Tag Archive for: gluten-free

A lot of people are going gluten-free these days. 

For some, it’s because they found out they have Celiac Disease (like me) or non-Celiac gluten intolerance. For others, it’s because they’ve noticed they feel tired, nauseous, or bloated every time they eat wheat, or because they’ve got chronic digestive issues they’re trying to sort out. 


According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 1 in 133 people in the U.S. have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks and destroys the cilia (the lining of your small intestines) when gluten is present.[1]

Symptoms of Celiac Disease[2]

  • Diarrhea, constipation, chronic gas, and smelly poop
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic joint or muscle pain
  • Weight Loss
  • Skin problems like psoriasis, alopecia, hives
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Anemia
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Leg or arm numbness (neuropathy)

Research from the Cleveland Clinic reports that another whopping 6% of Americans are non-celiac gluten intolerant.[3]

Symptoms of this can be quite severe, leading to chronic inflammation of the gut lining, aka “leaky gut.” This allows bacteria and partially digested particles into your blood and liver, triggering an immune response and creating systemic inflammation.

Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity (non-Celiac)[4]

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea and Constipation
  • Stomach Pain
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Pain due to inflammation
  • Brain Fog

But why are so many people suddenly having problems with gluten these days?

There are a lot of theories out there, and here are the ones science can agree on…

  1. People are more aware of Celiac and Gluten Intolerance, so are doing something about it.
  2. It was theorized that wheat has been hybridized to contain more gluten, especially in the U.S., to make the texture of wheat products “better.”  So is there literally more gluten in wheat these days? Actually, no.  Studies have found that while modern wheat contains less protein than in the past, gluten content is similar, although of slightly different composition.[5]
  3. Poor diets full of processed foods high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats and low nutritional value have damaged our digestion and immune systems. Couple that with much higher exposure to environmental toxins, like air pollution and the slew of chemicals in everything from personal care products to pesticides, and our bodies are under a lot of pressure.
  4. One theory that stands out, with compelling scientific evidence, is that Gluten sensitivity is because of Glyphosate, and other chemicals used on/in foods to a lesser extent.

What is Glyphosate, you ask?

It’s Round-up. Yes, the weed-killer people use in their yard.

Glyphosate is not just used to kill weeds. It’s sprayed heavily on crops before harvesting to desiccate (dry out) them for easier harvest. Food testing shows consistently high levels of glyphosate in the food supply in North America, the highest in the world.

While the EPA in the U.S. states that Glyphosate is considered safe[6], many countries have banned the use of Glyphosate as a crop desiccant, and some countries have banned it completely citing safety, including Mexico, which is phasing it out by 2024[7]. In the U.S., there is an ever-growing number of municipalities banning its use, and Bayer (formerly Monsanto), under legal and public pressure after mounting scientific evidence as a carcinogen, will stop selling Glyphosate (Round-up) in the U.S. for home use in 2023.

A systematic review of studies done on the effect of Glyphosate on dysbiosis and wheat-sensitivity[8] in 2020 found that there has been a dramatic increase in people reporting digestive issues like dysbiosis (gut bacteria out of whack), leaky gut, and gluten intolerance in the decades since the high use of Glyphosate became standard practice. (This is a good, detailed study if you have time to read it.)

Anecdotally, every year I have several Gluten Intolerant patients visit countries in Europe and miraculously be able to eat wheat with no issues. Thinking they’re cured, then they come home and eat wheat only to immediately have all their old symptoms recur. I hear the same from many other practitioners.

Glyphosate was originally thought to be safe for humans as it is only “poisonous” to plants and bacteria. However, its effect on the gut microbiome (the normal healthy bacteria needed for digestion) was, for reasons unknown, not taken into account. 

The problem with Glyphosate as it relates to gluten intolerance and Celiac disease is that it kills the healthy bacteria in our guts that we need to properly digest food. (We’ll leave the other health problems linked to Glyphosate for another day.) This leads to gut inflammation, which then leads to “leaky gut,” triggering an immune response, systemic inflammation, and poor digestion. So it may be that a lot of people’s “gluten” sensitivity is actually a Glyphosate/chemical problem.

Should I Go Gluten-Free?

If you ticked off a lot of those symptoms listed above for Celiac or Gluten Intolerance, you should do a gluten elimination diet for at least one month.

  1. Completely cut all gluten out of your diet, no cheating, to allow your gut and immune system to calm down.
  2. Slowly reintroduce gluten to your diet and see how you feel. Most people can tell pretty fast –their symptoms have likely improved while they are off gluten, only to return within hours to a couple days.

Even if you don’t have many of the above symptoms, it can be helpful to remove or reduce gluten from your diet. It can not only help your digestion but help your health overall. To limit the amount of Glyphosate you ingest in general, try to eat organic food as much as you can.


