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Blog posts of '2016' 'June'

4 Tips to Remember When Going on a Gluten Free Diet

Transitioning to a gluten-free diet, whether it be due to an intolerance or celiac disease diagnosis, is a huge life change. While many of the changes you make in this process revolve around the food you purchase and the restaurants you visit, there are also several emotional effects—and this is sometimes the hardest part.

Remind Yourself: This is Your Health

When going through a major dietary transition, you have a lot of thoughts wrestling around in your head. Will it really matter if I cheat just this one time? Did I feel that sick last time I ate gluten?

With these pesky questions circling around in your mind, it’s important to remind yourself why you made this change in your diet. The odds are that you will be continually asked by friends, family and co-workers, “What would a piece of bread really do?” Or, “Does cross-contamination really affect you that much?” Don’t let these skeptical questions affect your commitment to the diet—especially because it’s your health. No one wants to feel sick day in and day out, so ignore the haters and do you.

When I’m asked these types of questions, my response usually highlights the fact that I don’t know the extent of what would happen if I ate a crumb of gluten today, but I certainly don’t want to find out!

Prepare for Social Interactions

Social outings are often the most difficult part of going gluten free. Packing your lunch or making dinner at home is easy as pie because you’re in control. However, when it comes time to grab food with friends after work, or go on a business lunch, you must rely on someone else’s plans and suggestions.

Typically when going to an event of any kind, I mentally prepare myself to not be able to eat anything. I even pack food to eat before the event (shout-out to my favorite gluten-free bars, Larabar and KIND Snacks!). This has prevented several hangry social interactions! And when there is food you can eat at an event, it’s more of a bonus than an expectation!

If you’re planning dinner or lunch with a group of friends or coworkers, I find it best to inform them of where you can go right off the bat. Don’t wait around and hope that they choose a restaurant with a gluten-free menu. You can download the Find Me Gluten Free app for a list of places, based on geographic location, that offer gluten-free accommodations so you can give a full list of options to your friends. If you can’t agree on a place, be sure to eat ahead of time.

Focus on the Positives of the Gluten-Free Diet

One of the greatest parts about going gluten free is how it makes you grow as a person. While it may seem like the only thing you’re changing is your diet, the fact that you’re branching out, trying new foods—and maybe even learning how to cook—has a larger impact on your life than you first realize.

Before I went gluten free, I was the pickiest eater you’ll ever meet. In fact, I kind of ate like a kindergartener! Being gluten free forced me to try new foods—many of which were outside of my comfort zone. I was also forced to learn how to find new recipes and cook for myself, something that I look forward to doing today. And if you follow my blog, you’ll see that the recipes I whip up are in no way boring—like these blueberry and lemon energy bites, or quinoa pizza bites. YUM!

Being gluten free has actually brought more excitement into my life and I’m much more confident in the kitchen. Who would have thunk!

Be Thankful

Do you understand how awesome it is that a simple change in diet is able to solve your health issues? While it is something that affects our everyday lives, we are extremely lucky to be able to treat ourselves with a diet rather than medication, surgery or other measures.

Are you at the beginning of your gluten-free journey? What are the biggest roadblocks you’re experiencing? Reach out to me on social media @gfreelaura and share your story, ask questions, or just simply grow your gluten-free support network. I’m more than happy to help—or point you in the direction of a few tasty gluten-free products or recipes!

After going gluten free in 2009, Laura found that many answers related to the gluten-free diet—and the journey one takes when on it—are found in the online community. She started her blog, G-Free Laura (www.gfreelaura.com) in 2011, focusing on sharing gluten-free lifestyle tips, product reviews and recipes. Today, Laura focuses on sharing healthy gluten-free recipes, as well as the gluten-free journey that led her to a more balanced, whole foods diet—with the exception of her gluten-free pizza obsession! 

Can a (Fitness) Community Impact Your Results?

Do you ever find it difficult to stay motivated with your workout goals? Scrolling through Pinterest, you come across a number of different workout ideas and plans you can do yourself at home or at the gym. The only problem is two days in and you've lost your motivation, are bored, and find yourself not enjoying the plan you were once so excited about. We've all been there. It isn't that you don't love working out, it's that there's little encouragement around you, and no one to guide you to push yourself to do your best. I myself make it a goal to workout five to six days out of the week. It doesn't always happen, but I try my best. I like to mix it up to keep things fresh and fun. I enjoy running, power walking, pilates, lifting, yoga, and of course Pure Barre. As a Pure Barre instructor and student, I've noticed the impact a community can have on one's fitness journey, including my own. 

Our Pure Barre team recently hosted a class on the rooftop of Hensville in downtown Toledo. We couldn't have asked for a better evening. It was a balmy 80 degrees, the sun was shining, and the roof was filled with new and current clients. As the awesome ladies and gents (yes, guys take class too) began filing in, I looked around and saw something unique. It's something I haven't found in my gym, working out by myself, or the mindset I seem to have before kicking off an hour long (amazing but challenging) workout. Everyone was smiling, friends were catching up, and people showed excitement for the workout they were getting ready to tackle. I thought to myself, this is what a community can do for your health and fitness goals. You bring current friends, make new friends, hold each other accountable, and sweat it out together! It becomes an enviroment that takes you away from the stresses of the day, makes you smile, and leaves you feeling accomplish and fufilled. 

As if having your Pure Barre friends by your side wasn't enough, joining a community like Pure Barre gives you the ability to let someone lead and encourage you throughout your workout. You don't have to think or plan what you're doing, and being as busy as you are, it's a relief! You walk in, join your friends, and let the instructor take you away! Just as you get to the most challenging work and you want to stop, the instructor is there encouraging you on and your friends' energy  is right next to you, helping you push through! It's a sweat sesh that comes with a whole lotta' love! 

A community means to have a group of people who share a similar interest. Finding a fitness community can make a huge impact in the way you look and feel, because you're all working towards a common goal. So, maybe you're stuck in your fitness journey. You don't feel motivated to get up early, go after work, or maybe you just aren't sure of where to begin. This is where I encourage you to join a create a community of your own. A positive environment with a group of people all working toward a healthier and fit lifestyle. So, how do you find a fitness community? 

A community can make a powerful impact on your fitness goals. It could be the missing link toward reaching the results you've been searching for! For more information on Pure Barre head to http://purebarre.com/oh-toledo/. A very special thank you to Andrew Weber Photography for providing the photos for this post. Please check out his work at http://andrewjweber.com/blog/.