Freedom from Gluten … Sort Of

20.5.2016 | 22:54

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Gluten Free products on wooden background, top view

I never wanted to be the gal who talks about gluten.

I don’t want to be an “expert” on the subject.

I learned from Dr. Tom O’Bryan himself (, and I will never reach his level of expertise.  (If I wanted to spend as much time and effort on the issue as he has, I probably could, but that’s not my desire.)

So why am I talking about gluten?  Again?

Because it seems as though I have to.

I’ve been wheat-free for over 15 years, and gluten-free for a large chunk of that.

I have friends who have raved over Debra’s gluten-free recipes, and tweaks of standard recipes to make them gluten-free.

But many of those friends have no desire to be 100% gluten-free, and others would like to, but struggle with making the transition.

Gourmet gluten free dessert on a tray at the summer picnic.

Meanwhile, once Debra and I made that decision, we haven’t looked back….

Was it easy?

In a way, yes.  We both had specific digestive issues disappear on a gluten-free diet.

(Remember, not all symptoms of gluten intolerance are GI-related.  But ours were, and we don’t want them to return, so we have no desire to indulge.  As a matter of fact, we’ve been accidentally “glutened,” and didn’t enjoy the return of symptoms, however brief and mild….)

But in other ways, it wasn’t easy.

We made our share of mistakes.

We ate a lot of processed gluten-free junk in the beginning:  “Ooh, gluten-free doughnuts!!”  “Hey, we can still eat pizza!!”

A gluten free pizza on background

Okay, maybe that was still easy.  As a matter of fact, maybe it was too easy….

It’s really easy to substitute gluten-free for gluten-filled junk.

And I guess if your only goal is to be able to rid your diet of gluten and say you’re “gluten-free,” that can work.

But it’s not really any healthier.

Gluten-free junk is still … junk.

One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Tom is this one:  “Oh, look, a gluten-free muffin!  That’s healthy!!”  “No … it just won’t kill you.”

Maybe that’s not word for word, but you get the idea.

Processed gluten-free junk food isn’t healthy.

It can be a good first step in transitioning to a gluten-free diet, but I hope you’ll agree that it should only be considered the first step.

Debra and I don’t just want you to be able to say you’re gluten-free.  We want you to have genuinely healthy gluten-free options.

And yes, there are some of those available commercially.

There are pastas made from whole grains, and even beans.  They taste delicious, and they have minimal ingredients – none of which are refined sugars or starches.

(Many packaged gluten-free products are filled with just that – extra sugar, or tapioca and/or potato starch.  These ingredients can actually be worse for your blood sugar and insulin levels than unrefined whole grains.)

There are better and worse ways to be gluten-free.

Chocolate cupcake and gluten free sign with text on white background

And even though I really don’t want to be the gal who talks about gluten all the time … I’ve been doing this for quite some time, and I’ve learned a lot from my experience.

I wish there had been someone 15+ years ago who could have warned me about some of the pitfalls along the way.

Maybe there was, and I just didn’t know where to find him or her.

Those were early days for the Internet too, you know.

In any event, Debra and I have learned a lot in our journey.

We don’t miss gluten-containing foods, and we rarely even eat grains anymore.

And we still manage to eat delicious home-made breads and cookies.

You can do this.

You don’t need gluten.  You don’t even need grains, although if you can tolerate whole, gluten-free grains, there’s no need to eliminate them from your diet.

You don’t have to go “hard-core.”

But you will feel better – and be healthier – if you avoid the gluten-free junk food.

Let us help you….

After all, I’m the gal who always seems to be talking about gluten.

gluten free shop


  1. Jace
    May 22, 2016 | 5:14 pm

    I love being gluten-free. It’s been about 5 years now and it wasn’t hard for my family. We just jumped right in and experimented. I agree, gluten-free junk is still junk. Luckily I never got sucked into that world. Thank you for spreading the gluten-free love. Cheers

    • daletchworth
      May 22, 2016 | 11:05 pm

      Yay for you, Jace — for avoiding that gluten-free junk food world! Debra

  2. Renai
    May 23, 2016 | 3:55 am

    It has been 6 years GF. Definitely did the gluten free junk food too for a bit. Having gone grain free sure helps my digestion even more. Thanks for this blog!!!

    • daletchworth
      May 23, 2016 | 8:29 pm

      Thanks, Renai — it’s definitely a process, isn’t it? Debra

  3. Colleen
    May 23, 2016 | 1:26 pm

    “Gluten-free junk is still … junk.” Yes ma’am!

    • daletchworth
      May 23, 2016 | 8:29 pm

      Exactly, Colleen!

  4. Brad
    May 24, 2016 | 11:54 pm

    Good clarity on the difference between gluten free and gluten free but still no bueno.
    I avoid gluten for many reasons. It actually affected my skin and digestion. Our whole house is gluten free and while we allow our kids to have a gluten free junky-ish treat once in awhile (they are surrounded with GMO high fructose corn sugar and Kraft Dinner eating kids), we regard it as an exception.
    Gluten is needed and neither is gluten free junk. Keep talking about it – encore!

    • daletchworth
      May 25, 2016 | 12:28 am

      Sometimes you just gotta have the “less than optimally healthy treat.” But it’s one thing to know it’s not the best and eat it — and more importantly, enjoy it!! — and another to not realize it’s still junk food. More to come on the subject…. Debra

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