10 Tips For A Gluten-Free Lifestyle

Many people may realise that they have a sensitivity to gluten, as whenever they eat a food containing it, they experience; aches, pains, headaches, lethargy, irritability, acne, digestive discomforts such as bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhoea and much more.

So you have to ask the questions:
“Am I prepared to put up with these health issues or quit gluten all together?”
“Do I want health and vitality, and am I really prepared to do what it takes in order to get it?”

Changing to a gluten-free lifestyle can seem overwhelming to some people. But if you’re ready to make the commitment to your health and cut gluten out of your life completely to give you clarity of mind, better health and energy so you can do the things you love, become motivated and optimistic about life again, we have come up with 10 of our top suggestions.

1. Roast, Grill or Slow Cook Meats To Have On Hand Throughout The Week

Grilled, slow-cooked or roasted meats are perfect to always have on hand in the fridge, pre-cooked and chopped up so you can quickly whip up a salad for the kids lunch and for work too.

2. Have Plenty Of Fresh Fruits And Vegetables On Hand

Go to your local markets on the weekend and stock your fridge with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. You can pre-cut vegetables and store in containers, wrap them with a moist tea towel to extend the freshness. Or if you have excess produce, quickly blanch them in hot water and freeze for a later use. Excess fruit can be easily chopped and frozen in small zip lock bags to be added to smoothies, later on, cooked and stewed, made into puree’s, jams or added to baked goods or chia puddings.

3. Make Extras

When you’re making meals like soups, stews, stocks and broths, muffins, slices, bliss balls etc, double it and freeze them so you always have healthy options available that you can just grab out of the freezer and de-frostfor a quick, healthy, pre-made meal or snack.

4. Utilise Your Oven And Slow Cooker

Roasted meats and veggies are one of the simplest meals to do, as you only have to place everything onto a roasting tray and whack it in the oven. A slow cooker can be so handy when you have little to no time to make dinner after work as you can put your meat, veggies and stock into the slow cooker and leave it on while you’re at work and you get to come home to dinner that only needs to be plated up. The leftovers can be eaten for breakfast or taken to work the next day.

5. Use Gluten Free Flour Alternative

Keep these ingredients readily on hand so you can do an impromptu bake, such as; nut and seed flours (almond, hazelnut, sunflower seed meals etc) and store these in the freezer to extend the shelf life and deter them from going rancid. You can also use coconut, buckwheat, arrowroot, tapioca and banana flours.

6. Shop Smarter

Learn to navigate the supermarket isles and aim to shop in mainly the perimeter where all the fresh foods are kept. Also, beware of supermarket and marketing ploys by educating yourself.

7. Become A Label Reading Expert

Avoid refined and processed packaged foods and stick to whole, fresh and seasonal food. If you do purchase something in a packet, avoid anything with an ingredient lists miles long that looks like a chemical laboratory. Dubious ingredients you don’t recognise, more often than not, will contain gluten.

8. Vary Your Diet

When you first begin you may be scared to branch out and try new things. Don’t be afraid to have fun and get creative in the kitchen. We love the quote ‘Just because the ingredients change, doesn’t mean the menu has to’. There is a wide world web out there and numerous amazing healthy cookbooks for you to take your healthy gluten-free meal, snack and drink inspiration from.

9. Stock Your Kitchen Well

Make sure you have your pantry stocked with the basics, such as; turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, pepper, a quality Himalayan salt, other spices and dried herbs, coconut oil, ghee, quality olive and nut oils, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and coconut, rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Make sure you fridge is packed and ready with basics like homemade mayonnaise and pesto which can be added to plain meats, eggs and salads for extra flavour. Keep cold cuts and left overs, pre-roasted veggies and plenty of fresh eggs, fruit, vegetables, yoghurt, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut on hand to make your meal prep easier. Stock your freezer with frozen berries and other pre-chopped fruits for quick additions to smoothies and add chopped veggies to stir-fry’s, curries, soups and stews. Lastly, try growing a garden or a small patch where you can plant your own leafy greens and herbs. By having a one ingredient pantry fully stocked with real foods means you can use fewer total ingredients and reduce your work in the kitchen. That’s something we can all benefit from!

10. Become Informed

If you’re a parent, you have a very challenging, yet important job to educate your children (and perhaps those few around you who will listen) about wholesome real foods and why it is important for them not to consume food which has been manipulated, refined and overly processed. Become informed and educated about food and don’t be cajoled by advertising and marketing, it is merely there to sell a product is not necessarily the truth.

We hope our top 10 tips help you easily live a gluten free, sustainable lifestyle so you can get vibrant health and be nourished from the inside out.
What are your tips?



Gluten can inflame your gut and your brain.

What many people don’t know about their mental health is that diet and the inner landscape — or, ecosystem — of the gut are deciding factors in how good or how bad you feel.


