A Gluten Free Diet-Where to Start?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Embarking on a gluten free journey can be a daunting adventure.
If you're like I was, you had SO many questions and didn't know where to start. That's what this post is for (thanks to the suggestion of a friend). :)

If you think you (or a family member) may have Celiac Disease, or even just gluten sensitivity, GET TESTED! This can save you a lot of time and frustration.

If the test comes back positive, breath. You, or your loved one, will be ok.

Find out what you can eat.
Eliminate what you can't eat.

Foods you CAN eat:
I'm just going to start here with a basic list (I don't want to get TOO crazy on you).

All fruits
All vegetables
Meats (unseasoned-seasoning is often where gluten can hide)
Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
Certain grains (gluten free oats, millet, teff, sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat)

Foods to be careful about:
Seasonings-Often anything "mixed," such as garlic salt, can contain gluten to prevent caking. I learned this one the hard way, after many months of unknowingly "poisoning" myself. Once I learned about the contamination, I promptly went out and bought garlic powder and salt. Now I just mix the two.
Dressings & Sauces-Again, you never know what could be added to these, so you always want to read the label, call the company, or talk to the restaurant manager to double check that something is safe.
Anything packaged-I know this is hard, really hard, but it's super important. There are so many products that may seem safe, but in reality that may contain gluten. Check that ice cream container, that frozen meal, and your lunch meat. Those are the top three packaged items that come to my mind that may be dangerous. I always check and double check labels just to be safe.

Foods to AVOID:
Regular Oats (often processed in the same facility as wheat)
Any wheat/flour containing products

***If you're just starting out on a gluten free diet, again remember to breathe. This is a journey, and while it can often be frustrating, it will get easier.

Hopefully this list helped! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Two last tools to help you:

1. A few grocery stores with gluten free lists-Albertsons, Fresh and Easy, and Trader Joes. Did I miss any?

2. Som great places to eat out at-BJs Brewhouse, PF Chang's, Outback Steakhouse, In-N-Out, Panera Bread. Again, what did I miss?
*Just make sure you ask to speak to a manager, so that they will insure your food order is safe for you to eat. I know it's hard and awkward, but it's important to speak up about your health. Also, at In-N-Out if you tell them you have an allergy to the bread, they'll mare your burger as an allergy burger and keep it safe for you! Our store cooks it on a separate grill! :)

***As always, make sure you check and double check everything. These are some tips that I've found to be helpful, but always make sure you check for yourself as things are constantly changing,

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  1. You are so wise. Love all of this. It is so helpful for someone just starting out and those who have knowingly had it for years, but struggle. Love you!


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