1. Health Basics– Find out what your sensitivity level is. Get tested for Celiac. Don’t treat the symptom, treat the source. But here’s the tricky part, in order to find out if you have celiac, you have to have been eating gluten before taking the test. That’s why it’s so important to get a test done before you start your GF diet. You don’t want a misdiagnoses or a false-negative result.The longer you’ve eaten gluten free, the higher the risk of a false negative.
** More info on health and GF living on the Udis GF forum.
2. Shop Smart and READ ingredients– Look for the Gluten Free labels or ask for a gluten free shopping list at your health food store. I know some grocery stores provide labels on aisle while others don’t. If your store does not specify the gluten free products, be sure to READ the ingredient labels. Yes, it will take longer and is more tedious, but it’s worth it.
- Shop the perimeters- focus on naturally GF foods like fruit, vegetables, organic meats, eggs, fish, etc.
- Label savvy- Know that WHEAT FREE is not GLUTEN FREE. So if you are highly sensitive to gluten or have celiac, wheat free is not safe. It literally just means it free of a wheat germ, etc. Barley and cross contaminated oats/grains are not gluten free but can be labeled wheat free. Make sense? READ READ READ. List of GF ingredients HERE.
FACT: Buckwheat is not wheat. It’s actually a fruit seed, so it’s gluten free. I know, kinda confusing.
- NOTE—> “A product labeled gluten free will have to contain fewer than 20 parts per million gluten. This will apply to oats; gluten-free foods made using wheat starch and wheat starch hydrolysates such as wheat-based maltodextrin, wheat-based dextrin, and wheat-based glucose syrup; and foods made using naturally gluten-free ingredients that may contain gluten through cross-contamination.” –
3. In the Kitchen- Start off buying pre-made gluten free flours. This will help you get used to cooking/baking with them first. Read what’s in them. Then later on you can make your own flour mixes. Also, invest in a good mixer, vitamix, or food processor.
- Buy GF flour mixes on iHERB – Look for ones that have WHOLE GRAIN ingredients. Check them out here.
- Make your own bread crumbs from dried out GF bread.
- Not eating grains? Stick with coconut, chickpea, and almond meal flours.
- Need more volume with your cooking or baking? –> Add eggs, psyllium husks, or more GF baking powder.
- Note: If you have Celiac, make sure you use separate cooking utensils, condiment containers, and toasters than those who do not have celiac. Foil and parchment paper are crucial when cooking/baking.
4. Dining out or away from Home– Ask if the restaurants as a GF menu. A lot of restaurants these days will have alternative menus. If they don’t, then be ready to READ and ASK the waiter lots of QUESTIONS—> It’s okay to ask.
- Choose steamed or baked meats/fish with simple seasonings- olive oil, lemon, butter, pepper, etc. Nothing marinated, nothing in soy sauce.
- Same goes with salads and steamed veggies- SIMPLE. No croutons. If you are unsure if the salad dressing is gluten free, ask for plain oil and vinegar.
- Starches- Steamed rice, potatoes, and GF corn tortillas or chips. Be sure to ask what they are cooked in. When in doubt, LEAVE IT OUT. But don’t be afraid to ask the waiter. Especially if you have Celiac!
- I sometimes bring my own GF tortillas or chips if I know it’s a place that is not GF. Yes, totally OKAY to bring from home.
Well, I hope this helps clarify a few things, yes? Feel free to leave questions below.
BONUS- >GOOD GF Reads- Grain Brain, Wheat Belly, The Gluten Effect.
Living gluten free is not a trendy diet plan, it’s a FEEL BETTER plan.
And you gotta start with the BASICS, right? 😉
Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.
Great post on gluten free living, Some good advice, and tips can be found here. Thanks!
all great tips! 🙂 especially love the restaurant stuff- so important, and I never feel bad about asking as many questions as I want to the server. And I definitely have also brought my own stuff to a restaurant if I know they won’t have something GF.
i thought of you as i wrote this whole post. You should have given me your tips!
Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)
Great post Lindsay! I like to think of living with food allergies/intolerances as a culinary adventure! Besides, I think gluten free flours taste better than wheat. 🙂
i totally agree! and yes to chickpea flour! woohoo!
