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I was diagnosed with celiac disease near the beginning of college. At the time, gluten-free was not all that popular and finding food was a huge challenge. It has been delightfully surprising to see the giant boom in gluten-free products as of late. So, by the request of a few people, I decided to make a basic cheat sheet on brands, meals, and places I enjoy and actually CAN enjoy.
1. If you have an iPhone or smart phone, “Gluten Free Near Me” is a fantastic app. It lets you know of all the restaurants around you that have gluten-free options. Keep in mind, cross-contamination is always something to consider especially if you’re sensitive, but it is usually spot on. Places like Fud and Ingredient have dedicated prep areas. Use wisely.
2. Udis and Rudis brand. I swear by these and any of their products. Bread, granola, pizza crust (though mixes ARE better and can be easily found), muffins, etc. Anytime you don’t feel like eating naturally gluten-free and decide you want to indulge, GET THESE SUBSTITUTES. Glutino is very hit and miss. Trader Joes is fantastic and has a lot of quick meals.
3. If you have a HyVee near you, their Health Market is basically gluten-free heaven.
4. THINGS TO BE WARY OF:
- Chinese food. You may just see veggies and cooked chicken, but a large percentage of the sauces and marinades used at chinese restaurants, namely soy sauce, are NOT gluten-free.
- Off brand products. As much as I like to be economic, I’ve had to buy brand name more often than I used to. For example, the little flavor packets you pour in water? Well, WalMarts “Great Value” brand are NOT GLUTEN FREE and I didn’t bother to look until I reacted negatively.
- Syrups. Caramel is almost always not gluten free.
- Prep areas. Domino’s gluten-free pizza is not made in a designated kitchen or even a designated counter. Keep things like that in mind when you research.
- Costco and Sams Club are surprisingly good at carrying large amounts of g/f food as well as marking very clearly any allergens.
- Barbecue sauce. Again, sauces are an area where you have to be careful.
- Soups. While they shouldn’t, many companies use flour as a thickener. Make your own soup by buying gluten free boullion or “Better then Boullion” brand. It tastes the exact same.
- If you are SUPER sensitive to tactile exposure, be aware of chapsticks and shampoo ingredients.
5. Eating naturally gluten free is always cheaper.
6. Rice pasta wins in my book, but feel free to try anything like quinoa pasta, corn pasta, etc. There are a lot to choose from.
7. Trader Joes is heaven.
8. ThinkThin bars, Larabars, etc., are great .ThinkThin is my favorite because it also has no sugar and 20 g of protein, so I love them for post-workout.
If anyone has more specific questions about ANYTHING, feel freeeee to ask because I am 100% positive I left things out.
I hope this helps!!!