Where to start
You just got diagnosed with Celiac Disease or you want to go Gluten Free for another health reason. Where do you start? You came home and most of the food you have in the cabinet has wheat as an ingredient. You probably feel very overwhelmed. Well here is a good starting point. I can tell you it gets easier with time and once you start feeling better you will realize it is all worth it.
If you are going to make the whole house go gluten free, then you can donate all your Gluten food to other family members or if unopened to the food bank. That might be a little hard if you are the only one in the house who has to eat this way. We sharpie marker everything GF if it was safe to eat. We also made a cabinet with just gluten free snacks. It was easy for my daughter or babysitters to know where to look.
The basics– you can still eat any fruits and vegetables. Baked potato’s were eaten every meal in the beginning. Also almost all meats if not marinated first are Gluten Free. So start up the grill and have steak, chicken or pork for dinner.
Whole foods, Walmart and most grocery stores, now have a Gluten free section.
Some of the best brands that we use all the time are Glutino, Pamela’s Gluten free mixes, Udi’s, Enjoy life and Betty Crocker Gluten free mixes. They all have quality items to start with.
So, if you are making the whole house Gluten Free or if only for one person in the house. Here are a few things you must do. You need to have a separate toaster for Gluten Free food only; waffles, bread anything you need to toast. If you do not use a separate toaster, everything you toast will be cross contaminated. You also need to have separate butters, mayonnaise, jelly or any other condiment that you would put your knife in and spread on bread. You can either get it out with a spoon and not re-dip or you will need your own. Again, we sharpie marker everything GF so no one uses it for Gluten food. I do have frying pans that I only cook Gluten Free in but I am not sure you need to do that or not. If you clean well that should be good. I also have my daughter sit in the same seat for dinner and she has her own place mat. So if we have a party, I move the place mat and usually cover the table.
Shopping, Today is much easier, there is a lot of food labeled Gluten Free. But here is the kicker. The FDA lets a manufacturer label their food Gluten Free even if it has 20PPM of Gluten present. If you have Celiac, that is not Gluten Free. We only buy what is certified and most of what we eat is manufactured in a dedicated Gluten Free facility. Other Countries Gluten Free labels have to be 100%.
You need to check the labels every time. Ingredients can change. In the beginning I e-mailed or called almost every company of the food my daughter ate. You know how the label will say Gluten free, then in small print it says it is made a facility that uses wheat ect. Unless I have called the company and they assured me no cross contamination I usually skip that item. A lot of Gluten Free products are label that they are made in a dedicated facility. Those are your winners. So if you go Gluten Free and still don’t feel better make sure your product is really Gluten Free with no cross contamination. A good example is Cheerios claim to be Gluten Free but they have a very high level of cross contamination. A lot of people with Celiac have claimed to feel sick after eating them. We will not even try them.
Don’t forget to also check your toothpaste, medicines, shampoo, anything that you could ingest. You can call the manufactures of the products to check if Gluten free. Check the hidden gluten page to see a list of things you may have forgot about. Below is the link to check your medicines.
Not everything that says it is Gluten free really is Gluten Free. If it is made in the USA the FDA allows 20 Parts Per Million to be labeled Gluten Free. So if you have Celiac that means you might be getting traces. So research everything.
Once you find products you like, I would order them from Amazon. It made it easier and when we really like something it is cheap to order a case from Amazon.
One of our favorites is Pamela’s baking mix for chocolate chip cookies and Belgium waffles. We use it so much that I buy the 3, 4 pound bags at a time. The link is below. If you are just trying it I would buy a smaller bag.