How To Start Living Gluten-Free

Please go to my updated How to Go Gluten-Free Page
Thank you,



Anonymous said...

HI--This is a great source of information for the newbie to the gf lifestyle. I especially appreciate your commitment to whole healthful foods,not processed gf junk food, the real key to gluten free eating. Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see what's next.

~kirsten~ said...

Oh man. That is so great. Thank you Karina! I got here (your site) from Chris at I haven't been OFFICIALLY diagnosed but went off gluten for about 4 months and NEVER felt better in my life. That said, I fell off the wagon a couple months ago and your site and all the info in it may just push me back into it. I mean, you'd think I'd stick with it since I literally have not felt as good as I did GF ever in my life. Keep posting, you are a huge encouragement, and I've only been here for 2 days!!

karina said...

Thank you both for taking the time to comment! It's always fun to read feedback. Come back and visit often.

Take care and eat well!


Anonymous said...

My mother is a celiac on a gluten free diet for five years now -- and I just got diagnosed with the gluten intolerance gene, among other things (but not full fledged celiac). So, it's on to a gluten free and possibly casein free diet for me!

I wanted to let you know how exciting it is to find gluten-free blogs on the internet. Yours is so much more personal than a cookbook and the shopping lists have already been a help. Thank you so much.


LaURi* said...

I love you!♥
I can't tell you what a big help this blog is to me. My blood work cant back positive for celiac disease two weeks ago and ive been struggling to find things to eat, as im sure you know its also super fusturating.
Thanks for the inspiration that its not really as bad as it seems!

karina said...

Anon~ Thank you so much! [That this blog has helped] means a lot to me. Hope you're feeling better every day!

LaURi* ~ It is frustrating at first - but it does get easier - trust me! Hang in there, and stop by again...I'm always adding something... ;-)

Be well, you two!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know where else to post these questions/comments. I'm allergic to wheat but also a celiac.

-Have you found a gf chewing gum?

-Have you found a good liquid (NOT antibacterial) hand soap that is GF? I usually know when I touch wheat because I get a spidery red rash but I'm nervous about using a product that is WF but not GF and then eating without washing the gluten off.

karina said...

Many gums are GF - Wrigley's Eclipse is one I've used. Check the GF lists linked in the article above for more brands.

The liquid soap I use is Softsoap - all their soap is gluten free [as of this writing]. They have several that are not antibacterial.

Lynn said...

I wish you'd been around when my mom was diagnosed years ago... we had a hard time with it, made even harder by the fact that we're vegetarians, and my grandmother and father won't give up their gluten (long, long story). My aunt was diagnosed recently, and my uncle went completely gluten free for her, like your husband. We didn't even think about the fridge handle thing! I'll have to mention that to my mom.

Your zucchini gratin sounds really good, I'll have to keep checking back for more recipe ideas (I'm the amateur chef in the fam). I love the gluten free bread crumbs you do - we keep those waffles around all the time, but I never thought about using them to make bread crumbs.

Thanks for the recipes!

k a r i n a said...

Hi Lynn!

It's hard at first, I know. Especially for vegetarians. I'm glad you're stopping by now; and glad your family is responding to the gluten-free lifestyle.

And yes - do try the Van's waffles for GF breadcrumbs [I know some folks out there think that's a rather strange idea, but, trust me! They are crunchy and golden and very close to the "real thing".]

Thanks for your kind comments!

Anonymous said...

I had to post a response because so much of what you've written is what I've been looking for! I got a phone call last week from my Dr. that basically said, "you have celiac, go online and find the diet.". I was so happy that what's been happening to me is both 'real' and treatable....then came the frustration of figuring out the diet alone and bad (health) days I can only attribute to hidden gluten. We have five children and so there's a lot of gluten in our house. Thanks for the inspiration of having a gluten free home. I am so thankful to have found your blog...thank you so very, very much for taking the time to help and encourage others along this frustrating, healing time.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently doing an apprenticeship at a gluten-free/lactose-free restaurant. I must say, this looks very well put together, I'll have to read more, if for no reason other than to learn how to work with other products. You really should write a cookbook!

Anonymous said...

although gluten-free for many years, this post is especially helpful - thanks so much! love the new look, and yes, you should definitely write a cookbook!

karina said...

Hi Anon~ Wow! That's some in depth medical guidance, eh? ;-) Or maybe it's progress. Many of us "on-line" know more about living gluten free than the doctors [did I say that out loud?].

karina said...

Hi Anon! A gluten free restaurant? Wow. That's terrific!

Hola, Anon! Thanks so much! [I am linking the new look, too. Having fun tweaking...] Glad you posted.

Thanks, both of you! Take care.

Midwest Mother said...

I would like to send my sincere thanks for your web site. I think your site is the most impressive, enjoyable compilation of information on any topic, much less celiac disease and how to live/eat with gluten intolerance, that I have come across since surfing the world wide web daily for years.

I do not have a gluten intolerance but have a 20 year old daughter that had been feeling sick for years. As a last resort, knowing our insurance would not cover the visit, we took our daughter to Mayo Clinic in the summer of 2004. We left Mayo Clinic with no diagnosis and the recommendation for my daughter to take Citrucel, antidepressants, and she should see a psychiatrist. Her health continued to deteriorate to the point she could not function and was going to drop out of school and move back home, when I happened to see a young woman on Good Morning America last January. My daughter had all but one symptom this young woman on TV had, as thankfully she had started vomiting after eating or I am not sure I would have put the information together.

My daughter did NOT have one notable symptom resounding in the volumes of symptom information lists I have looked at, that being weight loss. My daughter would be classified as medically obese as she is overweight. She never had the poor dietary habits of a normal teen, and danced 5 days a week all through high school but could never lose weight. Rarely do you read that you can be overweight and have celiac but I have found medical information from a Dr. Joseph Murray at the Mayo Clinic that obesity should not rule out the possiblity of Celiac Disease. Dr. James Braly M.D., author of Dangerous Grains, states there are more obese / overweight people with Celiac than underweight people.

