Functional Nutrition Blog

Focusing on gut health and Functional nutrition

Starting a Gluten Free Diet

May 7, 2021 | Autoimmune Disease, Gut Health, Nutrition

Gluten Free Diet:  Organizing the Start

  1. Be aware of what the Gluten-containing grains ARE and which ones are gluten free
  2. Figure out what you typically eat that contains these grains
  3. 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:

  • wheatberries
  • durum
  • emmer
  • semolina
  • spelt
  • farina
  • farro
  • graham
  • 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
  • Triticale
  • 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

Gluten-Free Options:

All fruits, vegetables, meat/poultry, fish/seafood, dairy, beans/legumes/nuts are naturally gluten free.  So is:

  • Rice
  • Cassava
  • Corn (maize)
  • Soy
  • Potato
  • Tapioca
  • Beans
  • Sorghum
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)
  • Arrowroot
  • Amaranth
  • Teff
  • Flax
  • Chia
  • Yucca
  • 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
Quick Cheat:  A lot of companies are now listing out the top 8 allergens at the bottom of their ingredient label and will say if wheat or gluten is part of the ingredient list.  You can check there first to see and then read the ingredient list more closely if necessary.
Gluten Free Label
There is ALMOST ALWAYS a way to replace any of your favorite foods when it comes to being gluten free!
Gluten free may not actually make a difference for you!  I would say that it’s important to give it a SOLID trial of 100% GF for 4-6 weeks to really determine.  However, if you have other underlying root issues that are causing your symptoms, cutting out gluten isn’t going to be the magic wand.  It may be other foods, it may be infections, it may be stress, it may be nutrient deficiencies.
You can schedule a call with me to talk through some of this stuff if you’re thinking this is you.
Feeling doubtful.  I get you.  Check out the things other clients are sharing and see if that makes you feel better!
Do not let a little protein get the best of you!  You can totally nail this as long as you prep properly and understand how to gather answers to the questions that will come up.  That’s what this post is about!
Cheering for your health!

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