Unless you have been living under a rock unplugged from the world for months you have heard the term “gluten-free” or the phrase “I am eating gluten free.” However, some of you might not know exactly what that means or what the benefits could possibly be, so here is a quick intro on the gluten-free lifestyle, as I like to call it.


gluten free trips, going gluten free, what is gluten free, how to go gluten freePer the amazing folks over at the Mayo Clinic, “A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).” Going gluten free is used to treat celiac disease, as gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of individuals with celiac disease. So adhering to a nutrition plan that is gluten free helps control the symptoms and issues that come from consuming gluten.


Many of you might not have celiac disease, however many people without a clear-cut allergy might still have a high intolerance, which generates the same issues and complications. If you have a high intolerance, then consuming a moderate to high amount of gluten might be causing you more harm than good with issues such as inflammation, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. All of which are not real sexy or fun to deal with.


Eating a gluten-free, clean, fresh, and healthy diet will go a long way in helping you boost your metabolism, lose weight, get lean, and put you on the path to the healthiest you have ever been. But it only works if you follow some key strategies:


1.  Ditch the word “diet.”


The “D” word only equates to short-term success. Instead of considering this to be a diet, consider it as a life-long change. Make it a lifestyle change for permanent results.


2.  Ditch as many grains as possible.


gluten free trips, going gluten free, what is gluten free, how to go gluten freeDon’t just replace gluten-filled baked goods with gluten-free options. Store-bought gluten-free breads, crackers, muffins, and snacks are usually filled with starchy carbohydrates that will spike insulin levels and add a nice puffy layer of padding around your middle. Aim for high-protein flours such as coconut flour, almond flour, teff flour, quinoa flour, oat flour, or millet flour if you are going to make or consume any baked goods.


3.  Learn how to read labels.


Gluten can be lurking in surprising places. Get your gluten-free cheat sheet and keep it with you so you do not end up getting glutened without knowing it.


4. Begin a love affair with the produce aisle


By the produce aisle, I actually mean the entire exterior of your grocery store. This is the easiest way to go gluten-free and become a lean machine. Fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, and poultry are all naturally gluten free.


5. Spice up your relationship with food.


While you are in the middle of that love affair with the exterior of your store, include the spice aisle into the mix and make it a threesome. Getting creative with your spices and herbs can transform a bland meal into a sexy, delicious masterpiece.


6. Plan your meals out at the beginning of the week. 


Put together a simple clean-eating menu plan and create the shopping list. Get everything you need at the beginning of the week so it is all on hand and ready to go.


gluten free trips, going gluten free, what is gluten free, how to go gluten free7. Ditch the refined sugars.


Sugar drains and leaches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification, and elimination makes upon your entire system. Sugar eaten every day produces a continuously overly acidic condition, and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to rectify the imbalance. Excess sugar eventually affects every organ in the body and is stored in the form of fat in the most inactive areas - the belly, the buttocks, the breasts, and the thighs.


8. Eat only whole fresh foods.


Challenge yourself to eliminate packaged foods from your pantry.


9. Focus on taking care of your gut from the inside out.


Healing the gut and taking care of your digestion will go a long way in giving you that flat belly you have been longing for.


10. Keep your meals simple.


Keep your meal ingredients to a minimum. Create fresh and easy meals that only take minutes to throw together. This goes a long way to keeping you on track and helping you from falling off the wagon because it is getting too hard or because it takes too long to make something. Some of the simplest meals can look and feel the most gourmet when all you are using are fresh wholesome ingredients.


Hopefully these ten tips can help you guys kick start your journey. If you have comments or questions, please leave them below. I would love to hear from you.


Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

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