New to Gluten-Free: Asking for Support
It can be difficult to ask for support from loved ones when you aren’t sure what will actually be helpful. Depending on your specific situation (your age, relationship status, life stage, etc.), it may be helpful to confide in just one support person or it may be more helpful to build an entire gluten-free support network for yourself.
If you are lucky enough to have loved ones eager to help you during your transition to gluten-free living, here are a few ways they may be able to provide support:
Having someone to process your feelings about transitioning to gluten-free living can be enormously helpful, especially at the beginning. Remind your loved one that it is more helpful, at least at first, to have someone just listen to your frustrations or worries. After you work through these feelings, it will be easier for you to find solutions.
When you feel ready to implement some gluten-free problem-solving, it may be helpful to partner with a loved one to research answers for your gluten-free questions or concerns. If you tackle the research together, you can talk through which solutions may best fit your current lifestyle as well as how to implement those solutions into your daily routine.
Check out this wonderful resource shared by Reader Emily. Thanks, Emily!
Meal Plan and/or Grocery Shop
Figuring out what to eat and how to shop for groceries can feel quite daunting at first. Having someone to help brainstorm and experiment with ideas for preparing gluten-free meals can make this process much easier (and maybe even enjoyable).
Learn to Cook
If you’re not experienced with cooking, it may be a great time to learn! Due to gluten contamination concerns, cooking classes may not be as helpful as spending time watching YouTube videos with a friend in your own (gluten-free) kitchen. Bonus points if your friend is also your roommate or spouse.
For “an extensive list of gluten free recipes and resources,” check out this helpful resource recommended by Reader Jessica. Thanks, Jessica!
Ask for help focusing on other activities, especially if you are feeling depressed or are actively grieving your old lifestyle. Finding new hobbies or using your newfound health to rediscover a favorite pastime may be exactly what you need to transition to gluten-free living as enthusiastically as possible.
Attend Support Group
Meeting other people who are also living gluten-free is one of the most helpful things you can do at the beginning of your transition to living gluten-free. It can feel awkward or scary to attend a gluten-free support group, so enlisting the help of a loved one may help ease your anxiety. It may also be helpful to join an online community for real-time support as gluten-free questions arise.