Gluten Free Diet: Organizing the Start
- Be aware of what the Gluten-containing grains ARE and which ones are gluten free
- Figure out what you typically eat that contains these grains
- Decide on Gluten Free swaps
Note: If you are going to give this diet a try to determine if it’s something that is going to help you – plan to be 100% committed! There is no point in doing this half way.
Note 2:. if you are reading this prior to May 30, 2021 – we are currently doing a 2 week Gluten Free Challenge that you should absolutely join in on!
What are the Gluten Grains?
These are the grains that contain the protein gluten. The trickier part is what the other names for VERSIONS of these grains are:
- KAMUT® khorasan wheat
- einkorn wheat
- Malt in various forms including: malted barley flour, malted milk or milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Wheat Starch that has not been processed to remove the presence of gluten to below 20ppm and adhere to the FDA Labeling Law
Read more about this at celiac.org
All fruits, vegetables, meat/poultry, fish/seafood, dairy, beans/legumes/nuts are naturally gluten free. So is:
- Corn (maize)
- Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)
- Gluten-free oats
- Nut flours
Where is Gluten already present in your life?
Step 1: Identify
Go through your pantry, fridge, freezer, snack drawer at work, and secret stashes and look for the foods that you typically include in your day.
Put aside anything that contains gluten so you can see exactly what you want/need substitutes for.
Step 2: Swap
You have a few choices when it comes to swapping out gluten options for GF options:
1. you can eliminate the gluten containing item all together because you don’t feel that it is essential to your day
2. You can swap it out for a direct gluten free option.
Example: you have toast in the morning so you swap out your usual bread for a GF bread
3. You choose an alternative using a different grain/starch.
Example: you usually have cream of wheat in the morning and you will swap to oatmeal.
Example: you like tacos and usually have flour tortillas and you will swap those out for corn tortillas
Be Extra Mindful Of:
ALL labels should be checked. Yup – you’re gonna be THAT person in the aisles at the store. Lean into it. A few sneaky items come to mind and should be checked extra carefully:
- Soy Sauce (Try Tamari for a GF version)
- Cream soups (often have flour as a thickener)
- Condiments – check the ingredients label
- Chips, especially “multigrain”
- Organic crackers and cookies – organic does not = gluten free, be careful of that packaging
- Candy, especially gummy candy
- Dressings (soy sauce is common)
- Meat alternatives
- Beer…I know I know
Q: Can I have this?
Here are scenarios in which you can say “yes”:
- It says “gluten free” on the package
- It is a fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, bean, or legume that is unaltered, unbreaded
- Check the ingredients list for any of the “gluten grains” and other names