Reducing your consumption of gluten is always a good idea even if you’re not gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. Commercial wheat has undergone a drastic change throughout the years, and it contains significantly more gluten than it did in the past. If you’re trying to cut back on gluten and want to give gluten-free living a chance, try these tips for how to eat gluten-free before 6 p.m.
1. Replace Your Wheat Flakes With a Gluten-Free Cereal or Green Smoothie
Amaranth, buckwheat, rice, corn, spelt and Kamut all make superb cereals that are deliciously gluten-free. If you’re not a cereal fan, then you can easily try and get on the green smoothie bus: it’s never too late to start!
2. Skip the Mid-Morning Croissant or Bagel and Have a Rice Cake
Rice cakes get a bad rap as tasteless pieces of cardboard, but they are really good! Choose a good brand, and I assure you that they will be light, crunchy, slightly salty and delicious. Sure, they aren’t as dense as a bagel or a croissant, but they are still a grain product! Top your rice cake with some nut butter, bean spread, honey or jam and devour it!
3. Eat a Salad or Gluten-Free Sandwich Instead of Your Usual PB&J for Lunch
Your lunch time sandwich is full of gluten, so if you’re going gluten free, you need to swap it out with a gluten free facsimile of it, or you need to replace it all together with something else. Try a salad or a gluten free grain salad of sorts or even a vegetable based brown rice stir fry.
4. Don’t Eat Those Pretzels! Have Some Fresh Fruit or Crudités and Hummus
Pretzels almost always contain gluten because they’re made out of wheat, but sometimes you need something salty and crunchy in the afternoon to complete your lunch. In those cases, you can easily swap these pretzels with crudités and hummus to satisfy your crunchy and salty cravings. Or, if you prefer yogurt or chocolate-covered pretzels, you could have fresh fruit for some crunchy sweetness.
5. Step Away From Your Office Goodies and Have a Raw Tart, Gluten free cookies, or Dried Fruit Instead
Gluten filled cookies, cakes, and danishes will all ruin your gluten free plans if you indulge in them, so be prepared to squash your cravings with a raw tart, gluten free cookies, or dried fruit. All of these goodies are devoid of gluten, but not of flavor. Raw tarts are dense, so you won’t feel hungry or want more if you eat one of these. Gluten free cookies are darn close to the real thing if you get a quality brand or make them yourself, so indulge in some of these babies.
6. Eat Nuts Instead of Stopping for a Donut or Chips With Hidden Wheat Ingredients on Your Way Home
Nuts are a great alternative to fried sugary donuts or high salt chips. Some chip brands do not have wheat in them, but even if they don’t they’re still not a very good choice. Nuts are a decent source of protein, and if you eat them raw, they’re low in sodium while your average donut or chip package has tons of sugar, sodium, added fat and other extraneous ingredients. Nuts, however, are mostly left unadulterated and in their whole state, so they are a whole food that supplies your body with fat and protein and minimum carbohydrates.
Eating gluten free is not just a matter of self-control or “don’t eat the marshmallow” type thing: it takes dedication and smart swaps so that you don’t feel deprived. You need to occupy yourself with other things besides focusing on how good it would be if you had just a bite of that cinnamon roll. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip and do eat that cinnamon roll, but try and pick yourself up and start your gluten free adventures the next day.
Lead Image Source: Ooh La-La Gluten-Free French Bread