Gluten Free Bread: Why are you STILL eating it?

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gluten free breadBread just never tasted the same as the ‘normal’ wheat loaves.  And gluten free bread is damn expensive whether you make it yourself or buy it at the store.

As a former breadoholic, I spent quite a bit of time contemplating my options when I went gluten-free back in 2008 and decided I was better off without.  Now I know I made the right choice

Gluten Free Bread: Are You Married to it?

Did you ever stop to think about how deeply in love Americans are with the idea of the sandwich? It didn’t much occur to me until I began working with clients several years ago.  Many expect and continue to demand that every meal revolves around a sandwich.  No matter how many solutions I’d present, they’d always revert back to those 2 pieces of gluten-free bread.

This tug-o-war got me thinking… are you so in love with bagels, breakfast muffins, bread, rolls, etc that you cannot imagine your existence without it?  Will your life end without bread (yes yes, the gluten-free type)?  And what the heck are you so afraid of?  Starvation is no where on the horizon and yet you cling to bread.

Breaking up with Gluten Free Bread

It all began as a kid – Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches on white bread with a big glass of milk. We were all trained meal-by-meal how to love the concept of the sandwich. And how could you not? I certainly did. PB & J and grilled cheese sandwiches were staples for many years of my life. Even in adulthood, everything seemed to taste better as a sandwich.

Whatever the issue, it felt like bread made everything about eating better.  I can recount many instances where the bread was the best part of the meal (while everything else was so-so) and made meals feel incredibly portable.  I mean… Who has time to bother with clumsy utensils?

But gluten-free bread just isn’t the same.  It’s often frozen to keep it longer than a few days and just doesn’t have the same texture and quality ‘normal’ bread has.  And it certainly doesn’t smell the same, but we keep on buying the gluten-free versions hoping to maintain some semblance of normalcy away from our former gluten-eating selves.

gluten free breadI have to ask: What is bread even doing for you?  Aside from convenience, do you have a real reason why you’re still eating bread at all?  My guess is no.  I’ve heard every single excuse in the book about why gluten-free folks continue to include GF bread in their diet (and all the grievances that go along with it) and I don’t buy it.

You went gluten-free for your health, right?  You felt sick and now you feel better (though for some, they still may not feel better), but you kept eating convenience food that now has a gluten-free label.  How is that healthy?

It’s not.

Face it… Gluten Free Bread isn’t Healthy

I don’t care what the “whole grain” fan club says, bread is not whole grain nor healthy.  And gluten-free bread is DEFINITELY neither of those things.  Most folks who count themselves as GF carboholics or breadoholics are actually just GF sugar addicts.

GF bread is not anywhere near being “whole” in any sense of the word.  Even the “multigrain” breads aren’t whole grain since the term “multigrain” just means that you’re buying a product made from more than one grain rather than referring to it’s level of processing.  It’s usually still processed ‘white’ flour.

The most concerning part for me is that the majority of flours and starches used to make conventionally sold Gluten-Free bread are incredibly high glycemic (meaning they do a darn good job of elevating your blood sugar quickly).  Chronically elevated blood sugar can lead to all sorts of hormonal problems (ie. metabolic syndrome & diabetes) and even heart disease.  Turn over your GF bread and look for the big flour and starch offenders: rice (yes even brown rice), potato and tapioca.

For further concern, there’s barely any fiber in those two slices that will leave you hungry sooner rather than later.  And gluten-free bread is often held together with certain ‘industrial’ type binders such as xanthan gum which is highly processed and can actually cause a lot of problems for those who eat it often.  Xanthan gum is actually made from the bacteria that produces black rot on the cruciferous family of veggies (think kale, cabbage and broccoli). In this case, it ferments either corn, wheat or soy producing a gummy slime that is highly processed into what’s in your bread and baked goods.

Though you may have gone gluten-free with the hopes to reduce inflammation, gluten-free bread won’t help you win that battle.  The oils used tend to be the inflammatory (Omega-6) fats (like Sunflower, Safflower and Canola) which can irritate your gut and only serve to upend any efforts you make to reduce systemic inflammation.

Aside from these points, I feel that gluten-free bread is a cop out for avoiding new items at the grocery store or learning new recipes at home.  Or perhaps it’s a bad excuse for failing to plan out meals and what you’ll bring for lunch.

I realize that you’ve already given up a lot (maybe even more than just gluten) and feel a sense of panic rising up with the thought of saying bye-bye to bread.  Though it’s made your life feel easier, you may pay dearly down the road for the price of convenience which is riddled with serious concerns that will certainly make you wish you’d parted ways with gluten-free bread sooner rather than later.

Here’s the tips I share with clients to stop the Gluten-Free bread addiction

Seven Tips for giving UP Gluten-Free Sandwiches

1. Plan out your meals and cook enough extra to allow for lunch leftovers.

2. Opt for actual whole gluten-free grains like rice and quinoa or even sweet potato to make up for your starchy cravings.

3. Use glass or plastic containers to transport meals to and from the office. (You’ll definitely save money this way.)

4. Eat dinner for lunch (or even breakfast).  You will not die if you don’t have something starchy or sweet for either of those 2 meals.

5. Use lettuce or collard greens in place of wraps.  Even lunchmeat can be sturdy enough to act at the ‘shell’ with your veggies and toppings inside.

6. Freeze 4 to 6 extra single serving meals in the freezer so if you get stuck, you can pull something out and bring it to work.

7. Toss out the traditional GF mixes and make your own bread from almond or coconut flour.

Leave a comment below on your thoughts on gluten-free bread!


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  1. Julie says

    A former bread-aholic myself, I also stopped trying different GF breads a few years ago. They don’t taste good, they’re expensive, and I’d rather “spend my calories” somewhere else. Plus, my stomach didn’t feel right after eating it. I blamed the yeast, but now that I’ve been eating grain and sugar free, I believe it was just the grains in general.
    I agree it’s best to avoid them, but people are very emotionally attached to their carbs. Since I’ve lost weight from grain and sugar free, people ask me what I’ve done, and then SCOFF at the idea of doing that themselves. As if it’s impossible. Sigh. And we wonder why Americans are so heavy…

    • Candy Garcia says

      oI agree that most gluten free breads taste horrible worse than cardboard. They are also like rock, hard. Most of them still say may find traces of gluten, wheat, or/and yeast. I did find one that tastes good. It does say may find traces of gluten, wheat and yeast because it is made in a facility that they make regular bread in. Instead of yeast they use baking soda. It is a millet bread. I like the millet and flax the best. Sami’s Bakery makes it. Yes they do obviously also have regular bread.
      I have also find some gluten free cereals that I like. As far as someone with celiac disease that is different they have no choice, I am not so I can eat both kinds but eating gluten free doesn’t hurt me either. There are occasions where I have eaten regular bread. Food is getting expensive period. So I don’t knock a person who wants to eat regular gluten or gluten free.

  2. mary edwards says

    i am 90% off of GF bread. Rudi’s is the only kind i find edible, but still, it’s not good or good for me, so i just have it occaisionally as toast. and once in a while, i get a GF hamburger at red robin. to be fair, though, i have been doing a lot of juicing in the morning to get my gut some needed nutrients! so it’s a guilty pleasure, but not one that’s daily or even weekly.

    • Candy Garcia says

      interesting. I have seen comments where people were hurt by gluten. So this shows that it can go either way. You can be hurt by gluten or without gluten.

  3. Kerry Bridgwood says

    That’s great info. But for my daughter who hates the bread anyway we use it for lunch since she’s not allowed to use a microwave in her school, so soup is out, just rolled cold cuts is not enough to eat for lunch, and she hates lettuce. What else could we do? She is 15 and actually doesn’t want to eat GF anymore even though she has celiac.

    • Cristina Favreau says

      Kerry, I struggle with school lunches too. I have bought a Thermos for my kids, so they can eat warm soup. Soups pretty much save us around here!

    • Dannielle says

      Hi Kerry Bridgwood, My son, who is now almost 27, had (has) severe food allergies as well as Celiac disease. He went to public school through the 5th grade when my husband & I made the choice to home school our three children. During those public school years I had MANY fights with the school over my son’s lunches but ONE thing I did learn when he was in the 2nd grade was that THE SCHOOL WAS RESPONSIBLE TO PROVIDE MY CHILD WITH A HOT LUNCH. I thought that because I REJECTED what they were providing that THEIR OBLIGATION was met, NOT TRUE. According to the Americans with disabilities act : the school is to provide a hot lunch that your child can actually EAT daily. Once I discovered this I told the principal that he either provide my son with a hot lunch that he can eat & that included all his “special” ingredients as well as unused pots, pans, utensils as well as someone with knowledge in preparing gluten/ allergy free foods OR he could simply buy a microwave that would be used for preparing gluten free (& allergy free, for his allergies,PB,eggs.dairy etc) where the food I PREPARED for him could be heated up. He looked into it with the school district lawyers & opted to buy the microwave. from that day on my son had hot lunches on the days I sent the night before meals in for his lunch. FWIW his 1st argument was that there were 700+ kids in that school & if he heated Jeffrey’s lunch up he would have to heat up everyone’s lunch but after I brought in the info on Americans with disabilities act the whole school district changed their tune.
      Your child HAS THE RIGHT to eat a HOT lunch that is NOT going to be detrimental to her health.
      You NEED to bring it to their attention. I wish you the best of luck.

