Gluten Free 101

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If you have been around Good Better Best for any amount of time you probably know that I am gluten free as part of my regimen for my health challenges. Being gluten free just helps by body function Better with my autoimmune disorders. I am truly gluten free, not for a month, not to loose weight, not just during the week but completely gluten free. I am talking gluten free for over 8 1/2 years. No bread, no beer, no donuts, no gluten. Nada.  Because I am linking up with The Blended Blog today and we are talking about health, I wanted to give some Gluten Free 101 tips in case anyone was interested in exploring the gluten free lifestyle.

What do you need to avoid when you are gluten free? 
Anything with wheat, rye or barley. You should also avoid malt,
soy sauce (tamari is a wheat free substitution). You have to be careful of hidden gluten.
Just tonight I stopped short of making some rosemary balsamic beef tips from
Trader Joe's because I didn't notice until I got them home that they contained wheat.

Foods to be careful of:
  • Risotto-ask waiter if it is gluten free
  • Barbecue sauce and seasoning (be sure to read ingredients)
  • Chili mix-make sure it is gluten free
  • Sauces-ask waiter because they are often thickened with flour
  • French fries-some are dipped in flour etc. to make them crispier
  • Salad dressings-some of these have thickeners that contain gluten
  • Marinades-make sure it does not contain soy sauce; read ingredients.

Better Gluten Free Products:
  • Funfetti Gluten Free cake mix
  • Gluten free Bisquick-awesome pizza crust recipe on the back, makes great gluten free pancakes
  • Pamela’s cornbread mix
  • Picnic to Go boxes-snack boxes that are great for travel.  Sold at grocery stores and available at a lot of airport newsstands
  • Gluten free pasta that are either a corn/rice or rice/quinoa mix.  They are usually better than the ones that are rice only.
  • Barilla gluten free pasta and lasagna noodles
  • Chex-anything but wheat chex are usually gluten free and states it on the box
  • Cheerios-Honey Nut and Apple Cinnamon are definitely gluten free now
  • Immaculate cookie dough 
  • Corn tortillas make great wraps for sandwiches—heat them briefly in a damp paper towel in microwave. 
  • Mission brand also has some really Good tortilla wraps that are new.
  • 1-2-3 Gluten Free Spice/Carrot cake mix
  • Trader Joe's gluten free pumpkin bread mix

Dining out:  
Honestly it is getting much easier to dine out if you are gluten free. Almost
everywhere has a gluten free menu. You just have to really talk to your
waiter. Here are some dining tips for some tips when eating out. My biggest
challenge is usually airports.

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  • Mexican is easy if the chips are not cross contaminated.  Burrito bowls are a Good call
  • Sushi-nothing with tempura and ask for tamari (wheat free soy sauce) instead of regular soy sauce
  • Chinese-see if they can do a steamed plate for you with either a sauce made without soy sauce or tamari; fried rice is usually not gluten free
  • Chik-fil-A-grilled nuggets, gluten free bun and waffle fries are gluten free
  • Five Guys-burger without a bun or on a lettuce wrap, fries should be fine
  • Sonic-burger without a bun and tater tots should be fine
Not so Good
  • McDonald’s-there is basically nothing you can safely eat here
How long until it works?

I personally think that if you are interested in going gluten free you really
should try it for thirty days. Then try a food with gluten in it that there is
no gluten free substitute for, that way if you go down, you go down for
something you really like. My test food was friend clam strips. Within about
45 minutes of having them, I was slow, irritable, had trouble walking
and just wanted to crawl into bed. Yup, I should not eat gluten.

Going gluten free doesn't work for everyone. I can tell you that it really
helps my fatigue from lupus. If it didn't I would not still be eating
gluten free for eight years.

All Kinds of Opinions

One thing I need to give you a heads up on is that when you go gluten free, some people feel the need to give you their opinion of it. Most of these are rude and unhelpful. It is totally shocking to me why people need to feel to make comments to me about how ridiculous they think going gluten free is. They are usually people who have no idea how sick I have been. Just for fun here are the things that real people have said to me about going gluten free over the last 8 years:
  • You don't feel Better, you just think you do because you are eating healthy now.  (For the record, I always ate healthy before I went gluten free.)
  • Do you do it to lose weight? (Uh no).
  • Gluten free? It's a fad.
  • You're just a picky eater. (former co-worker) (um I have a disease that could kill me)
  • I don't know why we have to order you special food. (another former co-worker)
  •'re one of those gluten free people? Complete with eye roll.
  • You just want attention and to feel special by being gluten free. (again, it could kill me)
  • You know, unless you have celiac, there is no reason to not eat gluten (from a waiter, after I tipped him...25%)
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I am not adding this in to discourage anyone, I am just telling you to be prepared. For some reason, people feel the need to take out their gluten frustration on the g-free universe. It's super annoying and I often wonder why people need to say this stuff. It's not acceptable to say to those with other food allergies or diabetes, why those of us that are struggling with out health who found something that might help? 
These are my gluten free 101 tips. Feel free to leave any questions in the comment sections or reach out to me directly at And just so you know, every recipe I post on Good Better Best is gluten free. It is either naturally gluten free or I have adapted it and tested it with gluten free options that my family has tried and approved.


  1. I think it is so helpful that you're sharing your story and tips! I have several friends who have to live gluten free and it isn't easy- so this will be good for them!

  2. Going and being gluten free isn't easy but it can be really helpful if it works. I appreciate your kind words and thanks for stopping by. Have a Good week!


  3. Awesome suggestions here Patty- thank you for sharing- since going gluten free, do you feel much better? More energy? No stomach problems? I am fascinated

    1. Hi Holly,

      For me it was never about stomach issues. It has always been about fatigue and brain fog. Crushing fatigue has always been one of the biggest factors in my fight with lupus.

      I was one of those people who really found some help in going gluten free from about the first week. It is not a cure all but it really does help my body function Better. When I have had gluten by accident, like eating some dip made with Lipton onion soup mix that I didn't know had wheat in it, I can totally feel the difference. All those bad feelings come back.

      Hope this helps. I am happy to answer any questions!


  4. This is really helpful information. My sister has been gluten free for several years and she always gets a hard time about it too. It has made a huge difference though on how she feels. Thank you for sharing!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Jill. Glad to hear that your sister is doing Better with the gfree life. Have a Good weekend!


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