For more information on Celiac Disease, visit The Celiac Disease Foundation.

See our separate Blog Post for recommendations on Gluten-Free brands, resources, and local restaurants.

Dr. Jennie Luther, DACM, L.Ac
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness

[1] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/celiac-disease

[2] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/signs-you-are-gluten-intolerant#Symptoms-of-celiac-disease

[3] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21622-gluten-intolerance

[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/signs-you-are-gluten-intolerant#Symptoms-of-non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity

[5] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200811120112.htm#:~:text=Analyses%20by%20the%20team%20of,the%20gluten%20has%20changed%20slightly

[6] https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/toxic-tort-law/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/where-is-glyphosate-banned-/

[7] https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate

[8] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2020.556729/full

If you’re thinking about going Gluten-Free, it can be overwhelming.

Whether it’s for an elimination diet to determine if you have issues with gluten (for digestion, migraines, general inflammation, etc.), because you found out you’re sensitive to gluten, or any other reason, most people find the prospect of “what do I eat” to be a bit overwhelming. I’ve been there, friend!

I’m not going to go over basic info like you can find at celiac.org here. As a person with Celiac who hasn’t had gluten in well over a decade, I want to share tips, brands, restaurants, a great app to help you navigate daily meals, AND how to find your fav foods gluten-free! There are so many choices out there now!

Getting Started With A Gluten-Free Life: Keep it Simple

When you are just starting your gluten-free life, keeping it simple is the way to go. You’ll probably be able to adjust your favorite recipes by swapping out gluten for gluten-free ingredients. Just check labels on marinades, sauces, and seasoning to make sure it’s gluten-free.

What do I mean by simple?

  • Toss a chicken breast or salmon filet, a veggie, and cubed sweet potatoes in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Italian seasoning, put a baking dish and bake at 400º for 20 minutes or til chicken is 165º
  • Salad with a protein
  • How about a nice frittata full of veggies?
  • Tacos (with corn tortillas)
  • Stir Fry (use Tamari sauce instead of Soy Sauce, which is high in wheat)
  • Buddha bowls
  • Grill up some meat and fresh corn and grilled veggies

Keep your ingredients minimal and fresh and you can’t go wrong!

The best gluten-free versions of your favorite foods

Sometimes you want your comfort food. Or it’s your birthday! Or you just really want a nice treat once in a while. Don’t fret, gluten-free foods have come a long way!


My family loves to bake, and King Arthur Gluten-Free baking mixes, GF All-Purpose Flour, Measure for Measure Flour, and Baking Mix are our absolute favorites for all things baking. We LOVE their pancake mix, their brownies are rich and moist, and people never have a clue that yellow cake is gluten-free. Their Measure for Measure flour can be substituted for your favorite regular non-yeasted recipes, and you will find so many excellent gluten-free recipes on their website. They have loads of amazing gluten-free recipes.

I make their Gluten-Free cinnamon rolls every Christmas, various scones throughout the year, and so many more. I really appreciate all the reader’s tips in the comment sections. Best of all, you can find many of their mixes and flours at Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, and even at Target!

We also use Pamela’s Bread mix to make focaccia bread (recipe here), and Pamela’s vanilla cake mix to make gluten-free poundcake for fondue night (recipe here).



  • Outside the Breadbox (Natural Grocers)
  • Canyon Bakehouse (Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods)
  • Udi’s (all of the above plus Target and King Soopers), and Natural Grocers carries their baguettes and dinner rolls, too.

Pizza Crusts:

  • Outside the Breadbox or Udis. If you like almond flour, try Cappello’s at Natural Grocers.

Frozen Pizzas:

  • We like Udi’s, and Target has that as well as some GF versions of other name brands we haven’t tried.


  • Goodie Girl (fudge stripes, mint thins….so good! At all the stores above)
  • Kinitoos (like Oreos) AND now they actually have
  • OREOS gluten-free, both regular and double stuff.
  • Tate’s crispy thin chocolate chip cookies
  • Pamela’s: Figgies & Jammies (like fig newtons), and love their chocolate chip and dark chocolate chunk cookies.
  • You can even find some GF cookie dough in the refrigerated section of Natual Grocers and Whole Foods.


