gluten-free products that are sold are much more expensive than the normal products. This is due to the extra processing time required to remove the gluten. Of course, there is also the issue of economies of scale.

The gluten-free food market is much smaller than the market for normal food. So, everything gluten-free is produced at a higher cost which needs to be borne by those who are already suffering from gluten tolerance. Life is not fair indeed. Yet, we must roll with the blows and make the best of a bad situation.

There are several ways you can cut your costs when living a gluten-free lifestyle. This article will offer you a few tips. You can discover more ways as you go along.
First and foremost, a gluten-free diet should only be adopted by those who are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. It is not a trend or “healthy” choice. The gluten-free diet is not like the Atkins, paleo or Mediterranean diet. It is not healthier. It’s a solution to a health problem. If your body can handle gluten, you really need not be forking out money for gluten-free foods.

Since there are a wide variety of symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity, it would be best to go to a doctor and get a blood test done to confirm that you’re gluten sensitive. Just because you’re feeling bloated and lethargic for a few days in a row, it doesn’t mean you’re gluten sensitive.

You need to get a positive confirmation before committing to the gluten-free lifestyle. You doctor is the best person to consult.

If you are indeed gluten intolerant and you’re the only one in your family who is, don’t automatically assume that everyone in the family needs to go on a gluten-free diet. Of course, you will need to segregate your food and utensils but that’s about as far as you should go.

Making everyone in your family go on a gluten-free diet will skyrocket the food budget and not to mention, cause unnecessary hassle and irritation to the rest.

There are many foods that are gluten-free. In fact, the best and healthiest foods are gluten-free. Dairy, meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits, rice, quinoa, etc. are all foods that have no gluten. If you adopt the Mediterranean diet and keep it gluten-free, you will have tasty food at a decent budget. It doesn’t get better than that.

Another thing you can do is make your own premade gluten-free products. There are many premade gluten-free baking mixes sold in the market. Most are relatively costly. You could buy the ingredients separately and make your own mix at a fraction of the price. It will be cheaper and most probably, healthier.

Buying in bulk will also cut your costs. Contact the supplier and cut out the middleman. Find out if any of your neighbors or friends are on a gluten-free diet. A few people ordering the same items at the same time could definitely get a good price from the suppliers.

These are just some of the ways you can keep your costs low. The fact of the matter is that most gluten-free products are unnecessary if you learnt how to eat and season your food naturally.

Pick up tips on paleo cooking and Mediterranean style cooking. Using natural ingredients to flavor mouth-watering dishes. Once you know what to do, you may be able to spend even less than a normal person would on food. It’s all a matter of being well-informed and making wise decisions.

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5 Ways to Prevent Cross-Contamination with Gluten

A person suffering from celiac disease will react very unfavorably when gluten ends up in their diet. There are millions suffering from various degrees of gluten intolerance. Avoiding gluten and leading a gluten-free life will solve most of their problems.

However, this is easier said than done.

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For starters, there is inconvenience involved. You will need to make sure your food does not contain gluten. You’ll have to read food labels, find gluten-free substitutes, etc. Then there is the problem of giving up many comfort foods that you are used to such as cakes, ice-creams, potato chips, etc. These foods may contain wheat based flavoring or fillers.

It’s definitely going to affect many people when they discover that their favorite foods may be off limits to them because of their gluten intolercance.

There is also the issue of extra hassles involved… and that’s what this article is about. Preventing cross-contamination of foods. Cross-contamination occurs when gluten containing foods end up mixed with gluten-free foods. This can occur and it does occur.

  1. Thouroughly wash and clean utensils, bread boards, chopping boards, etc. Anytime one particular object is used for both kinds of foods, the probability of cross-contamination goes up.

For example, a knife that was used to cut some whole wheat bread may still have miniscule crumbs stuck to it. If a gluten intolerant person used that same knife to cut an apple, it would be inevitable to get some crumbs on the apple which they will end up eating.

So, all utensils must be washed before use.

  1. Separate containers should be used by gluten intolerant people. These containers should be sealed and only contain foods that are gluten-free. You can’t share butter, jam, etc. because of the very high probability of someone else contaminating them.

  2. Label all foods in your refrigerator. Especially, once they have been removed from their original packaging. It’s very easy to lose track of who is eating what and how the food has been handled. If you live alone, you do not have such problems. However, if you have family members and they are not gluten intolerant, their actions may affect you.

