When you adopt a gluten-free diet as a way of life, you can expect your life to change in several ways, one of which is the area of planning and preparation (P & P). Once largely taken for granted, regular activities of daily life such as eating, grocery shopping, dining out, and traveling now take on an element of premeditation. How much P & P gluten-free living will demand from you depends on your individual lifestyle. But you can expect to spend more time on it in the beginning, until you adjust and establish various routines.
Shopping becomes more methodical and not as spontaneous. Expect to give more thought to your grocery list than you ever did before, at least until you get the hang of finding what you can eat, planning your meals, finding recipes, and regularly purchasing the same products you like. You’ll often linger in grocery aisles longer than you used to when reading labels. But on the bright side, your shopping excursions can become less time-consuming as you avoid certain aisles and head straight for those that provide what you need.
Regardless of experience, traveling will always require a fair amount of planning for all gluten-free lifers. From eating before going on a trip to bringing foods or snacks with you to researching restaurants in advance and ordering special meals on airplanes, traveling gluten-free takes on a new sense of time and personal responsibility.
Expect P & P to be bumped up several notches during the holidays, when socializing, and when letting family and friends know in advance how they can cook and bake for you when you visit.
In terms of time commitment, you can expect to spend hundreds of P & P hours over the course of your gluten-free life. But your health and happiness are worth it!