So, what is a gluten-free diet?
Usually, it’s when someone has coeliac disease or non-coeliac gluten sensitivities – but it can also be part of treatment if someone is experiencing on-going upsets. A GF diet basically involves cutting out foods that contain the protein gluten, including wheat, rye, contaminated oats and barley.
Is going gluten-free difficult?
It’s not as big a deal as it seems – just a matter of forming a few new habits. For example, it’s important for a coeliac to be aware of cross contamination: so little things like having your own jar of peanut butter will ensure no crumbs can creep in. So many other people are on gluten-free diets too, so you’re not alone.
What are your favourite pre-cookable recipe and GF substitute ingredients?
The basil crusted salmon recipe that I created for the app, for sure. It is deliciously fresh, and honestly even better the next day. Salmon and macadamia nuts are high in unsaturated healthful fats and protein, leaving you feeling full for hours.
I love naturally GF grains like quinoa and brown rice, but GF products have come a long way: staples like pulse pasta and edamame spaghetti are more available now, which are tasty and higher in fibre and protein compared to regular wheat pasta. They also fill you up for longer.
If you’re on both a GF and a plant-based diet, here are some simple substitutes to adapt our GF plans.
Chicken, turkey, beef or mince = textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Chicken breast or steak = tofu or tempeh
Cheese = nutritional yeast
Dairy based yoghurts = soy-based yoghurt (high protein), or coconut/almond yoghurt (low protein)
Regular protein powder = vegan and plant-based protein powders – look out for hemp, pea and peanut protein.
How do you go about putting gluten-free plans together, like the ones you’ve made for the Tammy Fit app?
What’s really important to me is that a GF meal plan should be just as nutritionally balanced as a regular meal plan would be: including lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals as well as making it flavoursome and delicious.
Do you have any other tips for people starting out on a new meal plan?
I like to remind people that they actually can’t bugger it up. There is no finish line to improving your health. Every day you can try harder and if you fall – you get back up. I like the teeth-brushing analogy: If you forget to brush your teeth one night, you don’t wait until Monday to brush them again (at least I hope not!). You brush them as soon as you can, and get on with it, right?
That’s so true. Thanks so much for breaking that down, Chelsea – it's great to hear it from an expert. We are so ready for a basil crusted salmon dinner right now.
It’s in week one, so you won’t have to wait long. ☺️