I often come across comments and posts about how difficult it is to buy gluten free food and have a balanced and varied diet. So here is how I do it.
I order groceries online twice a month. I stock up on food that doesn’t go off so I always have something in the house, just in case the fridge is empty. I also have a few things in the freezer, as a plan B, for those days when I don’t have the time and/or energy to cook. It also saves me a lot of time, as I can do it during my morning commute, have it delivered late at night after I got home and all I have to do is put it away.
I try to do a weekly shop to buy all my fresh food. This way I can also have more variety in my diet. I don’t buy big quantities so I don’t always eat the same things and I don’t get bored of certain foods.
There are a few things I always have in the fridge or in my cupboards: avocado, mushrooms, tinned tuna, smoked salmon, tomatoes, greek yoghurt, fruit (currently mango, blueberries and raspberries), almond milk, gherkins, bread, frozen fish and seafood.
Most of the time I try my best to eat naturally gluten free food and try to find gluten free things without limiting myself to the free from sections. I found lots of different ice creams, chocolates and other things that weren’t labelled as gluten free but after a quick look at the labels I realised they are.
I skip breakfast most days but when I do have time for it I usually go for a smashed avocado with ground black pepper, tuna, maybe a beetroot and a poached egg. Spinach omelettes are another favourite of mine. I recently started having gluten free granola with fresh fruit, just to break habits and not have the same things all the time as it’s easy to get bored of them. If I skip breakfast I try to grab some fresh fruit when I get to work. Bananas are often a life saver and I usually have some grapes in the fridge. It’s great to snack on them.
If I’m working in London I usually go out for lunch. I know many people struggle with eating out. It certainly takes a bit of planning and asking around but it’s doable. My two favourite places are Itsu and Leon. They have a good few locations around London, their food is healthy and nutritious, it doesn’t break the bank and they have great options for us.
If I’m working from home lunch usually consists of some leftovers or steamed vegetables or soup. On the rare occasions when I bring lunch to work I usually pack some leftovers from the night before or bring a hearty soup. This is especially good during the winter months.
I also found that eating little and often means I don’t get famished to the point where I feel like I have to eat my whole fridge with all it’s contents. It also keeps me to just grab something, anything I can find and eat it. This keeps me from binging on junk food and also means I know what I eat and a good diet certainly goes a very long way. This also helps with keeping my energy levels up and if I have a big meal during the day I tend to become sleepy and find it hard to focus so I’m trying to make dinners my main meal.
I usually don’t have a lot of time and energy to cook so I’m all in for easy and quick meals. Stir fries are really quick and versatile as ingredients can always be changed. Sweet potatoes fried roasted with sweet chili sauce and cheese goes with nearly anything and it’s a nice comfort food on it’s own too. Sweet potato and beetroot mash is one of my favourite sides and it’s amazing with with soy sauce and honey glazed salmon.
I know some people can’t find bread they like. We are all different and like different things but there are so many breads out there, I’m sure it’s not impossible to find one that works. I also found that I can go without bread for quite some time. I’ve never been a big fan of bread so this might be a bit more difficult if you love your toast in the morning but changing things up a bit and trying new things never hurts. It could also help with cutting down on costs as this is also a common problem, often mentioned by those who have to follow a gluten free diet.
It took some research and planning at first but I realised early on I definitely don’t have to rely on labelled gluten free food in order to eat well.
Author: Emese Abigail Fayk