In the Winter 2006 edition at, there is an interesting article by Melissa Croda called, Celiac Disease and Obesity - There is a Connection. Though I wanted my daughter to have testing to be diagnosed she had become so severely depressed and sick of Drs., as well as me and my constant daily research for what was wrong with her, she was unwilling to get tested. However since she was at a desperate low in her life, she reluctantly asked what she could and could not eat, never expecting anything.

Within 48 hours of cutting out bagels and macaroni and cheese, the mainstay diet of a poor college student, she could not ignore how different she felt within such a short period of time. In 3 days she felt better than she could remember feeling in years and there has been no looking back for her since last January. Sadly I feel if my daughter had been very thin, quite possibly some Dr. over the years may have questioned a gluten problem. Thankfully I found the Gluten Free Goddess and thus I have been frequenting your site for the past 10 months. I am never disappointed!

Today I had once again been trying to find what bouillon you had recommended that I had seen on a list last summer, but have not been able to find since. It is so helpful to have specific product names, and I always prefer and trust your recommended brands, when cooking for my daughter the few times a year she returns home. For whatever reason, this is the first time I have seen a way to reach you, so I took advantage to share a bit of our story, and to let you know what a marvelous and inspirational resource you are.

I want to thank you for the generosity of your time and the passion you put into your web site. Please know you are sincerely appreciated from a mother in the Midwest.

Karina said...

Hola, Midwest Mom!

Thank you for your kind and informative comment. I [and readers] truly appreciate it.

Celiac disease has an ever-widening spectrum, and not everyone has classic malabsorption symptoms. This is an important message to post.

I'm so glad to hear your daughter is improving on a gluten-free diet - thanks to an alert mother!

To answer your question, the bouillon I use is called Better Than Bouillon. It's delicious, and organic. It comes in a jar. I've seen it available at Walmart, Whole Foods, and Albertsons, too, I believe.

Today I posted my favorite mac & cheese recipe, called Kicked Up Mac & Cheese. If your daughter misses mac and cheese, she might give this recipe a whirl.

Take care, and thank you, again, for writing this fab comment for our readers!

Neurotic Grad Student said...

My boyfriend has Celiac's and it is very stressful for me, an abysmal cook to begin with, to find easy to prepare meals for him. This web site is very encouraging for those of us with loved ones who have these dietary restrictions. Thanks for your help and effort. I will be checking back here regularly.

Karina said...

Hi Grad Student!

I'm glad you found GFG. Browse the recipes via Labels - there are lots of easy ideas. I'm not really a complicated cook. It's more toss-together cooking, so no fear!

Take care - and be well - both of you.


Kelley said...

I know this is an old post, but I have just found it. I learned that I have Celiac about a year ago, but I didn't fully go gluten free until this week (long LONG story)!

Anyway, I've been browsing your blog for hours it seems, marveling in all of the delicious looking recipes. And I just wanted to say thanks for being here. Your blog has been a great encouragement for me. <3

sms said...

i'm so thrilled i found your website today! i've been trying to go gluten free for 6 months. and i've been discouraged by some of the cookbooks i've seen, & am excited to try some of your recipies, they look and sound delicious! over the holidays i had a hard time w/contamination and really suffered. i was in so much pain. people know i can't eat gluten but can't understand why i can't have stuffing! etc.
is there a way to bring your own food as a guest w/o offending the hostess? thanks

Karina said...

Hi Kelley!

I'm glad you found my blog - and although this is an old post, it is viewed every single day - multiple times - by newcomers and the newly diagnosed.

Take care and be well - welcome to gluten-freedom.

Hi sms~ I'm glad you stopped by.

Bringing food to an event or another's dinner party is never an easy thing to do [it's a delicate tip toe between expressing your own needs and setting a boundary and keeping your host/hostess happy], but it can be worth it.

Cross contamination is a very big issue, and if hosts really understood how hard it is to make an absolutely 100% gluten-free meal for a guest, they'd be grateful for your offer to bring your own dish.

I usually try to distill it down to an image they can understand. I say, If I inadvertently eat a speck of gluten the size of ONE TENTH of a grain of rice, I will be sick for three days. At that point, they usually say, Oh my! Well by all means, bring that lasagna of yours!

Some, in spite of your best explanation, will still choose to be offended. If they make that choice, they were not truly your friend to begin with. Unfortunately this is true for family, too.

Then there's the other option [I do most often]. I eat before I go. Once there, I drink a glass of wine, relax and enjoy the company.

Slacker Mom said...

Thank you for the service you have provided here. I had found your blog a couple of months ago, not sure if this was going to be a permanent thing for me.

I just got my diagnosis yesterday, and now I will have to adopt this lifestyle.

I know I will come back again and again to check on something, to find a new recipe as I am ready to try more and more.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Karina said...

Welcome to the GF Lifestyle, Slacker Mom!

You'll be feeling so much better soon. Take it slow at first, and give your body time to adjust, to heal, and find strength again...

And in the meantime, there are some yummy recipes here to try. ;-)

Anonymous said...

This is a great site. One more thing gluten sensitives need to be aware of: many beauty products such as shampoo, conditioner, soaps have wheat in them. It took me quite awhile to figure out why I was still having symptoms even after cutting out gluten.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am so happy I found you!

My Fiance has been diagnosed with celiac disease. I am so excited to make your recipes! I am making pumpking cheesecake tonight (valentine's day) to surprise him!!! Thank you.


Karina said...

Hi Anon - yes, good point. I avoid hair products, cosmetics and lotions that contain wheat proteins.

Hi Lindsey! Welcome. How sweet of you. Your fiance is a lucky man. ;-)

kerry said...

Thank you for your website and blog. I was diagnosed potentially celiac in the beginning of January as the Dr. thot I had DH. After two skin biopsies and blood work I was definitively diagnosed mid-month.

After crying for a weekend I became proactive and found your God-sent blog and recipes! YUM! I do not feel like I am suffering; to be honest I think I am eating much better!

So thank you, thank you, thank you! As I type this the smell of your goddess cake is wafting thru my kitchen! Cannot wait to share it with my family and friends tonight!

Keep the recipes coming!


Karina said...

Hi Kerry!

I'm so glad you found my blog! Welcome. It gets easier with each passing GF day, I promise. And the best part is - you'll feel better!

