Getting Started

First thing: don't just go to the store and buy everything in the healthy sections of the store, or anything you can find. 
What I realized is, once you have it, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO USE IT. 

Gluten free food in general tastes a lot different from what you are used to, and all you can imagine is what you are used to. If you imagine the pancakes you have eaten before and eat a gluten one - YOU WILL CRY. 
 So. STOP ALL ASSUMPTIONS and open your mind. You might make food with the same name as a food you have had before, but it's going to taste different. It's made with different stuff! But don't worry, that doesn't mean it's all bad. Your taste buds with begin to adapt.

The first time I ate all natural plantain chips, I wanted to choke and die. Then the next week, I grabbed a few to snack on. You adapt (or grow desperate...jk). ALSO, if you want to die when you eat gluten free food, you're eating the wrong food! There are some substitutions that taste good! They are just extremely hard to find / cook. So don't give up. Just be cautious and don't cook enough for an army when you try out a recipe (chances are, you'll be throwing a lot away.)

BAD ASSUMPTION #2: "I'll lose weight on this super healthy diet"
Even though you're going to be eating healthier than you ever have in your life, lots of gluten free flours are higher in calories than you think, especially the ones derived from nuts and seeds. 
Also, if you start eating a more nuts, seeds, almond butter, avocado, etc...those all have higher fat content and calories. It's healthy sure, but can make you fat pretty quick unless you keep your portions pretty small.

Heads Up: Withdrawals from all the crap food you've been eating
You're going to go through some kind of withdrawals most likely. Before starting this diet, I was having at least one energy drink a day - like the hardcore ones. And I had chocolate every day. I went through caffeine and sugar withdrawals for about 6-7 days. Then it was ok. Since everything sweet is taken from this diet, Minute Maid 100% Berry Juice is fantastic if you need something for your sudden lack of sugar. The natural sugar in fruit will help you adjust. And fruit helps too. I cannot tell you how awful the sugar withdrawals were. I had never felt like a drug addict until I cut myself off of sugar.

So how do I know what to buy at the store?
Not all brands are created equal. Not all stores will have everything you'll need.
I bought Stevia in the raw in the green package and it has a bitter after taste. After reading up on it, I found that some brands do and some brands don't. So suggestion: READ UP ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST BEFORE YOU MAKE ONE. In fact, the websites I gave you on my "About me" are a great way to start. 

Also, start reading every single food label. If you haven't read it, don't buy it.

What Stores are best?
No one store that I have found. Here are the stores I visit and a breakdown of what I think of them: (by average I mean you could basically find almost everything you need.)

  • Price: cheapest
  • Selection: Low
  • Produce: average
  • Price: highest
  • Selection: average
  • Produce: average
  • Price: high
  • Selection: average
  • Produce: amazing
Village Foods
  • Price: high
  • Selection: very high
  • Produce: terrible

You can't eat any of that old food you were eating, and besides, it probably makes you sick. So, get rid of it, and bring in the healthy stuff! I cleaned out my kitchen immediately. It was nice to clean up my kitchen, but I did keep a good amount of food in case I entertain people or have to randomly feed someone who doesn't eat like me! I divided my cabinet in half, and kept their food on one side and mine on the other. In all visible food storage places, I just have food I can eat so I am not tempted. 

New healthy food I bought (before I researched it, so learn from my mistakes! Pretty much everything here is good though)
Second, Organize all of the stuff you have! It will be a lot easier on you. HUGE WARNING: GLUTEN FREE FLOURS DO NOT STORE LIKE NORMAL FLOURS. They will go rancid. And fast. Buy only what you need, and then find recipes that will use those flours to use them fast. Store the flour in the fridge or the freezer. Don't have the space? Don't buy it. They are expensive and they will go rancid. Smell all flour before using it in food. Trust me, you'll know if it's rancid. If you can't tell, try smelling the flour when you first open it and every day after that. Also, things baked with gluten free flour will not keep long. 4 days max, and it will need to be refrigerated. 

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