      • Jeanie says

        Microwaving zaps the nutrients from food; thus, the food is not healthy. If this parent wants to push the envelope as you did, then force them to let you provide a toaster over, not a microwave oven.

    • says

      Get a Mr. Bento from Amazon. Thermos / insulated it’ll keep hot foods warm. 4 containers for 4 different parts to her lunch. researching the Mr Bento for teens for lunch shows that it encourages them to build their own lunches that they like, and even learn to cook.

  4. JKPS says

    Going to be honest – I literally could not care any less about this. Screw it, I’m going to eat bread, I’m not going to eat LETTUCE instead of bread (honestly what the hell is wrong with you people), and nobody ever died from having two slices of bread a day.

    • says

      Jen, that’s totally fine that you don’t care about this… eat bread. Do what you want. No one is telling you to do anything. It’s all info that you can take into your life or leave it behind. To answer you directly, there isn’t anything wrong with people like me or anyone whom I know that agrees with this idea. What I’m saying ISN’T all that ‘out there’. It’s pretty well established in the mainstream that 2 slices of whole wheat bread have a higher glycemic index than a Snickers bar. And that eating excess refined carbohydrates (which is the normal in the American diet) are actually what’s behind issues like heart disease and diabetes. So before you get angry at me for sharing a truth, eating bread, pasta, and other starched refined carbs (gluten-free or not) does bare a serious consequence that can lead to hormonal imbalances, organ malfunctioning and eventually death. Maybe not from a single sandwich, but it adds up over time, meal by meal. You don’t just end up with diabetes one day. It’s a cumulative effect that happens from ignoring your health and eating what you want with no regard for the consequences to your body.

      But please know that this is my site and my opinion… you are not free to leave disrespectful comments or words in here that I and others will find offensive (which I edited out). Let this be a reminder to you and others… it’s fine to voice your opinion and I’m all for a healthy constructive discussion, but I will not tolerate nasty comments or language that may be offensive to some.

      • A different Jen says

        Speaking of disrespectful comments, I found this statement of yours to be a bit disrespectful:

        “I feel that GF bread is a cop out for avoiding new items at the grocery store or learning new recipes at home. Or perhaps it’s a bad excuse for failing to plan out meals and what you’ll bring for lunch.”

        Maybe some people just enjoy their bread? As you already said, they made plenty of sacrifices already. They aren’t necessarily “making excuses” or eating GF bread as a “cop out.”

        I agree that xanthum gum is disgusting, though!

        • says

          Thanks for the thoughts, Jen. I appreciate the feedback, but I do have to disagree with you. I work with people who need to change their diet to a GF one or those who have gotten sick on the Standard GF diet they’ve been eating that has been bread, pasta, and carb dense. It’s my feeling from working with people and listening to them over and over again WHO TELL ME that they purposely avoid buying and trying new things because they’re (pick from the list: lazy, nervous, not adventurous, not planning, etc) to do something different than they were doing before. So they come to me for help and that’s what I do… help them get back the fear of trying something new, lean how to plan, etc. If you enjoy bread, good for you. I didn’t say that YOU SPECIFICALLY were making excuses or copping out… just that those who tend to be stuck do and they are able to acknowledge it to me. It’s not some assumption I’m making.

          At the end of the day, I had to give up much more than gluten… it wasn’t the end of the world, but the beginning. It just matters how you look at things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

          • trlkly says

            Yes, you did. That was your entire post. You even have section titles that make fun of people for liking bread. You ask people if they are married to bread–what children say to make fun of people for liking something too much. Your title is the inflammatory “Why are you STILL eating bread,” as if there must be something wrong with us for doing so. You make up ridiculous arguments for us for you to refute, saying that we think we’ll die without bread. That people who want to eat bread are afraid. You freaking call us addicts because we like something you apparently don’t.

            And because you decided to post in such a provocative manner, instead of just suggesting that people might want to try not eating bread, you’re going to get and deserve more provocative responses. The gluten free thing is a very sore spot for the vast majority of people, and it needs a soft touch. Dieting is already a hard topic to discuss without offending people, as hungry people tend to be a bit cranky.

            Think about it. We have to act like freaks. We can’t eat out with people, which is like half the socializing people do. We act like crazy germophobes when it comes to wheat because crumbs can set us off. Heck, I have OCD, and my cleanliness is not as strict as I have to be with gluten free stuff.

            Telling us that one of the few things we love and still do is horrible for us is always going to hit a nerve. If you don’t want reactions, you need to be as nice as you possibly can.

            You do get that you aren’t talking to people who just choose to go off wheat, right? Because doing that is stupid. We people with Celiac have to take a ton of vitamins in part because our diet won’t be as good. Sure, we eat gluten free to be healthy, but that’s only because we have an illness. Healthy for most gluten free people just means not sick, not freaking out over glycemic load. If that was what we cared about, we’d be on a low carb diet.

      • Amanda says

        Just looking at the glycemic index this morning and according to it, two slices of whole wheat bread is the equivalent or higher than a Snickers bar. There are three entries for Snickers, two of which have lower GI values than two slices of whole wheat bread. One entry is equal.

        • Alison Meehan says

          It’s pretty obvious that 2 slices of bread has a higher glycemic index than a Snickers bar since a Snickers has a lot of fat. However, I think all of us would agree the Snickers is still more unhealthy – it has sugar, trans fats, and corn syrup too.

          Jennifer, one thing I wonder about all this is what about all the cultures that have gluten free grains as their staples, such as India, China, and Japan. Are you saying they have unhealthy diets?

          • says

            Alison, no… I’m not saying they have unhealthy diets unless they’ve adopted a more western diet where research does show that then those cultures begin to take on the health issues we see in the western world. To be clear… those 3 cultures you mentioned eat rice. They are not eating quinoa, corn, GF oats, etc. The Eastern diet with rice is one that busts a big hole in the argument for the paleo diet and was one reason I was always critical of all the anti-grain stuff. I do eat rice (typically organic white rice which I have explained in another article on the site) occasionally, but it’s never the centerpiece of my plate. And here’s the thing… it’s rice. It’s not rice flour. It’s not rice bread. It’s not a refined product that doesn’t actually grow from a plant. That’s the problem I’m taking issue with here — the refined products. It’s really easy to make the leap from gluten-free starches and flours to whole GF grains and want to say they are the same, but in reality, they ARE different. And when it comes to those whole GF grains, I think they should be eaten in moderation so that your diet isn’t carb-centric.

      • agnes says


    • GFGAL says

      While it isn’t life threatening- yet- I have a very severe allergy to wheat. No, I don’t flop around on the floor gasping for air, I pass blood! If you have never had THAT conversation and the necessary testing then you don’t know what you are talking about and it would behoove you to learn! It might not kill YOU but don’t make blanket statements. That is unfair and belittling to those of us who do suffer.

      • says

        Hi GF Gal, I’m not sure which blanket statement you’re referring to because if you read what I wrote I said that — NO, eating 2 pieces of GF bread on their own won’t kill you. That’s ridiculous and I was addressing the over-the-top comment that was made by another commenter here.

        The point is that all the refined carbs we eat add up. I have many family members who have died from complications from diabetes. I’ve known many people who have had amputations and horrible things happen to them as a result of diabetes… I’m not saying what I say just to be dramatic. It comes from real life experience with people I actually know. And my father is a medical doctor (where I worked directly with tons of diabetic patients for 10 years), so I’m saying this because I don’t ever want to see these consequences happen to anyone, even you. I might not know you, but I care about you. I care about your health.

        It’s not unfair nor is it belittling… it’s something that even I didn’t fully understand until a few years ago. I’m not claiming to be an expert in the area of diabetes or hormone issues, but I’ve read enough to be able to back up my thoughts and ideas from reputable sources. I’m sorry if this info bothers you, but I shared my opinion (as I often do) to get people thinking. I’m glad that it got a response from you because at least I know that you’re thinking about it now as well. Our health deserves constant attention as I’m sure you know all too well. What you do with the info you come across is entirely up to you.

