The Evolution of a Gluten Free Lifestyle
Everyone who is gluten-free has gone through the process of learning how to adjust to the gluten free lifestyle in their own way. Most of us who have Celiac went through the stages of grief - shock/denial, pain, anger, depression/loneliness, the upwards turn, reconstruction and working through then acceptance and hope. Going from the traditional lifestyle of eating normally to a lifestyle with strict guidelines based on the wellness of our entire being is tough to take on. It’s something that takes time to work through and I believe that everyone goes through an evolution when being diagnosed with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance. With all the negativity towards others lately, I think it's important to understand that not everyone is at the same point you are and that everyone is going through this process in their own way.
Step 1 (We replace the foods we once missed):
First, we look for the simple substitutes to replace the foods that we absolutely love and that are convenient so that we can still feel normal. Gluten free breads, pastas, pizzas, cookies, etc. Sure they are more expensive than their gluten filled counterparts but it’s definitely worth it to us to feel like we still belong to the gluten eating world. When going gluten-free it's irrelevant that a good amount of time is needed to educate yourself on where gluten can be hiding and where the dangerous ingredients lie.
Step 2 (We become more aware of the ingredients that goes into our body):
After finally starting to feel better from eating gluten-free for a while, we start to pay a little more attention to the other ingredients in our food that may not be that good for us. Food has turned into a necessity to live rather than an entertainment factor which it once was to us. Going gluten-free really makes us sit up and take notice that what we put into our body affects our overall health. This is such a simple thing but something that takes a shock to the system to comprehend.
Step 3 (We realize how these foods affect our body and the importance of avoiding them):
Overtime, we then start to take notice to preservatives, GMO’s, food coloring, additives, organic and whole foods. Something that most of us would have never even thought to pay attention to in our glory days of eating fast food, frozen pizzas and doughnuts. But now we understand the truth to the saying, “garbage in, garbage out”, and what we actually put into our bodies. It really does affect our overall health and well-being.
Be aware of others and where they are at in this process:
My point to all of this is to help bring awareness to those in the gluten-free community to show that living a gluten-free lifestyle means something different to everyone. Today, our gluten-free diet may mean something different to us than what it will mean tomorrow. The positive thing is that we are always learning and evolving. That being said, let’s be kind to those who are just starting this journey and are in the first or second steps of grieving and venturing into the gluten-free world. Think back and remember when your journey started as and how you may have evolved from the place you used to be to where you are now. Be kind, be informative, and most importantly, be supportive of those in the gluten-free community around us.
What step are you in for eating gluten-free? Comment below! All opinions are welcome!