Monday, May 9, 2016

Keeping it simple

A turkey and cheddar panini on gluten-free
bread can't be beat for a quick and easy lunch!
Not long after I was diagnosed with celiac disease, a friend said to me, “Oh, I’d die if I couldn’t have bread!” But celiac disease is not a death sentence. Trust me, you can live without wheat, barley and rye and the foods that contain them.

While it isn’t always easy, and you will definitely miss many of your favorite foods, eating completely gluten-free is very doable—and, if you give yourself time to learn a few new skills (like reading food labels and roasting vegetables, for example) and to acquire a few new tastes, you might even find that you are eating much healthier on your gluten-free diet than you were before your diagnosis.

Chicken salad with fruit and cheese is
also a simple favorite!
If eating gluten-free seems overwhelming to you at first, follow my best tip: Figure out a couple of simple meals that you can always enjoy for breakfast and a couple that you can always enjoy for lunch. Then keep those items on hand at all times. My go-to breakfasts are yogurt and applesauce, gluten-free oatmeal, or bacon and eggs with a side of fruit. My lunch favorites are turkey and cheddar paninis (on gluten-free bread, of course), chicken salad (made with my own home-made mayo), or a green salad with my favorite toppings (avocado, tomato, cheese, boiled egg and gluten-free dressing). I eat these nearly every single day.

Having your breakfast and lunch “fixings” already available simplifies your day and gives you more time to research interesting dinner recipes, collect the necessary ingredients, and prepare your evening meal, where variety is more important and (hopefully) time is more plentiful.