        • Linda Wildman says

          I find this interesting. Gotta admit I do love bread, I use to make my own and I love the smell of fresh baked bread. This was back in the 60’s when we still had decent food. My mom was a farm girl and so was the rest of us so alot of our cooking and baking was scratch. Now foods are not the same and bread is not recognizable. We do alot of our own garden and canning. Its the only way to know what you are getting. But still there is things to buy and take a risk on. I buy bread and eat it a little. I like Udi’s the best, Your article on the adrenal connection and believe that I have this problem as well. I thought my iron was low again as I always have trouble with that. I live in a small town so the drs do not deal with what I have nor its complications. I weighted 89lbs till 2000 and then slowly I started to put on weight but it was not until I was diagnosed with celiac in 09 that my weight gain began in earnest. I had six kids and went back to my weight now I can hardly get rid f this stuff. I have cut out sweets and do not have breads or pasta much. Yet I weight 129 on a less than 5ft 2 frame. I feel like an elephant. I have tried everything to make it come off. I can not do the exercise except walk as I have osteo in my hips and bad knees. I feel that I am ageing before my time. I am 65 and feel like I am in my 90’s. Thank you for the information and sharing as it is a great help and insight. I am gonna have my dr ck this.

          • Anne V. says

            I have been gaining weight on the gluten free diet, and my sugar and carb cravings have increased and fatiuge got worse. I’m on the diet for 3 months to see if it improves my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, but when my Dr. tested my cortisol, the hormone that tells you to wake up and have energy, my cortisol was low. I’m 63 and have gained 6 pounds in a month even though I’m eating more veggies and more regularly, have your cortisol tested for sure, and for exercise, does your area have a swimming pool that offers aquacise…it’s a good way to get your exercise, raise your metabulism, but not aggravate your osteo. Also, have you been to a foot specialist? My right ankle, right knee and right hip pain has been because I walk more on the inside of my right foot. Inserts to correct this have helped, but it does take quite a few months before you see improvement. ps I went to a local pharmacy and took the test on the Dr. Scholl’s machine that supposedly tells you what you need for shoe inserts and it only picked up that I have high arches, it did not detect the callouses on my pads from walking too much on the inside of my foot, (I lost my inserts a couple years ago and haven’t been able to afford new foot orthotics)…..just wanted to warn you that their testing machine isn’t thorough enough, and for what they suggested for my high arches, their inserts were $50 here and were the same as the 15 dollar ones I bought in Walmart. Also, 89 lbs is way too low a weight for someone 5’2″ and losing that much weight will make your face look haggard, older, and sickly. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist and get a realistic goal for yourself…you should probably at your age not aim for less than 110 at your age and then tone your shape with yoga maybe, which is great for osteo. Hope this helps.

          • Brendan says

            “back in the 60′s when we had decent food”

            Not sure where you’ve been the past 60 years, but food is still decent. In fact, it’s quite delicious.

    • Martin M. says

      The problem is that the cumulative effect of our poor choices will definitely bring a harvest in out later years that will affect those around us. I have known of cases where the person is on bed for 8-10 years, crippled with need of round the clock care due to arthritis and other diseases. All brought by diet. The all-too-common attitude “I eat what I want and you have no business telling me what to eat,” already shows the results of those poor choices because a person who eats right and combines his meals properly is very composed, calmed, patient and respectful of other’s opinions. I think the article was well-written and there was no reason for you to flip the way you did. I recommend that you keep an open mind and show a little more respect and admiration for this lady that spends so much time and effort researching and trying to help other people overcome their health conditions and offer hope when the doctors give them a “there is no cure” outlook in life.

    • Brendan says

      I agree, JKPS. This article is silly. Some people just enjoy breads and bagels and croissants…and I’m one of them. Do I need it? Nope. But I love it.

  5. says

    That was a great read! I hate gluten free bread because I grew up eating real bread and, no gluten free bread comes close. I wonder if you could put nutrition back into gluten free bread if it was homemade. Also being someone who can’t eat corn that xanthan gum part worries me ,isn’t it supposed to be made from seaweed?

    • Wendell says

      Hi, I am here because I am looking for info on gluten free bread. There is lots of info available. I am looking to make my own. So far, I am coming up with some barriers.
      1. Rice and especially brown rice can have a high level of arsenic. Also, given the high glycemic index of rice. Rice will not be the primary component of my gluten free diet.
      2. The gums that are used for binders, xanathan and guar,can seem to cause digestive problems. A statement on wikipedia , mentioned an FDA warning about simply thick(a xanthan gum active ingredient product that could cause necrotizing colitis in premature infants. The article says that in small quanities, it seems to be safe, but what about folks that pig out occasionally,

  6. Jess says

    Great info. I’m definitely a believer of everything in moderation. What are your thoughts/info on wraps and tortillas?

    • says

      I have mixed emotions… it’s still a similar bready type product. With corn being so high glycemic, I eat them rarely. And I do occasionally have the tortillas from Rudis, but it’s not often. I think as a treat or a special occasion, these things are ok, but not something every single day.

      • Barend says


        I’m enjoying the conversation and thoughts being posted, but just have a quick question on the reference to “bready type products” and the like being high glycemic. What is your thoughts on sourdough wholemeal bread (not the regular shop bought stuff with all the nutrients and vitamins stripped out, but an ACTUAL whole wheat kernel that went into the milling process)? Isn’t that supposed to be low glycemic and be especially good for persons with diabetes? Thanks for the conversation!

        • says

          So to preface this answer, everyone here should eat gluten-free bread if you’ve got celiac or gluten sensitivity (or some other reason that is helped by being gluten-free). That said, there are some camps that believe that REAL sourdough bread could be tolerable to those who are sensitive to gluten, however I’ve yet to see any testing of said products to back up that a person sensitive won’t react to gluten.

          As for the low-glycemic claim, bread in any form is NOT low glycemic unless you are cooking with something like coconut or almond flour. Whole wheat bread is high glycemic and elevates blood sugar just as much as a Snickers bar (as pointed out time and time again by Dr. William Davis who wrote Wheat Belly). At the end of the day, whole wheat bread isn’t low glycemic and fermented or not, the starch is all still there to elevate your blood sugar. I would imagine that the fermentation process breaks down problematic proteins, but that doesn’t remove starch.

  7. Joann Hahn says

    I would rather eat no bread than eat what is mostly available. It has poor texture and taste.. I will make bread from a combo of chickpea flour and almond flour. I don’t have a real recipe, I just keep adapting and one day I do mean to write it out. That hasn’t happened yet. Lately I have been taking a big bag of broccoli slaw and mixing it in with homemade chicken salad for lunch. I don’t use all mayo in my salad. I use tzatziki sauce as part of the mix. It is delish and easy to carry to work. I do have a fridge there but the is always ice packs. And, yes, my kids always lost the ice packs when I sent them to school. I mix it up at lunch with leftover and salads. So I am not eating the same thing all the time. It can work, you just need to think outside the box.

  8. Derinda says

    I think GF bread tastes like sand…and gave it up quickly. I tried to make it fresh and ended up with bricks! which wasn’t much better…so I use lettuce.
    I didn’t have the prob with the oil’s as I can’t have corn either….I was using Coconut Oil.

  9. says

    I think your article raises some really great points and is full of some good information. I know your passion for this topic and I trust you wrote it coming from that place, because you feel like you have info you want to share based on your life experience. As long as you can share that, and not need to change or fix how other people live, I think your message will be received well. Sometimes, no matter how we word things, people want to choose for themselves. I know I made (and continue to make) choices that don’t serve me because I’m a work in progress. I do eat gluten-free bread as a transition away from baked stuff I got into the habit of consuming over the holidays. I find my habits ebb and flow, like most things in life. I appreciated reading some new information and will consider those tips when I’m about to reach for some bread–GF or otherwise. ;)

  10. Mina says

    This article was great if you’re an adult. But what about children who need to pack a lunch daily to take to school? My 4th grade daughter does not have access to a microwave oven at school and she doesn’t eat lunch until 1:00pm so a thermos won’t even keep her food warm that long. Any suggestions that you might have would be greatly appreciated by me and the countless other parents of gluten free children.

  11. says

    Interesting post! You say that “gluten-free bread is damn expensive whether you make it yourself…” and I have to disagree. It’s actually quite cheap to bake gluten-free bread at home and there are plenty of different gluten-free flours to work with. Baking bread yourself is also the only way to control exactly what goes into it and you can therefore work with wholegrain ingredients and even use sourdough.
    Happy baking!

    • says

      Most people’s biggest complaint about being GF is the price of the bread. I’ve polled this a number of times on my FB page. I have to agree. However, you still don’t need all the carbs from the bread in your diet. Occasionally? Fine. Every day? No. I agree that baking it yourself is the only way to control the ingredients, but unless you’re cooking the more paleo versions, the bread is pretty starchy.

  12. Micki says

    Hi: I hope I have a good suggestion for some of you. I also hate GF bread and haven’t found one yet that isn’t very expensive and has no taste — plus can’t stand up to sandwich ingredients. One thing I miss soooo much is toast and peanut butter. I love peanut butter and just wanted something to eat it on. Two suggestions: it’s great on celery! And that should be a good lunch item for kids at school. You could package it separately and just give your child something to spread it with. The other is brown rice cakes. I get Lundbergs — they are good and I spread it with peanut butter and sometimes some Nutella. Also, since I’m also allergic to corn, these almost have a “popcorn” taste that I really like.

