I have “gamified” being gluten free, making gluten free a game.
When you take a staple like “gluten” out of your diet, the initial reaction can be, “OhmyGod I will starve!” (Please note, as always: I am NOT an advocate of giving up ANYTHING unless you absolutely need to.) If you do need to give up good old gluten, though, then here are 5 ways I have learned for making gluten free a game.
Because life should be fun.
And not so serious.
When I made the commitment to be gluten free over 7 years ago, I did so with 110% conviction. Once I found myself around the 5 or 6-month mark, I had reached the point of gluten free for me is a fun “game!” This is a game like any other, with a beginning, middle (hunt-and-gather “playing” time) and ultimately the final outcome where I “win” if I’d eat the food(s) again and “lose” if not.
Making Gluten Free a Game
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- Supermarket/Farmer’s Market/other food market Search. Each time I go into the grocery store I try to buy one new gluten-free product, something I’ve never had before. This does not mean I’m always out to find a new cookie or processed food. Most often it means a new fruit, vegetable or beverage. The supermarket search is really fun in stores that clearly have products labeled with the gluten-free tag. You can do this at any supermarket, Farmer’s Market and/or any other place you find food. One year I did it with Moringa, and I never looked back!
- Google Maps. Do you have this app on your iPhone? Of course, you do. The next time you are out and about (preferably somewhere you typically don’t find yourself) go to Google Maps and put ‘Gluten Free’ in the search bar. You may be taken to a restaurant or a specific store where gluten-free product is. I have done this locally, and have stumbled upon new things (for example, I did it once, and up popped Blaze Pizza, which carries a gluten-free crust).
- Foursquare, Yelp (+ many other location-based applications). If you have any of these apps on your iPhone, use them for your gluten-free game! Not only are you sure to find gluten-free food while out and about, but many times people will leave tips at those places to help you decide. For example, I did this with the Organic Plant Cafe the day I found Kombucha. The “tips” told me what to eat there and what to drink (Kombucha), noting that both were gluten free. I have been back several times now, and it’s truly one of my most favorite spots in San Francisco.
- Find a New Blog. If you are reading this, you are probably already ahead of this one. If not, go to Google and search, “Gluten Free Blogs.” Add them to your Google Reader, bookmark them, or save them via another service like Bloglovin’. You will get a ton of great ideas, and it will resemble a “hunt” for your new favorite blog. Many a moon ago, it’s how I first discovered Celiac and the Beast (who is a friend now).
- Recipe. Make your own recipe and wait to see what happens. Remember, this is a game! Use a cookbook or better yet, don’t use a cookbook and see what you come up with. The way I tend to do this is to make a list of the things I’m interested in for the cooked or baked item (you may need to cross check to see if it’s gluten free). Then, I start playing with different ideas and ways to make those ingredients come to life. Need some ideas to get the creative wheels spinning? Check out the latest gluten free recipe roundup.
Trust me, I do understand that going gluten free can seem hard and overwhelming in the beginning.
What are your best ways for making gluten free a game?