Beginner Guide to Gluten-Free

Starting a gluten free diet can seem a tad bit challenging at first. This guide contains the basics to get started on a gluten free diet without feeling overwhelmed. Gluten free has never been easier with the help of our local Heinens Grocery Store!

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Are you starting a gluten-free diet and don't know where to begin? Look no further! This is a simple guide to get you started.  When I first had to switch to a strict gluten-free diet 14 years ago after finding out I had celiac disease, I had to shop at a local health food store which carried a very minimal selection. Did I say MINIMAL? Times have certainly changed! The bread no longer tastes like cardboard, and you can even make a cake without your guests noticing it's gluten-free. It is so much easier these days with the help of our local Heinens Grocery! 

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye & oats. All other grains are naturally gluten free. When you switch over to a gluten-free diet, think 'what our grandparents ate' and this will make the switch a little easier! This means all vegetables, fruit, organic meats & fish, beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, nuts & healthy fats (like coconut, olive oil, butter, etc) are naturally gluten free! Focusing on the perimeter of the grocery store is helpful too. The perimeter of the grocery store usually consists of fresh produce, eggs, potatoes, meat, seafood etc. If you want to take it a step further and go GRAIN free check out my blog on that here.

Foods that are naturally gluten free

  • all fruits
  • all vegetables
  • meat, poultry, fish, lamb, bison, pork, venison (all meat & fish)
  • corn
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • amaranth
  • millet
  • buckwheat (Some people with Celiac Disease are still sensitive to buckwheat)
  • sorghum
  • teff
  • yucca
  • cassava 
  • dairy products
  • all flours NOT made with wheat, barley, rye or oats. These include almond flour, arrowroot flour, bean flours, amaranth flours, nut & seed flours, potato flour, potato starch, soy flour, sorghum flour, sunflower seed flour, rice flours, etc. 
  • spices (always read the label to double check)
  • pure baking ingredients such as maple syrup, sugar, molasses, honey, brown rice syrup, pure vanilla extract, all vinegars (except malt vinegar)
  • oils; olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil
  • coffee, tea (read the label in case they added gluten), kombucha, fruit & vegetable juice
  • salsa
  • condiments like mayonnaise, mustard & ketchup
  • popcorn (popcorn is gluten free, but always check the label as gluten could be added)
  • pickles, olives, & tampanade
  • chocolate
  • eggs
  • nut butters

Foods That Are NOT Gluten Free

  • wheat, barley and rye in any form. (This includes the ancient grain of wheat; spelt)
  • malt vinegar, malt flavoring, malt syrup
  • soy sauce
  • anything made with conventional flour like bread, pasta, crackers, sauces, tortillas, pretzels, muffins, doughnuts, gravy, cookies, cake, pies
  • anything breaded
  • breakfast cereals
  • conventional beer
  • poptarts
  • wheat thins
  • foods labeled "wheat free". This does not mean gluten free as it could contain barley &/or rye.
  • licorice

Foods That Raise a Red Flag

You have to double check (and triple check!) to make sure these foods are gluten-free. If a food is gluten-free it should be labeled gluten-free. The top allergens are listed under the nutritional facts in food products.

  • modified food starch. This is usually gluten-free unless it's derived from wheat. In that case it will say "modified wheat starch"
  • over the counter & prescription medication
  • soups & soup base
  • condiments & sauces
  • candy
  • deli meat
  • oats (A note on oats- oats are naturally gluten free but are contaminated by gluten, so always look for gluten free oats)
  • salad dressings
  • BBQ sauce
  • meat (meat is naturally gluten-free but sometimes can contain fillers that include gluten)
  • imitation crab
  • anything that is gluten-free but fried in the same oil used to fry something gluten- containing
  • worchershire sauce

 

Getting Started

These are some of my favorite brands below. This does not mean there aren't more than what is listed, just what I've found to be a favorite! Heinens is always bringing in new products & carry many local products that are gluten-free as well. 

