Have you been told you need to start a gluten free diet?? It may seem so overwhelming at first, but with a little help and mindset adjustment, it won’t be so bad 😉 Here are my top three tips for starting a gluten free diet.

But first off, enjoy those last few days of gluten filled meals and snacks while you can, you might miss it a little.

#1 Clean out your cabinets

After cleaning out your cabinet, give all of your opened containers to family and friends that would likely use it up, instead of throwing it away- things like tortillas, breadcrumbs, cereals, etc. Anything that is unopened can be donated to a food shelf or just give it to your friends and family as well.

Once you have a clean slate, it’s a lot easier to go about choosing meals; out of sight, out of mind, right? Being gluten free will make you a lot more resourceful when it comes to cooking. You’ll find substitutions for things and be a lot more mindful when choosing such meals to cook.

If you have family members who are not willing to go gluten free with you, create a designated shelf or cabinet for them, just to make it easier when deciding what to eat—then those Goldfish aren’t looking right at you when you’re looking for a little snack 😉

#2 Prep food for when you’re out of the house

The biggest issue I run into is finding food when I’m not at home. Before going gluten free, I didn’t have to worry about what my next meal would be. “Oh, I’ll just stop by a gas station or fast-food place if I need to.” Well, that’s not the case anymore. In order to live, you gotta eat. So, I always make sure to plan ahead with a little snack box, meal, or whatever I need to sustain me for the time I am away. And a little extra, just in case I’m away for longer than anticipated.

#3 Really read the labels

Don’t just assume there isn’t gluten in it, you’d be surprised at the number of things that actually contain it. Malt is one of those confusing ingredients that you may overlook, but it actually comes from grains. Malt is included in quite a few beverages, like malted milkshakes, malt vinegar, beers, whiskeys, and Smirnoff Ice beverages (no more icing your gluten free friends 🙁). Another thing that really threw me off… I figured licorice was mostly sugar, but turns out there’s wheat in it!!

Although sifting through labels is an added task to my everyday routine, I consider it a blessing in disguise. The biggest thing I’ve learned from being on a gluten free diet is that there are so many nasty ingredients in some prepackaged foods. Sifting through all the labels has really made me conscious about the rest of the ingredients going into my body, not just ones that pertain to gluten. And remember, there are A LOT of alternatives to your favorite ‘gluten-filled’ things, it just takes time to find them, so don’t be too bummed out if you can’t eat gluten anymore 😉

My favorite gluten free finds:

Go to snacks

  • Cashews, cheese, and fruit
  • Apples and almond butter/ yogurt dip
  • Fruit and nut granola bars
  • Popcorn


Pre-packaged items – not that great for you since they’re pre-packaged, but they’re bomb and I can’t gatekeep these.

  • Gluten free Oreos
  • Quest birthday cake frosted cookies
  • Trader Joe’s gluten free coffee cake muffins
  • Trader Joe’s gluten free everything bagels


If you think a gluten free diet might benefit you, give our Functional Medicine providers a visit today!

Written By: Hailey Torborg