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All the things you should know before going gluten free

Whether your gluten free by choice or because you have to be, following a gluten free diet is one of the most daunting experiences, especially when you’re going in blind and don’t know where to start. When I was diagnosed, I had no idea what coeliac disease was or what gluten entailed, so heres everything I wish I knew when I got the call that changed my life.

Its ok to not be ok:

So many people get diagnosed and have no idea what to do or how to feel following their diagnosis. Its ok to not know what to do or not to feel ok, it’s a big change and it affects more elements of your life than you realise. You don’t need to pretend that its no big deal, feel how you feel and explain it to your loved ones, its hard enough as it is, don’t go through it alone.

So many things have gluten:

‘Gluten’ is a structural protein found in a range of foods, including wheat, barley and rye. This means that there is a ton of hidden gluten in loads of the foods you enjoy and don’t expect. Some of the most surprising ones include soy sauce, beer, stocks, spices etc, so its really important to understand what gluten is and to make every effort to avoid it. Always read the labels of food and don’t chance anything.

Do I always need to be gluten free?

When I was first diagnosed, I figured I could cheat a little for a few fave foods but that’s really not the case. There is no cure for coeliac disease but the only way to keep things in check is to avoid gluten, in the long run its far better for you.

Does it get easier?

After a while you begin to accept the gluten free lifestyle and find alternatives for all your favourite foods and while sometimes not being able to eat everything with your friends or it ca be frustrating when you don’t have many choices when you want to grab a bite, it does get easier, and less overwhelming with time and understanding.

Gluten free diets can be really overwhelming but it gets easier and with time you’ll take it in your stride and not mind it as much, just give yourself time!

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