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If you have not yet encountered any need to change your diet from the SAD (Standard American Diet) give it some time. It is becoming an issue for more and more people and eventually you or someone in your family will need to make some significant changes and then you will find this post of relevance.
Although we have not really been eating the SAD for many years now we had to make big changes spring of 2012 when we suspected my oldest daughter of needing to go gluten free. I found the first 6 weeks of trying to run a gluten free household very very difficult. It seemed like everything I had ever known about baking had to be thrown out the window and I had to start over. It was very overwhelming. For me things got easier once I got a supply of other grains in the house to work with, found some good recipes and blogger who helped me transition, and figured out a viable way to manage bread. Bread seems to be the toughest food to adapt to gluten free baking. (Our solution was to make sourdough for the rest of the family and to make a almond paleo bread for my daughter that keeps well and has good flavor and texture. And on special occasions we splurge on Udi’s bread as that is the best GF bought bread we have found in our area.)
Out of this comes several principles for adapting and thriving when diet changes are necessary.
1. Be patient. It takes time to build new habits and get used to new foods and new ways of making and doing things. For me it was 6 weeks that made a difference and then each week after that seemed everything seemed to feel more normal.
2. Find recipes you like for your favorite foods. There are many great blogs out there now with recipes that are free of anything you need them to be free of. Some of my favorites are Real Sustenance, Gluten Free Girl, The Spunky Coconut, and The Preppy Paleo. I particularly appreciate people who don’t just give me a recipe but help me understand what makes it work. In Gluten Free Girl she explains how to make your own gluten free flour blend and I have been doing that for almost a year now with whatever flours I have on hand. It really helps me to have the general approach because sometimes I don’t have everything for a recipe but I have other things I can substitute and it works well.
3. If you can, transition one or two areas at a time. This of course does not work if you have to go gluten free since gluten is usually a problem for the person in any form or shape it comes in. But if the goal is just to eat more healthy begin with perhaps taking processed foods out of the diet or replacing snacks with healthy alternatives is a good place to start.
4. Find others who are working on the same changes you are or already there. Social media is very helpful to find this, especially Facebook. I have found several groups that I am a part of which have really helped me get tips, encouragement and ideas.
So what are some things that have helped you deal with significant dietary changes?