How to Go Gluten Free

Yesterday, I explained why I’m going gluten free. It’s all about trying to reduce my joint pain by reducing the inflammation throughout my body.

This was a spontaneous decision, the result of following advice from a friend. I walked away from that conversation and have avoided gluten ever since.

You know, for a whole 4 days now.how to go gluten free

I had only a vague notion of what gluten-free even meant until I started googling after church on Sunday. I learned that I would need to avoid wheat, rye, barley, and probably oats, and all products made with them.

I felt sort of adrift at first, but then started brainstorming what I would actually be able to eat. There’s a lot.

I know a lot of people who are gluten free, so I asked them for their best advice. Here’s what they said:

How to Go Gluten Free (8 tips from people who’ve done it)

  1. “Plan to cook everything from scratch as many prepared and convenience foods contain gluten.” from Gluten Free Girl
  2. “Learn to identify what you consume that has gluten in it. Find ways to eliminate and make gluten free substitutions.” from Kelly Whalen
  3. “Print out a list of ingredients to look for in packaged products.” Read labels religiously.  from Kelly Whalen
  4. “Don’t be an idiot and skip getting Udi’s gluten free stuff. I finally got some of their cinnamon raisin bread and LOVE IT.” from Cecily Kellogg
  5. “Any carbs can increase inflammation, so I’d recommend that you cut sugar and all processed carbs for a few weeks. I wouldn’t add in the gluten free substitutes until 2 or 3 weeks into a gluten elimination.”  from Heather Solos
  6. “Set yourself up for success by planning meals and snacks in advance.” from Jo-Lynne Shane for Udi’s Gluten Free
  7. “Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, instead find some things that you can eat. Find restaurants that you enjoy. Find flours that work as an excellent substitute. Stock your home with treats for those times, those inevitable times, where you wish you could have a gluten treat {I’m thinking the Udi’s Chocolate Muffins.} You would be surprised at how much food is gluten free and what is available.” from Rachel Martin
  8. If you don’t know whether something is gluten free, call. And, by the way, I make it a point to THANK companies who go the extra mile to clearly label their items gluten free. If I see that label on a product I will buy it because I know it is certified gluten free and safe. Expect to pay more.” from Rachel Martin
  9. “Gluten is the glue that makes wheat stick together, so imagine what it is doing inside of your body? It’s really kind of gross to think about.”  from Jessica Cohen
  10. “Be on the lookout for hidden gluten, especially in sauces (soy sauce) and candies (licorice).” from Jessica Cohen
  11. “The hardest part is the beginning when you clean your cupboards and buy your first groceries. After that, you will figure out it isn’t very hard because there is so much available and so many places to get recipes. Even meal planners like onceamonth mom and many others have added gluten free recipes and plans.” from Karen
  12. “They make so many great gluten free pastas, breads, etc. that you won’t even feel like you’re giving anything up.” from Amy Metherell

12+ Recipes for Going Gluten Free

I feel like I have a lot of food options lying out ahead of me. Granted, most of my desserts are out, as are regular pasta, bread, and pizza crust, but I can adjust.

I just ordered this gluten-free flour blend on Amazon, so we’ll start using that in a couple of weeks (per Heather’s suggestion, above).

Here are some awesome recipes I found while researching:

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© 2012 – 2014, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. says

    FYI – For the holidays a great snack is Chex Mix. Most Chex cereals are gluten-free now and lots of their recipes are already gluten-free or can be easily tweaked to be gluten-free.

  2. says

    Wonderful information, because I’ve often wondered but haven’t done the research and you have done so much of it for me! Plus, I didn’t realize it could help eliminate joint pain. Thanks for the recipe round-up!

  3. says

    Hope it makes you feel better! My son has a wheat allergy, so we have done gluten-free in our house for two years … myself since February. I have lost 13 pounds since then without even trying.

    You mentioned restaurants, and don’t be shy to ask if a restaurant has a gluten-free menu because many do, or ask to speak to a chef or kitchen manager.

  4. Jami says

    After talking with my EDS specialist, who also has EDS and celiac disease like myself, there is at least one thing I would like to mention, I have also done a lot of research on this as well. Just because it says Gluten Free does not mean it is entirely. Look at all of the ingredients and also where it was made. If it was made where other wheat products are made that is called cross-contamination and can hurt someone who has celiac disease. So when you say if it says gluten free you buy it. Read the label a bit harder. Some companies also slap gluten free on things that aren’t completely gluten free so people will buy their product. Read before you buy.

    Other than that I do like your comments. It is helpful.

  5. gabby says

    Going gluten free is not just about not eating wheat flour bread rye barley oats and so on…but I have stage 3 celiac disease…have been gluten free for 2 years or so I thought. ..many many companies say gluten free on the package but when you read the ingredients its a whole different ballgame…also I was still getting severely sick and being hospitalized but hadn’t eaten anything. So…my gut doc has now g it me checking and changing my shampoos & all hair products lotions toothpaste which most had ingredients I shouldn’t be absorbing thru mouth skin hair etc..the list goes on and on. Just to do it cuz ya wanna is one thing but being so sick and bloated or unable to leave your home.. but going gluten free so you can take care of your life is a whole different thing. Its just not this simole…I only wish.

    • says

      It sounds like you have a very extreme case, Gabby. I’m so sorry that you’re going through all that.

      For most people with a sensitivity, I think eliminating the major sources of gluten is enough. For me, eliminating the gluten from my diet eliminates my arthritis and digestive symptoms. I can still play with Play Doh and have never had to worry about skincare products or anything. I know that’s not the case for everyone, but for most, it works.

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