New Year’s Resolutions typically focus on self-improvement: a new diet, more exercise, waking up earlier etc. Although we all work incredibly hard to adhere to the gluten free diet, there is always room for improvement! Making a New Year’s Resolution focusing on improving your gluten free diet is a great way to improve your health and happiness in 2012.
I hate when I get “glutened.” I find it so discouraging and depressing, not to mention the fact that I am in physical pain as well. There are steps we can take, rules we can follow, that will decrease the likelihood of getting sick at a restaurant. The steps aren’t fun…that is why I advise that you take this GF challenge as your New Year’s Resolution.
#1 New Year’s Resolution: Be Gluten Free.
What am I talking about? I’m already gluten free!! What I mean is, be extremely gluten free. I sometimes find myself experiencing this at restaurants: I am fairly confident that a dish on the menu is gluten free but I just want to double-check, only to discover that my waiter has NO idea what I am talking about and can’t answer a single question. Despite my diminished confidence in the dish, I order it anyways. I sometimes find myself experiencing this at friends houses: someone offers me something to eat that they have made but they have no idea what gluten is and stare at me with their eyes glazed over as I try to ask what ingredients they used, but I eat it anyways.
Many times, I feel so frustrated when I am almost certain, but want confirmation that something is GF that I just give up trying to communicate and just eat whatever the food in question is. My New Year’s Resolution is to stop doing this.
At restaurants, order things that are naturally gluten free (still double-check for cross-contamination though). Instead of asking questions about a chicken dish that may or may not be dredged in flour, order a salad without croutons or dressing. Instead of ordering a soup that may or may not be thickened with flour order a hamburger patty without the bun. DO NOT order french fries at restaurants. They can be coated with a beer batter, coated in a wheat paste and/or fried in contaminated oil, all scenarios that a waiter is unlikely to know about. Don’t try to “beat the system,” instead, proudly embrace being gluten free.
Being truly gluten free means giving up uncertainty. If you are unsure, do not eat it. I find that erring on the side of caution is better for my health but is difficult to do because of social pressure to be less “picky” about food.
My New Year’s Resolution is to be truly gluten free by giving up uncertainty and erring on the side of caution.
#2 New Year’s Resolution
My second New Year’s Res is to become more informed by following some gluten free blogs and twitter accounts. This may sound funny, as I am a blogger but I am not very involved in the gluten free blogging world as a reader! My goal is to find some GF blogs that I find helpful/interesting and that are updated regularly and follow them. Of course, you can always start off the New Year by following my blog, CC Gluten Freed. In the future I will post some of the GF blogs that I have started following as part of my New Year’s Resolution.
Following blogs is a great way to get new information that will motivate you to continue on the gluten free diet but if you aren’t in the mood to sit down and read a long post, I suggest finding some GF twitter accounts to follow. Twitter is a forum that lets you absorb a lot of information very quickly. I have a twitter account that I update whenever I am out and about and have an interesting gluten free experience. Look to the right of this post and you will see a few of my tweets! Follow me at http://twitter.com/#!/CcGlutenFreed
You can search #glutenfree or #celiac to see relevant tweets about being gluten free.
#3 New Year’s Resolution
My third GF New Year’s Resolution only applies to people with “smart phones” and it is to start using the phone to help with the gluten free diet. How? Download apps like “Find Me Gluten Free,” an app that takes your current location and gives you a list of GF restaurants near you. The app provides info about the restaurants, their GF menu, phone number, address and directions.
Other useful phones apps are “scanner apps,” like Celiaccess, that allow you to scan the bar code of a product at a grocery store and the app will tell you if it is GF. This means you no longer have to strain your eyes reading the teeny tiny text of the ingredients.
I also suggest downloading a News Widget set to update you on any news about gluten. Set gluten as the key word and everyday you will have new articles about gluten from all over the world right on your phone.
I hope the New Year is filled with health and gluten free food! Good luck with whatever you decide to do for your New Year’s Resolution! If you have anymore GF Resolution ideas post a comment.
Happy New Year