Editorial: Going gluten free need not be hard

Going to the grocery store can be a daunting task for label-reading millennials.

Going to the grocery store can be a daunting task for label-reading millennials.

I recently saw a naturopath in Cranbrook who put me on a detox to phase out dairy, gluten, refined sugar and my beloved coffee — the first diet to ever occur in my short life.

I quickly became overwhelmed on a trip to No Frills where I began scouring the aisles for my typical meal plans when I discovered that the gluten-free trend is nowhere close to any easy transition — it’s in everything, even canned soup.

I was devastated to lose Minestrone soup for what seemed like forever.

But gradually as my 10-day meal plan reaches the one week mark, my time trolling the Internet for trendy solutions and knowledge about eating whole foods has only grown.

I’ve prepared a short list of three major tips and tricks for anyone that is thinking about transitioning to a healthier lifestyle to feel better.

There’s still a lot that I have to learn, so if you have any tips of your own, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at breanne.massey@invermerevalleyecho.com.


Coping with Sugar Cravings

Get in the habit of reading labels and avoiding products with agave nectar, corn syrup, fructose and maple syrup. Stevia, rice syrup and barley malt are decent substitutes; but my aunt’s recipe for a quick and easy dessert certainly helped me transition away from using those products when I started to crash and crave sweets.

Mix a tablespoon of chia seeds and stevia into leftover coconut milk. Leave it to harden in the fridge overnight and mix it with fresh blueberries and raspberries when it’s like pudding in the morning for breakfast — or as a small dessert after dinner.

Focus on using natural sweeteners from health food stores because there is no shortage of options.


The Perks of Life Without Coffee

Chicory makes a great coffee substitute because there’s no caffeine to crash from after drinking it.

The roasted miracle root has a rich, flavourful taste that is all natural — and mirrors that of coffee. It helps your body break down fats by increasing bile production and helps with digestions.

It gained popularity in New Orleans during Napoleon’s Continental Blockade, which prevented the French community from accessing coffee. However, the coffee alternative is still widely used in New Orlean’s coffee today as an addition to improve its flavour and one’s health.

The Gluten-Free Obsession

The trend of being gluten-free is one that I have commonly mocked, until now. The difficulty of trying to eat gluten-free anything basically means making it from scratch at home and never eating out.

This daunting realization initially annoyed me because it meant spending a lot of time in the kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be hard or laborious to eat a gluten-free meal.

I have come to learn that rice noodles, jasmine rice and buckwheat (soba) noodles are usually a safe bet. Using organic rice flour to bread fish is another fast and easy option for a delicious dinner menu.

I quite frequently buy the garlic and herb tilapia from Grant’s Foods because it’s fast to cook and the list of ingredients are on hand if you have any questions.