It can be pretty tough to learn that you can’t eat gluten, and even more of a challenge if you have other dietary restrictions as well. But as a part of CeliAct Blog’s beyond gluten-free mentality, a low-glycemic diet is also essential.
Low-glycemic? What’s that?
It’s a way of eating that ensures glucose is released into your bloodstream slowly, preventing peaks and valleys with blood sugar. It reduces your chances for many different health issues down the line and can help you feel much better on a regular basis. Read a more detailed description of why you should eat a low-glycemic gluten-free diet here.
While there are further restrictions when you add low-glycemic as a requirement to your already gluten-free diet, vastly improved health and well-being are often the immediate result, and that should be enough for you to try it out for just one week to see!
However, while feeling more energetic and healthier is enjoyable, it can still be hard to stick with a new way of eating during busy days and when you’re on the go.
So, let’s look at the three keys to making a low-glycemic, gluten-free diet work for you…
How to Maintain a Low-Glycemic, Gluten-Free Diet
In following a low-glycemic gluten-free diet, it usually means you will eat mostly whole foods, and potentially a lot of dairy, nuts, beans, seeds, fruits, and non-starch veggies as your main food sources.
When eating on the go, however, you can often run into some challenges. Here are the three crucial elements to following a low-glycemic diet:
- Preparation is first. I love eating, but I don’t like having to make decisions about food. If I don’t have food around or need to interrupt my day to make food-related decisions, I get anxious and can’t focus. I find that by spending an hour preparing for each week before it begins (Sunday night is best for me), I not only save time during the week, but I also save effort and the burden of having to make decisions about food during the week.So, every Sunday night I chop vegetables and meat and turn on the slow cooker. It’s the easiest cooking there is, and it cooks overnight. I can spend $40 on meat and vegetables and create about 15 meals (chicken, carrots, celery, green beans, peas, onions, leeks, sweet potatoes, a few seasonings, etc.). These can be primary meals or back-up meals, but they are delicious and very healthy. The best thing about a slow cooker is it’s easy to make something delicious whether you’re a chef or not – meat and vegetables that cook together for 12 hours or more are almost always spectacular! Then it goes into a Tupperware, and voila, you have meals for the week…Preparation may look different for you, but this is what is most time-efficient and nutritious for me, and it reduces a lot of stress over the week that follows.
- Yogurt, nuts, and granola. While the above stew can be delicious, you won’t always have a microwave, and sometimes eating has to be quick. Unsweetened yogurt, unsalted nuts, and low-sugar granola are three of the best low-glycemic, portable snacks, and they deliver huge health benefits.Yogurt can help contribute beneficial bacteria to your gut, and nuts and granola are both great sources of fiber. The health benefits go on, and you can read more on yogurt and probiotics in a previous article, or you can learn about great sources of gluten-free fiber in another. Remember to check labels to make sure your granola is gluten-free. My favorite granolas are Udi’s and Bakery On Main, which are both certified gluten-free.
- Replace rice with quinoa. This can definitely be a difficult adjustment for long-time gluten-free eaters. After all, rice has been your grain of choice for so long, and who had heard of quinoa before 2010 besides the Incas 500-600 years ago? Quinoa serves a very similar purpose to rice, but it is a low-glycemic grain that is rich in protein and other nutrients.
You now have three important tips to help you continue on your low-glycemic, gluten-free journey, or to just try it out for a week.
While it does require that you make changes to your habits and diet and spend a little more time preparing, the key is to cut out processed foods. But we promise you’ll feel better than you do today…
A low-glycemic, gluten-free diet may be just what you’ve been missing!