  3. Toasters, ovens, grills, etc. should be cleaned thouroughly before using. If a grill has been used to grill some sausages, the wheat based filler in the sausages may still be lingering on the grill. Of course, marinades, flavoring, etc. will also be there and most of them will have wheat based ingredients. Wash them all well before use.

  4. Use separate oil for frying. This is one of those things that people forget. They resuse oil and think that it’s harmless. If someone in the family fries a burger patty in oil, there will be breadcrumbs, fillers, etc. that will end up in the oil. There is a very high chance that these contain gluten.

If you then proceed to fry your gluten-free burger patty and think that all is ok, you’re sorely mistaken. The oil already contains gluten products and it will contaminate your food. Use separate oil for your cooking.

These are just 5 ways that cross-contamination may occur. There are many more ways. So, you will always need to be alert to the possibility of it occurring. In this way, you will be better prepared and reduce any chances of getting gluten in your diet without realizing it.

 

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What Can I Eat and What Can’t I Eat If I’m Gluten Sensitive?

The above question can be answered in just line. You can eat foods that don’t contain any traces of gluten. That’s it. All you need to do is eat non-gluten foods. Isn’t that easy? Of course it is. Conceptually easy. In reality, it’s extremely difficult to execute in practice.

We live in a world where most commercially produced food contains gluten or gluten based additives and ingredients. A bottle of tomato sauce may have gluten based starches in it. A sausage may have gluten based fillers in it. Gluten is everywhere. How do you avoid it?

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Very carefully. That’s how. You will need to check and re-check your food. You’ll need to see if there was any cross-contamination from manufacture down to retail. To make matters worse, major food companies lie on their food labels too. This is well within the laws since the FDA rules are a little lax.

Your best bet will be to cook your own food and use healthy wholesome ingredients. The healthiest and natural foods such as meat, eggs, poultry, vegetables, and fruit and many grains and legumes do not contain gluten. You do have a wide variety of choices.

The problem occurs when people wish to eat foods such as cakes, breads, etc. Foods that usually contain gluten. These are the normal comfort foods that they are accustomed too. In order to eat such foods, you will need to find gluten-free substitutes.

All this is troublesome to say the least, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. There is no other way to say it… and the cookie needs to be gluten-free too.
Below is a general list of foods you should and should not eat. Use it as a general guideline.

Foods with Gluten

• Breads, cookies, pizzas, pies, pastas, croutons, cereals, crackers
• Sauces such as soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, teriyaki sauce, marinades, BBQ sauce, salad dressings
• Curry powder, mustard powder, food flavoring
• Brewer’s yeast
• Canned vegetables may contain traces of gluten additives
• Yoghurts, puddings, processed cheese
• Most processed meats such as meatballs, sausages, meat jerky
• Beer that is produced with wheat or barley

Foods without Gluten

• Seafood, poultry, meat
• Eggs
• Vegetables and fruit
• Dairy products and unsweetened yoghurt
• Rice, oats, legumes, gluten-free grains
• Wine
• Corn
• Natural spices

These are just some of the foods. The list is by no means exhaustive and only serves as a general guideline. You will need to do more research so that you are better informed and can make wise food choices. If you’re gluten intolerant, do switch to a gluten-free lifestyle.

Many people know what they need to do but they don’t do it because it takes too much effort. If you’re gluten sensitive, unfortunately you don’t have much choice in the matter. You really do need to switch to a gluten-free lifestyle.

It will keep you healthy and prevent many ailments and health issues from taking root. It will require sacrifice on your part. Just remember that nothing worthwhile was ever achieved easily. You can do it if you take it one day at a time.

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How Can I Tell If I’m Gluten Intolerant?

About 1 in every 133 Americans is gluten intolerant. The majority of people who are gluten intolerant do not even know that they are. The reason for this is that the symptoms are so commonplace that it is easy to assume that you’re just feeling a little “off”.

Over time, people get used to feeling these symptoms and just assume that they have poor health or they are getting old. In reality, they are gluten intolerant and they’re consuming foods that is just not agreeing with their body’s constitution.

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This article will highlight a few common symptoms that many gluten intolerant people experience. If you see these signs recurring in your daily life, you might want to see a doctor and check things out.

If you feel bloated, have gas all the time and suffer from constipation, you might be gluten intolerant. Your intestines are having issues with the food you’re consuming. Diarrhea is also a common symptom.

Your energy level is another indicator. Are you always feeling lethargic? You’re 28 but feel like you’re 208? Gluten intolerant people feel totally drained after a meal because of the effects in the digestive tract. The larger the meals, the more exhausted you feel. This is something that you can easily monitor.