Come back soon. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I have never had more help than I have in the past 10 minutes going through your website! I have been GF for about since Jan. (I couldn't give it up around the holidays!) I have never felt better, I have both celiac and lupus, AND one kidney! And since I have cut out gluten my immunity has vastly improved, all awful symptoms have dissapeared, and I feel about 10,000 times more energetic. I am so exstatic to have found your blog, and thanks for putting it out there! I'll be a religious reader from here on out.

Anonymous said...

What brand of corn tortilla chips and blue corn tortilla chips do you recommend?

Karina said...

Hi Anon!

Welcome. I am sorry to hear that you have both celiac and lupus - an all-too-common pairing. That is a lot to handle! But you are moving in the right direction, toward living gluten-free.

Come back often! I wish you renewed health and healing.


Karina said...

Hola Anon!

As for chips - the tortilla chips I like are Whole Foods and Trader Joe's plain or salted organic yellow, or organic blue corn chips.

They are listed as gluten-free. [I also avoid soybean oil, another reason I like both their brands.]

As always - please read labels. You never know when a company may change their recipe.

Be well!


Christina said...

My 14 year old son and I just found out we both have Celiac Disease, I found your blog today and am so thrilled. You've answered so many of my questions!

Karina said...

Hi Christina!

Welcome - I'm glad you found us.



Matt said...

Thank you for your writings.

Bridget said...

Hi Karina,

You don’t know me, but I just wanted to say a huge thank-you...for just being you!

I stumbled on your website whilst looking for some recipes for my son (who has recently been diagnosed, via a natural practitioner, as being gluten intolerant). I have to admit I was feeling a little peeved at the prospect of gluten free shopping and cooking – until....I saw your beautiful website. I am now feeling all lush and prepared and not intimidated by the limitations at all. So a million thanks to you.

I wonder if you ever thought that you would touch and inspire someone all the way over in Australia!?!

Hope this finds you well and happy,


Lou Ellen said... this gluten free site. My son was diagnosed with celiac disease by blood work and symptoms. Been experiencing symtoms for over ten years and thereby could only eat certain things that agreed with him but it wasn't until this last Fall after going to emergency room with such abdominal pain that they did blood work and days later the results came back positive for celiac. He had lost weight due to constant diarrhea and some of his blood counts were also low....he immediately started to follow a gluten free diet and began feeling better...six months later he is symptom free and has gained almost 30 lbs. when he has something he shouldn't he experiences unplesant symptoms....returning to college again for grad. school in August will again put him into a less desirable environment (eating wise) for celiac and he knows that eating the "no-no's" and being possible symptom free is still many questions but our biggest a small intestional biopsy necessary to make celiac conclusive like so much of the literature suggests? He is concerned that one is necessary based on what we have read even though his wonderful results from eating gluten free suggests otherwise! I could write a book and would love to educate myself on recipes etc. ...thanks and I am going send this website on his way....Lou Ellen I also wanted to comment on his symptoms that have cleared up almost 100%: abdominal pain, bloating, gas, indigestion, achy joints, ezcezma, tiredness, weight loss...In addition, an interesting fact is that he has craved chinese food for years since his symptoms began and ate it several times a week...his body tolerated it quite well altho, now I wonder if it is all that good for you?! Bye, Again

Anonymous said...

Hi...My boyfriend has celiac and I've been experimenting with baking many different things for him. One thing that has given me a lot of trouble is cookies. I can't get them to stick and hold to a cookie shape. It's like they just melt in the oven. I use a mixture of flour, and have tried adding an extra egg white, but still have not had much success. Do you have any new suggestions? I would love some help. Also, I'm going to attempt to make him some bread in the next you have any helpful hints for that?

Thanks much!

Karina Allrich said...

Hi Mandi,

Cookies can be problematic. Try chilling the dough first. Make sure the oven is pre-heated. You might try using parchment paper on the baking sheet... And using a tad less liquid to create a stiffer dough. can do what I do - make cookie bars in a pan. They're easy, and never disappoint [unless you over-bake them]. Check my recipes for cookie bars.

Take care and be well - your BF, too!


lam3001 said...

Hey this is a great intro to being gluten-free (especially for vegetarians like me). I found out a couple of months ago after my mother figured out she had celiac disease.

I had to crack up when I read your comment about dropping the chocolate croissants and picking up rice cakes with peanut butter... I think I pretty much lived on rice cakes with peanut butter and corn chips with humus for the first few weeks.

It also took me a while to go truly gluten free -- at least a month or so -- I think I just wasn't willing to accept all the cross contamination issues. I was eating lunch out everyday a few months ago, and many take-out dinners too...

Anyway, thanks for the resource!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina, I'm not gluten intolerant, but several friends are and we got together the other night, and I baked the Dark Goddess Cake. I just wanted to thank you for the resources. I've pointed several acquaintances here over the years. Keep on sharing your knowledge with us!

Tracy said...

In your experience, have you heard anything about gluten being related to behavior changes in children? I just heard on Oprah yesterday that there is some evidence to support a gluten-free diet actually helping kids with autism. The mothers on the show described their kids' behavior improving after going GF. My child is not autistic, but is prone to temper tantrums (often related to sugar!) and I wonder if it would help to try a GF diet? Have you heard anything about this?

Karina said...

Heya 3001! Glad you found it useful. Hope you're hanging there- and doing great! :)

Thanks, Anon- and enjoy a piece of Dark Goddess cake for me (now that I must avoid eggs). ;)

Hi Tracy! Yes, absolutely. The proteins from wheat/gluten and milk have an opiod effect on our brain chemistry.

With all the processed foods out there- we (as a nation) are consuming these proteins in everything- flavorings, additives etc.. And fast food. Our kids are eating more added (non-related) proteins with every bite.

In other words- when you bite into a ranch style chip you're not only eating potato- or corn- you're eating the milk proteins, wheat proteins and food components of other flavors used to enhance the chip.

It's overload.

No wonder our kids feel assaulted.

Google this issue- because there is a lot of information out there on this.

Good luck!


Liz said...

