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 choose to do it each and every day, all while enjoying a sweet treat here and there.
So much has been said to dismiss and diss the gluten-free diet. The haters hate on the gluten-free diet because they just don’t get it. They don’t understand that eating gluten-free can be a healthy, invigorating way of life, whether someone needs to eat gluten free for health reasons, or whether someone chooses the lifestyle because it makes them feel better.
Yet, I get it. So many people do gluten-free wrong.
They eat anything and everything just because it’s labeled gluten free with little regard to whether the product has any redeeming qualities.
For example, sugar is gluten free, but it doesn’t mean you should eat gobs and gobs of it, right?
Related Reading: 10 Ways to Overcome Your Sugar Addiction
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. Choosing to eat gluten free alone doesn’t mean you’re defaulting to eating healthy by any stretch of the imagination.
12 Highly Effective Habits of a Gluten-Free Diet
That’s why today I want to share 12 highly effective habits of someone on a healthy, gluten-free diet. I hope it will inspire you make choices that are good for you.
1. Cook and eat at home more often.
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!
I love to eat out, but I do it only on occasion in order to keep my diet in check.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Out Gluten Free
2. Eat plenty of fresh ingredients.
A healthy gluten-free diet is loaded with fresh ingredients. Poke fun at us all you want, but those naturally gluten free fresh fruits and veggies give our bodies instant immunity boosts and help us maintain a healthy weight.
Related Reading: How Not to Get Sick this Cold and Flu Season
We also enjoy keeping diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease away as well as maintaining 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 give yourself health care every day.
I like to get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day by making my own homemade juices. Check out these 10 amazing juicing recipes.
3. Eat healthy fats.
Bring on the fats… 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!
One of my favorite snacks is to eat a half of avocado, topped with a spritz of lime juice and Kosher salt.
4. Plan meals.
It’s rare that I have no idea what my next meal will be because I plan most of my meals. I never want to be caught in a situation 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. Eat Mindfully.
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 and never in a rush.
You’ll never find us healthy gluten-free eaters in the fast-food line at McDonalds (which doesn’t have anything gluten free anyway!). We use food as fuel.
6. Ignore marketing hype.
Healthy gluten-free eaters are not fooled by marketing hype from brands like General Mills who have officially made Lucky Charms gluten free. While it’s nice that Lucky Charms offers a gluten-free cereal, the cereal is far from healthy and may trick people into thinking that “gluten free” equals “good for you.”
Healthy gluten-free dieters 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.
7. Eat Cleanly.
Healthy gluten-free eaters will buy foods that are organic and made with non-GMO ingredients. They avoid food dyes, artificial ingredients, preservatives (like MSG), and trans fats as much as possible (without being obsessive, of course). 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. Healthy foods create health.
Related Reading: Tips to Eating Organic on a Budget
8. Eat what’s in season.
The cornerstone of a healthy, gluten-free diet is eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are of course, naturally gluten-free.
We eat what’s in season (and usually what’s on sale at the grocery store), allowing our bodies to eat what nature intended us to eat at this exact moment in time.
9. Limit 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 and allow my digestive system ample time to rest between meals.
10. Eat less meat.
A healthy gluten-free eater will fill at least half of their plate with delicious fresh vegetables vs. hard-to-digest and highly acidic meat.
11. Eat naturally gluten-free.
Another healthy habit for gluten-free eaters is to load up on plenty of naturally gluten-free foods like eggs, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, and gluten-free whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.
Healthy eaters avoid processed and packaged foods, which are typically full of refined white grains, sugar and other unhealthy and sick ingredients.
12. Foster a healthy gut.
You’ll see plenty of healthy gluten-free eaters sipping on kombucha and popping probiotics. 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. A healthy gut is the key to good health for all!
Related Reading: The Benefits of Probiotics for Women
13. Avoid all gluten.
This bonus habit I added to remind everyone that you can’t be on a light-gluten diet, or mostly gluten free. Even a little gluten can and will hurt you.
Related Reading: Don’t Cheat on Your Gluten-Free Diet
IRemember, health is wealth. Good stuff in results in good stuff out.
P.S. Doesn’t this healthy gluten-free diet sound a lot like a healthy diet – gluten free or not?!?