My top five food swaps for a totally free-from diet
A few years ago I was diagnosed with an intolerance to gluten, dairy and peanuts. Yes, that does mean a LOT of food is off the table for me and it is something that means I had to totally re-look at my lifestyle.
People didn’t get it and that’s a very nice way of putting it. I was always put into the ‘fussy eater’ category.
Studying at university meant I was surrounded by students wanting to party and living off the Dominoes pizza and alcohol diet. However, this quickly became a distant memory for me – see some alcohol has gluten in it. So, whilst my friends were drinking there way from bottle to bottle I had to substitute the booze for soft drinks…
There are multiple names for wheat, just to make a free-from diet that little bit harder
People didn’t get it and that’s a very nice way of putting it. I was always put into the ‘fussy eater’ category. Gluten wasn’t as well known a few years ago as it is now, so trying to find some free-from bread was almost impossible. Dairy was just as problematic – everything seemed to have the hidden ingredient. I couldn’t go to a shop without picking something that held at least one of my allergens. Even a simple salad would have barley, rye or dairy within it (yes, there are multiple names for wheat, just to make a free-from diet that little bit harder). Just as I’d assumed I’d found something gluten free I’d have a reaction and spend the next day or so googling each ingredient to find out where and what it had come from.
Over the past couple of years the amount of people with a gluten intolerance has dramatically risen with so many people claiming they genuinely feel better after cutting it out. With this increase the gluten free market has quickly evolved alongside meaning it’s got quite a lot easier for those on a free-from diet.
As my career revolves around fitness I am very conscious about the foods I eat – always ensuring I get my three macronutrients into my diet (fats, carbohydrates and protein). Being free-from is a lot harder as I can’t just pick up a ready meal at my local supermarket like most people can at lunch time. It does require a bit more preparation but it doesn’t have to be impossible or even that expensive if you know how.
Here’s my Top 5 Food Swaps for those on a free-from diet:
1. Breakfast Cereal – Gluten Free Oats
Breakfast is probably the hardest change as a bowl of wheat filled cereals or toast are the typical go-to option. I now have 40grams of gluten free oats normally Quakers mixed with 40 grams of protein powder from a allergy friendly brand such as Pureition that is made from pea protein rather than whey (dairy).
2. Peanut Butter – Sunflower Seed Butter
Who doesn’t love peanut butter? I swear I hear people admitting they’ve eaten the entire jar daily… Well, I have some great news for you – it’s not totally off the table. Sunflower seed butter tastes just as good and theres even a new release named, ‘wow butter’ which tastes exactly the same but is completely nut free (wow!)
3. Greek Yoghurt – Alpro Soya Yoghurt
Yoghurt is a typical daily purchase especially with it’s live cultures and probiotics. Luckily there is an easy swap for those with a dairy allergy, Alpro soya yoghurt tastes absolutely amazing and has just as many live cultures within it so you really aren’t missing out.
4. Pasta – I sea Pasta
Another gluten favourite – pasta. Don’t stress however there are gluten free options available including quinoa and chickpea pasta one of my favourites is a pasta called, Isea which is full of nutrients and fibre and has 80% less calories than real pasta so is a win-win.
5. Chocolate – Protein Bar
Dairy chocolate bars are definitely a no-go, plus aren’t good for your health. A lot of protein bars come with whey or oat within them meaning again they are not suitable for gluten or dairy allergy sufferers. I love Primal Pantry’s protein bars.