I love your website!! Your story gives me such inspiration to move forward. I'm 46 years old and I was diagnosed 6 weeks ago with refractive celiac disease. In 2 short months, I went from a healthy and active 135 pound woman to 103 pounds (I'm 5'8"). The only sympton I had was severe diarrhea. I spent almost a month in a hospital on Long Island before I finally found Dr. Peter Green at the Celiac Disease Center @ Columbia University in New York to treat me. With his research on severe celiac villi atrophy, he is able to keep me alive with a mixture of steriods, Xafaxan and Entercort (along with tons of vitamins and minerals and at least 3 Boosts a day). I never knew that Celiac Disease could be THIS bad. In order to correct the damage done to the villi and try to absorb some protein, I will be on these medications for about a year along with the gluten-free diet forever! That's why I love your website...there is so much for me here. It's my new home. I can't thank you enough! I just want to get better (it's going to be a long journey), enjoy my family and embrace my new life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Karina, this is awesome info.
i was diagnosed nearly 4 years ago and really would have liked a helping hand and some moral support back then.
nowadays it has become much easier as
Gluten Intolerance has taken on epidemic proportions in Australia in the last couple of years and more and more GF products are available in the shops.

Karina said...

Hi Liz- Wow- what a journey you've been on! Thank you for your kind words. I hope you continue to improve and feel stronger- take good care of yourself!

Hi Anon! Thank you, as well. I'm glad, too, that more info and gluten-free products are available now. And you know what? I suspect we're (still) only glimpsing the tip of the iceberg.

Be well- both of you! :)


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that someone else has stood in the grocery store reading fine print. My first trip post "celiac positive" results I spent almost 2 hours and came out with 2 small bags *sigh* each day is a challenge but with the support of family and friends it's getting easier! Thank You for your wisdom and chocolate chip squares they are a blessing! I'm passing on your website to my mom, she'll get a kick out of your sense of humor!

Toronto, Canada

Anonymous said...

This site is a godsend for me who is just beginning on this road. I was feeling overwhelmed and defeated before I even began but your well organized, easily navigated site has made me much more calm and confident on this new journey. A journey that will take me through the rest of my life. Thanks for being so dedicated to helping others. I feel like with this beginning, I will be successful!

V & P said...

Thanks so much... you advice is so important to us newbies!

harlowe said...

I love this site Karina. Thank you so much for those of us who need it - badly. I am a newbie and from process of elimination, discovered it has been wheat that has been causing allergic reactions, so I have been on the search for gluten-free recipes. This site is the best one out there and I really appreciate it.


maninas: food matters said...

hi karina, what's the issue with coffee? thanks!

Karina said...

Hi- and thanks!- Jen, Anon, V & P, and Harlowe- Just know that "we've all been there". It's tough in the beginning- but I promise--- it does get easier. And better! :)

Hi Maninas- Coffee is highly acidic, and if heartburn and acid reflux are one of your celiac symptoms (it sometimes is the only symptom) giving it up will help you heal.

Coffee is also is a powerful digestive stimulant, and may act as a laxative on sensitive celiacs.

Other than that- watch for flavor additives that might not be gluten-free.



Brazlebridge said...

Karina...your site has made me cry tears of relief. Literally. Your outlook is so positive and your advice "If I inadvertently eat a speck of gluten the size of ONE TENTH of a grain of rice, I will be sick for three days" may seem obvious but it has been the most difficult part of coping with contamination in a very large family. Thank you is really not enough...Bless you and your beautiful heart! Pamela

Karina said...

Thank you for your kind words- you made my day!

Stop by often- and take good care of yourself, Pamela. Be well.


Anonymous said...

Hi Karina,

Thank you for your informational blog. I too was diagnosed gluten-intolerant 8 months now, but hadn't gotten to the celiac damage yet. Sometimes I'm frustrated because I think I've been good and yet I have stomach issues. Your info. on those sticky proteins must be why. I have 5 people in my house and I cook for them separately sometimes (my children are not about to give up bagels and sandwiches). Now I realize it must be the cross-contamination of my condiments, and tiny crumbs. (I am careful to stir with different spoons, etc.) I will have to be more careful.
Thanks again!

Karina said...

Hi Anon!

Cross contamination can be a pesky issue. Good luck with it- and I hope you feel better and stronger each day.

Take care!


Anonymous said...

I love you! I am sure you hear that a lot. Thank you for this fabulous site. I wanted to add that my new "doctor", she's not an MD but she's absolutely brilliant, told me the reason we're allergic to gluten is because the wheat DNA was genetically modified in the '40's and not even bugs will eat it, 20 years later people started getting these disease I have (below) and they did the same thing with soy. I'm still learning and I have questions every visit to help me learn more about this dis-ease.

Needless to say, I'm allergic to wheat, dairy and soy. I was diagnosed with Ulcerataive Colitis in March, have had psoriasis for 41 years and developed a rapid heart beat a year ago. I am off all three things and am healing beautifully. I can tell by how my skin looks how my insides look and the outside is getting so pretty.

Okay, thank you, thank you, thank you!


Anonymous said...

My sister & I are both struggling with gluten, and I have a dairy intolerance (couldn't keep the cows milk down since I was little). I have now made the commitment to eat gluten and dairy free. I was in denial for a long time about the dairy part (I like my morning lattes with milk).

This has been a long journey for me. I have been suffering from indigestion & vomiting for a long time. I refused to use the nexium and other crap the doctors hand out on a routine basis. I know they don't fix the problem, just the symptoms and actually make the problem worse. I found digestive enzymes and they made life more bearable, however this still didn't solve the problem.

Now we are coming up on the holidays and I am wondering on how to survive the family get together.

I am glad to find your site. I will have fun trying your recipes.

Karina said...

Hi Tina,

Wow- such encouraging news. I'm so glad you found someone tuned in to gluten and food issues. Continue to heal and feel better- and stop by again soon!

Hey Carol!

It *is* a very long road for some of us. I'm glad you are finally uncovering some answers and getting the help you need. Please stop by again and drop a comment to let us know how you are doing.

Thank you both for sharing- it means a lot to me!



Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Cambria and I'm 11 1/2 years old. I just found out that I have a wheat allergy and might have celiac disease. My mom and I found your website. It's really helped alot. I read about your husband going gluten free and my mom is doing the same thing with me. I just wanted to say thank you for your website it helped alot. :)

Karina said...

