Focus on whole foods
Of course there are many of your favourite foods now available in gluten free formulations - however to be labelled as gluten free, the food only has to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This means that some of the shop bought packaged goods might not be 100% truly gluten free and could still affect your condition.
However, if you stick to a diet of whole foods - meaning food in its simplest form that is naturally gluten free such as fresh vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products, beans, pulses and pseudo cereals such as quinoa - then you can be more certain that unless cross contamination has occurred in preparation - they are truly gluten free. Eating out in restaurants
There are many places that cater very well for gluten free diets - however when possible it is always advisable to contact the restaurant in advance to warn them of your requirements and ask them what their procedures are to avoid any cross contamination.
Ensure you communicate fully with the waiting staff when you are in the venue and look for ingredients that you know are naturally gluten free if you are unsure. There are also some fabulous websites and apps where you can get the run down on gluten free friendly eateries. Try Eat Safe App
for places in and around London, Coeliac UK has a list of accredited venues here
and The Gluten Free Blogger has a whole section dedicated to eating out gluten free here
. There is also a Facebook group here
which is all about eating out as a Coeliac. Eating out at friends
A lot of the time people simply do not understand why it would be so bad for someone with Coeliac Disease, or an allergy to gluten, to consume it - in which case it can be difficult to explain just how important it is that your diet, or perhaps the diet of your child, is truly gluten free. However, with a little explanation you can avoid any awkward conversations or risk of going hungry.
Most people understand the seriousness of a nut allergy and would not dream of undermining the effects - so educate your friends and family that you or your child’s requirements are no less important than if it were a nut allergy. And if it causes difficulty then offer to bring something you know is safe to eat so that both you and the hosts can relax fully. Be shopping savvy
Most supermarkets have a dedicated food aisle for gluten free products - but a lot of other food is naturally gluten free so you aren’t restricted just to this section! If you are unsure of whether a food is gluten free or not, try the amazing Coeliac UK app to search from a huge range of foods. You can find out more here
or search in the app store for Gluten Free Food Checker. Search the internet for inspiration
It can be really hard at first to adopt a gluten free diet - you may feel like your options are being totally narrowed - however there are so many incredible resources out there with delicious recipes and alternative ideas - ranging from simple breakfast ideas and lunches to gourmet feasts and delicious cakes and treats. There are also a range of great support networks so you can connect with others on a similar journey - try Gluten Free And Me
and Coeliacs in the UK
for some great Facebook groups. And finally, if you think you have been ‘glutened’ but can’t be totally sure, then make sure you have a stock of GlutenDetect tests in your bathroom cabinet so that you can very quickly gain peace of mind that your diet has been adhered to.