No one ever said that going gluten-free was easy, but the fact is: if you’re gluten-intolerant, the benefits of this free-from diet speak for themselves. After all, there’s no need to experience bloating, tiredness, tummy troubles and mood swings if you don’t have to!
That being said, it’s easy to feel disheartened about cutting out bagels, cakes, biscuits and other treats that we previously took for granted. If you’re struggling, take heart from some of our favourite gluten-free celebs whose stories and advice will help you on your way…
Novak Djokovic – Gluten and Dairy-free Tennis Champion
After years of suffering energy crashes during crucial tennis matches, Novak Djokovic was diagnosed with a strong intolerance to gluten and dairy. His symptoms were attributed to the high level of toxins in his system.
Following the diagnosis, Djokovic adopted a radical lifestyle overhaul and gluten-free diet. Just one year later, he was named the world’s number one tennis player. He also “felt lighter, more energetic and slept better than he had ever done.”
Djokovic’s diet is based around fresh fruit and vegetables, white meat, fish, seeds, chickpeas, pulses such as lentils and healthy oils. He’s entirely dedicated and always tries to cook his own food to ensure that he controls what goes into it.
Our advice is to always prepare gluten-free food to take with you when you travel, to make sure you’re not tempted to snack on foods that are bad for you. (We’ve all been there, right?!)
Learn from Gluten-free Guru, Gwyneth Paltrow
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is famous for her healthy lifestyle, and the gluten-free guru offers some fabulous tips, particularly with respect to how to satisfy cravings. She suggests cooking banana bread with coconut flour and no added sugar for a sweet treat or rice cakes with hummus for a filling snack. If the thought of giving up pasta leaves you reeling, try her gluten-free recipe of brown rice fusilli with tuna, olives and fried capers.
Ryan Philippe Says “Take Control!”
We also like actor Ryan Philippe’s take on things, when he talked about dealing with the consequences of eating foods containing gluten even after he recognised his intolerance:
“You just learn,” said Phillippe. “Do you want the enjoyment but then have to deal with the reaction from your body?”
Try to think about going gluten-free in this context, as a way of taking control of your body and the chance to explore an abundance of foods that you may not have tried otherwise. Philippe also explained how, since his diagnosis, he has learnt to cook and regularly cooks homemade meals. He’s recognised that it’s simply not worth eating badly and suffering for it.
Chelsea Clinton’s Gluten-free Wedding Cake
While going gluten-free has never previously been seen as ‘sexy’ and some of us find it embarrassing to talk about our allergies or intolerances, celebrities are helping to change that. As a sufferer of coeliac disease, Chelsea Clinton chose a gluten-free wedding cake for her 2010 nuptials and a wedding breakfast menu tailored entirely to her specific food needs. She shows us how to hold our head up high and always put our health first.
The icing on the cake for Emmy Rossum
Any gluten-free dieter will know that the most awkward moments are those times when people ask, “Can’t you cheat just this once?” Emmy Rossum is another inspirational sufferer of celiac disease; the Shameless actress declined a birthday cupcake given to her on MTV due to the gluten content. If a Hollywood actress can turn down a cupcake on television without feeling ashamed then you can turn down the doughnuts being passed around the office!
While many people dismiss free-from diets as a ‘fad’, you should never feel as if you need to defend yourself and the habits you need to adopt to keep yourself healthy. A large part of going gluten-free is the willpower and the determination to keep reminding yourself that it is fundamental to your health.
(By the way – Emmy Rossum ate the icing on the cake, inadvertently giving us a great motto for the gluten-free life – to make the most of what we have.)
Even Gluten-free People Deserve a Treat Once in a While…
Finally, it’s crucial to recognise that gluten-free eaters deserve a treat just as much as the next person.
Actress Zooey Deschanel swears by her favourite New York City bakery for gluten-, egg- and dairy-free desserts, and we believe that – on this side of the pond – Pudology’d gluten- and dairy-free puddings should be everybody’s gluten-free treats of choice!