Hi Cambria! Thanks so much for introducing yourself. Good for you (and your Mom) that you are researching on the Internet. Educating yourself will help a lot.

You sound like you have a great attitude- and a supportive Mom!

Come back again and let us know how you are feeling. Going gluten-free may help you to feel better than you ever have!

Take care- and say *Hi* to your Mom.


Rebecca said...

Hi Karina-
Your site is great! Your informal approach makes me feel like we're already great friends. And your frequent mention that you're a goddess reminds me that I'm one too. A few weeks ago I found out I am allergic to gluten, casein, and brewer's yeast (which is in anything fermented, like black tea, vinegar, and wine) and I am pretty overwhelmed by the process of figuring out my new diet. I have been vegetarian for years, so I really appreciate the veggie recepies.

As I shopped (my day after grocery binge) at Whole Foods yesterday, I realized that all my favorite meat substitutes are made with gluten. I know you suggest a whole foods diet, but I just don't know what to do without that fake chicken in my dinners. What do you suggest?

Karina said...

Hi Rebecca!

Thanks a bunch- I'm glad you stopped by. I was a vegetarian for years- my main sources for protein were::

Legumes- adding beans or chickpeas to soups, salads, roasted veggies, rice and stir-fries--- and my fave: hummus! (see my recipes)

Nuts- adding nuts to rice dishes, baking and snacking on almonds

Tofu- if you can do soy, try stir-fries with tofu (and also- some brands of seasoned tempeh are safe- check labels)

Cheese- if you can do dairy, or some of the rice/almond/soy based cheeses

I made burger patties with beans and rice

Under veggie recipes, look for my fab veggie loaf

I used large Portobello mushrooms as "burgers"- grilling them and add toppings like a super burger with grilled gluten-free bread

Eggplant sliced and roasted in olive oil, or as "Parmesan" is also a "meaty" alternative

Falafel cakes or "balls" are fab- made from chickpeas

Hope these ideas help!

Take care and be well-


Les said...

Thank You !
Got the news today and I am in shock. I love food. Breads and breadded things are a souce of joy in my life. I got on the net and all the gluten free photos and advice seem like a taste bud death sentance. Reading your blog gives me hope.

Leslie B
Los Angeles

roxy girl said...

Hey There,
My name is Megan and my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease and lactose intolerance March of last year so as you can imagine we are still pretty new to all this. He was always sick, even when we were dating, but after six years of marriage I finally got him to go to a specialist to find out what was going on. When he was finally admitted to the hospital he was 127pds at 6ft tall. He was basically starving to death. It was very scary. When he was first diagnosed he became very depressed but when he was finally able to except what was happing he started to thrive. We are learning more about this disease everyday and we are really beginning to appreciate the benifits of making all your food from scratch with fresh ingredients. He still has flare-ups occasionally because we still have so much to learn but I am proud to say that he now weighs 172 pds, thats heavier than he has ever been in his life, and is much healthier. He used to be the sick one, now I get sick more than him:-) Thank you for your website Karina. It has been very helpful not to mention user friendly. In the beginning its like learning a new language and it is so nice to have a resource that makes things a little easier. God Bless and Happy Holidays!
Thanks, The Romines> on the path to a healthier life:-)

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you so much for this site. We don't have celiac in our family, but we have been told by a professional that our 8 year old daughter is on the autism spectrum, and being as the testing wait lists are a year long, we decided to be proactive.
She went gluten free last week while visiting grandma, and will continue here, as we have begun ridding the house of all things glutenous. We hope to cut dairy once she has adjusted, but as she's always had trouble keeping on weight, we decided to wait on the dairy until we're sure she's not going to start losing.
Your site has given me hope that we will make it through christmas parties and girl scout meetings. Thankfully, we homeschool, so cafeteria food and lunch trading isn't a problem.

I just think it's great that you embrace a lifestyle that you are given, instead of just accept it.

dalia said...

i heave a long sigh and can only say thanks. i am gluten/wheat sensitive and lost 5 pounds after going off wheat for 2 weeks... but it's hard to know where/how to shop for wf/gf/cf products and have been grudgingly eating them again so as not to die of starvation at work.

thank you so much for this resource/blog. i will be devouring it (and all of the recipes contained therein).

Anonymous said...

hey thankyou so much for all the info you posted you made realize some things i should be checking tht i never thought of(lipstick). i am 19 yrs old and i found out i have celiac 8 months ago, so i am still adjusting. i tend to slip up occasionally but then i realize i have to do this for my health. my 22 yr old sister also has celiac, she also found out when she was 19 and she is a big support to me. i was just wondering if you have any tips for my willpower when my friends want to order a pizza on a friday night!;)
thanks stephanie

Deborah said...

Hi - I just typed a really long post and then lost it all!! SO, I will try to condense my question and just ask - I was GF for a year and recently went back to eating 'bad' food since November - I literally fell off the wagon. I was in despair, my weight constantly is going up, never lost more than 5lbs, and I could do with losing 50!! Anyway, since November, my skin feels like spiders are crawling over it all the time...and if I scratch or itch my skin, it then gets raised and has welts on it, and sometimes if I remove my clothes, I'll see welts over different this due to being GF and then coming off it - would you know??

Many thanks - I absolutely love this site, and just came across it today.

Janet said...

Dear Karina!! Thank you, thank you for all you time, research, encouragement and caring that you have taken to put this website together. You have helped countless people and I bless you for this!! I was about to pull my hair out when as a vegan, I was diagnosed with intolorence to gluten, chocolate, peanuts and all corn products!! I thought was is left!! You have helped so much! I am now seeing my youngest son with alot fo the same symptoms, and trying to find kid friendly foods is also a stretch! I just wanted to take a second and thankyou so much!! Kindest regards always, janet

Kiwi said...

Thanks so much for the time you've put into this website honey! My mother is gluten-free and this site has been great!

We did a family trip to China recently and we've discovered that most of the Chinese food is gluten free and SO tasty!

