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When I started A Mom Inspired, we were already immersed in the world of gluten-free.  What I failed to mention however, is that getting there was a process that took a lot of time.

As I was talking with a great friend this past weekend who is just about to embark on the gluten-free journey, I realized that I hadn’t really conveyed through my writing how incredibly overwhelming it seemed at first.

There was a four-month time period in between the first suggestion that we eliminate gluten from Maddox’s diet and the point where I actually took the leap.  And even after we “leaped” I still didn’t completely eliminate gluten from his diet until about a month ago.

I think the key is to break it down and keep it simple.  At least at first.

Here are a few suggestions I would give a gluten-free newbie, or anyone about to make a dietary change…

Think simple.  

Although there is gluten in a lot of foods, there are so many naturally gluten-free foods as well.  One of my families favorite meals is “Baked Potato Bar”.  I bake up some big potatoes (Russet or Sweet Potatoes), steam some broccoli, get some shredded cheese, cook up some chicken breast and/or bacon and voila!

It doesn’t have to be complicated to be good!

Planning is even more important than ever.

I have found that the weeks that I sit down and plan out our meals and shop accordingly, everything is so much easier.  It does take time (30-60 minutes per week), but well worth it when you go to get dinner ready and everything you need is right there.  Pinterest is a wonderful resource for recipes, I have found amazing, quick and easy recipes that also happen to be gluten-free!

Go one step further…

Use a menu board.  This may sound too organized or a little nutty… but I think it has probably been the single most useful tool that I have used in our family.  I saw a menu chalkboard on Pottery Barn that I loved (but couldn’t afford…) and so I created my own (shown below).  Every week, I write the menu down and then I know what to defrost and when and I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner at the last-minute 🙂

Here are some other cute examples:

Make and Takes 

Mom Colored Glasses

Cut yourself some slack.

None of us are perfect (even though we look like we are right?).  If you are like me and are in this gluten-free lifestyle for other family members, support comes in many forms.  For me, I support Brent and Maddox by making my home gluten-free and making sure that they always have options.  When we are out, I feel free to indulge in gluten-filled pasta or whatever else and I do not hold Brayden to the gluten-free standard outside the home either.  We are always respectful of Maddox and Brent and make sure we eat in establishments that can accommodate, but beyond that it’s fair game.  We have to eat and live too.  Brayden and I do save our chocolate dates for when it is just us though… that would just be plain mean!

Being gluten-free is so much easier now as it is a widely accepted lifestyle that so many of us have to adhere to.  That doesn’t disregard the fact that it can be completely overwhelming and so hard to know where to begin.  It took me months to wrap my head around the concept, but now that we are in it, it seems natural and I would even venture to say easy.

If I can do it, anyone can!

Do you have any tips you could give someone looking to make a dietary change?

Happy Friday!