Whether you are newly diagnosed with celiac disease, discovered you are allergic or intolerant to Gluten or you just want to live a gluten free lifestyle there are several things you can do to make a smooth transition. This is solely for educational purposes, I do not claim to be a medical professional this is meant to be a helpful guide for those wanting to switch to a gluten free lifestyle.
First off I suggest going through your pantry, refrigerator,freezer or your secret stash and throw out or giveaway all non gluten free food. This includes anything in a package, box or bag. All this processed garbage is not doing any good for your health and would be too tempting to eat if you leave it in your home. If you live with others who have no desire to join you in your new journey might I suggest they store their glutinous food in a separate area from where your food will be stored.
My next suggestion is to deep clean your kitchen including all countertop surfaces. Clean and disinfect your refrigerator, freezer and wherever you stored food. I'd also suggest deep cleaning your oven, cooktop and microwave. Toss your toaster oven and toaster and buy brand new ones because those are surfaces no matter how much you clean they still have gluten residue. With the new toaster oven or toaster dedicate them to gluten free food only to avoid future contamination. Some people go as far as getting all new cooking utensils but for me personally most of them can be deep cleaned. If you have older plastic serving spoons or spatulas it might be good to replace those as they are inexpensive to replace.
Check your beauty and heath care products. Many lotions, shampoos, soaps and make up have gluten in them. It is a good idea to read the labels and contact the companies to verify the ingredients. Your skin is your largest organ so while you are not ingesting these products they are being absorbed into your skin which can still make you ill or have a gluten reaction.
Do your research on gluten free living. Learn what to look for and read all labels. It is important to read labels because often companies change ingredients or formulas and you might not know, especially if it was a product you used for years. Call companies and verify ingredients to be sure items are gluten free. Join a support group via the internet or in person. Having a support system will help you tremendously as you live your gluten free lifestyle and keep you accountable. Be sure to let family and friends know and ask them for your support.
Go back to the basics when it comes to eating. When I say back to the basics I mean fresh fruit & veggies, unseasoned meats, potatoes and rice (that you prepare not the boxed kind). Season your food with sea salt & pepper or naturally with fresh herbs. I'd suggest buying your produce from farmers markets or buy organically as you can afford. To create non stick pans I recommend using pure olive oil or a good quality butter like Kerrygold (which ingredients are simple cream & salt). Avoid eating out at fast food or other establishments until you are more established in gluten free living. It is also a good idea to temporarily avoid prepackaged gluten free food until you become more accustomed to eating gluten free.
Remember changing your ways of eating isn't going to be easy, you might have days that you goofed. It's ok no one is perfect, it is all a learning curve that takes time and patience. If doing all these things at one time is too much for you it's ok just take it one day at a time. Start small and slowly ease into a gluten free lifestyle (provided you don't have a medical condition or were advised by a physician to remove gluten).
FYI...........Don't forget to check out my giveaway for the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo.