(BPT) - Whether you have been gluten free for years or are just starting out, it's a lifestyle rife with challenges. From cardboard-tasting foods to limited choices at social gatherings, a gluten-free lifestyle can make you feel left out and stuck with unappetizing options.
'A gluten-free lifestyle doesn't have to be a life sentence of boring, bland food,' says Laura Fuentes, of MOMables.com and author of 'The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet' and 'The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet.' 'By following a few simple suggestions, you can enjoy your meals both at home and at parties, without worry.'
With just a few simple tips, you can add a feeling of 'gluten freedom' to your gluten-free lifestyle.
* Make simple ingredient swaps. Changing out a few gluten-heavy ingredients can turn retired recipes into updated favorites. Substitute flour tortillas for Boston bib lettuce leaves or swap in grated steamed cauliflower instead of couscous.
* Find gluten-free meals everyone will enjoy. 'After switching to a gluten-free diet, many families find it challenging to find convenient foods that everyone likes - especially social and celebratory foods like pizza,' says Fuentes, a mother of one child with a gluten intolerance and two without. 'Rather than making different pizzas for different diets, I serve everyone Freschetta Gluten Free pizza. It's a delicious, thin-crust alternative that my family loves.'
* Incorporate snack prep into your weekly routine. Choose colorful, nutritious foods such as dipped apples, fruit skewers, popcorn and veggies with dip. Store snacks in clear containers and keep them at the front of your fridge or cupboard. Easy access makes gluten-free snacking a breeze and encourages you to eat healthier, since you have to think twice before reaching for chips or sweets.
* Experiment with new flavors and dishes. 'Pizza night is a great time to expand your palate. Top gluten free pizza crust with adventurous choices like pesto and chicken or mushrooms and caramelized onions,' said Fuentes. 'Or, rather than searching for new gluten-free recipes, seek out recipes with naturally gluten-free ingredients like fish, vegetables and rice.'
* Add texture with tasty alternatives. Fried and baked chicken are still possible by exchanging breadcrumbs for ground rice cereal. Instead of skipping the crunch of croutons on your salad, add lightly toasted almonds, pecans or walnuts. And try plantain chips in place of crackers - they're delicious and just as crunchy.
Incorporate these ideas into your everyday eating habits and your gluten-free lifestyle will be rich with flavors and textures, while still ensuring your food is safe and delicious.
To learn more about Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza and to find a store near you, visit http://www.freschetta.com/where-to-buy.htm.