Dr. Michael Gershon, chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia University, helped to reveal that the gut and the brain are an interconnected network of nerve tissue. Together, they form the gut-brain axis.

The gut contains over 100 million neurons and more nerve tissue than the brain.3 This is one reason why Gershon calls the digestive tract your “second brain.” It turns out that in emergency situations, your “second brain” can give out orders to your digestive tract, as well as the brain that belongs to your central nervous system.

There are other connections that the gut and the brain share. For example, while serotonin is mostly known as a brain chemical, cells lining the gut wall secrete large quantities of serotonin. Your digestive tract stores as much as 90 percent of your body’s total serotonin.

Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of confidence, wellbeing, and a sense of belonging. Serotonin also regulates movement in the intestines: Too little serotonin can slow down transit time and lead to constipation, while too much serotonin can speed up transit time and result in loose, watery stools. This is one reason why common antidepressants are often used to treat signs of irritable bowel syndrome.

The gut-brain connection goes even deeper.

Following on the heels of Dr. Gershon’s groundbreaking discovery, Duke University researchers mapped the science of “gut feelings” in 2015. Plotting the newly understood cell-to-cell connection between the gut and the nervous system, researchers tracked in real-time the point when the brain recognizes it is full once food hits the gut. Based on this relationship, researchers from The Kavli Foundation suggested that gut microbes could be used to treat brain disorders, including anxiety, depression, and autism.Through the gut-brain axis, researchers have even linked poor microbial diversity in the digestive system to symptoms of anorexia nervosa.


You might remember the anti-drug campaign from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America that played on television years ago. It went something like this: “This is your brain,” and you see an egg. “This is your brain on drugs,” and you see an egg sizzling in a frying pan.

Maybe one day there will be a campaign that tells us, “This is your brain on gluten,” and we see an egg go up in flames. Because the reality is that gluten inflames the gut, and the inflammatory cascade doesn’t end there.For many people, inflammation in the gut translates to inflammation in the brain. This is one reason why inflammatory gut disorders are frequently accompanied by brain fog and migraine headaches.

Another sign of “fire in the brain” is behavioral and mood disorders, including depression.

In 2007, researchers in Finland published a paper looking into the relationship between dietary gluten and psychiatric disorders. While celiac disease and depression often occur together, a wide spectrum of people without celiac disease have developed an immune response to gluten. The question that researchers asked: Is this population more susceptible to things like cognitive impairment, depression, and anxiety?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. Those with celiac disease have an immune system that attacks the cells in their small intestine, destroying them. The trigger? Different proteins found in wheat and its relatives, and usually wheat gluten. There are no drugs to effectively treat celiac disease, but physicians do recommend a gluten-free diet. Further confirming how gluten can affect the gut and the brain in sequence, a 2014 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeuticsconfirmed that a gluten-free diet could help to relieve brain fog, a common symptom in patients with celiac disease.


Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity have not been diagnosed with celiac disease — but their immune system does mount a response in the presence of gluten or other molecules found in wheat.  Indeed, an immune response to gluten and inflammation in the small intestine has been linked to depression in previous research.

In other words, gluten can inflame your gut and your brain.

The microbes living in your digestive tract affect their local terrain. Like farmers tilling the soil, they either bring the ground to life or devastate it with toxic messages. Studies show that “good” probiotic microbes can stop inflammation in the gut, whereas “bad” pathogenic microbes can ignite inflammation, destroying tissue.

Because the gut and the brain are connected along the gut-brain axis, the effect of gastrointestinal microbes is far-reaching. Scientists at Acadia University suggest that “good” probiotic microbes may help manage signs of depression, anxiety, and other common mental health disorders.16

Zoe Hunter, lead author of the study, explains that, “There’s actual stress receptors in your gut…That’s the hypothesis; the probiotics actually change those receptors.” As far as the benefits of probiotic foods, Hunter says that, “Anxiety and depression, it goes along with so many issues. If you can give those individuals a natural product to go in place of a medication, it’s just more beneficial to take one less pill.”

In 2011, Dr. Javier Bravo and Professor John Cryan at the University College Cork, Ireland, showed in animal studies that probiotic bacteria reduce signs of depression and anxiety.17 Researchers also found that those on a probiotic diet had less of the stress hormone — corticosterone — floating around in their bloodstream.

Professor Cryan says that, “These findings highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, the gut-brain axis.” He speculates that in the future, physicians may recommend probiotics to address stress-related disorders, like anxiety and depression.


Just how probiotic microbes benefit the brain is still unclear. Each year, scientists unearth new mechanisms behind the gut-brain axis. But, some things are clear:

Probiotics uplift the mood, while gluten drags it down.