  13. Pam Lewellen says

    Thanks for the info. Let me say, wow…you edited that rude person’s comment? I just don’t see the point to such negativity except to cause unnecessary drama. I am a diabetic and self-diagnosed Celiac. My mom and son both are Celiac’s and if my sisters tried gf for two weeks like I did, they would probably get the cramps and diarrhea from gluten as well. I got Diabetes because of excess eating and eating lots and lots of bad, fattening, sugary, carby things…ya I said carby…lol. I’ve bought and made many different gf breads and I do agree. The price isn’t much different. Almond flour, potato and tapioca starch isn’t cheap! Now if you just just rice flour, cheaper but still not cheap! Also to the comment, if you are bleeding out your rear when eating wheat, you are most likely causing tears in your intestines and/or stomach. This can lead to ulcers/tumors/cancer. But always do your research. I will have to look up xanthum gum now and find alternatives. I also believe the reason most of us have contracted Celiac is due to the overwhelming wheat in every packaged product and yes, bread at every meal! That is just too much for the body to process. That being said, I signed up for a co-op recently and ordered the bigger basket for my son and I. Well, let me tell you, we have been forced to eat so many lettuce wraps due to not wanting to waste any of the produce. And I am really liking it! Including what’s going on inside. Having less gas, getting more regular, starting to feel more energy! I love bread too, like most people do…so I am still working on a bread that is safe, healthy and tastes good. Not all things in life are easy, but all things are doable, if the mindset is there! Thanks for the article!

  14. says

    Interesting. I’d love to bake my own, but here in SoCal, it’s too hot to bake between mid-May and late-October. But I also have to say that the mix of all the different flours scare me.

  15. Donna says

    I recently saw this bread recipe on Facebook. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks like it might be a good option.

    This recipe is great for diabetics, people with gluten allergies or people just trying to cut out carbs.

    OMG, I have GOT to try these!!!
    Instead of bread – make oppsie bread instead YUMMMMM

    Will you have a hard time living without bread? Ooopsies are a good option. It’s a “bread” without carbs and can be eaten in a variety of ways.

    6–8 depending on size.

    3 eggs
    100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cream cheese
    a pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder or cream of tarter (can be excluded)

    Separate the eggs, with the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another.
    Whip the egg whites together with the salt until very stiff. You should be able to turn the bowl over without the egg whites moving.

    Mix the egg yolks and the cream cheese well. If you choose, 1tsp of cream of tarter or baking powder (this makes the Oopsie more bread-like).

    Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mix – try to keep the air in the egg whites.

    Put 6 large or 8 smaller oopsies on a baking tray.
    Bake in the middle of the oven at 150° C (300° F) for about 25 minutes – until they turn golden.

    You can eat Oopsies as bread or use them as a bun for a hotdog or hamburger. You can also put different kinds of seeds on them before baking them, for instance poppy, sesame or sunflower seeds.

    • says

      Hi Donna,
      The thing to consider is that a lot of people with gluten sensitivity/celiac are actually sensitive to dairy, so this wouldn’t be the best option. But obviously everyone can make their own choices based on what they know about their needs. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • KGarza says

      Did you have a chance to trial this recipe yet? I am unable to partake in it, but would like to share it with some GF friends in my meet up group.

  16. Carol E says

    Hi, would you be good enough to tell me what you think of the Flax4life sandwich buns. My family has been doing GF for many years and we have tried every bread around. We do find the Flax 4 Life items to be very good. Even our non GF family members love the Everything bun. Thank you in advance for you kind attention to this request.

    • says

      Hi Carol,
      I don’t think I’d eat them. They’ve got multiple sources of sugar in them as well as a mold inhibitor and corn syrup solids… ugh. That kind of stuff isn’t good for you. Food is meant to go bad and whatever they put on it to stop the mold can’t be good for you.

  17. Stephanie says

    Bread is my absolute favorite food. I will not give up on bread just because it’s not loaded with vitamins. I’m underweight, always hungry and those grains help fill me up. I won’t let articles like this discourage me from baking my bread; a bag of whole wheat brown rice flour and a few other ingredients is not that expensive because you can make several loafs with it. Some of that turkey lunch meat that’s wrapped in lettuce isn’t so great for you withe (sodium!) People all over the world have eaten bread and dumplings for hundreds of years so if baking bread makes you happy do it

    • says

      Stephanie, sure people have eaten bread for centuries, but it’s not the same bread as what is made today. Even the wheat and other grains are dramatically difference. It’s simply not the same. I’m not going to argue with you about lunch meat… many companies do load junk into theirs, however one could slice meat from a homecooked turkey or chicken. Or cook up something else and eat from that. Either way, this issue is about more than just a few missing vitamins. I’d suggest taking another read over this article because it’s truly not as black and white as you’re saying.

  18. sara says

    allergic to wheat but i can stop eating it , 2 years ago found out that i got Celiac Disease which i wasn’t happy about my condition , my parents helping me with my diet but i always cheat , i need your help , my stomach bloated every time i eat gets bigger it scares me out , i need help

    • Michelle says

      If you’ve been told to stop, you just plain have to make the choice. It is hard, and I have heard that it is common to basically be addicted to stuff your allergic to. Gluten is everywhere, and it becomes such an easy habit. I had a heck of a time accepting that I can’t eat it anymore. I found that the convenience gluten free foods has really helped me out in becoming gluten free, even if they aren’t the best for you. Get yourself eating that to start, once you become used to that, you can switch to an even healthier diet. I also read a lot- even re-reading things that talk about the damage you do every time you “cheat”.

  19. Julia says

    Oh no!!! Just bought a bread mixer/baker/convection oven. I love bread. Is it okay if I make myself??? I crave it and sweets so bad I am going mad!

    • says

      Hi Julia, the typical GF bread is still not great by making it yourself. I’d suggest looking up paleo versions of bread made with almond or coconut flour instead. They are a lot more nutritious.

  20. Michele says

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for your article. My son is allergic to gluten, casein, and eggs. So we don’t use any bread except a paleo coconut wrap made from coconut meat and coconut water that we buy from the Julian bakery. School lunches are going to be difficult this year, as he is still very very picky. Every time I eat celery I have him take a bite just try it. He grimaces but he take a bite. Hopefully he will add foods as we go. For now I am going to bake chicken and pack fruit and nuts. I have also been making snacks in the dehydrator. He won’t eat okra or broccoli, except from the dehydrator. He may not be getting a huge variety right now, but we are working on it.

    • says

      Baby steps, Michele! And remember, it’s all about how you as a parent present food to him. Get him involved in the process of picking the foods and even preparing them. Kids love that stuff. They need to be excited about what they are going to eat. Good work so far!!!

  21. Sarah Blaum says

    while I have not adopted a totally gluten free lifestyle, I have adopted an all organic clean eating lifestyle, and have lost 32 lbs. since May! It is a challenge, but I cut out all breads and pastas of any type. Now that I have reached goal, I have been experimenting w/certain breads to see what I can incorporate back in that sticks as close as possible to my lifestyle change. End result opinion? gluten free breads SUCK! I have recently found a pretty decent alternative though: it is Julian’s Bakery Paleo Bread. Not too bad. What do you know about this product? Is it a healthy choice considering the options out there or should I keep searching? Apparently it is made with coconut…

    • says

      Hi Sarah, I do think that paleo breads are a healthier option… I think you’ve got to look at the label and see how comfortable you are with all of the ingredients. If you don’t know what some are, look them up on Google or call the company and ask. But I agree with you… most GF breads I’ve eaten since going GF in 2008 aren’t that great. When I first went GF, they were so bad that I just didn’t bother to buy them. There are so many more options now, but I think that we all need more awareness around what’s in our products and a kind reminder to not rely on products too heavily.

  22. Kaitlynn says

    I don’t mind certain GF breads, especially if you toast them before you use it as a sandwhich. Try using herbs and garlic butter with it on a turkey sandwhich. It isn’t supposed to be healthy necessarily, as most breads aren’t. But I do like having a hamburger like others, and baguettes. I miss french bread and the mix is close. It’s great to have pizza. I’d rather eat it!

  23. chris says

    Just because you don’t want to eat bread i don’t think you should put others down for their desire to keep bread as part of their diet. You have an arrogance about you that I find offensive. YOu do what you want with your diet but don’t tell other people that eating bread gluten or not is a cop out. That is your opinion. I for one enjoy a sandwich every now and then and Bread can all be a culture thing. I have Asian friends that grew up with Rice as their staple they don’t eat much bread at all. I myself am Italian and bread is a huge part of our culture. I agree that people should eat healthier and maybe not eat sandwiches everyday but to tell people that eating bread is a cop out is wrong. We all have likes and dislike and our own opinions. If you want to stay away from Bread and eat healthier then fine but to insult those people that do want to eat bread is wrong. Alot of people don’t eat bread as a cop out but because they enjoy it , and you have no right to judge people especially by their choices they make.

