Wondering how to stick with a gluten and dairy-free diet for the long term? Check out these 5 tips to help you stay consistent!
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I get a lot of questions every week via email from women who are just starting to take on a gluten-free dairy-free diet.
I usually answer these emails one-to-one, but really – I should be sharing these questions and answers more publicly. I am of the mindset that for every one person who asks a question, there are likely 25 more people who are thinking of it but haven’t spoken up yet.
My number one goal with this blog is to share my been-there-done-that experience of living this lifestyle along with you.
I’ve been trained as a certified holistic health coach, but I’m just a regular woman like you. A busy mom who’s just trying to stay healthy so I can have a full happy life and avoid as many doctor’s visits as I can as I get older.
While there are a million recipe websites out there, a lot of people don’t give you the full account of what it’s like to live this way. That’s one of the ways I want to show up for you – to give you the answers to your pressing questions – to the best of my ability.
I received a question from a reader that I’ve received a number of times, but finally feel like it needs to be “published” so I can answer it for others too.
How do you stay consistent and live every day on a gluten-free dairy-free diet? How do you stay motivated and keep from getting bored?
This is a few questions rolled into one, but the sentiment is all the same – how do you not fall off the wagon with staying gluten and dairy-free (even when it gets hard)?
It’s not an easy answer – and I’ve admitted a few times that I’m not at all a perfect example of living a gluten and dairy-free diet as well as I could be. It’s damn hard sometimes (especially around the holidays!).
Besides my more recent falling off the gluten and dairy-free wagon, I had previously gone a full year without eating both gluten and dairy. I did bring dairy back into my diet during my pregnancy a few years ago, then had to take it back out again.
I think I’m the epitome of someone who struggles with keeping up this lifestyle if I’m being honest. I’ve been on and off for about 4 years now. But none of this is keeping me from sharing my experiences and (hopefully helpful) tips with you.
At my very best, here’s how to stay consistent with your gluten-free dairy-free diet:
When you have foods you CAN eat around you, it’s much easier to follow the diet. It’s much easier if you can clean out your house of foods with gluten and dairy and have a completely clean slate, but that’s not always possible for some people.
Even for me, I think one of the biggest reasons I slip sometimes is because my husband and son both eat gluten and dairy so the foods are around – and convenient to eat even when I know they don’t make me feel my best.
2. Buy a few cookbooks that have tasty gluten-free dairy-free dishes in them. Or sign up for a menu planning service.
If you’re just dipping your toe in the water of being gluten and dairy-free, pick up a cookbook or two to inspire you to make meals that align with your new diet.
If you need more than just a few recipes, I’d recommend signing up for a menu planning service, where someone makes plans for you and sends you recipes to help make your life a little easier.
3. Search out recipe inspiration regularly.
In addition to cookbooks, you can also look for new recipes to try on Pinterest.
As with anything on Pinterest, some recipes are great while others are epic fails. My favorite hilarious moments are when I make a new recipe and my husband says “Is this from Pinterest?” which is usually code for “Why is this so gross/weird/not appealing?”
The thing is that to stay motivated with any diet that requires you staying away from certain foods, you have to keep things interesting!
Seek out new recipes often to keep you on track – and hope they’re as delicious as they look!
4. Create menu plans for busy times.
Staying organized is the easiest way to stick with this diet. Start by planning out your menus in advance (or have someone do it for you).
When you have an intention for what you will make, you can pick up the ingredients for those meals from the grocery store, and have everything on hand to make meals that work for this diet.
When the ingredients and foods are available, you’ll be that much more likely to make them so you don’t waste ingredients, making it just a little easier to stick with this diet.
You can take it a step further and make freezer meals, prep ingredients ahead, and menu plan for a month or even a quarter out.
5. Surround yourself with others who eat the same way you do.
Sometimes it’s hard to find like-minded people, but even connecting with a few other women to talk to about what’s going on with you, share recipe ideas or ingredient swaps makes you realize you’re not alone in this.
I’ve found having a community surrounding me has helped me feel like I can do this and not feel like I’m going without.
If you can’t find anyone locally, follow a few gluten-free dairy-free bloggers (like me!) who are doing this alongside you.
I hope these tips help answer this big question of how to stay motivated and consistent living a gluten-free dairy-free lifestyle.