As another year comes to a close, we often find ourselves setting resolutions for the New Year. Whether it be that we’re definitely going to use that new gym membership, or that we’ll absolutely do that spring clean over the holidays. But alas, life gets in the way and it can be tricky to follow through.
If you live with a gluten sensitivity, the new year can be a great opportunity to tackle some of the challenges that come with it. To help inspire and maintain your New year goals, here are a few simple resolutions as well as tips that you might find helpful for improving your gluten-free journey in 2020:
Don’t be afraid to speak up!
The holidays are often a super social time, and you might find yourself with invites to catch up with friends over a meal out. While it can be intimidating, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions about food preparation. Building up the confidence to have a conversation about your dietary needs, whether it be with restaurant staff, or friends and family that might cook for you, is important not only for your own health, but for educating people that might not be fully across what gluten-free means. And with most things, the more you practice speaking up in this area, the easier it will become over time.
Create a list of your favourite local gluten-free friendly eateries
While those invites are rolling in, take the opportunity to do some research into the best eateries with gluten-free offerings in your area. Those conversations mentioned in the previous point will be beneficial for getting an idea of which places are the most aware of the risks of cross-contamination. Creating a list of your favourite eateries means that whenever a social occasion comes up, you have some tried and tested venue suggestions on hand to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Bookmark your favourite gluten-free recipes
Having a selection of reliable and tasty recipes on rotation is a good way to stay organised throughout the year, and not get stuck in a rut of eating the same boring meals (because GF doesn’t have to be boring!). Perhaps your resolution is committing to a certain number of days each week to do your cooking and baking. Keep track of your recipes by allocating a bookmark tab on your browser or a folder to keep hard copies of recipes. And if you need some inspiration, head to the recipe section of our website where our favourite contributors have provided their tastiest GF recipes for you to try out.
Organise your kitchen
If you live in a household where not everyone eats gluten-free, set a date in your calendar to sort out your pantry. One afternoon’s work can make a big difference to your meal preparation and get you feeling much more confident about your gluten-free diet. By allocating certain cupboards or shelves for gluten-free items, you minimise the risk of accidentally grabbing the non-GF option. It also makes preparing for meal times simpler and more organised. If you choose to store ingredients in containers, make sure they’re labelled GF or not GF to avoid mishaps.
For extra peace of mind, try GluteGuard
Keep GluteGuard handy whenever you are dining away from home, for an extra layer of protection against the symptoms that come with accidental gluten-ingestion from cross-contamination. Even when you ask all the right questions and take all the right precautions, accidents can sometimes happen in the kitchen. While it can’t replace a gluten-free diet, it may act as peace of mind to allow you to enjoy dining out with less worry.
Start small and set goals that you know you’ll be able to tick off easily. From here you can start to form a foundation of healthy habits that fit into your busy gluten-free lifestyle!
Contributor: Cass, Glutagen