  • Simple Mills crackers (made w/ Almond Flour–even available at Costco lately), Miltons’ Crackers
  • Nut Thins
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers
  • Glutino


  • Jovial Gluten-Free pasta is our very favorite, and the brand our gluten-eating older children say is similar to regular pasta. Our tops are the Cappellini, lasagna noodles, and farfalle pasta, which we get at Natural Grocers or Whole Foods. Amazon even has GF manicotti shells from Jovial which we get every now and then.
  • Tinkyada brown rice noodles
  • Natural Grocers quinoa noodles
  • GF Ramen noodles from Costco
  • Soba noodles (any brand, they’re buckwheat which is GF)
  • Asian Rice Noodles (same)


  • Rice Chex and Corn Chex
  • Cheerios
  • Barbara’s brand, like Puffins or rice crisps
  • Van’s brand
  • Kind GF granolas
  • Gluten-Freeda’s instant oats
  • Bob’s Red Mill GF oats


  • Van’s
  • Nature’s Path (WildBerry or Pumpkin are our favs)


  • Katz brand (in the freezer section at Sprouts, and some at Natural Grocers and Target). They have donuts, donut holes, hostess-like cupcakes and twinkie-like creme cakes, hand pies, and even oatmeal sandwich cookies.
  • Whole Foods cupcakes (freezer section)
  • Ice cream….just check the label for hidden gluten and make sure no obvious gluten like cookie dough

I’m sure I’m forgetting many brands, but these will at least get you started! Just get good at reading labels! Luckily it’s now federally regulated that all processed foods must list allergens, including gluten, after the ingredients in bold.

Out and About

So your friends and family want to go out to a restaurant. Here are some tips.

First, get the app “Find Me Gluten Free.” Here’s the website.

This app is an absolute life-saver when you’re eating out GF, and especially for traveling! It’s also great to find local restaurants instead of chains, although you can find both.

The reviews are also super helpful to find out how careful a restaurant is with GF, what they offer, and how the food is.

If you go someplace that isn’t on the app, try to order food that is simple, and don’t be afraid to ask the server to double-check with the chef about ingredients. Good restaurants often have a manager come over to ask you specifically what you need. 

Here’s my list of restaurants we’ve actually tried, many of which we go to often.

Best Local Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options:


  • Wave the Grain – Gluten-free dedicated bakery. Seriously, everything is gluten-free…the Boston-creme cupcakes, the croissants, donuts, danish, cookies, even pop tarts, and breakfast burritos.


  • Snooze – so many options…french toast, pancakes, toast….
  • Urban Egg – pancakes, benedicts, huevos rancheros….
  • Early Bird Restaurant – try the Johnny Cake waffles!
  • The French Press – Gluten-free crepes!


  • Palenque Cocina y Aqaveria – one of my all-time favorites. All sauces are gluten-free. Try the Molcajetes!
  • Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant – all sauces now gluten-free, too!
  • Hacienda Colorado
  • Blue Bonnet Cafe
  • Adelita’s Cocina y Cantina


  • India’s Castle
  • Garnish Indian Cuisine
  • India’s Kitchen


  • Rice Bistro & Sushi
  • Hapa Sushi Grill
  • Viet Pho – 95% of their menu is gluten-free, even eggrolls and orange chicken.
  • Wing Wok


  • Cranellis’s Italian Restaurant
  • Farro Italian Restaurant
  • Zane’s Italian Bistro


  • FelFel
  • Tzatziki’s


  • Patxi’s Pizza – my 2 gluten-eating older kids love their thin crust gluten-free pizza
  • The Garlic Knot – Calzones!
  • Colonna’s
  • Virgilio’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar – gluten-free garlic bread, lasagna, pizza, calzones and desserts!


  • Smokin’ Fins
  • True Food Kitchen
  • The Brutal Poodle – dedicated fryer, burgers, and mac n cheese! Loud death metal music is their schtick.

Chains with the Best Gluten-Free Options Near Centennial, CO

  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews – even has GF fries
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • MOD Pizza
  • Pieology
  • Tokyo Joe’s
  • Garbanzo
  • Ted’s Montana Grill
  • Modern Market
  • The Melting Pot – You can get the whole experience GF!
  • Chipotle – Safest bet for lunch
  • Olive Garden
  • Maggiano’s
  • Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse – most of the menu is gluten-free, including the pao de queijo (cheese bread).
  • Most Steakhouses, actually
  • Red Lobster – Gluten-free cheddar biscuits!
  • PF Changs
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • MadGreens
  • Bonefish Grill – macadamia nut brownie!
  • Noodles and Company
  • And here’s a link to a whole list of gluten-free-friendly Just keep in mind that gluten-free friendly may not be safe for celiacs.

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas, some sense of normalcy around food and going out, and helps make the whole gluten-free experience seem a bit easier.

You really do get used to it.

Plus, you will feel so much better! I often get asked if it’s hard for me to be gluten-free. The answer is a resounding NO. I feel AWFUL for weeks if I eat gluten. And as you can see, I eat pretty well! And so can you.

Let me know in the comments what restaurants or products you love!

Dr. Jennie Luther, DACM, L.Ac
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness