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Wellness

Tips and Tricks for the Gluten Free

I was a fiend for bagels, a bread fanatic, and a die hard lover of oreos – that is… right up until my junior year of high school when I found out that I had Celiac disease. After a year of feeling terminally nauseous and losing a noticeable amount of weight, I discovered I had the hereditary autoimmune disorder that is Celiac disease. Briefly explained, Celiac disease is when your white blood cells reject gluten for an unknown reason. Your white blood cells attack your body and this causes immense pain and discomfort. When I originally found out, I was devastated, as most can imagine. However as I have grown with this disease I have had to learn how to efficiently cope with it. Some people are not allergic to it, but simply are intolerant. So whether you are allergic or not, below I have played out a couple of tips that should help you in your journey to be gluten-free!

 

1. Do your research and be open!

If you find out that you are gluten free, it is important to hop on the internet as soon as possible and simply read as much as you can. Informing yourself is the best way to take care of your body. New research and theories concerning the best way to handle your gluten sensitive stomach are constantly in circulation, so use the internet to your advantage and try even the seemingly silliest methods of healing! You never know and you will definitely be surprised! Our bodies respond and react to methods of healing in all different ways, so it is important to have an open mindset.

 

2. The Safe snacks and sneaky foods

 

Included in the realm of research is making sure you have some basic food and snack ideas ingrained in your mind. I cannot lie, being gluten intolerant or celiac isn’t particularly ‘easy’ when you are eating out, however you can lessen your stress if you always have some basic, safe food ideas in your head. It is important to remember that potatoes, rice, quinoa and corn are all safe carbohydrates to eat! However, in addition to outlining safe foods that you can eat, it is important to know that gluten can sneak its way into seemingly harmless foods. Some sour candy can use wheat flour in their ingredient list and many sauces like soy and teriyaki sauce have gluten as well. Make sure you know what you are up against!

 

3. Probiotics

 

Even if you discover you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, you may still experience discomfort. This is to be expected! Your gut is sensitive and is probably in need of some repair. I personally try and buy probiotic-rich foods and drinks. These include products like yogurt, kombucha, and pickled items. I sometimes buy probiotic pills just to the extra length. You will be thanking yourself!

 

4. Take care of yourself

There is a huge scale in regards to gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance. Some people only feel a bit of discomfort, while others will be making a trip to the hospital just if their food is cross contaminated with gluten. Regardless of how allergic or sensitive you are to gluten, the bottom line is take care of yourself. Some people do not take their allergy seriously and do not realize that could be extremely detrimental for them in the future. Make sure you see a nutritionist if you are still in pain or having discomfort. Every person reacts to food differently so it is important to find out what works for your own body.

 

The gluten free lifestyle was definitely hard to come to terms with, but I hope you may realize after reading this that this lifestyle is manageable! I wish you all good luck on your journey to avoid gluten and remember; gluten- free oreos and pizza do exist, so all hope is not lost!

 

Julia Kirkland is a senior at Loyola Marymount University pursing a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Spanish.
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