If you struggle with depression, we recommend nurturing the digestive tract with a probiotic-rich diet that is gluten-free, sugar-free, and initially casein-free.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Your diet and your inner ecosystem have a direct impact on your mental health. Because of the gut-brain axis, the digestive tract is often referred to as the "second brain." It should come as no surprise that the gut contains up to 90 percent of the body's serotonin, a brain chemical that controls well-being, confidence, and feelings of belonging. Serotonin further regulates intestinal movement; serotonin imbalances can lead to constipation or loose stool.

Celiac disease has been linked to depression. Even without celiac disease, it's common to develop an immune response to gluten, which has also been linked to depression. Gluten has the potential to inflame the gut and the brain.

The silver lining is this: Since the gut and the brain are connected, research supports beneficial probiotic bacteria to manage anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Probiotics affect mood for the better, while gluten may affect mood for the worse.

Learn more:

“If you could make just three simple changes in your life to prevent, or even reverse, memory loss and other brain disorders, wouldn’t you?”

The book is Grain Brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar; your brain's silent killers. It promises straightforward dietary solutions to prevent the illnesses we most hate and fear.

Why wouldn’t you make three simple changes?

“The question is, how far will you take the Paleo diet?” Perlmutter asked in a recent video on his YouTube channel. “Here we are at a Chinese grocery store in San Francisco—and this is part of the Paleo diet.”

He holds up a large frog.

“How far will you go?”

That is Perlmutter’s kind of joke. He is not joking when he says that carbohydrates, even the whole-grain carbs that many of us think of as the good ones, are the cause of almost every modern neurologic malady. That includes dementia, decreased libido, depression, chronic headaches, anxiety, epilepsy, and ADHD.

“It may seem draconian,” he says, “but the best recommendation I can make is to completely avoid grains.”


Checking Your Products for Gluten

For those with gluten intolerance, sensitivity, or allergy, hidden forms of gluten  in cosmetics and hygiene products can cause major health issues.  After being diagnosed, most people look toward removing the toxic protein from their foods.  In essence, removing obvious sources like bread, pasta, cereal, pizza, bagels, etc.  For many, the diet change can seem overwhelming, and looking at hidden glutens in cosmetics or hygiene products is not even a thought yet.

A recent research report published by the National Institute for Health Sciences in Japan accumulated data from 2009 to 2013 and found 1900 patients who reported allergic reaction after using a soap containing hydrolyzed wheat protein.  The diagnosis for these individuals was – Wheat Dependent Exercise Induced Asthma (WDEIA).

This is not the first research report on the topic.  Other studies have identified asthma in hairdressers exposed to hydrolyzed wheat protein as well.


  1. Teshima R. Food allergen in cosmetics.  Yakugaku Zasshi. 2014;134(1):33-8.
  2. Airaksinen L, Pallasaho P, Voutilainen R, Pesonen M.  Occupational rhinitis, asthma, and contact urticaria caused by hydrolyzed wheat protein in hairdressers.  Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 Dec;111(6):577-9. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.09.025.

Check Your Make-UP and Hair Care Products

Asthma and inflammatory skin conditions (dermatitis) are common in those who have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity.  If you react to gluten, it is strongly advised that you look at the ingredients on cosmetics, soaps, and hair products.  The following are some of the most common items that people tend to overlook:

  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Lipstick
  • Facial Cleansers
  • Lotions
  • Shaving gels
  • Hair spray
  • Soap

These products can contain grain and gluten based ingredients that you  should be aware of so that if necessary, you can switch to a new product line.  Some of the most common terms (yet not obvious) you will see on products include:

5 Sneaky Terms You Shouldn’t Overlook

  1. Wheat germ
  2. Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  3. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  4. Avena sativa (oats found commonly in lotions)
  5. Triticum aestivum (another name for wheat)

You can also check out our more comprehensive list of terms that contain gluten here <<<

I have see patients have reactions because of inhaled gluten from hairsprays and from kissing a significant other wearing lipstick with gluten as an ingredient.   If you are looking for a substitute skin moisturizer, try shea butter, coconut oil, or jojoba oil.  All three are very effective.  If you are looking for cosmetics without hidden gluten, listen to this interview first.  Remember, that no matter what product you are using, the manufacturer retains the right to change the ingredients without informing you, so the most important walk away is simply this – READ THE LABELS before you buy!

Always looking out for you,

Dr. O – The Gluten Free Warrior

Toward the end of World War II, the Netherlands suffered a “Winter of Starvation.” With shipments of staple foods, such as bread and cereal, disrupted, the Dutch ate tulip bulbs and whatever they could scavenge from the great outdoors. But while most people grew thinner under this harsh regimen, a pediatrician named Willem-Karel Dicke watched with interest as one group of his patients actually gained weight.

