(GF)² Gluten-Free Tips

 

bye bye wheat
(GF)²

Over three years ago, we made the decision as a family to give up gluten. The journey was very difficult and I had many flops, but as a result I have a passion for helping others on their journey into the gluten-free world. Welcome to (GF)²: Gluten-Free Good Food.

My goal is to help you enJOY living a gluten-free lifestyle. I hope you will find some helpful information, inspiration and encouragement here. Making a change for the betterment of your health can be challenging at first, but be encouraged. It gets easier!

Helpful Tips

Here are a few tips to help you through the first steps of transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle:

  • Change your perspective. I often remind myself and my family to focus on what you CAN have instead of what you CANNOT have. You will realize that there is a lot out there that you can eat and often healthier options than the gluten items. 

healthy eating

  • Get healthy. My family often hears me say that eating gluten-free food isn’t necessarily healthy. We have to make the healthy choices within the gluten-free parameters. So if we didn’t eat Oreos before we went gluten-free, then the gluten-free version doesn’t make it a healthy choice. Focus on eating more vegetables, fruits and proteins and less packaged foods, flours, processed sugars and carbohydrates. It is one step closer to better health and wellness!

learning-thumbs up

  • Get educated. I felt like a fish out of water when we went gluten-free. I felt so overwhelmed and frustrated. But once I started learning more about gluten-free and experimenting with recipes, I found inspiration (one of the reasons I started this blog!). Here are some of my favorite websites that helped me out when I first started. If you look hard enough, there is pretty much a gluten-free version of all things gluten. You just have to be willing to make it.
  • Define your gluten-free preferences. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. There are whole grain flours, bean flours, grain-free flours (e.g., coconut flour, almond flour) and starch flours. Learn more about the different types of gluten-free flours. When you are choosing your gluten-free flour(s), consider the following:
    • Cost some flours cost more than others. Choose options that are healthy and affordable.
    • Glycemic levelgrain-free and bean flours are low glycemic while potato and white rice flours are higher on the glycemic index.
    • Availabilitychoose options that are readily available and affordable. For example, I buy some stuff from Amazon and other stuff from local stores.
    • Taste every palate is different. What tastes great to one person may not taste so good to someone else. Choose flours/blends that appeal to your taste.

budget

  • Budget. Gluten-free is not cheap, but it doesn’t have to be expensive either. Save that for eating out at restaurants (gluten-free pizza can cost a whopping $20 at some places!) When you first transition it will be a noticeable adjustment on your wallet. But once you settle in to what you like, you’ll notice your food budget will level out. Start simple with a few key items and flours and go from there. See how I feed a gluten-free diet to my family of eight on a budget!

 

  • Make it a lifestyle, not a diet. Diet often comes with a negative connotation. It gives the impression that you are limited. When you are on a gluten-free lifestyle, the sky is the limit. Embrace this new idea of eating “against the grain.” diet     You will feel better and enJOY life more when you take care of your body. Think outside the box. This may be the perfect time to take on a new
    hobby, like baking or cooking. I have found that homemade gluten-free beats any prepackaged item on the market.

 

  • Be patient and experiment. I wish I had someone tell me this when I started the journey on the gluten-free lifestyle. I wanted everything to be perfect right away, but there is a big learning curve with gluten-free baking and cooking. Not only that, but it takes time for your palate to adjust to the flavors and textures of gluten-free foods. Don’t give up. Have fun experimenting with flour blends and recipes and be patient (It took me 2 years of fun experimenting before we hit our favorite All-Purpose Flour Blend!).

 

  • Make your own bread. I put this here for all the bread lovers out there. Before going gluten-free, I baked up to eight loaves of bread a week. Making gluten-free bread is a whole different ballgame. Throw out everything you ever learned about making gluten bread, and start over. Gluten-free bread is easier in some ways and tricky in others ways. You just have to get the hang of it. So don’t be discouraged thinking your bread-eating days are over. There are many great recipes out there for tasty gluten-free bread. You just have to be willing to make it. There are also bread machines with a gluten-free setting! Don’t waste another minute eating dry, hard, tasteless store-bought gluten-free bread.

hamburger buns on rack

Homemade gluten-free bread

store bread

Store bought gluten-free bread

 

 

9 thoughts on “(GF)² Gluten-Free Tips”

  1. You are truly amazing! Thanks for these tips. This is very helpful. Several family members are gluten intolerant and I have been experimenting with recipes with lots of ups and downs. My bread recipes and desserts are limited and your encouragement to keep experimenting gives me fuel. I am an amateur bread maker and realize that it is a different ballgame. My family, two grown women and their families are into healthy living. I love to keep learning new things and sharing. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how frustrating it is to go from a gluten to gluten-free. I had to completely change the way I think and the way I bake. Taking on the challenge is totally worth it when you see the results in your health. I remember going through so many recipes…just flops! I cried! But now, most times I can look at a recipe and tell that it will be a flop. My son, 12, can bake a gluten-free cake from scratch. So exciting to see it become a family opportunity to grow, support each other, and experiment. Blessings on your journey.

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  2. I’m glad to have found this section of your blog website. My husband and I do some stuff gluten-free but haven’t totally transitioned, although, hopefully soon. Everything is an acquired taste so mentally you can always get your body to enjoy something. We both have a passion for health and wellness also. Thanks for sharing! Will have to keep this blog to the links you put in it in my archives.

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    1. Thank you! It sure is an acquired taste. For us, as a family, it has made a difference in our health, our energy, and behaviors. The acquired taste wears off and now we don’t think twice about it. We have grown accustomed to appreciating what we can eat instead of what we can’t eat. We hardly ever hear whining from our 6 kids about “missing out” on what they can’t eat. Most of the time what we send with them for outings is healthier and tastes better than what they would have got as an option. Our kitchen is always bustling with creativity as we experiment with flavors and recipes. There is so much you can do and what makes it fun is likely, because it is gluten-free, it will be an original 🙂 I am so passionate about health and wellness too. We should connect via email and share our passions and ideas! I would love to hear the areas and avenues you have taken to improve your health and wellness 🙂 Blessings: Tisha joyfullinspirations@gmail.com

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      1. Yes I love you’re insight. It truly is mind over matter anyway and that’s what I tell my children. If you think you’re going to not like something then you won’t and vice versa. We will have to experiment with food over here. We have made baby steps to improve a healthy eating pattern but do need to still improve in this department.

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        1. When we first made the transition, it was really hard. It is so true, mind over matter. But when they realized they felt better they liked the change. It is funny when we go to the grocery store and the cashier asks “Do you want a lolipop?” and my kids respond with “Does it have artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives? Is it gluten-free? Is it healthy?” Hoping this carries on to adulthood to some degree! 🙂 Blessings.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too!!! It will be nice to be able to help a bigger group of people. I plan to connect people to your blog for clean eating. Are all your recipes gluten-free? I don’t remember seeing any gluten recipes but I wanted to make sure. I would love to list you as one of my favs! After all, your pumpkin bread was my sanity during pregnancy. You also have the exercise portion that is very important for a key part of a well rounded health and wellness routine Blessings 🙂

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