After reading my previous blog, you hopefully started your Gluten-free Elimination Diet. Some experts recommend you follow an elimination diet for three to four weeks; I did it for eight weeks because I had little setbacks along the way, and many of my clients have as well, so here is some advice for navigating this phase!
First, you eliminate all obvious sources of gluten. To review, obvious sources of gluten include:
At this point in your journey, I recommend you keep your meal plan / dietary intake as simple as possible with mostly whole foods - foods that you recognize in their original form, not processed, such as fruits, vegetables, beans (dried or canned such as black, pinto, kidney, and navy beans), meat, fish, eggs, milk, and yogurt. See my meal plan here.
If you are craving carbohydrate foods like pasta, turn to potatoes, rice and quinoa instead. You should also stick to salt and pepper for seasonings unless the label clearly says gluten-free (more on that in a minute). You will be reintroducing all your favorite flavors soon. By keeping your intake simple for now, you are most likely to avoid all gluten and start to feel better.
That said, it is easy to encounter gluten in hidden places! After my previous blog, you are paying attention to processed foods that may contain gluten, such as beer, malt, modified food starch, soups, seasoned snack food, some cereals, soy sauce, spices, and seasoning mixes. It sounds straightforward until you are actually trying it. I started to expand my diet after about four weeks because I wanted more variety, and I realized how it important it was to continue keeping a Symptom Journal! Let’s look at a few of the hidden gluten sources I encountered.
HIDDEN SOURCES OF GLUTEN
Nuts and Seeds
That’s a lot of information for one read! To recap, if you have symptoms despite carefully choosing gluten-free foods, consider the hidden sources discussed here. And keep going with your Symptom Journal so you can go back and identify the culprits.
Be kind to yourself as you continue this journey. Get some fresh air every day and treat yourself to regular physical activity, like walking around the block or stretching every hour.
Best of health!
Resources in today’s blog include
UP NEXT… More hidden sources of gluten: I will look at protein foods, pizza, and a variety of
S foods: sauces, sweets, snacks, soups, and salads.
What does a dietitian, nutritionist, and health professional do when she discovers she has to avoid gluten? I mean, avoid it to prevent painful symptoms, not to follow a trend!