Do you suffer from any of the following:
- Foggy brain
- Water retention
- Inability to concentrate
- Other gut issues
- Aches or pains.
These symptoms often indicate that there is an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity present to a certain food. Much of this is due to our increased consumption of the same foods (and refined foods) which include the same ingredient – wheat flour.
You would think that there was only one grain available, with the amount of wheat in everything these days. The standard Australian diet (SAD) contains an enormous amount of wheat in the form of cereals, muesli, bread, biscuits, muffins, cakes, biscuits, pasta, cous cous, pastries and much more.
Wheat can even be found in products like soy sauce, sausages, processed meats, stock cubes, personal care products, lipstick, maltodextrin, glucose and MSG. Due to the various processing methods of other products such as nuts, oats, chocolate and buckwheat flour, they can easily be contaminated by wheat so choose a brand labelled gluten free to be safe.
The prospect of a gluten and wheat free diet may seem daunting to some at first, but when you have the right tools and knowledge it can be really easy to adapt. For some of our favourite gluten free recipes, enter ‘Gluten free’ in the keyword search on our Recipes page.
12 tips for going gluten and wheat free
- Get used to reading food labels and look out for mentions of wheat, rye, oats, spelt, barley, kamut or any other gluten containing grain. Look to see if the brand has a GF (gluten free) label.
- Rather than focussing on all the foods you can’t eat, instead focus and enjoy natural, fresh produce that is gluten free. Buy fresh, seasonal and local fruit, vegetables and eggs. Source quality grass-fed organic meats, seafood, dairy (cheese, milk, cream, butter), nuts, seeds, spices and herbs.
- There are a number of gluten and wheat free grains you can eat such as quinoa, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, tapioca, teff, oats (pure and non-contaminated only), montina (Indian Rice Grass) and sorghum
- If you are eating out, view the restaurant’s menu online ahead of time, so you’re aware of their gluten free options or call them to see if they can accommodate your needs.
- Buy yourself a lunch bag or esky and ice brick. That way you’ll always have your lunch with you instead of having to rely on buying expensive gluten free foods at cafes.
- Make extra roast vegetables on the weekends and keep them on hand in the fridge so you can quickly add to salads (to bulk out) for lunch, dinner and with eggs for breakfast. Think of pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, beetroot, onion etc.
- Put your meats (turkey, lamb, chicken, beef, pork or goat) and vegetables into a slow cooker in the morning before you leave for work. Your meal will then be ready for you when you come home. Use the leftovers for breakfast, lunch or dinner the following day. If you use cuts of meats with the bones left in them, it will not only enhance the flavour of your dish, you will also be able to use the bones to make a bone broth too.
- Make up a large batch of rissoles or meat balls to have with breakfast/lunch/dinners or as snacks
- Enjoy roast dinners, and add the leftovers to salads the next day for lunch or dinner
- There are many alternatives to wheat and gluten wraps such as lettuce leaves, nori sheets, coconut wraps, cabbage leaves, large English spinach leaves, other paleo or rice paper wraps. Have fun and get creative in the kitchen.
- If you’re looking to cook a pasta dish, there are many alternatives you can use such as mung bean pasta, gluten free organic pasta or vegetable pasta (use a spiralizer to make vegetable “noodles” from carrots, zucchini, beetroot, sweet potato)
- Alcoholic drinks: Wine, gluten free beers, ciders, port, sherry, vodka or gin can be the better option if you’re drinking out.
For more information you may wish to read the following E-report – Wheat – why are we Gluten Intolerant?
Happy changing habits.
Changing Habits Nutritionist