BREAD. Canyon Bakehouse & UDI’s Gluten Free Bread. Canyon Bakehouse is the closest bread I’ve found that is similar to conventional bread. They are both located in the frozen gluten free section at Heinens. You can also use rice cakes & sweet potato 'toast' in place of bread. Just slice sweet potatoes length wise and toast (and toast again) until it's cooked

PASTA.  Jovial Brown Rice & Ancient Harvest. Tolerant Green Lentil & Banza are pastas made out of beans and are naturally gluten free. This is a great Mom win! Get your kids to eat a plate of beans with this ‘pasta’!

FLOUR. Bob’s Red Mill & King Arthur All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. Coconut and almond flour are also great to sub in many baking recipes. 

CEREAL BARS. Lara Bars, Enjoy Life Chewy Bars, RXBAR & KIND bars. 

CEREAL. Nature’s Path Crunchy Vanilla Cereal, Nature’s Path Whole O’s, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats, Cream of Rice, Quinoa Flakes

CRACKERS. Simple Mills Almond & Absolutely ‘Everything’ Gluten Free Crackers. Kinnikinnick S’moreables Graham Style Crackers are the best for S'mores!

CHIPS. Corn Tortilla Chips, Late July SUB Lime, Jackson’s Honest, Siete Tortilla Chips

SOY SAUCE. Coconut Aminos & Gluten Free Tamari Soy Sauce

SALAD DRESSING. Tessamaes & Green Goddess. Always check all salad dressing labels. Wheat is found in many dressing.

LUNCH MEATS. Applegate & Two Brothers. (Not all Two Brothers meat is gluten free. Always check before buying!)

PANCAKES & WAFFLES. Birch Benders, King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix, & Heinens Gluten Free frozen waffles. We make an easy pancake recipe which is only 3 ingredients! Whisk together 3 eggs, 1 banana & 3 TBSP quinoa flakes. Fry in butter or coconut oil. No quinoa flakes? No problem! You can omit those in the recipe. 

PIZZA. UDI’s, Daiya, & Against the Grain Pizza.

WRAPS. Siete & Rudi’s Gluten Free Tortilla Wrap

BAGELS & ROLLS. Against the Grain

COOKIES. Pamelas Chocolate Chip (dairy-free as well. These are the BEST!)

CAKE. Namaste Cake Mix (Your guests won’t known the difference!)

On The Go 

These are some grab-n-go essentials to carry with you. Life can be hectic and it's great to know what items are healthy, gluten-free and easy to grab!

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Fruits is always gluten-free & refreshing on the go. Beef jerky is a great snack to have because it's higher in protein. These individual Vital Protein Collagen packs are perfect to add to your coffee, juice or even water. It's full of protein & great for hair, skin and nails (and of course, gluten-free!) Lara Bars are one of my favorites. They contain minimal ingredients that are always healthy and easy to pronounce! It's usually just fruit & nuts listed in the ingredients.

Easy No Bake Snacks

  • rice cake + PB & J
  • gluten free toast + smashed avocado + salt and pepper

  • applegate turkey roll up with sliced red pepper, cucumber & mustard

  • popcorn + dark chocolate

  • hard boiled eggs + sliced avocado & tomato slices 

  • rice cake + cashew butter + chocolate chips

Remember to try to stick to a naturally gluten-free diet. This means lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, potatoes, rice, organic meat & wild seafood.

Even though you’ve taken the ‘bad’ stuff out, you have to put the ‘good’ stuff back in! Love your tummy by sipping on a local Kombucha like Bearded Buch and drink bone broth. Erie Bone Broth is located in the frozen section next to the frozen veggies. Cleveland Kraut makes the best sour kraut & it contains beneficial bacteria which is good for digestion.  After you do a kitchen detox to remove gluten, you also need to check all of your personal care products to make sure they do not contain any gluten. This even includes shampoo & lotion.

It can be tricky switching to a gluten free diet at first, but I promise it will get easier. Going gluten free has never been easier with the help of our local Heinens grocery store!   

*If you have celiac disease and accidentally ingested gluten, check out my natural remedy for this!

You can also find this article on Heinens' blog