Julie Moreno, owner of Jewel’s Bakery and Café in Phoenix–a complete gluten-free establishment—shares her take on how to make gluten-free living easy.
First, consider the things you have in your own fridge and cupboards at home. If you’re not sure what’s safe and what isn’t, here are some helpful reminders:
• Opt for foods that are naturally gluten-free. Fresh fruits and veggies are always a safe bet.
• Some of your favorite ingredients have gluten in them. While it may come as a surprise, soy sauce has gluten in it. Think twice when using marinades and sauces which may contain even small amounts of gluten.
• Make sure to read labels and consider the brand to ensure you’re purchasing something that is truly gluten-free.
And if you’re not dining in?
Arm yourself with knowledge
Be well aware of the kinds of foods that tend to have gluten beforehand. These can include pasta, bread, fried foods, baked goods, and certain condiments. The more you know, the better able you are to keep your system free of gluten while dining out.
When you’re intolerant to certain types of food, it’s hard to find places you can eat. Make sure to find your “gluten-free community.” Utilize things like your phone and various apps to help you find restaurants in town with gluten-free options.
If you can’t dine at a gluten–free establishment, be cautious about how your food is prepared. Gluten-free dishes should have separate prep areas with separate equipment and cooking utensils. For example, counter tops, cutting boards, microwaves, toaster ovens and margarine containers and containers with other spreads can be major culprits.
When dining out, do not be shy; ask lots of questions and find out if and how your food is being prepared separately from foods that contain gluten. Flour is airborne, so you need to keep that in mind. Dining cards are also very helpful, and you can conveniently show them to your server and chef.
At the end of the day, a little bit of research and advance planning will get you a long way when deciding to go gluten-free. While it is certainly be a big step, it can also be great for your overall health. Enjoy the adventure and instead of focusing on the things you can’t have focus on the things you can. www.jewelsbakeryandcafe.com.