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What Does Gluten Free Mean Anyway?

Are you newly diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity, celiac disease or maybe you just have a feeling gluten might not be doing your body any favors? Whatever your reason, you are not alone. Today, more than 3.1 million people in the US alone follow a gluten free diet! Which is wonderful news because, now more than ever, stores and restaurants are catering to people like us who benefit from a gluten free diet.

Reasons to Go Gluten Free

My Story

Almost four years ago, I started to get sick. My body ached, and whenever I ate anything my stomach would burn. I couldn’t eat more than a bite or two. For months, it kept getting worse and worse. My doctor finally referred me to a gastroenterologist who suggested I try a strict gluten free diet to see if that would provide some relief. And it did! A lot! Within months, my stomach was healing and I was feeling better than I could remember.

The thing is, I probably should have seen this coming. Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease run in my family. My dad had been gluten free for a few years earlier, and I remember thinking to myself, “I could never do that. I love bread TOO much!” But here we are… and after living a gluten free life for the last four years, I can definitely say the benefits far outweigh the things I’ve had to give up. Gluten free living doesn’t have to mean leaving behind all the foods you love, it’s about finding new alternatives. And those alternatives can be pretty tasty too! Promise!

The Benefits of a Gluten Free Lifestyle

For those with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, the benefits of going gluten free include:

  1. Increased energy
  2. Less bloating/better digestive health
  3. Fewer headaches
  4. Reduced joint stiffness
  5. An overall more healthy feeling body!
gluten free foods list

Gluten Free Lifestyle: Things to Avoid

So what does a gluten free diet actually consist of? Going gluten free means more than just giving up wheat (all though that’s a big one), here is the list of things to avoid on a gluten free diet.

  • wheat
  • barley
  • rye

These main forms of gluten can go by other names as well. Be on the look out for these ingredients when reading labels.

  • bulgur
  • durum
  • graham
  • kamut
  • spelt
  • farro
  • semolina
  • riticale
  • farina
  • wheat berries
  • couscous

Surprising Foods with Gluten

  • hot dogs
  • soy sauce
  • granola bars
  • cream-based soups
  • multi-grain tortilla chips
  • beer
  • salad dressings
  • gravy
  • salami
  • sausage

Gluten Free Foods List: Things to Enjoy!

There are many foods that are naturally gluten free. Below are some of the main food categories and easy gluten free options from each!

Grains and Starches

  • quinoa
  • corn
  • white rice
  • brown rice
  • wild rice
  • gluten free oats
  • buckwheat
  • potato flour
  • flax
  • chia


  • beans
  • lentils
  • peas
  • peanuts
  • nuts
  • red meat
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • seafood
  • Tofu


  • milk
  • cheese
  • butter
  • yogurt
  • sour cream


  • water
  • coffee
  • tea
  • soda
  • lemonade


  • mustard
  • mayonnaise
  • dry spices
  • condiments labeled “gluten free”


  • hard candy
  • chocolate
  • gluten free baked goods
  • ice cream
  • frozen yogurt

“But what about everything else?” You may be asking. “Am I ever going to eat a sandwich or birthday cake again?!”

The good news is options for people following a gluten free lifestyle are plentiful now and much (MUCH) better tasting than they used to be. So while you might have to get a little creative, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods. That’s exactly why I created this site. To share the very best a gluten free diet has to offer, so click through the recipes and recommendations I have put together and see how delicious gluten free life can be.