Going Gluten Free - How To Get Started (Part 1)

I have had quite a few people ask me how to get started eating gluten free. I am going to be honest, it isn't easy! There are so many things that have gluten in them, and many that you don't realize until you start reading labels! It does get easier though, a lot easier! And it is completely worth it.

The first thing that you need to determine is whether you are losing the wheat just to be healthy/lose weight or if you have an actual problem with wheat. There are some who say that wheat has an adverse effect on everyone, I don't know if that is true, all that I know is that it has an adverse effect on ME. If you have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you need to be extra vigilant in avoiding wheat. Eating even a small amount of wheat can cause whatever problems that went away to flare back up. Even if you have no issue with gluten, you will probably see some benefit in giving it up. Most people lose weight, or are at least less bloated.

If you are avoiding gluten, you should obviously avoid traditional bread and pasta, but what else? Wheat, barley, and rye are the main things to look out for. Some people with Celiac disease don't do well with oats either. I suggest cutting out Oats, and then adding them back in later to see what happens. Gluten free oats (make sure to check, most are not certified gluten free) are fine for most. BEER is also out, unless it is labeled gluten free. So what CAN you eat? I will try to briefly cover what you can eat without worrying, and what you should check.

Gluten free at the grocery store:

You can have meat! Make sure that there aren't any additives. The best thing you can do is to make things yourself. If you don't have time to cook from scratch, check labels. The more processed that a food is, the more likely it is to contain gluten. Processed foods are very unhealthy anyway, so you will really be doing yourself a favor by cutting them out. Most meat that you buy should be fine, always check labels on hot dogs, pepperoni, lunch meat, etc, but you will definitely be able to find gluten free versions. Be very careful with beef jerky, most soy sauces contain gluten (don't worry, not all of them do) and it will be in most brands of beef jerky. There are a few brands that are gluten free, but you will need to check. Old Wisconsin is a good one that last I checked was gluten free.

Eat your fruits and vegetables! Fruits and veggies are naturally gluten free. Nuts and seeds are fine
too. Check the label of anything that comes in a package. If you are going gluten free, you should be doing this anyway. Some sauces that come with fruit or veggie packs may not be gluten free. The fruits and veggies themselves always will be.

Dairy and eggs are safe. A rare example would be something like rye cheese. Also be sure to check yogurt and ice cream that have added ingredients. Anything with cookies or any kind of baked product will likely contain gluten.

Rice and quinoa are great for people who have gluten issues. There are other grains that are fine too, but these are the most common. On a side note, I bought quinoa flour to make tortilla and they were disgusting. I am trying to talk myself into trying to make something else with it. Again, if it comes in a package, check the label. Corn products may be fine. Some people have reactions to corn and some don't. As far as cornbread goes, unless you make yourself it probably contains gluten. I learned that the had way.

Most stores have a gluten free section and there will be lots of products that are rice or corn based. If you are trying to avoid GMOs, go with rice when you can. Organic corn products or products that are labeled GMO free are the exceptions. Many gluten free brands are GMO free. The Asian section should have rice noodles and crackers, but be careful with soy sauce!! The regular Kikkoman is NOT gluten free, La Choy is. Bragg's Liquid Aminos is another great soy sauce replacement (and GMO free) if you feel like spending a little more.

Always check condiments to make sure they are gluten free. If one particular brand isn't, there is probably another that is.

Last but not least you CAN have wine, and liquor. From what I understand the distillation process gets rid of gluten, even if the liquor is distilled from grains. I almost mentioned gluten free beer, I'm not sure how easy it is to find, but I know it's out there.

This is just a short non-comprehensive list of what is generally okay to eat on a gluten free diet. I am going to make a completely separate post about going out to eat. Going out to eat is a completely different ball game and really needs it's own post. I have said it before but I will say it again, the best thing that you can do is to check labels! I hope this is a little bit helpful. Please follow the blog if you like these series, there will be a lot more coming soon! If there is anything in particular that you would like to see, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message!



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