Gluten-Free Diet Boot Camp

The Gluten-Free Diet is not a fad to millions of people who have celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity- it is a necessity. And, as many are discovering, it is a healthy way to eat, it reduces chronic inflammation in the body, and it can help you to lose weight. But many people have a lot of questions when first starting the gluten-free diet.
The number one question is “What can I eat?” Plenty! My gluten-free bootcamp will take you through the basics of getting started, offer gluten-free menu suggestions with calorie and fiber counts, and provide delicious healthy recipes everyone will enjoy eating.
Today we start with the basics. Tomorrow I will post my top ten gluten-free foods that I use in place of wheat products, such as bread, pizza crusts, crackers and cereal. Then we will get down to the ABC’s: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let’s get started on a delicious journey to good health.

WHAT is gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is the binding agent that keeps baked goods from falling apart. It provides stability and texture.

WHERE is gluten found?

It is found in most types of breads, cereals, baked goods, pastas, pizza and as an ingredient in many processed foods. Not all foods from the grain family, however, contain gluten. Examples of grains that do not have gluten include rice, wild rice, corn, oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, and teff.

WHEN is gluten a concern?

Gluten is the major cause of inflammation in the body because we eat so much of it! We eat more gluten in the form of wheat than any other food: 825 calories per day. Our ancestors did not eat any wheat and we have not evolved to do so. The gluten protein molecules found are simply not digested completely by humans. Gliadin peptides (undigested molecules of gluten) remain in the gut and cause the epithelial cells of the small intestine to become more porous, causing increased intestinal permeability. This sequence of events results in Leaky Gut Syndrome, allowing large molecules of gliadin, bacteria, viruses, yeast and other toxins to enter the bloodstream causing chronic inflammation throughout the body.

WHY is inflammation a problem?

Chronic inflammation is the root of most chronic diseases. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system against infection, irritation, toxins, and other foreign molecules. A specific series of events occurs in which the body’s white blood cells and specific chemicals (cytokines) mobilize to protect us from foreign invaders. But sometimes the natural balance of the immune system, which produces just enough inflammation to keep infections, allergens, toxins, and other stresses under control, is disrupted. The immune system shifts into a constant defensive state, creating swelling, redness and tenderness throughout the body. This chronic inflammation in the heart causes heart disease, in the brain causes dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, in the joints it causes Arthritis and, as we are just discovering, in our fat cells causes obesity. Celiac Disease is chronic inflammation of the small intestine.

While on the one hand this inflammatory process is protective against infectious disease, too much inflammation is the root of most chronic diseases. In many people, chronic inflammation can cause insulin resistance resulting in diabetes. Over time chronic inflammation weakens the immune system further threatening our health.

For more information go to

HOW do you start a gluten-free diet?

The basic principles of a gluten-free diet are simple and healthy:

  • Eat whole foods
  • Go gluten-free
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Eliminate soda (including diet)
  • Drink water and tea
  • Eat only minimally processed foods
  • Eat plenty of fiber
  • Learn to cook
  • Enjoy your food
  • Learn to read food labels


  1. fibrohubby said,

    April 18, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Thanks, nice summation of gluten, and gluten-free diets

  2. Noma Spella said,

    March 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet’s restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods. If you can’t find them in your area, check with a celiac support group or go online. ^

    Hottest write-up on our very own blog page

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