The first thing people ask me when they find out that I eat gluten-free is:
"It is a choice? Or can you really not eat it?"
The answer is: it shouldn't matter. But it does, so I tell people how eating it makes me feel sick and that since I've stopped eating gluten I have eliminated some GI issues, general lethargy, feeling sick after meals and have gotten stronger. Some people accuse me of being part of a "fad diet" or think that I'm trying to lose weight.
Sure, there are tons of people who are looking to eliminate carbs from their diet and say they are eating "gluten-free". Or people that falsely believe that eating gluten-free will lead to a healthier diet.
Here's the truth: eating gluten-free does not equal healthy.
In fact, most gluten-free substitutes are actually worse for you! Many gluten-free alternatives to breads, pastas, or cookies are filled with extra sugar, triple starches, binders, and preservatives which break down into sugar during digestion. Eliminating some foods that contain gluten mean that you eat more corn or potato-based alternatives which again, aren't necessarily healthier than a bit of wheat. Gluten-free foods also tend to be lacking the fibre, vitamins, and minerals that their gluten-toting counterparts have.
When I discovered That Clean Life over a year ago, I was impressed with the fact that every recipe was gluten-free but not in the way that most people would expect. The substitutions are not simply substituting with unhealthy gluten-free products but instead taking a new approach to recipes to make them without gluten. Every recipe is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, vegetables or fruit. A year later, That Clean Life is where I get 90% of my recipes and what I've learned from That Clean Life has inspired every aspect of my cooking.
At first, I was a bit concerned about the amount of time meal prepping would take. My work days are long and I rarely have a free evening. But as I've learned, eating healthy is rarely convenient.
But if it's something that is important to you, you will find the time.
I've decided that it is important to me. So here's how I am making time for That Clean Life:
- I make 2-3 recipes at once and portion it out for the upcoming week.
- For larger recipes like the delicious Cleaned Up Shephard's Pie or the Mac n' 'Cheese' I portion out a few servings to freeze as well.
- My snacks for the week take a few minutes every couple nights to put together and since I'm lucky enough to work across the street from a grocery store I can pick up most things on my way to work or on my lunch and make them there.
So no, just because I'm eating gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean I'm eating healthy! But if I'm living That Clean Life I know that I'm eating clean, healthy, and gluten-free.