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How to Go Gluten-Free and Not Crazy!

If you’re riding the wave of a gluten-free life but having trouble keeping balanced, let us help you be gluten free in a few easy steps!

Gluten-free diets are all the rage right now, whether it's for a health necessity like celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or just to eat less overly processed commercially grown wheat. Or, for some people, they do it because everyone in LA makes it looks trendy and glamorous. Seriously though, getting rid of gluten is definitely on a lot of people's minds and is a big consideration because it requires a lot of research and planning. It may seem daunting at first because, let’s face it, bread, pasta, cookies, brownies, pastries, and most gluten-rich foods are insanely yummy and totally addictive. Luckily, there are so many wonderful alternatives on the market that you can go gluten-free without going totally crazy.

The first step is to transform your pantry at home. Gather up your pasta, wheat flours, cereals and all other glutenous foods and donate them to a local food bank, homeless shelter, or give them to a friend. Nowadays, you can find a great gluten-free alternative for pretty much anything you would possibly cook or bake at home.

There are a plethora of gluten-free pasta alternatives made from brown rice, quinoa, millet, and corn.I personally love the protein-rich pasta varietals made from black beans, lentils or garbanzo beans, which are great for muscle building after a hard workout (and have fewer carbs than regular wheat pasta!). You can use this bean-based pasta just like you would any other noodle and never miss that comforting feeling you get from a big bowl of old-school spaghetti. Just pair it with the right sauce, and you’re good to go!

When it comes to baking, there are a wide variety of different types of alternative flours that allow you to make any kind of classic baked good your heart desires. From single source flours like potato, tapioca, and coconut to baking mixes such as gluten-free all-purpose baking mix, brownie mix, and cake mix, you'll make glorious creations with sacrificing the taste or texture of the traditional wheat-based versions.

Learn About the Dangers of White Flour

You might want to rethink your flour usage.

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If you're the type of person who needs to start your morning with a big bowl of cereal or oatmeal and fear going gluten-free will ruin that tradition, be not afraid, my friend! There’s a great selection of vegan and gluten-free cereals: from flakes to O's and even a chocolate puffed rice to bring back that childhood nostalgia. Also, it’s easy to find gluten-free oats or oat mixed combined with superfoods like chia, hemp seeds, cacao, and pumpkin seeds. There are also great tortilla and bread alternatives available, so when you're craving wraps, toast, sandwiches, burritos, or quesadillas, you’ll be covered.

Next, you have to brave eating out. Which was downright frustrating until recently. With celiac disease seemingly running rampant, so many restaurants are now offering gluten-free menus or at least offering several dishes. You can always look it up online or call ahead to see if they do have gluten-free options or are willing to make something special for you. If you're not comfortable doing that you can always order steamed veggies and rice in a pinch.

Luckily, we live in a time when special diets and food allergies are recognized in most places and taken seriously. It's getting easier and easier to find healthy options to suit whatever your individual needs may be. So don't think that it would be too hard for you to do because, with a little planning and preparation, going gluten-free is a cinch, baby!

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