4 Superpowers Anyone Can Develop After Going Gluten Free

Whether you’re eating gluten free for celiac disease, gluten intolerance or another medical condition, sticking to a strict gluten free diet can be challenging. As my regular readers know, however, I also try to put a fun spin on celiac disease and focus on benefits of going gluten free...which is where today’s post comes in. 

4 Superpowers Anyone Can Develop After Going Gluten Free

Today, I’m sharing four “superpowers” that anyone can get after following a gluten free diet (or avoiding other food allergies) for an extended period of time. So if you’re feeling a little frustrated with the extra precautions you have to take while living with celiac disease, recently needed to start a gluten free diet or know someone who is struggling to go gluten free, I hope this post makes you smile and helps you realize just how super you - or your loved one - really is!

1. Eagle eyes that scan every label and paragraph of fine print. 

One of the biggest lifestyle changes I had to make after my celiac disease diagnosis was actually taking the time to read food labels. I rarely grocery shopped, not to mention cooked, before going gluten free, and nutrition labels didn’t use to matter to me. Once I had to start a gluten free diet, though, it was imperative to make sure that everything I bought was celiac safe. 

Ever since the FDA released new requirements for products labeled “gluten free” back in 2013, it has gotten easier to locate safe products, especially if you shop in grocery stores with clear gluten free labels, like Sprouts Farmers Market and some Walmarts. I can also attest that this superpower grows stronger the longer you’re gluten free, and you’ll soon be able to grocery shop just as quickly as you used to. 

4 Superpowers Anyone Can Develop After Going Gluten Free

If you’re still honing this superpower and don’t quite understand what to look for, you can check out this post for more information on gluten free labels. Combine your eagle eyes with an awareness of celiac controversies - like the cross contamination of “gluten free” Cheerios - and you’ll be able to read food labels with a healthy dose of skepticism and slowly discover which gluten free food products (for instance, I watch out for oat flour because I can’t tolerate even gluten free oats in large quantities) fuel with your body best. Starting a gluten free diet can be challenging, but your eyes will be well trained before you know it!

2. The bottomless snack bag that even Mary Poppins would envy. 

If you need to eat gluten free or have food allergies, one of the worst things to happen (besides accidental ingestion) is getting hangry without any safe snack options nearby. That's why, although allergy friendly and gluten free snacks are becoming easier to find in a variety of places, I rarely leave my house without at least one snack stuffed in my bag, just in case. In fact, during college, my roommates often joked that if the zombie apocalypse hit, everyone should run to my dorm because mine had the most food and snacks. 

4 Superpowers Anyone Can Develop After Going Gluten Free

While it's not necessarily true that every person with celiac disease or food allergies travels with copious amounts of snacks, I think it’s a pretty common superpower among people with dietary restrictions who like to be prepared for anything. And let’s be honest...when gluten free snacks are as delicious as homemade energy balls, vegan protein bars and secretly high protein cookies, who wouldn’t want to boast some snack bag swag? 

3. The culinary magic touch that can turn gluten free ingredients into meals even gluten-eaters love. 

This is perhaps the hardest superpower to develop but once you’ve nailed a few gluten free dishes, this celiac superpower is also the most rewarding. As I’ve shared in earlier posts, before my celiac disease diagnosis, I could barely cook boxed Mac and cheese and a baked potato. Now I can whip up gluten free pizza from scratch (when this busy gal has the time, anyway!) and I enjoy cooking 99% of all of my meals. 

At least in my experience, when your food choices decrease - like when you start a gluten free diet - your creativity in the kitchen often increases in response. Since going gluten free, I've worked with various companies that emerged from a parent's desire to help their child thrive with dietary limitations. Not to mention that there are countless bloggers or foodies like me who've learned to love food because of a medical diagnosis!

4 Superpowers Anyone Can Develop After Going Gluten Free

Honing this superpower doesn't mean that you have to become a five-star chef either. You might start by eating naturally gluten free meals (like potatoes, veggies and meat or plant based protein, etc) before beginning to follow gluten free recipes in cookbooks or found online (like my recipes!). When you do decide to venture into the gluten free grocery aisle, I recommend doing a little research ahead of time to identify brands that most people seem to like. Some of my favorite gluten free brands include Canyon Bakehouse, BFree Foods, Enjoy Life Foods, Pamela’s, Namaste Foods, The Good Scone, and the companies I’ve listed here

The more you cook and the more gluten free "favorite products" you find, the more comfortable you'll start feeling with your new diet. Before you know it, you’ll be blowing guests away with how delicious (and simple) eating gluten free can be! 

4. Feeling like Superman freed of his kryptonite: strong, happy and healthy! 

The best superpower that a gluten free diet can offer those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a medical need to avoid gluten, though, is how good you can feel.

As I’ve shared in posts like this one, going gluten free wasn’t enough for me to heal with celiac disease and it took me a lot longer than “normal” to feel strong and healthy on a gluten free diet. I also don’t believe that everyone should go gluten free; in my (totally medically unqualified) opinion, if your system can handle gluten just fine, starting a gluten free diet is probably not the right choice for you...especially if you only want to go gluten free to lose weight

4 Superpowers Anyone Can Develop After Going Gluten Free

Nonetheless, going gluten free has honestly transformed my quality of life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia. Now that my system has healed and I know what to eat on a gluten free diet with relative ease, I have energy (on most days, anyway) and I feel strong. I am also fortunate that going gluten free ended up improving my fibromyalgia pain

For people with celiac disease, the gluten free diet is the only treatment available today. When you first learn you have celiac disease, it’s normal to feel angry, scared or crushed at the idea of giving up wheat for the rest of your life (since celiac disease is a chronic illness that you can’t “grow out of”). However, a gluten free diet can also allow people with celiac disease to thrive and chase their dreams...and considering that many people with celiac disease experience months or years of debilitating symptoms before being properly diagnosed, feeling healthy with a chronic illness is certainly one heck of an epic superpower. 

The Bottom Line 

Living with celiac disease or food allergies is certainly not always a “super” experience. There are awkward first dates where you can’t kiss your date without asking them to brush their teeth first. There are long days when you really wish you could just grab and eat whatever you wanted, just like everyone else seems to. Especially when you’re first diagnosed, there might even be periods of grief over your old life and old favorite foods. 

4 Superpowers Anyone Can Develop After Going Gluten Free

As this blog post hopefully emphasizes, though, there are surprise blessings that come with eating gluten free for celiac disease or other medical reasons. Who knows? As you learn how to navigate eating gluten free and educating others on your condition, you might even become a real superhero to people fighting the same health challenges as you. 
What could be more super than that? 

Do you have any "superpowers" from your diet or chronic illness? Tell me in the comments!


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