Getting Started on a Gluten Free Diet

Hello all,

This week a commenter mentioned that she was developing several celiac disease symptoms and asked for advice on starting a gluten free diet, so I’ve decided to use her questions as an impetus to write a series of articles. I sat down last night and jotted down a list of 10 actions that I would take if I were starting a gluten free diet again. I’ll start the series by expounding on these points, and then see where it goes from here. Feel free to chime in with your own advice and questions as we go.

~Mary Frances

Week One:
1. Figure out what you’re going to eat for the next week.
2. Go grocery shopping.
3. Cull your gluten contaminated cookware.
4. Start learning about what foods contain gluten and what foods do not.
5. Decide whether your household will go completely gluten free or not.

Week Two:
6. Identify the gluten free foods in your pantry.
7. Figure out what to eat for the next week.
8. Go grocery shopping and start figuring out what gluten free foods your grocery store carries.
9. Bake a loaf of gluten free bread.
10. Stock a basic gluten free baking pantry.


  1. #9: I would highly recommend using a gluten free sandwich bread mix to bake your first loaf of bread. Baking gluten free bread is tricky and can be extremely overwhelming to do in your second week. I didn’t attempt this until a couple of years after I went gluten free. When I did, I grabbed the CIA’s gluten free baking cookbook and visited my mother in law who used to bake a dozen loaves of bread at once. Everyone is different, so if you feel up to it, then go for it!

  2. Great idea. Starting out can be soooo overwhelming.

  3. chelle webb says:

    Thank you for this, I just got this in my email….

    We had some breakdowns this week, especially because we were
    traveling. I was desperate one day and just bought shrimp from Costco and that’s what we all ate! I had spent 9.00 on a hamburger from redrobin and she didn’t want it! No, bun…..

    I am sure other mom’s have had this problem. What do you do, for eating on the road! Any restaurants with soups?

  4. Katrina over at Gluten-Free Goddess has a really useful starter guide, although she doesn’t have gf children so for that you might want to check out R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids). When I’m on the road I look for Wendy’s or Five Guys, but usually I keep a small cooler in my trunk and carry my own food.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for all the tips!! I am scouring away for information. I have already have several beat my head against the wall moments, as if I find something casein free, it normally has soy in it. Or somethings have shellfish. That is a no no for me too.
    I am about to look for coconut oil, which I am told is very good in baking. I have not attempted in breads yet, but I used to bake with my Dad all the time, so I would not mind getting back into the habit.
    Any recipe recommendations to try first? Has to be casein and soy free.
    I have seen several on the site that I want to try, but just wondering if people have a favorite.

    I am trying to make a starter grocery list, so I can order from Amazon or Whole foods. I am cleaning out pantry now. I am shocked at the amount of stuff I am giving away. The food bank will be happy though

  6. I frequently did not eat bread during the week. So when I found that gluten was one of my problem foods I didn’t regret losing bread from my diet. Particularly for a beginner I would suggest that rather than focusing on making or finding a copy of a food that is off limits, concentrate on making meals that don’t involve bread.

    The thought of baking bread wasn’t and isn’t overwhelming. I am a pretty experienced baker, challah included. I still don’t copy bread.

    However, for a first action, I would add in finding out about any changes you will need to make in religious observances. For Jews there are changes to the shabbat and holiday meals, (no Blessing For Bread, no full Grace After Meals) you have to know what you are doing. Instead of boring you all with the details, those concerned should ask the experts. (Competent rabbis)

  7. My son (who is eight)is on a gluten free diet but he is also diabetic.Gulten free food is high in carbs which makes it a little harder.Any recipes with carb amounts would be very helpful in knowing how much he can eat.Thanks for any help you can give in this area.

  8. So glad I ran across this article. We just decided to switch to a gluten free diet to deal with some health issues. Please continue to provide info for us newbies!

  9. I just want to know if you can put opened flours in an air tight container and keep them in your cabinet, or if they have to go in to the freezer.


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