    • says

      Thank you Chris for your response, but I have to disagree. Firstly, I too am from an Italian family… My grandparents on both sides were the first generation to be born in the US, so we have always been a family to eat things from scratch, but along with lots of the traditional food staples (like bread and pasta) of the Italian diet. So if I have been able to go from being a total and complete breadoholic from an Italian family, then others can do it. I’m not judging people for eating bread. I’m not saying that they are bad people for making that choice, but opting to just swap out everything one ate previously from their gluten-filled diet isn’t the stopping point of a healthy GF diet. And that’s what my site is about… promoting health.

      I ask people why they still eat sandwiches every day and they tell me that they don’t know what else to eat and it’s easy. They tell me that they can’t live without it. They say that it’s all their kids will eat. Everyone has their reasons and those reasons are fine, but sometimes we all need to know a bit more about why our choices aren’t serving us. I think that everyone should consider why GF bread might not be healthy (even when companies market them as such) and they can make the choice on their own.

      This site is my opinion and I write from my own personal experience of going gluten-free and getting SICKER because I ate foods like GF breads and pastas and pizza thinking that it was healthier when really it’s not. So my concern comes from my own experience and from what I see in clients who work with me. I occasionally have a piece of GF bread (though I’m honestly not sure when the last time I did was), but having it every day isn’t healthy. At the end of the day, you’ve got to make your own choices and if this article prompted you to respond, then at least it’s getting people to think (one way or the other) about their choices.

      But know that I’m not arrogant… Read my story, take one of my master classes or listen to my podcast and you’ll find that I’m anything but. I love what I do and sharing information… and again… it’s my site, my opinion and I do feel passionately that people need to move away from such heavy reliance on GF products for the sake of their health.

  24. says

    Anybody who says that gluten-free breads all taste like cardboard have never tried the Canyon Bakehouse brand. I might sound like I work for them, I don’t, I just think that their products are far and away better than the others and more like the bread we “used” to eat.

    Regardless, I don’t find it “necessary” to eat bread daily. However, I genuinely do not at all enjoy lettuce as a bun replacement for a burger. In other instances, I am knowingly going to be out (like when my mother and I were vacationing on Cape Cod for a week, and our days were filled with endless travel and sightseeing) and it would be utterly foolish for me to rely on anything but packing a cold sandwich.
    I think that, with most things, the best advice is moderation. Do I make efforts to have something other than a sandwich for lunch whenever I can? Absolutely. The blanket statement that everybody is gripping their sandwiches for breakfast lunch and dinner is a bit…, even to an admitted carb-lover like myself.

    Also, when people first have to go gluten-free, it’s all too easy for those who’ve been at it years to forget what that panic felt like. The desire to hold onto “normalcy”. It fades after awhile. By berating newbies right off the bat, it brings shame to the party and most people don’t respond well to that.

    • says

      I appreciate the comment, Lisa! Thanks for taking the time to write out such a long answer. I’m not berating newbies nor trying to guilt anyone into feeling bad about their diet, but I work with GF folks (both newbies and people who’ve tried doing it for a long time) and sadly this is what is happening to many. They get sucked into the idea that all these products are healthy. I am a former Carb-lover myself… in fact I was a self-proclaimed bread and pasta addict pre-gluten-free. My health issues, working with others and learning from experts out there have taught me that someone has to raise the alarm.

      Rather than getting offended, perhaps there’s something here to learn from… my story is one that demonstrates that you CAN get sick again from eating the standard GF diet. And I’m not at all alone in that boat. I am genuinely concerned for people’s health, moreso than their love of certain foods like bread. So if I put you off, sorry about that, but if it got your wheels turning… even enough to write something here, then I stand by my message.

      There are plenty of GF sites out there that paint over the serious concerns that many of us have about this diet. I’m not alone, but sadly food companies have more money and more product to hand out to bloggers and organizations and media which exponentially amplifies their mission which is to sell more product. I’m not in debt to any of those companies… I intentionally have no advertising on this site so that I can be as honest as possible.

      And do I think it’s the worst thing in the world to occasionally have a piece of GF bread? No, but a large number aren’t having it occasionally… they have it every day. That’s what concerns me.

  25. says

    Thanks for an interesting and useful article. The main point of interest, for me, however, wasn’t high-glycemic starches, but xanthan gum. As an aging athlete, 71, whatever I eat, I get fairly immediate feedback, as the next time I run my body will tell me very clearly what isn’t making it happy. And xanthan gum is just plain weird – it produces mild mental effects and definitely affects athletic performance. Thank you for revealing that it’s kissing cousins with black cabbage mold – this info reaffirmed my resolve to avoid the stuff. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere – in GF breads, pickle relish, etc., etc.

    The reason I’m less concerned with carbs is that they are THE source of energy for sports. I’ve gone carb-free in the past, and researched it carefully. Upshot: very, very few people can thrive on a very low-carb diet and still exercise at anything exceeding a death march. My 3 1/2-hour runs quickly turned into gaunt staggering survival events when I went very low-carb.

    That said, when you train regularly, it’s fairly easy to adjust carb intake so that you don’t take too much. You fill up the tank immediately after a run – it’s these carbs taken immediately after exercise that fuel the next day’s training (with a few hundred calories the morning-of to top-up the tank). Otherwise, you just don’t feel like eating lots of carbs – a few dates and some fruit taken throughout the day is plenty. So carbs are not a problem for a very active person, so long as the timing is right – in fact, high-glycemic carbs are very welcome for filling the tank immediately after exercise; thus, tapioca and other starches are fine.

    With this kind of control and natural rhythm, the main problem becomes xanthan gum. But I’ve found a ton of xanthan-free bread recipes on the Web – most substitute chia and/or flax for the gums. I am loathe to bake my own bread, but have found no xanthan-free products on the shelves. For now, I’ll satisfy the “crunchies” with rice crackers, etc. – to help fill the tank after training.

    I had enjoyed an occasional slice of Food for Life brown rice bread, but the xanthan gum

    • says

      p.s. Looks like the last sentence got cut off. To complete the thought – the Food for Life brown rice bread is fairly tasty with avocado, almond butter, etc. – but the xanthan gum just makes it not worthwhile. The label says they use “xanthan and/or cellulose” – so no help there.

      • says

        Although my family is newly GF, we are serious foodies as well. We know we eat too much GF junk food, but we really try to balance it out with more fruits & vegtables. We categorize our vegetables and definitely try to eat a super-vegetable every day. With that said, I am using more garbanzo bean flour in my baking and thinking that it’s healthier than rice flour. But I’m glad I ran into your comments here, because it helps reinforce my goal of what GF should be, even if it takes time and practice to get there!

  26. Chris Cooper says

    I so appreciate all the info you share. GF products are such a lie. Yes they have no gluten but all the other ingredients cause other problems. I have a couple of friends that are celiac and swear by GF products, needless to say they have countless health issues. I also had an unpleasant experience on another GF blog. I merely inquired why she promotes so many gluten free products yet continuously shares how she is sick all the time. Maybe they are the source of her issues. It makes me sad that people would rather suffer than make a change for health.

  27. Michelle says

    Well, I would definitely fall under the to lazy/scared to try new things. but I also learned to dislike cooking. For that matter, I really don’t like the whole process of eating, no I am not anorexic. I just don’t think about eating until I am so hungry I am shaking. I frequently turn to the old pb & j because it is quick and easy. But I am starting to realize even when I do cook, I am pretty carb heavy- so that will be what I will tackle next. I can say that having the gluten free breads and pastas available has been huge in helping me to go to a gluten free life. I have been seeing a lot more about the palo foods, and the more I read, the more I think that it isn’t such a bad thing- though I am pretty sure I would have a modified version. I have learned that I do need a more carb heavy diet (but also know there are better places to get them than bread and pasta).
    I think what worries me more- your quick mention that xytham gum (sorry can’t spell) is bad- and that is in everything. most gluten free recipes I have seen call for it as well. You mentioned agar? as another binder. Could you please tell us more on that?

    • says

      Hi Michelle, Thanks for sharing your experience and I’d be curious to know why you feel you need a carb heavy diet (I’m honestly just curious.). I promise to follow up this post with more about GF binders… it’s in the pipeline coming soon, so stay tuned!

      • Michelle says

        I’m not sure if carb heavy was quite the right term, but I have learned that I my body just plain needs a good dose of carbs at every meal. But that said- there are lots of ways to get the carbs besides breads and pastas.

        The gluten free breads and pastas have really, really helped me work on being gluten free. But I also know that too much can be a bad thing. So now I need to work on changing that up. Unfortunately I have never been good at eating my veggies, and I don’t like to cook….so the next change is going to be…. interesting….

