Gluten-Free 2016: Five New Year’s Resolutions
(That You’re Actually Going to Keep)
Gluten-Free 2016: This is going to be your year. How do we know? Because if we didn’t keep our gluten-free resolutions last year (or the year before…) then this must be the year to finally achieve gluten-free victory.
Around this time of year, we can’t help but reflect on our track record throughout the last 12 months. Weight gained and lost, bad habits broken and formed, and GF wins and losses. When it comes to achieving gluten-free perfection, there’s a lot of room for error. But why not aim for a better gluten-free you in the new year? Here’s our list of the top 5 GF New Year’s Resolutions that we (you) are actually going to keep in 2016.
1. Stop cheating in your gluten-free 2016.
Yes, french fries are delicious. But every time you tell the waiter that the shared oil in the deep fryer “shouldn’t be a problem,” you go home to a world of stomach problems that set you back to square one. It’s time to buckle down on the enemy that plagues many GF folks: cross-contamination. In the new year, vow to seek out more allergen-conscious restaurants, and set your boundaries before you go out to eat. It’s time to say no to shared kitchen equipment and cross-contaminated toppings and ingredients – let’s all agree to take a closer look at that little asterisk at the bottom of the menu in your gluten-free 2016.
2. Go to the doctor.
It pains us to say it, but just do it. Go. Likely, most us of would not elect to be on the gluten-free diet if given the choice – we stick to it because it’s the only way for us to feel healthy and happy. So, do the right thing and keep routine check-ins with your PCP and GI in the mix. We know it’s easy to cancel that yearly check-up when you’re feeling good, but it’s important to keep your doctor in your corner so that you can focus on preventive care as much as diagnostic. Future You will thank you.
3. Stick to the script
We’ve all been there: someone asks you (maybe with a touch of suspicion) to explain exactly how your intolerance or disease works. Whether they ask about the effect gluten has on you or the science behind Celiac Disease, we want to vow to be more prepared for your gluten-free 2016. No more stammering, no more vague responses or defensive comebacks. Let’s declare 2016 the year of cold, hard facts. Get your spiel ready and next time a waiter, co-worker, or distant relative asks about your gluten-free diet, be ready to fire on all cylinders and explain your limitations, clearly outlining what will and will not work for you.
4. Don’t be a doormat, don’t be a diva.
The perfect balance is somewhere in between. Many of us have occupied both roles in different scenarios – and we’ll be the first to say that sometimes an extreme reaction is totally justified. But wouldn’t it be a happier world if we could just channel our inner GF buddha and stay calm through the chaos? This resolution is all about owning your GF diet and vowing to accept it. That means that missing out on your friend’s legendary homemade cheesecake won’t trigger a breakdown, overhearing your co-workers mocking gluten-food won’t send you to HR, and you’ll be ready and waiting to calmly and clearly explain your GF diet to anyone who asks. Be the gluten-free diet you wish to see in the world.
5. Choose real food.
Sure, the ever-expanding selection of gluten-free foods in grocery stores is exciting. By all means enjoy it, but also realize that it is an age-old trap. Gluten-free food is now a booming market in its own right, so many companies are clamoring to capitalize on the trend and make a buck. So, beware of many GF packaged foods – especially the plethora of GF chips, baked goods, and frozen foods that are popping up left and right. Some will be the answer to all of your GF problems, other will be a fast track to a bad diet, weight gain, and unhealthy habits. Our advice: check the label for ingredients you actually recognize and want to eat. Resist the urge to stock up on GF pretzels, pasta, and burritos simply because they’re GF – if you wouldn’t binge on them when you were eating gluten, don’t do it now.
We want to know – what’s your gluten-free New Year’s resolution? Share what you’re shooting for in the new year and we’ll all be in this together. Let us know what’s on your list in the comments below!