Starting a gluten-free diet in this day & age is fairly easy, but maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle is another story. Being proactive & strategic is crucial for being successful in making a permanent change. This short post provides some practical ideas for enduring counter-cultural eating habits. This is also intended to be a cooperative brainstorming venue, so please leave a comment sharing your best advice for staying gluten-free.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS:
1. Don’t watch commercials! Keep the remote close by so you can be quick on the draw when an appetizing food ad tries to lure you in. I rarely miss my old eating habits until I turn on the TV & am exposed to scrumptious ads designed to appeal to my vulnerable senses. Be prepared ‘cause they’re gonna try to get ya!
2. Catch 'em when they least expect it. When you want to desensitize your kids’ palates to certain foods, offer those unique flavors to them right before dinner, ideally while they’re watching TV & “starving to death.” When kids are hungry & distracted, they try foods they would never put in their mouths otherwise. This sneaky strategy can work on your unsuspecting spouse as well.
3. Use adjectives! When introducing a new meal to your family, use positive descriptive words such as crisp, warm, sweet, tender, flaky, etc. to wet their appetite. Food psychology research has proven that descriptive, sensory words increase the likelihood someone will try a food & enjoy that food. http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/pdf/pre-prints/descriptivemenulabels-2001.pdf
See this quote from one study:
“Diners who ate descriptively labeled foods were more likely to make more favorable comments about the meal and they also generated a greater number of general evaluations and attribute-specific comments. As long as the food is of reasonable quality, the use of descriptive labels may help improve perceptions of foods in institutional settings, and it may help facilitate the introduction of unfamiliar foods. “
4. Avoid the inner aisles of the grocery store. That’s where most of the No No’s are. You’ve probably heard that before, but think about it…you’ll never find any gluten in fresh fruits & veggies!
5. Plan ahead! Whether you’re on a business trip, family vacation or simply going out to dinner, you’re more likely to be successful at staying gluten-free if you stay a step ahead of the game. When you’re tired & hungry is not the optimum time to test your will power. Call ahead or go online to check-out your options so you won’t be put in an unnecessary bind. Taking the time to create a plan will help you stay strong against temptation & will prevent those unwanted gluten symptoms.
TOGETHER, WE CAN DO IT!
Hopefully these simple tips were helpful. If so, please share a link to this post with your friends. Also, please take a moment to tell us what’s made it easier for you to persevere in your gluten-free lifestyle. Your little input could make a big difference in someone’s life. Let’s help each other out in this challenging journey!