  28. K.Garza says

    What a great post! I looked at the ingredients on the store-bought Udi’s so-called wholegrain bread, and found that there are over 20 ingredients. Wow! There are countless alternatives to eating bread, as you so accurately pointed out. You echoed something that I myself am always telling people “you will not starve/die without ______”. Fill in the blank, whether it be with the word bread or soda or pasta or candy or some other non-essential “food” item. I make an effort to pack breakfast, snacks, and lunch ahead of time for my family, so it is ready to grab and go when we are heading out the door. My husband’s coworkers are always curious about (and often envious of) what he brings in while they are consuming their cafeteria-purchased meals! I really love your idea of freezing some of our leftover meals and will start doing this too; I envision that working particularly well with my chili and no-noodle lasagna recipes.

      • kGarza says

        Sure! I would be glad to try to share my noodle-free lasagna recipe with you, although I must be honest that it is different every time I make it because I am always trying new ingredients/tastes and like to tinker with what’s fresh at the time. Please bear in mind if you ever make this dish that these are all estimations of what I do since I have never bothered to write out the recipe, because of the fact I never make it the same way twice!

        Instead of trying to remake all of my old standard recipes into GF recipes, I personally find it preferable (and more rewarding!) to invent new dishes. Fortunately, I have a background in food science and nutrition to fall upon, though I must admit to a few “learning experiences” along the way! I never think any experiment is a failure; it’s just science and an opportunity to learn/grow. For example, when I first attempted a no-noodle lasagna, I used zucchini for the “noodles”, which was actually rather tasty. But the next time I was shopping for the dish, I picked up some eggplant, and it took the recipe to another level! Either zucchini or eggplant can be used for “noodles”, but my preference is the eggplant because of the texture it provides. It is important to use all fresh ingredients for this dish, not only for obvious health reasons, but additionally for the lasagna to turn out right. I like to make 2 lasagnas in the 8×8 size: one with cheese and one without. If you are doing all cheese-free (or all with cheese) you can use a 9×13 dish.

        -Take 2 eggplants, sliced lengthwise 3/4” thick, place in single layer on several cookie sheets, and roast in oven until golden. Set aside. (I try to pick large, long eggplants)

        -In a skillet, brown 1 pound of meat with 1/2 of a small chopped onion and a few cloves of minced garlic. (I use organic grass fed beef, though I have tried it with bison and that was tasty as well.) Although I do not add seasonings like salt or pepper when cooking the meat, this would be where that could be done if so desired.

        -After the meat is done cooking, you may want to transfer it to a wok because the veggies you are adding are bulky and the skillet might not be big enough! With the burner still on, add 2 cups finely chopped spinach, a cup or two of chopped mushrooms, and some finely chopped basil to suit your taste. I usually like about 1/2 cup of basil but know that most people prefer a few Tbsp only. When the veggies have cooked down, add home-made marinara sauce to this mixture (~2 cups). Remove from heat. *NOTE: reserve a small ladleful of plain marinara (~1/4 cup)*

        -In a 9×13 baking dish start assembling the layers:
        On the bottom, use the reserved ladleful of plain marinara to make a very light base layer.
        Make a layer with the eggplant “noodles” on top of the base.
        Prepare a layer with the meat-marinara mixture on top of the “noodles”.
        If desired, you may add a layer of cheese (ricotta with a 50/50 mixture of grated mozzarella/parmesan works well)
        Repeat layers until ingredients are used, or until pan is full. You will probably have enough to make another mini-lasagna as well (in a small sized pyrex dish or mini casserole; you could even use muffin tins if you cut the eggplant up smaller).
        *NOTE: If using cheese, make the last/top layer cheese and cover the dish with foil when you bake it*

        -Bake until golden brown, at 375’ for 30-45 minutes.
        -Allow the lasagna to sit on the counter to set-up (as it cools) for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

        I use fresh ingredients for my marinara sauce. The ingredients and amounts vary every time, but it always contains tons of chopped tomatoes! I often add a 1-2 whole grated carrots, and either a minced red bell pepper or one minced zucchini. I try not to go overboard on the veggies in the sauce since the lasagna has so many veggies in it too and I want the family to eat/enjoy it! (If it were just me, I would load it with veggies, but I have to take the family into account too). I like to add red pepper flakes and a some salt into the sauce, but that is a matter of personal preference. I simmer it slowly for hours until it thickens. If ever it did not thicken, you could always strain it so your lasagna wouldn’t be soggy or too wet/runny. (Also, I like to make extra marinara to have on-hand for use later in the week in other dishes.)

        Your tip of freezing was such a great idea! I see how the sauce could easily be frozen. I could freeze leftover lasagna portions, and if I made smaller lasagnas to start with, (or put them into muffin tins) they could be frozen as well. I hope my “rough” recipe is somewhat helpful.

        • Michelle says

          so with the egg plant- I think I heard somewhere that your suppose to soak it in salt water? If you wouldn’t mind- could you explain if you are suppose to do something to prep that? Thanks!

          • KGarza says


            I usually just brush them with a tad of oil and roast them in the oven until they’re lightly golden in color. I’ve not tried a soaking method ever. I would be interested to learn more about this if anyone else has.

        • LARosen says

          KGarza, I’ve organized your wonderful meanderings on making noodl-free vegetable lasagna, with homemade marinara sauce to a recipe. (Please let me know if I missed anything crucial, as I will be making it next weekend.) Thanks so much — looks even better than my old vegetable lasagna recipe from decades ago. (I would also add fennel somewhere — for the fiber and the addictive taste!)

          Gluten Free – All Veggies (no noodle) Lasagna
          (kGarza contributor on

          -Slice 2 large/long eggplants lengthwise 3/4” thick, place in single layer on several cookie sheets and roast in oven until golden. Set aside.
          -In a large skillet, brown 1 pound of meat with 1/2 of a small chopped onion and a few cloves of minced garlic. (organic grass-fed beef or bison) Optional salt/pepper)
          -After the meat is done cooking, transfer it to a wok because the veggies you are adding are bulky and the skillet might not be big enough! With the burner still on, add 2 cups finely chopped spinach, 1½ cups chopped mushrooms, and ¼ cup finely chopped basil. (Play with amounts of each to suit your taste.)
          -When the veggies have cooked down, add sautéed beef and 2 cups of home-made marinara sauce (see recipe below). Remove from heat. *NOTE: reserve ¼ cup of marinara*

          In 9×13 baking dish start assembling the layers:
          -On the bottom, use the reserved ladleful of plain marinara to make a very thin base.
          -Layer roasted eggplant strips on top of the sauce base. (Overlap strips slightly)
          -Add layer of meat-marinara mixture on top of the eggplant “noodles”.
          -(Optional: add layer of cheese (50/50 mixture of grated mozzarella/parmesan and ricotta)
          -Repeat layers: meat-sauce/eggplant/cheese — until ingredients are used, or until pan is almost full. (Leave cooking/bubbling room) Use left-over ingredients to make another mini-lasagna (in a small pyrex dish or mini casserole; or cut eggplant smaller to use muffin tins).
          -*NOTE: If using cheese, make that the top layer and cover the dish (with Pyrex lid or foil) for baking. Remove cover for last 5 minutes to brown cheese top and reduce excess liquid*
          -Bake until golden brown, at 375’ for 30-45 minutes.
          -Allow lasagna to sit on counter about 10-15 mins. to set (as it cools) before serving.

          Marinara Sauce (Make extra for use in other recipes; freeze in airtight containers.)
          -2 large (32 oz) cans of whole tomatoes or 4 cups of fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped
          -Add 1-2 grated carrots, minced red bell pepper (or zucchini).
          -Optional: red pepper flakes and pinch of salt into the sauce
          -Simmer slowly for 2-3 hours until it thickens. (Strain excess liquid if it’s not cooking down enough)


  29. shirl says

    Finally, someone says it like it is! Thank you for sharing. I wasn’t understanding why I still felt like crap even though I was gluten free. I understand now

    • says

      Shirl, thanks for leaving a comment… yes this is why people are still sick. Saying this doesn’t win me any brownie points, but it’s the truth. Please share the message :)

  30. agnes says


    • says

      Firstly… welcome! I personally know how difficult this process can seem, but if you do things right and stay compliant, you have a very good chance of feeling better. Being here at GFS will give you a great foundation, so I hope that you’ll read through the articles and take in all the info.

      But before you get overwhelmed, click on the Resources tab in the Nav bar across the top of the screen OR click on the Right-hand button in the sidebar that says “First Steps to Going Gluten Free”. There are great articles there for newbies. Should you need a bit more handholding (because this (unfortunately) can be a process that’s more challenging than for some), visit my services page and reach out for some support to jumpstart the process. I’ve worked with clients who flailed at the process for YEARS (some for over 10 years) and others who want help from the get-go. Either way, it short-cuts the process, helps you figure out exactly what you need to do and saves you money from buying junky products that don’t taste good and aren’t good for your health.


  31. caren wilton says

    hi have come across newsletter by accident we leave in Australia and there is 4 of us in 3 familys that have to be on the gf diet and are tired! we all have this adrenal problem i think..
    but i am trying to help my daughter who is 17 ,both of us are putting on the weight and she graves sugar .so where can i get a diet that help us with a meal plan .and is there somewhere i can go in Australia that you could tell us of .we live in 2hr from sydney in place called newcastle .our specialist is good but dear.