How do you feel after you eat? Do you get irritated or angry easily? This is another sign of gluten intolerance.

Swollen glands are another indicator of gluten intolerance. In fact, this is one of the best indicators. If your glands are swollen, there is definitely an issue in your body that requires attention. If this happens frequently, you shouldn’t just brush it aside as “just one of those things that will go away”. You may be gluten intolerant.

Migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, etc. that occur frequently after your meals could be symptoms of gluten intolerance. Many people seek treatment for the headaches by using aspirin or other methods. The relief while temporary, does nothing to solve the problem. Only a gluten-free lifestyle can put an end to your headaches.

Inflammation in the body is one of those signs of gluten intolerance that is often misdiagnosed. People think they are having muscular aches or poor blood circulation. Everything is blamed except gluten and that’s because most people aren’t even aware of what gluten intolerance is.

If your body constantly aches or if the joints feel swollen and painful all the time, you’re suffering from inflammation. Either that or you’re learning kung-fu. Since it will most probably be the former, you’re just gluten intolerant. You need to change your diet.

There is an old adage that goes, “It’s not what you eat. It’s what is eating you that causes ill health.” Sorry… if you’re gluten intolerant, it’s totally what you eat. We’ll save the adage for later. For now, you need to avoid gluten.

Even the way you feel is affected. Feeling down? Feeling depressed? Just not feeling good? It could be gluten.

Suddenly developing rashes? Eczema? Keratosis pilaris? It could be gluten.

As you can see, if you’re gluten intolerant, there are so many ways you can be affected. The best thing to do would be to keep a journal to record the food you eat and how you feel. Over time, you will notice a pattern and realize what is triggering the problems. From there it’s just a matter of tweaking your diet to end the symptoms.

Take an active interest in the way you feel and what you eat. If you planning on living a long, healthy life, you have to start today.

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5 Tips for Starting a Gluten-free Life

Millions of people around the world are gluten intolerant and a huge proportion of them don’t even know that they are. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating and constipation are signs that you may be gluten intolerant.

What about migraines, fatigue, PCOS and PMS problems, inflammation and joint pain?

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Well, they are signs of gluten intolerance too. Yet, most people just sigh and say, “Ahhh, it sucks to grow old.” No, it doesn’t. Your body just can’t handle gluten and you need to change your lifestyle.

There is no cure for this problem. You will have to change up your entire diet and eat clean and healthy. You may exercise daily, sleep well, keep stress under control and do all those healthy things the books recommend; but if your diet choices are poor, all your efforts will be otiose.

The diet itself is simple. You have a list of foods to avoid and there is a list of foods that are allowed. All you need to do is follow the basic rules. You don’t need to extrapolate from incomplete data. It’s all plain and simple. Eat foods that your body can handle.

This article will give you 5 tips to help you make the change. No doubts that it will be difficult initially, but the rewards will be sweet in the long run.

  1. The most important tip is that you must change your mindset. You’d be surprised at how many people renege on their gluten-free diet plan just to eat foods that they feel they are “missing out” on.

You’re not missing anything. Sure, you may not be able to eat that yummy Chinese food that is drowning in soy sauce. But you do have options. There are other tasty foods around. You need to stop thinking about what you can’t eat and focus on what you can. This is the most crucial step in being gluten-free.

  1. Look for stores that sell gluten-free substitutes. You must be well aware of what choices you have and it will take active effort on your end to procure the necessary substitutes.

You do not want to be in a situation where it is “inconvenient” to be gluten-free. Preparation is essential to live a gluten-free lifestyle. Do your legwork and homework. Get the gluten-free flours and pastas that you need to. Do what it takes to stay the course.

  1. Do it yourself to cut costs. Using a lack of budget as a crutch for poor diet choices is not an option. Yes, it can get a little costly but if you do things yourself, you may be surprised at how much you can save. For example, if you’re buying expensive premade gluten-free bread mixes, you can just buy the ingredients separately and make your own bread mix. You’d have saved a sizeable chunk of change.

  2. Read food labels when you shop for food. You must know the ingredients that go into the food that ends up going into your mouth.

  3. Eat natural and wholesome. Foods such as meat, fish, poultry, broccoli and other vegetables are gluten-free. Adopt a Mediterranean diet style of cooking. The food will be tasty and healthy. You’ll get the best of both worlds.

These are just some of the tips that you can use to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle. It can be done and thousands of people are doing it. Rest assured that all the sacrifices and effort will pay off when you look and feel better. Once that happens, you will be motivated to keep up with the gluten-free lifestyle and live happily ever after.

 

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