wellness consultant

10 ways to be gluten free

For people living gluten-free, the constant feeling of missing out can be frustrating. Fortunately, a simple change in mindset can be the difference between a sense of exclusion and embracing a new and exciting menu.

Here are my 10 tips for embracing a gluten-free lifestyle from someone in the trenches:

1. Remember: Gluten-Free Living Is Healthy

Gluten has no business in some foods, but it’s used to “pad out” the product. For instance, wheat is used in most commercial soy sauces, yet traditional soy sauce contains no wheat at all. By cutting out sauces and foods that use gluten to water down the genuine ingredients, you’re consuming food without extra additives.

Still, keep in mind that cheap gluten-free products are often more refined than their wheat-y counterparts. Don’t grab something because the label says “gluten-free.” Check for quality.

From experience I can tell you that cheap gluten-free bread is awful, and cheap gluten-free cereal is packed full of sugar. So, make sure to choose good, quality products.

2. Substitution Isn’t The Answer

Instead of trying to substitute a crusty roll with gluten-free bread, change the meal altogether. Turn that salad roll into a luscious salad bowl. You’ll get more veggies that way, plus it will taste better.

All fruit, veggies and fresh meat are gluten-free too, so you’ll find many meals are a natural fit thanks to those great ingredients.

3. Your Favorite Dishes Can Be Modified

Love a creamy pasta dish as a winter treat? Me too! Gluten-free pasta is actually really good, and world famous pasta company, San Remo, makes everything from Spirals to Lasagna Sheets. You can find gluten-free pastas in the health food section of most supermarkets or online. If you can't find any gf pasta, try a risotto or paella for a filling winter dish.

what is gluten

4. Bread Will Change Forever

Realistically, bread will never be the same for you. You won’t be able to grab bakery-fresh bread (unless you’re really lucky where you live!), but that’s okay. You’ll want to toast gluten-free bread unless it’s fresh that day, but who doesn’t love a toasted sandwich? In the peak of summer, try laying your standard sandwich fillings on rice or corn thins for a light lunchtime snack instead. It’s delicious!

what is gluten free

5. Google Is Your Friend

Pesky ingredients like maltodextrin and glucose can come from wheat, but the label may not list their origin. Jump on Google and search the product’s name, brand and the term “gluten-free.” The brand’s website will help you find out if it’s safe or not.

Handy hint: Just because a product doesn’t say “gluten-free,” doesn’t mean it’s off-limits. Brands have to pay a lot for the gluten free symbol on their products, so sometimes they go without.

6. Find New Favorites

When you’re entertaining, your friends may be surprised that many gluten-free foods are really delicious! You don’t necessarily have to give up the staples… or the junk food.

Craving pizza and beer? You can drink Budweiser and eat gluten-free Domino’s, if that’s what you want. (Your local pizza shop may make gluten-free pies too, which is way better!)

Want pasta night? Spaghetti bolognese with gluten-free pasta is delicious. You can also try quinoa bolognese for a vegan option.

Hoping to celebrate with birthday cake and sweet? Grab some gluten-free cupcake mix! Or make flourless chocolate brownies.

how to be gluten free

7. Speak Up

There’s nothing worse than feeling sick after a meal with friends thanks to hidden gluten in a meal you thought was safe. Always ask the waitstaff if your meal is gluten-free or what options are available. If you’re with a big group and embarrassed, excuse yourself before everyone orders and have a chat with the manager about what menu items are safe. Don’t feel bad for piping up and asking. It’s better to speak up than be left feeling ill!

8. Discover The World of Health Foods

Almost all superfoods are gluten-free: Amaranth, psyllium husks and chia seeds help you stay fuller for longer and promote good digestive health without gluten or nasties. Plus all fruit and veggies are gluten-free, so add more of these nutrient-rich goodies to your meals.

gluten free living

9. Take Probiotics

The medical community rarely tells people this, but consuming probiotics is incredibly good for your digestive health. Eating natural, sugar-free yogurt is a great way to keep your tummy healthy or, if you’re lactose-intolerant, try a probiotic supplement. It will make a world of difference.

10. Being Gluten-Free Is Popular

The list of gluten-free celebrities is long: from supermodel Miranda Kerr to Emmy Rossum, from Quarterback Drew Brees to Isaiah Mustafa (the Old Spice guy). Be proud to join the ranks and embrace your new diet. It’s an opportunity to try new things!

I originally wrote this post for Live the Process  - Check out their beautiful website!

All the meals at my retreats and events are gluten free, so if you've got a tricky tummy like me, you won't be left out of anything at Aprivé Wellness events!

What's your best 'how to be gluten free' tip?

New Year, New You Wellness Retreat Recap

Queenstown Wellness Retreat

Our retreat last weekend was a huge success! This sold out event at Nugget Point Hotel and Spa blended yoga, Pilates, nutrition, meditation, goal setting and luxury relaxation for an inspiring day.

I was so humbled our guests had flown or driven to the event from all over the country! Women of all ages from Tauranga, Wanaka, Invercargill and locals from Queenstown joined together to learn tips on how to live better in 2016.

Yoga Pilates Fusion class 

I pushed our guests with planks, some tricky core work and difficult balance in the yoga/Pilates fusion class. The retreat was all about starting fresh and achieving goals after all! 

smoothies, nutrition & vegetarian treats

Berry smoothies followed, then our guests were treated to a nutritintion workshop by Michelle of Queenstown Nutrition. They learned how to make matcha smoothies bowls with organic Japanese matcha, a green tea powder with 137 times the antioxidants of green tea! I’m so grateful to Matcha Maiden from Melbourne for sending this superfood to us.

We also learned about the health benefits of fermented food, and tried sauerkraut by Be Nourished. The curry one was my favourite!

Talking about food made the ladies hungry, so it was time for lunch: lentil salad, mesculin and beetroot salad, pumpkin soup and a luxurious cheese board. Aprivé Wellness is all about balance, and treating our guests to a cheese board added a hint of luxury to the day, plus it stayed within our nutrition rule of 80:20. 80% of what you eat should be healthy, and 20% can be a bit naughty!

goal setting & meditation

I led the goal setting session where our guests used the WOOP technique to set an important goal for the year. They locked in their goals by writing them in beautiful 2016 diaries from The Collective Hub. The inspirational messages in their pages are sure to help all the guests stay on track this year.

Meditation on the grass overlooking the Shotover river was the perfect way to unwind and relax, with one of our guests who has a little baby at home falling asleep! She, and all our guests really needed a break, so after meditation they wandered up the sun kissed steps to the stunning Nugget point spa to enjoy the steam room, pool, sauna and hot tub.

Picking up their gift bags with products from Olive Skincare, Global Soap NZ, Matcha Maiden and Chia, each guest hugged me on their way out. I was so flattered with the kind words all the guests uttered as they left, and really hope each felt refreshed and empowered to achieve their goals for 2016.

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