  32. says

    This is exactly how I feel about GF bread. I started out with the starches and gums but I’m so glad that I learned enough to stop using all that. I don’t bake or buy the starchy breads, muffins, etc. I’ve been making a flatbread with whole grains and no gums or starches. I’m so thankful for people like you that help us figure out what’s what in a healthy GF lifestyle.

  33. Ella says

    I agree!! I have Hashimotos and went gluten free about a year ago. Then I eventually realized that I just wasn’t enjoying eating bread or pasta, so I basically stopped eating the GF versions, too. It has made a huge difference. Salads, dinner leftovers work perfectly well for lunch. Eggs with veggies or fruit/yogurt work well for breakfast. I don’t really eat cereal either. I guess I’m leaning towards grain free.

  34. Eric says

    The only GF bread I still eat has only five ingredients, no starches (by that name), and is mostly chickpea flower. It tastes great with eggs.

  35. Ursula says


    thank you for taking on the role of messenger when clearly the message is not very popular. Diabetes is not nearly as well controlled as people might like to think, so considering our diets before it strikes is a wise move.
    I just wanted to share my own experience with a GF diet. I went GF five years ago at the advice of my doctor with a diagnosis of IBS (not celiac). I got some relief for three years. I then developed severe heartburn and general digestive upset. Had my gallbladder out, some relief, but still had stomach pains. I underwent every test in the book including endoscopy and acid reflux testing (not fun!). All negative. Doctors kept giving me PPIs at ever increasing doses.
    I finally made an appointment with a nutritionist at my health food store and she advised me to cut out all grains. Did I like that advice? No! Did I do it? Yes! After a year I was off all antacids, could eat normally (meaning there was no discomfort after a meal), and avoided all grains like the plague. It was not easy, and I do still miss eating bread, so I sometimes fall off the wagon and eat GF bread. But I’m always sorry when I do, since my symptoms come back, so it’s a rare thing now. Elana’s Pantry helped me tremendously by providing recipes with coconut and almond flour, even a recipe for bread. Just be careful you don’t exchange the grain for sugar.
    I generally believe in ‘everything in moderation’, and not everyone needs to give up grains the way I did, but it has helped me to be drug free and feel good. I don’t like it, I love bread just as much as the next person, and I sure don’t like that you confirmed what I already knew since that means falling off the wagon is even harder to justify. But I admire you for putting yourself out there, trying to warn people in our culture of ‘bread, bread, and more bread’. If they feel bad enough, people will have something to try other than drugs because they read your post and remember it, even if they are not receptive right now. So thank you, and I look forward to reading your other posts!

    • says

      Thanks for your words of encouragement Ursula to both myself and others out there to reconsider their approach to eating. I too agree… moderation is key, but I’ve also found that moderation is highly subjective. If you eat 20 pieces of gluten-free bread every week, moderation might look like 10 pieces which is still a lot. Thus, I am not the biggest fan of a concept that doesn’t provide clear guidelines for when what one does is just simply too much. It’s a valuable reminder to hear your story and others out there who have taken “the road less traveled” and that’s much less popular and experienced incredible benefits.

      So many of my clients feel SO MUCH BETTER after taking some of these foods out (almost entirely, if not all the way)… they never felt better before. It all leaves me wondering… why do we compromise our health for the sake of food? Why is our health not paramount…. why is it not the main concern over favorites… but hey, that’s another piece of the puzzle.

  36. Michelle says

    So, in a off set relation to this topic…. I’m having an issue I am hoping to get some input on. I have a confession- I don’t like eating. In the past I would just grab a “snack”- sandwich, candy bar- didn’t matter as long as it was quick and easy (especially since I was usually so hungry I needed food NOW). Never was good at eating vegetables… Then I was told to go gluten free (took me awhile to come to terms with that one-especially since I was raised on the stuff). So I ate the gluten free versions.
    And it did help me to go gluten free. But I have finally reached a point that I just don’t care to eat that stuff. Its not healthy and I want to get myself back into good health. So, with all that in mind- here is my problem.
    I am finding that I am not always getting enough calories in. I know having good snacks at work will help, but it is sometimes taking me a bit by surprise- and I end up getting shaky. Does anyone have some good snack ideas to help? I have also learned I really need the most calories in the morning and having some kind of carbs really seems to make a huge positive difference for me in the rest of the day.

    • Ursula says

      Hi Michelle:

      my daughter has the same problem, but it went away once she reduced her sugar intake to almost no added sugars. No artificial sweeteners either. A slice of almond bread toast with cheese or turkey or both in the morning plus a glass of milk (we use raw, but I imagine any would do, just not skim or 1%) and maybe an egg if you have time would probably keep your blood sugar pretty stable. Some nuts and plain yogurt would be manageable for a snack at work. You can also make flax seed crackers or rosemary crackers made with almond meal. Or muffins made with coconut flour (watch the sugar). Or the good old celery sticks with peanut butter and a few apple slices. I don’t think you can eat healthy without adding lots of veggies to your diet. You could make a whole frittata with lots of sauteed veggies and then freeze portions. Makes a super-fast breakfast or even dinner if you add a salad. Grain-free is a learning curve, but well worth it, if only for blood sugar control. Give it a try. Set yourself a limit at first, like ‘I’ll do this for four weeks’. And it’s probably not really good to start before Thanksgiving unless you have incredible willpower. But definitely start by watching the sugar, you could do that right now.

      • Michelle says

        Thanks Ursula! This is the kind of thing I am looking for! Any idea how many weeks it took before she started to feel better? I can get to about three weeks of very little sugar, and I start feeling worse (like maybe I need to see a doctor, worse). :(

        • Ursula says

          It certainly wouldn’t hurt to see a doctor. Many gastroenterologists now have nutritionists working with them which might be helpful for you. It took about four weeks for all of us (myself and two adult daughters) to be off sugar and not crave it any longer. But you can’t just cut out the sugar. You need lean protein and whole foods to sustain you. Some dairy, some cheese (cottage cheese is great, lots of protein), some eggs, some meat, some legumes (lentils have lots of protein), and of course veggies. Only one or two pieces of fruit a day (fruit is nature’s candy!). All this requires more planning and more cooking, but it is so worth it. After a while, it’ll be a lot easier and less time-consuming. My daughter used to be addicted to sweets and now doesn’t even like them any longer. But she’s thin, so she had to learn to replace sweets with the good stuff. You can do it. If my daughter could do it, you can do it!!

    • says

      I sometimes have this problem too – a lack of interest in food. First, if you only want sweets, as others have said, you need to go off sugar and refined carbs for a while or for good. Second, there are several herbal remedies that can be used to stimulate your appetite. You need to know why you aren’t eating to know which to use, such as depression, illness, stress, or just too busy.

      If you still need snack ideas, I wrote an article on healthy, tasty snacks, called “Five Gluten Free Foods to Eat When You Get the Munchies.” I also wrote one on “Five Easy Ways to Add Veggies into your Gluten Free/Dairy Free Diet.”

    • says

      No, I don’t. If you read outside of folks who just focus on eating whole foods, you can find more information about the troubling aspects of grains. However, everyone has to figure out what will work best for them. I don’t necessarily advocate for a grain-free or paleo diet, but I do think that each person should be honest with themselves about what works best for their body and needs. If you’ve got a lot of damage and blood sugar issues, it may be best to remove grains for at least awhile. Also brown rice is incredibly difficult to digest for those with compromised digestive systems and can cause more distress than anything else. I’ve written about my experience with that and I can personally attest that brown rice causes me digestive pain.

      I’ll also point out that there are tons of issues with naturally gluten-free grains which are contaminated with gluten. It’s a big issue that many people don’t want to even begin to discuss as our entire food supply is really heavily mingled with certain foods many of us need to avoid.

      • says

        Thanks for replying. I guess that makes sense especially for those with damaged digestive systems. I definitely feel best with no sugar and no refined carbs in my diet. But I think my issue with dropping all grains is that I have trouble eating enough as it is – I’m pregnant, nursing, and fairly active. If I try to only eat fruits, nuts, beans, fish, meat, and vegetables (I can’t eat much dairy) I usually just lose my appetite almost entirely . . . but maybe that would be a temporary thing. I do agree after reading labels more closely that even the best GF bread I can find has tapioca starch as it’s first ingredient and I’ve never been able to make 100% whole grain bread at home.

        I’ll stay tuned for your gluten free sugar cleanse tips and see how it goes. Maybe I should worry less about losing weight and more about how I feel.

      • Sherry C says

        First, I am a celiac, and I do my best to eat a gf, whole foods, and healthy diet. If I’ve learned anything in my life it would be that if you deny yourself things you truly desire…you will not long stay on the course you are on. So, I believe gf breads and grains, though not entirely good for you, are fine in moderation. I also believe we can educate others without filling them with fear.