God bless,
Kiwi Girl

kate said...

i saw that you use better than bullion and i jst saw this on a celiac website (

The following items are no longer gluten-free and should be crossed out from your 2007 edition of Cecelia's Marketplace Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guide:

* bouillon/bouillon cubes: page 30 - Better Than Bouillon - Remove Reduced

Karina said...

Hi Kate-

It's always wise to check labels for changes.

This what I found at the Superior Touch website::

Are your Better Than Bouillon products gluten free?

We do not add any Gluten in our Better Than Bouillon products except for our Better Than Bouillon Low Sodium Beef and Vegetable base, Crockery Gourmet Seasoning Mix Beef and Pork flavors.

As always, folks- check your labels!

Thanks, Kate! :)


windy said...

Oh My God!!!! This site is a god sent. Although I have not been officially diagnosed I have had symptoms for a long time, frequent diarrhea, major acid reflux, exhaustion, cramps, gas. As you said I saw many docs whom said it this or that & take this med or that but never really felt better. As of late the symptoms got worse & I researched on the Internet. I have just recently begun a gluten free diet (only 2 days now) & it is a slow process. I really felt alone until I found this site. My husband is very supportive & willing to go gluten free too. I cried when I read through your site because I did not feel so alone or lost. Hoping to feel better soon. Please...Please keep up the good work.

Candi said...

Hey! Thank you so much for your information. I have found reading your blog to be a great comfort. I've only recently been diagnosed and initially it seemed quite daunting but after reading your blog I feel a lot better about it!

Shini said...

I just want to say thank you for having such a lovely site. I have chronic allergies to pretty much everything (My friends and I joke about me being allergic to reality) and my stepmom was recently diagnosed celiac. Needless to say it's been a bit awkward eating around the house. I found your blog while googling recipes, and it made me happy. I honestly think that we need a copy of you for everything; world hunger, political debates, video game decisions. Your humorus tone and positive outlook really make everything better and more logical. Hats off to you.

groovymamma said...

I just found your site today. I am a recently diagnosed celiac who responded negatively to all tests. Despite this, two specialists consider me to have celiac disease since I have most symptoms ( I am one of those weight gaining instead of weight losing people ) and feel significantly better on a gf diet. For ten years I have lived with the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. While gluten intolerence is manageable, even curable in a sense, chronic fatigue syndrome is not. Despite the challenge of being a vegan with gluten intolerence I am happy to have this new diagnosis. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes and appreciate your oatmeal raisin recipe as that is easily my favourite cookie. I will try it soon. I am still trying to get a handle on cross contamination issues and feel guilty asking my family to go gf. Some family members think the idea of cross contamination is a little over cautious. I have some educating to do so the chance to exchange information with others will be helpful.
thanks so much.

Tracy said...


I LOVE your blog and optimism!

I just wanted to share with you that when I'm looking for a "fast" pizza I use corn tortillas and then top with a good tomato marinara and my favorite pizza toppings. Pop in oven 'til ready. Thought maybe it would be a helpful idea for some of your readers who are looking for a fast meal. Take it. Leave it. Up to you.

Thank you for putting together your blog. I find I read it as much for the positive vibe that comes through as for any recipe.

Take care and good luck with your move.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you SO much for this blog. I have been visiting regularly for a year or so, ever since I went gluten-free. It's fun to see a woman so empowered, rather than limited by, her food allergies. I love your delightful recipes, your sense of humor, your anecdotes, and your wealth of common sense and practical tips for living this lifestyle. I owe you a lot - thanks, from a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free sub-goddess :)
p.s. I just found out I also have Lyme disease and have had it for several years - have you read anything on links between lyme and gluten intolerance? it's quite interesting!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina. A friend just sent me your web site information and I feel better already. Since being diagnosed a couple of weeks ago along with a cholesterol of 327, I've been really depressed. Everything I wanted to eat was on the NO list. I've been eating mostly fresh fruits and veggies but you have given me hope and many new ideas - and even a BEER! I'm looking forward to trying your receipes starting tonight! Thanks.

Bill and Tara said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! We just found out my little boy can not tolerate gluten, egg, and dairy. Your blog was given to me by another mom in my same situation. I want to make our whole family gluten-free, and your blog is a lifesaver! Thank you!

Beth said...

Wow - that was very inspiring!
Don't have celiac's but am trying to live allergian free (dairy, wheat, eggs, garlic and corn) and I was in 2 stores for over 3 hours and now I read every label I can find!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. After 4 very long years and 3 doctors later my 19 year old daughter was just diagnosed. Talk about overwhelming!! I was ready to run out and buy everything gluten-free and dive right in. After reading your story I think I will ease into it a little slower. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Janet, and this is my morning after. My mind is shot, my nerves are tatterd.wheat makes the ninth allergy since it fist began. when i was 12. over thirty years ago. I will have to say wheat takes the cake for me. I know it will be the worst so far, due to having so many things at ones taken away. It feels like having to completely start all over agian with a new live. I'm starting to crave what i know i can't have fried chicken, and breads. thanks for the great blog Karina. With help from you and others, i might possiable servive. Oh the paths of our discontent. Thanks for lending an ear. Janet

Donna said...

Hi! I was diagnosed Sept. of 2002 by biopsy after 2 years of hell, numerous doctors appts. and two hospital stays. I remember coming home from the grocery store in tears thinking "What am I going to eat?" Fast forward, to 2008 and things have really changed!! I have reworked all my old family recipes to GF, especially the holiday cookies and they work!! I found this website and immediately sent it to my daughter is is gluten intolerant. She is going to be just as excited as I was! I LOVE to bake and have a GREAT partner who, like your husband, is gluten free with me! I look forward to your receipes and thanks for looking out for all of us gluten free folks.

Anonymous said...

Janet: If you are craving fried chicken, you can totally make it gluten-free. My favorite recipe is for Japanese fried chicken called Karaage. If you Google it, there are many recipes, and it uses rice flour or cornstarch (I prefer rice flour). It's not typical fried chicken (which you can also do GF), but it's fantastic! Going GF is tough, but once you get the hang of it, it's all gravy (GF of course!)! Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...


