August 2


Going Gluten Free – Easy as 1-2-3!

By Sue Ingebretson

August 2, 2011

autoimmune, balanced diet, fats, fibromyalgia, gluten, proteins, Veggies, Wheat/gluten


Going gluten free isn’t rocket science. Really.

We’ve all heard – especially in the fibromyalgia and autoimmune world – that going wheat and gluten free can have powerfully healing benefits. Because you can learn more about my own journey to health (including my experience in going wheat/gluten free) in my book, FibroWHYalgia, I’ll focus today just on the how rather than the why.

So, what common foods contain wheat/gluten? You can visit for a more comprehensive “no-no” list, but in general, wheat/gluten can be found in many/most processed foods as well as these fundamental ingredients:


–         Wheat

–         Barley

–         Bran

–         Malt

–         Spelt

–         Rye

–         Pasta

–         Enriched Flours

–         Bleached Flours

–         Brown Flours

–         Couscous

–         Kamut

–         Oatmeal (contamination likely if processed in a mfg. facility with other wheat/gluten products)

–         Teriyaki Sauce

Now, does that list look like your entire diet? If so, it may be a glaring indication of one cause of your pain and inflammation problems.

If you tend to eat whole foods (foods found in nature), then you’re one step ahead of the game. You’ve already eliminated a large percentage of the wheat/gluten no-no list.

Did you notice how many veggies you see on this list? None! If your daily food intake consists of healthy proteins (whether animal or plant based), fresh, whole vegetables, and healthy fats – you’re in the clear!

Of course, finding the correct balance of these nutrients for you is part of your own health journey.

Don’t make this harder than it has to be.

After speaking to a friend who had recently gone on a wheat/gluten free weekend, I was amazed at her frustration and confusion over the issue. She had a meltdown explaining her empty bank account, her empty resources of energy, and her increase of symptoms!

In my humble opinion, she’d jumped right from the fire to the frying pan (or, more likely, from bread to a gluten-free bagel). She spent boatloads of $$ at the store on any package that shouted Gluten Free! Her nutrition pendulum had swung from gluten-filled packaged foods to gluten-free packaged foods. But wait … what’s in those gluten free packaged products anyway?

While we can point the finger at wheat/gluten for increasing pain and digestive troubles, what about the other artificial and chemical ingredients listed? What other ingredients can also be the cause of pain, inflammation, irritable bowel symptoms, etc.?

Let’s keep it simple.

Wanna feel better right away by removing wheat/gluten from your diet?

1)      Eat veggies.

2)      Eat quality proteins (i.e., animal meats, and/or beans, legumes, nuts, seeds).

3)      Eat high quality fats (i.e., coconut/grapeseed/olive oils, avocado, raw cream, etc.).

In other words … think outside the box (or bag, or can….you get the point).

Got questions? Let me know how you’re doing!


  1. I did this before – went gluten free- before FM & ME, because I spent a week in hospital with severe stomach pains. In the end was told I had the worse case of IBS they had seen! So, I decided to go gluten free, felt fab & lost some excess weight. Then when I became pregnant was told by health visitor that I had to eat bread, so I did. That was 6 years ago. When I was 6 months pregnant I developed aches & pains that they put down to pregnancy and after I’d had my daughter they got worse, and doing the simplest of things for her hurt. My daughter, now nearly 6 years old has just been diagnosed with ME. So going gluten free has crossed my mind again, I tried it again about a year ago and found it really difficult second time around, mainly because not being upto cooking from scratch. How do I do it with a 6 year olds diet to consider? She has school dinners at the moment, I am prepared to prepare her packed lunches, but don’t know where to start. I just replaced bread with rice cakes for me, but that is packaged, she doesn’t like them & not practical for preparing in advance. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Karen – thanks for the great comment! Sounds like your body is already telling you that gluten is not your friend. Problems from wheat/gluten are also linked to endometriosis and fibroids – that could be another cause of pain for you. But … on to your question about your kids! In general, kids will eat what they see their parents eating. If you don’t have bread/pastas, etc. at home, they won’t miss it. I can see that packing lunches might be a challenge. I’ve seen thin tortillas made from brown rice that would work well as a wrap. You could use hummus or Greek yogurt (if they’re not dairy intolerant) as a spread and then pile on turkey, chicken, veggies, etc. You can even use almond butter and/or coconut butter. Yum! I’ve also seen simple beaten eggs cooked so thin that it becomes like a crepe. That makes a nice wrap for veggies, meat, etc. There are SO many families nowadays with gluten issues, that I know there are websites and other resources that would help you through. You might want to check to see what they suggest. There’s a great cookbook on that could help, too. Also, you could Google “Kid-friendly gluten free” and see what pops up.

      It would be so worth it! You’d help your children’s immune systems and overall help them to be healthier and more resistant to infections. Let me know how it goes!

  2. I have been eating gluten free for about six years now. I tried it just to see if it had any benefits for various health problems I was having. It amazed me how quickly I felt better. My migraines were eliminated as well as most of my sinus headaches. My energy levels improved greatly as well as digestion problems cleared up that I had dealt with my whole life. If I accidentally get gluten then I suffer three to five days of headache and flu like symptoms so I am happy to stay on the gluten free diet. I also had to go dairy free as well. My son who has asthma and allergies also benefited from going gluten free.
    It does take some planning ahead but it is worth the effort. I found some corn thins that I use for sandwiches that I like better than bread. I also found some gluten free waffles that pop in the toaster that I use for breakfast with a GF sausage. You can ask at some stores for a list of their products that are gluten free, or look for GF on labels. There are more and more products available all the time. Natural or health food stores are a good source too. Hope this helps!

    1. Thanks Patti for the great information! I’m glad to know that both you AND your family have benefited from your willingness to try something new. It’s also a great testament to your “stick to it” personality!

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson