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10 Essential Tips for Successfully Embracing a Gluten and Dairy-Free Lifestyle

Before we dive into these valuable tips, I want to emphasize the importance of seeking professional guidance from a dietitian or doctor before embarking on a gluten and dairy-free diet. It's crucial to ensure this dietary shift aligns with your specific needs and health goals.

Now we've got that out of the way, let's embark on this exciting journey together! So, here are my top 10 tips for successfully embracing a gluten and dairy-free lifestyle (speaking from experience!):

1. Define Your "Why"

Why have you decided to embrace a gluten and dairy-free lifestyle? Whether it's for health reasons, improved skin, or overall well-being, knowing your motivation is key. Write it down and keep it visible, like a sticky note on your fridge, to stay motivated during challenging moments.

2. Educate Yourself

While it's common knowledge that bread and pasta contain gluten, and milk and cheese contain dairy, there are hidden sources to be aware of, like soy sauce and baking powder. Dive into product labels, focusing on bolded ingredients. Look out for wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, and milk.

Baking powder showing the gluten containing ingredients highlighted in bold.

3. Pantry Purge

Clear out your pantry, fridge, and freezer of gluten and dairy-containing items, unless other household members need them of course. Removing this temptation will set you up for success!

4. Let's Go Shopping!

Now for the fun part, it's time to restock your kitchen with some essentials! So grab your shopping bags and let's go shopping! Feel free to explore the free-from sections in the supermarket, and search for some naturally gluten-free items such as rice, beans, and potatoes.

5. Plan Your Meals

Create a meal plan using your newly stocked kitchen. Consider investing in some cookbooks, researching online, or reaching out for ideas. Remember to balance your meals with a protein source, carbohydrates, and vegetables to ensure a well-rounded diet.

Balanced meal - carbohydrates, protein and fibre.

6. Dining Out Strategies

Do not worry! You can still enjoy eating out with dietary restrictions, it does not mean that you have to miss out. Check out my next blog post for some practical tips on navigating restaurant menus, to find out just how you can make this possible!

7. Variety Is Key

Being gluten and dairy-free does not mean that your diet has to be boring. Ensure a diverse diet, including all essential nutrients, especially calcium, which you may get less of now. Sources like dairy alternatives, leafy greens, broccoli, almonds, and salmon can help maintain a balanced intake.

8. Inform Your Circle

Now, I am not saying to go and shout from the rooftops "I'm gluten and dairy-free" because to be honest, you may not have many friends left! I'm kidding really, but it is a good idea to share your dietary changes with your close ones so they are aware. Openness can help to create a supportive environment for you, and you should never be afraid of mentioning it to anyone.

9. Keep a Symptom Journal

If you're making this change due to health concerns, maintain a symptom journal or food diary. Note what you eat and any skin flare-ups or discomfort. This can help identify potential triggers or underlying causes.

10. Seek Support

Finally, I just want to add that it may be a wise decision to seek support. Transitioning to a gluten and dairy-free lifestyle can be challenging but you're not alone. Reach out for support, whether that be through online communities, resources, or a friendly message to me. I've been through this journey and am here to help!

So there we have it, 10 tips to help you start on your gluten and dairy-free journey! I hope you find these useful, and if you do, please do not hesitate to share them with your friends and family.

I wish you the best of luck on this exciting new path, and will be with you every step of the way!

Lucy x


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