ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Being Gluten Free

Updated on May 15, 2012

What Is Gluten?

Eleven years ago we first found out that we had a wheat sensitivity, and heard the term "gluten free". Gluten is the protein in wheat. Its the gooey part of your bread dough that holds it together and makes it fluffy and light when it is cooked. Some people do not realize that white flour is made from wheat, and still contains the gluten. A wheat sensitivity is most commonly a sensitivity to the protein of the wheat, or the gluten.

Why We Went Wheat Free

Our lives centered on bread at that point in time. I prided myself on my baking ability. I took prizes in baking contests in grade school. I was the high schooler that always had freshly baked cookies in my locker to share with my friends. Potlucks brought people finding me to tell me how wonderful my cookies or breads were, and clamoring to get the recipe. My house was always filled with the smell of something in the oven. My daughter and I loved to make desert and quick breads for dinner that night, or to have ready for breakfast the next day. Our diet fit into the conventional food pyramid quite well, except that we always ate more fruits and vegetables than were required.

And then we learned that gluten was causing the depression and mood swings that my daughter and I both suffered from....

The End.. or A Beginning?

Does it mean the end of sandwiches?

But I love spaghetti!

Is it the end of cheese and crackers?

I believe the first reaction most people have when they realize that they need to remove gluten from their diet is to start listing off all the things that they can no longer have. We get used to our lives being a certain way, become accustomed to certain foods... even look forward to favorite treats. When you realize that those normal things are changing, we all feel a loss. It is almost like losing a close friend.

But you don't have to get stuck in that emotion. Embrace the change! Start looking for all the benefits you will receive! Start looking for all the familiar foods that you CAN still have. This will make your transition easier.

A New Perspective

When you start looking from this new perspective, you start to realize that life goes on, and you can still have most of your favorite food things. It might be a little bit harder to find them without gluten, but they are out there. And if they are not, you can probably find a gluten-free recipe for them!

There is rice bread out there, or you can learn to use alternatives like lettuce leaves as wraps. Spaghetti noodles are common in rice pasta brands, and easy to find online if not in your local store. Crackers are available made with rice flour, and even nut flour. We prefer the nut flour... we love Nut Thins!

I have put together a store of all of the things I have found on Amazon for all those who are new and overwhelmed by looking for gluten free foods. You can find it at Being Gluten Free.

Benefits of Being Gluten-Free

Everyone reacts slightly differently to gluten, just like anything else. Gluten is best known to cause depression. It also causes those spots some of you get on your teeth, and in extreme cases can cause teeth to simply decay and fall apart. Lesser known reactions are to the waistline... Somehow it doesn't put on any weight, but it can make the waistline expand almost instantaneously!

In Our House Being Gluten Free Means:

  • No more depression.
  • No more tooth pain, or crumbling teeth. It means spots on teeth stop spreading or developing.
  • Fitting into the same size jeans I wore 17 years and 3 children ago.
  • No more mood swings.
  • Being able to play and laugh with my children.
  • Clear and creative thinking.

What Do Milk And Wheat Have in Common?

Milk and wheat have nothing in common, right? One is a plant, and one comes from a cow. How could they have anything in common?

Dairy protein is almost identical in chemical structure to wheat gluten (the protein). It often causes similar responses in people with a gluten sensitivity. Dairy protein can often be the missing piece in trying ot eliminate gluten from your diet.

Use a good quality of any dairy products to avoid gluten reactions to it.

Our suggestions? We like to use Challenge butter when it is on sale. Although I avoid shopping at Wal-Mart, some of their house brand products are really pretty good. The Wal-Mart Unsalted Butter, in the blue box, is one of these! The Wal-Mart heavy whipping cream is among the best brands we have found too! If you live in Arizona, look for Shamrock Farms first...they have committed to no growth hormones, and take care of their cows. I talked at length with them to find out, and have visited their farms.

Cheese can often cause gluten like reactions. The chemical coloring seems to cause this, although I don't have facts to back that up. The various starch used to keep the shredded cheese separate also seems to be problematic. Look for a brand of cheese that uses annatto for coloring. For shredded cheese, potato starch seems to be the least problematic.

We have found the Kroger brand of cheese to be quite tasty, and not cause any reactions! Kroger brand can be found at Smith's Food and Drug, Kroger, Fry's and Fred C. Meyers. I am not familiar with any other Kroger store names, but there may be more.

Wal-mart has recently changed their house brand cheese to use annatto and potato starch. Don't take my word for it though, always read the label!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Sparkle Chi profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      So many people can benefit from removing the gluten from their diet! Experiment with removing it completely for several days, at least four, and take notice of differences in your son's behaviors.

      I am so glad you found encouragement to try again in my words! Good luck!

    • tebo profile image


      6 years ago from New Zealand

      I have been toying with the idea of gluten free for myself and my son. I did have him gluten free for a couple of years a while ago and I think he did function better. He is on the autistic spectrum. After reading about your family I should give it another go. Thanks for all the interesting information.

    • Sparkle Chi profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Most definitely! Finding the connection with my daughter (and my whole family) with problems with gluten was one very important step in managing what other people were saying was ADHD. Today I have a well balanced nineteen year old who is brilliant and creative!

    • Rfordin profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Hmmm I just commeneted about gluten and Autism in my reply to you...interesting connection. I must ask is gluten free the way you changed your daughters diet to take matters into your own hands so to speak?

      Regardless I have a friend who went gluten free and I must say I NEVER knew how much society depends on it. I suppose to much of anyhting is a bad thing but when I wtinessed her changing EVERYTHING she ate it really was an eye opener to gluten. Now-a-days around here we do shop for some things gluten free but I don't go over boad on this one as I also have allergies to take into account. Interesting tho....thank you!


    • lisabeaman profile image


      8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Great hub! I suspect that I may have a gluten allergy myself and have gone without gluten (minus one birthday doughnut) for a month now. I can't believe how much better I feel! I'm working on a hub right now about my experiment and I ran across this one. Thanks!

    • Sparkle Chi profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Jim10, you should read through my 'Allergic To Everything' hub. I talk about our milk allergy there. Allergies are not necessarily something that are grown out of, but rather the reaction to them changes. Sometimes by eliminating an allergen for a few years, you can successfully rotate it back in.

      Milk is so easy to avoid that I wouldn't worry about your son's allergy to it. Lots of dark leafy greens will provide better calcium for growing bones and teeth anyways!

    • jim10 profile image


      10 years ago from ma

      My youngest son is allergic to milk. So we have been doing our best to keep it out of his diet. Hopefully he will eventually grow out of it. He is doing a lot better now without it. He is one and got severe constipation whenever he got any milk.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)