We live in Germany and have just found out my husband is not gluten but wheat intolerant. Despite searching I can't seem to find out if this is less restrictive or similar to a gluten free diet in terms of flour etc that can be used. I want to support him as much as possible so any information would be gratefully received! Thanks for providing some inspiration!

AuraEssence said...

Hi Karina! I really appreciate hearing your story. I have been diagnosed with celiac disease for about one year now and it is difficult to find quality, upbeat information. I can't wait to try some of your tasty recipes!

Anonymous said...


Wendy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Just recently found out, three days ago, that I am allergic to gluten as well as a staggering amount of other everyday foods (garlic, black pepper, tomatoes, dairy, soy, yeast, etc. etc. etc.) and was brought to tears! Over the last few days, I have been scouring the internet and health food markets for information. I keep coming back to your website and am trying numerous recipes. Thank you for sharing your experiences and recipes. It makes this journey a little easier for us! Wendy

Nikki said...

Thank you so much for your experience and all of the information! All of the research has been overwhelming me,but I found almost everything I needed right in your introduction.

andrea said...

This made my cry. I thought I was handling it pretty well. Didn't want to admit to myself how hard it is. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I have just been eliminating things by trial and error. But I'm pretty sure I'm sensitive to gluten, dairy, corn, and nuts. Unless I somehow had nuts with gluten. Not sure.
I feel so thankful for your blog right now!!!!
Thank You!

Nancy said...

I want to cry copious tears of joy. I was so confused. You are the best thing that has happened to me since I walked out of the doctor's office thinking How am I going to do this?

GailD said...

I am SO glad I found your blog! I haven't reached "the morning after" yet -- I'm still waiting for the official diagnosis after a biopsy. But This particular posting is wonderful. Should my tests come back positive (which I feel strongly they will), then I'll finally have some answers, and at least have done enough preliminary research that I won't feel overwhelmed that day!

I'm looking forward to exploring more! !

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the humanness of your blog. My girlfriend and I have been gluten free for two days now scouring the internet for everything GF-related. In our search, we felt a strong medical tone, which is important, but your site renders the GF lifestyle non-medical, sexy, and desirable. We have one question that we haven't found the answer to. What to do with GF grains such as buckwheat, amaranth, which aren't labeled as GF. We know there's potential cross-contamination in the production process, but can these grains be washed in water?

Thanks again

Karina Allrich said...

Thank you- everyone- who has recently commented. Many thanks for sharing your stories- and your tips. I greatly appreciate it.

As for questions...

Yes, there can be an issue with cross contamination. I always recommend choosing a gluten-free mill for alternative grains (Bob's Red Mill has a gluten-free facility now that processes GF grains- look for the GF symbol on the bag; unfortunately they still don't process polenta or cornmeal in their GF facility.)

Other companies- like Arrowhead Mills and Shiloh Farms- process multiple grains both GF and not; their response is that they are aware of the possible risk and take precautions between running lines. I would call and ask more specific questions if you are worried about contamination.

One tip is to find smaller local mills who specialize in cornmeal only, or buckwheat and kasha and order from them (or order on-line).

As for oats I use only Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free or Lara's oats (also certified). I order on-line thru Amazon or the company website.

Take care and be well- and come by again soon!


Karina Allrich said...

UKGirl- The difference between wheat intolerant and gluten intolerant is:

Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale and often oats.

To avoid the wheat protein you'd need to avoid wheat and all of its forms- including spelt and triticale. Also durum pasta. As mentioned above, depending on his sensitivity you may have to avoid other grains (like rye) due to cross contamination with wheat during the milling process.


Sarah said...

The site is really helpful. The hard part for me was the first shopping trip. It comforting to know that I am not the only person to come near tears in the grocery aisle!

I am non-celiac gluten intolerant (most folk's eyes glaze over with that one) the allergies are dairy, soy and a few others. I also keep kosher, and don't eat meat.

But through keeping kosher I have a couple of tricks to help me understand labels without wasting time. On any item if you see a circle around a 'U' or a 'K' or any other reliable kosher symbol that item is kosher. But the kicker is that if the mark is accompanied by a 'D' it is dairy, no need to look further. If the mark indicates the item is kosher for Passover, either with words or a 'P' near the mark, it does not have gluten. Absolutely none. The only exception to this rule is matzah, either by itself, or as an ingredient in foods. Those foods will frequently be labeled as containing "gebroks". Foods with "no gerbroks" are clear of all gluten. In addition, most of the foods made for the N. American market will have no bean or corn products either. Passover is in the spring, so these foods usually start arriving in stores in March. After Passover these foods go on sale, which means they will be less astronomically priced than before the holiday.
Just warning you all: There are no economies of scale on kosher food, and on Passover food in particular, and the requirements of keeping a food plant kosher for Passover are inherently costly. Guess who gets the final bill?

Julie said...

Hi Karina, my boyfriend has recently been diagnosed with celiac and i have a question we can't seem to get a solid answer to. Say, I'm drinking a beer and were out and we kiss, could this bother him? or if we share something like a cigarette could that aggravate it? I've heard yes and no and you seem like you would know. Your site is so helpful by the way, i can't believe it took me so long to find it.

Rose said...

Thank God for Karina's Kitchen! What an overwhelming experience to be diagnosed with something that so many people do NOT understand and don't WANT to understand! I will take heart and attempt to discuss gluten-free living with my relatives from the rural part of Montana. Or maybe I'll just eat the filling in the pie and not the crust:) Karina, thank you for such a wonderful, delicious, delightful, beautiful blog! We all appreciate it so much!

Karina Allrich said...

Sarah- Thanks so much for your info on Kosher labeling. Much appreciated.

Julie- Your kissing question. I was told that proteins remain in the saliva for 7 hours. Here's what the Mayo Clinic says: "Kissing is off limits if you've eaten peanuts or other allergen foods. You might transfer the allergen to your partner via your saliva."

In our house we practice the seven-hour rule, and my husband brushes his teeth/uses mouthwash after eating an allergen (he is gluten-free but eats several foods I'm allergic to- such as eggs and cream in his coffee).

Hope that helps.

Rose- Thank you. Good luck with relatives. I also want to point out that filling in a wheat pie crust is not gluten-free. I'm afraid it's all or nothing. Scraping off filling (or eating meat off sandwich bun) is very, very risky. It's not gluten-free.