Linz @ Itz Linz
such an informative post, as always! 🙂 you’re the gf guru! 🙂
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen
This is awesome Lindsay!! I love experimenting with coconut and almond flours…I have a bag of chickpea flour in the pantry. Just haven’t used it yet!! 🙂
Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)
Chickpea flour is my favorite! Socca, flatbread and waffles are perfect with chickpea flour!
Awesome post! Just went ahead and bookmarked it. I love the fact that you bring your own tortilla shells to restaurants. Smart idea!
Awesome post! I learned a lot !
Arman @ thebigmansworld
What a helpful post Lindsay! Its so true about reading labels and getting the full picture- when I travelled with my friend to Japan(who was just diagnosied with a gluten intolerence), she was constantly sick even being wary, only to find out the doctor gave her the wrong information- he told her soy sauce was perfectly fine. Fail.
GiGi Eats Celebrities
You obviously know that I am gluten-free. I converted my brother in January thanks to an allergy test that came back CRAZYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. He cannot eat gluten, dairy, soy, some nuts, bananas, eggs (hey, sound familiar?) – LOL! But since I had been eating this way for 10 years, he turned to me because he had no clue WTF to do. He definitely cried, I KNOW IT! lol. But now. He is happy as a clam and feels SOOOOOO much better. It’s truly incredible the impact food can have on your health. But then again, I am not sure why anyone would think it wouldn’t have an impact! It goes right into your body!
yes,i bet you helped him a lot and made him some of your delicious food! My niece and nephew are just now finding out they have GF and dairy intolerance. I make them healthy bites that are special. <3 hehe. P.S. thank goodness meat is GF!
GiGi Eats Celebrities
OHHHHHH MY GOD! If meat wasn’t gluten free. I WOULD just off myself! LOL!
Heather @ Better With Veggies
So much good info in one post!! I’m not GF or Gluten-sensitive, but I love to learn more about these, especially as I have so many friends who are!
Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free
LOVE this post!
Another big one at restaurants is avoiding things that have been cooked in cross-contaminated things – like fries. I know for me, I can’t have them (because I’m so sensitive) if they are cooked in the same oil as other fried (gluten-filled) foods.
Also, ALWAYS ask the server to ask the kitchen and double check for you – my husband is a chef and he says that a lot of the times, the servers will say something is gluten-free when the kitchen may use flour or some other gluten-containing item. Perfect example is some braised meats like short ribs – often they’re coated in flour before searing & braising but unless you’re familiar with the technique or preparation, it is something that doesn’t cross your mind.
oh totally! i often have to tell the waiter that, i know it’s annoying for them but it’s for a good reason. That’s why i think it’s important to ask about the grilling technique too. YOu are wise friend! thanks for sharing!
Amy @ The Little Honey Bee
Great post! Super helpful and informative. While I do not have a gluten intolerance I do have a “sensitivity” and simply feel better not eating it 🙂
i think everyone would benefit from going GF, but it just depends on the sensitivity. glad you feel better now!
Thank you for doing this!! I recently became gluten free to help my stomach issues and I feel a million times better. Although I don’t think I have celiac I simply think it’s just an intolerance. This post is soo helpful to me thank you!
keep a food journal, could be gluten, soy, dairy,etc. Let me know how it goes GF too!
Heather (Where's the Beach)
Great post. Reading the labels is so important. It’s crazy where you find gluten. And all the different grains or berries or whatever always confuse me. I tend to look it up if I’m making something my sister might end up eating.
I have a couple of friends that could have benefitted from this over the past year – they have gone through lots of trial and error – I think I will still pass this along since it’s always good to have extra help!!!
oh good, so glad i can share! let me know if you or they need any more help!
Ari @ Ari's Menu
Such a great post Lindsay–great info!!
Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat
These are all great tips! I don’t necessarily have a gluten allergy, but I’ve definitely cut back quite a bit. I find that on days when I eat a lot of gluten, I feel much more bloated and my stomach feels uncomfortable. As a result, I’ve been buying a lot more almond/coconut flour and I read the labels.
oh good for you! keep me posted on how you feel Holly!