There is a way to follow a gluten-free diet – and then there’s a way to follow a HEALTHY gluten-free diet. I choose the latter. Being healthy AND gluten-free is possible. I do it each and every day.
However, so much has been said that dismisses and disses the gluten-free diet. The haters usually hate on the gluten-free diet because they just don’t get it. They don’t understand that being gluten-free can actually be a healthy, invigorating way to live whether they need to be gluten-free for health reasons or they just choose the lifestyle because it makes them feel better.
I get it, so many people do the gluten-free diet wrong. They eat anything they want just because it’s labeled gluten-free with little regard to whether the product is actually good for them. For example, just because sugar is gluten-free doesn’t mean someone should eat gobs and gobs of it, right? (I realize sugar addiction is real – but there are ways to break-free from sugar cravings).
Regardless of how you found the gluten-free diet, if you’re going to do it right, you know you need to make healthy choices. Being gluten-free alone doesn’t mean you’re healthy by any stretch of the imagination.
So today I want to share the 12 high effective habits of someone on a healthy gluten-free diet. I hope it will inspire you to eat a healthy gluten-free diet like me!
1. A healthy gluten-free dieter means cooking and eating at home.
When you’re following a healthy gluten-free diet, you know that eating out is a minefield. Not only do you risk getting glutened, but also you end up eating whatever is served to you. You’ll get oversized portions of food made with unhealthy oils, overly processed grains and cheap meats. No thanks! A healthy gluten-free diet means you enjoy cooking and eating at home where you know you’re getting a safe, gluten-free meal made with quality controlled ingredients. Plus, you can add plenty of the essential Vitamin L (love) to the food you make!
(Read my post, How to Never Run Out of Meal Ideas.)
2. A healthy gluten-free diet means eating plenty of fresh ingredients.
Yep, a healthy gluten-free diet is loaded with fresh ingredients. Poke fun at us all you want, but those fresh fruits and veggies give our bodies instant immunity boosts and help us maintain our healthy weights. We also enjoy keeping diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease away as well as maintain healthy guts. I like to say a green vegetable filled with antioxidant goodness each day is truly what keeps keeps the doctor away. Who needs sick care when you have true health care!
I like to get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day by making my own homemade juices. Check out my favorite juicing recipes.
3. A healthy gluten-free diet includes fat.
Oh yeah, bring on the fat… especially those healthy fats found in fatty fish and whole foods like avocados and olive oil. I avoid eating overly processed foods cooked with unhealthy oils and instead enjoy a high fat diet that feeds my brain, gives me energy and keeps me at a healthy weight! (I love to eat an avocado with a spoon. I simply spritz it with lime and sprinkle some Kosher salt atop – yummy.)
4. A healthy gluten-free diet requires some planning.
Yep, it’s rare that I have no idea what my next meal will be. I plan all my meals so I’m never caught without something good and gluten-free to eat. I offer up six awesome meal planning tips in this post – it will help ensure you’ll never run out of meal ideas.
5. A healthy gluten-free diet requires mindful eating.
You’ll rarely find me eating in a rush or on the go. Healthy gluten-free dieters eat their meals in a calm, relaxed way and chew their food completely. Remember, digestion begins in the mouth (our saliva produces enzymes that aid in digestion). Healthy gluten-free dieters enjoy food with gusto and pleasure. You’ll never find us in the fast-food line at McDonalds (which doesn’t have anything gluten-free anyway!). We use food as our fuel to feed our bodies delicious goodness.
6. A healthy gluten-free diet isn’t sabotaged by marketing hype.
No way, we’re not fooled by marketing hype from brands like General Mills who have officially made Lucky Charms gluten-free. In fact, healthy gluten-free dieters are disgusted at the idea that people think just because Lucky Charms is gluten-free it must be okay to eat. Healthy gluten-free dieters also avoid these 19 so-called healthy foods, and they don’t drink sugary beverages that are purported as healthy like Tropicana’s Probiotic Juice. There’s no fooling us healthy gluten-free dieters. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen.
7. A healthy gluten-free diet is comprised of clean food.
Many healthy gluten-free dieters will buy foods that are organic and made non-GMO ingredients. They avoid food dyes, artificial ingredients, preservatives (like MSG), and trans fats. We choose foods that are generally free from toxins and sick ingredients. Remember, when you put sick ingredients in your body, you will be sick. Only healthy foods create health. I’ve kicked my sugar addiction and gluten addiction – and I no longer drink caffeine. (PS: I’m not perfect, I still enjoy dessert, and pasta… and pizza – but I make it myself with clean ingredients.)
8. A healthy gluten-free diet eats in sync with the season.
The cornerstone of a healthy, gluten-free diet is eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. We eat what’s in season (and usually what’s on sale at the grocery store). If you eat in season, you’ll be getting foods your bodies were meant to eat at the right time and place.
9. A healthy gluten-free diet limits snacking.
While it’s tempting to reach for those gluten-free cookies, healthy gluten-free dieters limit snacking and let their digestive systems rest between meals. When I’m hungry for a snack between meals, I enjoy homemade juice or bone broth instead. I save dessert for the end of the day.
10. A healthy gluten-free diet means a plate loaded with veggies, not meat.
So many of us make just one small vegetable and relegate it to the side of our plates at dinnertime. A healthy gluten-free dieter will fill at least half of their plate with delicious fresh vegetables. Meat is served on the side, not as the star of a dish.
11. A healthy gluten-free diet is naturally gluten-free.
Healthy gluten-free dieters load up on plenty of naturally gluten-free foods like meats, organic eggs, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, and gluten-free whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. They avoid processed and packaged foods, which are typically full of refined white grains, sugar and other unhealthy and sick ingredients.
12. A healthy gluten-free diet minds its gut microbiomes.
You’ll see plenty of healthy gluten-free eaters loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables and fermented and cultured foods. They eat foods that promote good intestinal flora because they know that the trillions of gut bacteria residing in their bodies are in charge of their whole body health! Yep, a healthy gut is the key to good health for all!
13. A healthy gluten-free dieter never eats gluten.
This bonus habit I added to remind everyone that if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you’re on a gluten-free diet. No cheats. Never. If you cheat, you undo all your hard work. Not. Worth. It.
Remember, health is wealth. Good stuff in will result in good stuff out.
P.S. Doesn’t this “healthy gluten-free diet” sound a lot like a healthy diet – gluten-free or not?!?