Eventually, Allied planes dropped bread to the hungry Dutch people. Most of the population began to regain the weight they had lost, but Dicke noticed that the children who had started thriving during the famine were sickly once again. These kids previously had been diagnosed with celiac disease, a condition marked by chronic intestinal troubles and malnutrition. Although celiac disease was named by a Greek physician in the first century B.C. (its name is derived from the Greek word for abdomen), the condition was still something of a medical mystery. Dicke and other experts had suspected that celiac symptoms stemmed from some sort of intolerance to wheat; the children’s dramatic health improvements during the time when grains were unavailable provided the proof. A few years later, Dicke and two colleagues published papers showing that it is specifically the gluten in wheat (and barley and rye) that causes people with celiac disease such distress. Today, experts concur that people with celiac disease carry at least two genes that predispose their small intestines to greet incoming gluten as an alien invader, not a nutrient.

“For celiacs, there’s a battle in your gut between your immune system and the gluten, which it considers an enemy,” says Joseph Murray, M.D., a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. This immunological warfare winds up damaging the small, fingerlike projections called villi that line the gut. Under normal circumstances, the villi expand the surface area of the small intestine and allow it to absorb nutrients. But when doctors biopsy the small intestine of someone with celiac disease, they find that many of the villi have atrophied and flattened. The damage prevents proper absorption of nutrients, causes a variety of problems throughout the body and, left untreated, can even lead to cancers in the intestine.

When Dicke and his colleagues wrote their landmark paper, most people thought celiac disease affected only children—patients were often counseled that they would “grow out of it.” Now, it is widely recognized as an autoimmune disease that persists for a lifetime and can develop at any age. It sometimes becomes active after surgery, pregnancy, a viral infection or emotional stress, for reasons that remain unclear.

Gluten Free Basics- About Celiac diease and gluten free diet

Gluten is the common name for proteins in specific grains, like wheat, rye, barley and triticale. Other related grains, including durum, einkorn, Kamut® khorasan wheat, semolina, spelt/spelta, faro and emmer, also contain gluten. And, while oats themselves do not contain gluten, they are often cross-pollinated with other grains and contain a protein (avenin) structurally similar to gluten’s protein (gliadin) when processed. As a result, some gluten-sensitive people cannot tolerate oats.

Because gluten gives elasticity to dough and provides chewiness to breads and baked goods, it is often found in many pantry staples, including breads, white and whole wheat pastas, baking flours, and cereals. This is a list of common products that likely contain gluten unless the package has a “gluten-free” label:

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

Additionally, gluten is found in a number of other products, including cosmetics, vitamins and some pharmaceutical medications. It is important for people who are looking to avoid gluten to read product labels and educate themselves about ingredients.

During digestion, gluten’s two main protein groups, gliadins and glutenins, break down into smaller units. In people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the body’s natural defense system reacts to these proteins by attacking the lining of the small intestine. Without a healthy intestinal lining, the body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs. This can lead to delayed growth, nutrient deficiencies, anemia or osteoporosis and, in more serious cases, result in diabetes, other autoimmune diseases, and intestinal cancers.

However, there are more and more sources of food products without gluten. Following a gluten-free diet and avoiding the above-listed grains is very important for people with conditions like celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.


Food and Drug Administration | Mayo Clinic

The gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease.

Diet details

Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet's restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods. If you can't find them in your area, check with a celiac support group or go online.

If you're just starting with a gluten-free diet, it's a good idea to consult a dietitian who can answer your questions and offer advice about how to avoid gluten while still eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Allowed foods
Many healthy and delicious foods are naturally gluten-free:

· Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form

· Fresh eggs

· Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)

· Fruits and vegetables

· Most dairy products

· It's important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet:

· Amaranth

· Arrowroot

· Buckwheat

· Corn and cornmeal

· Flax

· Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)

· Hominy (corn)

· Millet

· Quinoa

· Rice

· Sorghum

· Soy

· Tapioca

· Teff

Always avoid
Avoid all food and drinks containing:

· Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)

· Rye

· Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)

· Wheat

· Avoiding wheat can be challenging because wheat products go by numerous names. Consider the many types of wheat flour on supermarket shelves — bromated, enriched, phosphated, plain and self-rising. Here are other wheat products to avoid:

· Bulgur

· Durum flour

· Farina

· Graham flour

· Kamut

· Semolina

· Spelt

Avoid unless labeled 'gluten-free'
In general, avoid the following foods unless they're labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:

· Beer

· Breads

· Cakes and pies

· Candies

· Cereals

· Cookies and crackers

· Croutons

· French fries

· Gravies

· Imitation meat or seafood

· Matzo

· Pastas

· Processed luncheon meats

· Salad dressings

· Sauces, including soy sauce

· Seasoned rice mixes

· Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips

· Self-basting poultry

· Soups and soup bases

· Vegetables in sauce

Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. For this reason, doctors and dietitians generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free.

You should also be alert for other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:

Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others

Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent

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