Unfortunately, our body's autoimmune system can be triggered by a very small amount of gluten, so we must remain 100% gluten-free for life.

Take care and be safe!


meanderwithme said...

Hi, Karina!

Allison in Los Alamos here (would it be safe to assume I could run into you at the big green grocery south of me?), and I've come at this from the opposite side. My son doesn't "do" dairy protein. Since I'm nursing, I had to go off it as well. After much denial, I've finally admitted to myself that *I* feel better off dairy also. I'm still working on the 100% part of that one, though.

Lately, I've felt like something just "isn't right" in my system, and the more I read, the more I'm seriously considering going GF. It's intimidating as hell, especially with a starch-and-sugar loving 4yo daughter in the house (gee, wonder how HER attitude might improve GF?). Whatever the case, if GF helps clear up my chronic low-grade depression and brain fog, it will be worth the pain.

Anyway, thanks for being so accessible and honest; I appreciate the time and effort you put into this, and I'm going to be borrowing liberally from your recipe file!

One week (give or take) to go before I move toward the plunge. We're heading to DC for Obama's inauguration, and I've already given myself permission to eat whatever I please while there. Hope I won't hate myself for it.

HH said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just have gone gluten-free and dairy free and your site is the most helpful thing I've found yet. I'm actually looking forward to cooking now! I can't wait to try out all your recipes!

Thank you so much.

Chris said...

This is the best blog I've found. Your positive attitude (and recipes of course!), make me want to go get active.. Write, paint, get back to the farmers market.. I love how you make life seem fun, as it should be!

I have a question though, I've been suffering for over a year now (they still haven't found what it is), and while I don't have the typical symptoms of celiac, I'm considering trying this for health purposes. My question is, does one need to be 100% with this for it to help? The old cutting boards, spoons etc, wondering how much cutting gluten out would help but without doing the total house cleanse? Have you known of any experience with someone that's possibly just gluten sensitive but not allergic?

Thank you so much for your site. It's one of my new favs and I now know what I'm making for dinner tonight! Agave Lime salmon.. yum!

Karina Allrich said...

Alison- You might see me at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or Wild Oats in Santa Fe. You never know. Hope you had a wonderful time at the Inauguration (I got to shake Obama's hand when he spoke in Espanola!). :)

HH- Glad you found me! Be well- and stop by again.

Hi Chris- Thanks- and as for being 100% gluten-free, I cannot in good conscience recommend anything but. I believe in living 100% gluten-free and minimizing risk of small exposures- including using new boards, pans, etc, and eating out less often.

You may consider testing first, however, before going gluten-free; most doctors insist that their patients be consuming gluten up until testing to make sure the body is producing antibodies (if you eat less or stop eating gluten before tests, the results might be skewed).

Hope that helps- it's a personal decision one should make with your medical professional of choice- hopefully she or he is aware of all the newest findings regarding gluten intolerance, food allergies, and celiac disease.

Good luck!


Amy An said...

This is the best GF website I have ever seen - really good advice for getting started. I realize that I discovered some of these principles on my own. I wish I had read your advice months ago. I echo the idea of going GF without substituting GF products for a short period. And I also like your focus on real food and not artificial substitutes. I will be back!

Cris said...

I am happy to find your site. I was told by my Dr. I need to go on a Gluten-free diet (since my Geographical Tongue is having a never ending constant inflammation.) They told me if I follow a gluten free diet, this should help my tongue. Anyone else out there have this problem or know where I am coming from? This is all new to me and I'm pretty sad and taking it hard right now knowing I have to stop eatting how I have been eatting my whole life and changing to this new life-style. But the thing is I'm scared and confused and don't know where to start, etc. Any ideas, is there a book out there on gluten free for "Dummies" or any advise on my situation. Thank you so much!

Karina Allrich said...

Hi Amy- Thank you. I'm glad. I wish you'd come by sooner, too. Welcome!

Cris- I don't believe there is a blog or a book about going gluten-free for geographic tongue; but there is a "For Dummies" book about celiac disease and going gluten-free. That said, have you read my FAQ's page, the above post on getting started, and the articles/links posted here on the blog? There's a lot here to inform and support you. Welcome!


Erin said...

Karina, I am your new biggest fan. I was sick for an extremely long time before my diagnosis and my symptoms became quite dire; eyesight diminishing, cluster migraines, losing sensation in my limbs and essentially living in the bathroom leaving me severely underweight at times. Some rookie Celiacs may not fully understand the possible consequences if they are not meticulous in their efforts to remain gluten-free. Your site makes a truly daunting task seem less intimidating and completely doable. Thank you for this invaluable resource and for your fantastic recipes.

Cat said...

Thank you so much for this great article and website! I'm trying to find ways for my mom, who might be gluten intolerant, to have fun eating yummy foods that are gf. THANK YOU!

Frances said...

thanks Karina for the insight. after a long observation of my boyfriends diet, we realised he was celiac (few days ago). i've been reading up on GFCF diets and it's quite overwhelming. i hadn't thought of wheat containing products like body lotion that could possibly affect him. thanks for the insight. my task is finding and making the right foods for him. we live in west africa and it appears being GFCF can take a big toll on our pockets. we eat rice and sweet potatoes and yam but vegetables and fruits for him are mind boggling. it appears he can have only foreign fruits and veggies not local ones. (pineapple is the only local fruit we know he doesn't react to.)
do you have any ideas for a GFCF african?

Anonymous said...

I just got the results of my blood test: I'm significantly allergic to gluten, wheat, dairy, casein, soy, and a bunch of different nuts. 3 days off all that stuff and I feel like a different person. Thank you for blogging. You are a TREMENDOUS help!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Karina! We are going GF in our house after finding out our 2 year old likely has celiac disease. They now think my 5 year old has it too. So now is the time for everyone to make the switch! I came across your site and am so happy to know there are so many other celiacs out there and that all hope for good food is not lost. I can't wait to try you recipes. I was especially thrilled to find your vegan recipes since my little one is also milk soy and egg allergic. Thank you for sharing and giving my family hope!!


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