        • says

          Sherry, I tend to agree with you that things are fine in moderation… however, it needs to be said that the term moderation is meaningless because it’s entirely relative. Take a person who eats 100 pieces of candy a day… moderation might look like eating 60 pieces per day or maybe even 30 pieces. Would you say that this level of moderation was ok? I wouldn’t. Even 30 pieces of candy is excessive which is why saying to “eat something in moderation” isn’t really productive when talking about food anymore.

          I say this because we live in a culture of convenience wherein cooking isn’t often a priority. As a result, convenience products (which contain ingredients like xanthan gum) exist. I’m not in the business of scaring people, but I am being honest. I’m telling you what many others out there won’t… that most gluten-free convenience foods can make you sick. I’m sorry if that’s scary, but with the rate of diabetes and other autoimmune issues rising, this is a reality we all need to face. I got sick because of the diet I ate because I thought that it was healthy. I thought eating gluten-free was somehow good for you because it was gluten-free. I don’t want to see anyone else go through what I went through (and I have shared much about my health journey on this blog for everyone to read and be able to make educated choices). So though this topic may be more serious than what’s covered on many sites, I can’t honestly just “toe the party line” and tell you it’s fine. I care about your health and what you choose is ultimately up to you, but at least you have all the details to be able to make a decision about what you eat that’s more balanced than what’s predominately said on most gluten-free sites. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  37. MAL Ward says

    Thanks for confirming my beliefs… This whole ‘healthy eating’ idea needs turning on its head. Go for Coconut oil when cooking and coconut flour when baking and PLEASE stay off all commercial oils and wheat. Cheers

  38. Tammy Smith says

    Hi, my daughter is Celiac, I am GF and just found out I have severe leaky gut – will be getting tested for Celiac soon. My hubbie has been kind and went GF at home but loves his bread. So it is GF bread sandwiches everyday. He was always healthy but now has really rotten breath and developed some weird rash. Do you think the GF bread has caused this? No other digestive symptoms to speak of. I am not asking for a diagnosis, just thoughts on whether you’ve heard whether extended long term use of GF bread can cause such problems.

    • says

      Tammy, it’s hard to know if it’s the GF bread itself that’s caused the problem or not. There are SO MANY ingredients in GF bread. You’re hubby may also be having some health issues that he may want to get checked out with his doctor. I can’t tell you what he’s got going on, but he could have bad bacteria living in his gut which is causing the problem and needs to be addressed. Here’s an article to check out: The bread may be adding fuel to the fire of whatever the root problem is. If I were him, I’d go get it checked out.

  39. LA Rosen says

    We use Udi’s millet/chia with 5grams fiber per serving. We have made all sandwiches open face (with lettuce leaf on top) for decades, Perfectly delectable. Sandwiches are the choice for about 3 or 4 lunches a week, (With a side of fruit or sliced carrots, Apples with a generous sprinkle of real cinnamon, which helps balance the insulin spike from sugary carbs.)

    You do still need to eat grains and should get healthy ones in your diet wherever you can.
    When you make brown rice, quinoa, and the sort of non-grain, grain millet which is very healthy.

    Love your site and articles. You should hook up with (National/International followers of their comprehensive alternative/complementary cancer fighting information; Bucks County, PA based. They host healthy foods conferences — you should be a speaker! They publish and sell GF cookbooks and other materials based on more than 30 years of research of what’s real/proven vs what’s false/unproven.)

    Also, caterers need a good source of information on how to meet/get ahead of the growing demand for GF menu options and easy clean prep when cranking out 500 non-GF meals. CSA conference is in Vegas in March. ICA also has conferences — regional and national. They are both known for their great educational programs, and vendors’ hall. Your services should be in hot demand, and reach a key demographic — who wants to have to educate a caterer for their wedding, corporate event, anniversary, whatever formal or informal catered affair?

  40. says

    I’m finding this all very daunting. I went and bought gluten free pastas and flours. I thought I was going well, then have the adrenal probs, craving everything I’m not supposed to eat.
    Now I find out bread is a no no. Ive been so good and feel like shit! BP 80/50 with leg tremors and anxiety.

  41. says

    I have been experiencing IBS (even given the label) for a couple years. I have gone through a coupe elimination diets and slowly worked foods back in to try to find the culprit(s). I am wondering now if the gums are one the problems. I began reading labels extra closely and have founds gums in most everything! I try to purchase only gum free products and am finding I don’t have the extreme issues I had been. All gluten free bread products have gums, because (from my understanding) that is what gels the flours together. This probably sounds weird, but I had found that after consuming products with gum(s) I experience irritation to my bowel. I have to say I do feel I have a great probiotic now that serves me well also. Food allergies and conditions like IBS are a continual journey to try to navigate. I am learning so much about nutrition and my body’s response to it though that at least it is making me so much more aware of what I am putting in to myself. Thank you for your article, I found it very interesting. Fresh baked bread with no preservatives or additives is the way to go I am finding. You’re right also that to give up some portions of bread can benefit you in a number of ways. It is so homey and comforting though… and there are some great seed breads out there to enjoy. I definitely am thinking along the lines of people looking at other options than gluten free.

  42. Desiree says

    I’ve tried many gluten free breads and the best I’ve found is The Baker’s European style Pumpernikel. It’s made with whole grain rye, salt, yeast, malt and water. It’s very dense but very delicious. They also make yeast free varieties. Tastes very much like bread I’ve eaten in Europe.

  43. Cheryl shield says

    Yes, G/F bread is a dreadful experience as a sandwich. What I can’t understand is why airlines such as Cathy Pacific can put the best tasting and texturally perfect bread roll on my G/F fight meal but no one knows where it’s made or how to get them aside from flying nonstop around the world just so I can eat their bread rolls. Here in Australia the food industry is coming up with some nice tasting food for we G/F’ers, the best of which seem committed to truly healthy products. Problem is, overseas producers don’t have the same restrictions where labelling and quality are concerned. My bread consumption is pretty much limited to toast. Can’t live without little soldiers with my boiled egg!

  44. DianneBee says

    Bread is an ancient staple and people love it because it accompanies so many things that can’t otherwise be substituted. Its biblical and religious references are primary in familial cultures.
    I am not a great bread lover but good memories call for it when needed, and YES! I need it. If not for physiological reasons, for the emotional part. It’s no less part of the human anatomy and condition than water is! Strong mind note, there.

    We’ve recently been “gluten conscious”, and I make the bread. It IS more economical if you purchase your flours from international stores rather than specialty grocers or health food magnates. I admit. I don’t like it very much. It’s an okay substitute, but rather than swear it off completely, I figure it’s better to make it as a blend with some good whole grain wheat flour.
    Thanks for the honest opinions!

  45. Barbara says

    Thks for telling me what I already guessed!!!!

    I broke up w/ gf breads already and now know my body was telling me RIGHT.
    I love your website.

  46. Elizabeth McDonnell says

    Thank you!!! I’ve been searching for recipes and information about Gluten Free and Sugar Free and there’s a lot of misinformation out there!!! I finally felt at home reading your page. Thank you!! I have already started following you on FB, Twitter and Pintrest, so if you are feeling cyber stalked…it’s probably me! Sorry, but not really, I need the info! Elizabeth

    • says

      I have through great determination, produced a gluten free, starch free, gum free and full of flour from Nutritious grains, bread that is not wet and heavy, that slices excellent for sandwiches, and toasts terrific. My husband and I went gluten free as I have had arthritis most my life, and in 1990 had the highest test recorded in the interior of BC for Lupus. This recipe is more an noninflammatory, (for arthritis and intestine health) Leave an E mail at and I will send you the recipe free. I was so fed up seeing the ingredients list on bought gluten free products, knowing the harm that was being done to so many people with all this starch and white flours. I have also other recipes if you try this and like it.

      • Eddie C. says

        I have been wondering why all the store-bought bread is dry and crumbly and falls apart when I pick up my sandwich. I have tried several brands of bread and they are all horrible. I now know to look for bread that contains gluten.

  47. Sibyle says

    I was reading the “nutritional information” panel on my bag of GF bread the other day and was horrified to see that it isn’t even fortified with vitamins!
    I realized that I am eating the equivalent of Styrofoam.

    Thank you for your article!

    • says

      You Can Have Good Bread that has no gluten, white starches, and gums that that tastes wonderful and is very nutritious. Anything that is prepackaged, usually has all or some of the above, with addition of white rice flours, sweet rice flours also. It is called back to the basics, and it is not that difficult and the remarkable difference in your health is a bonus, as ancient grains, are not as over farmed and are far more nutritious. If you want to go to I will send a free bread recipe and pictures, and if you were to google nutritional benefits of the flours I use you would be amazed how you can improve your health every day, with a slice or two of bread. I do use organic when possible, as that is so far safe from GMO and some ingredients are more expensive but your health is worth it. Sometimes we spend money on things that really are empty non nutritional calories, that have more determent to our health. I was told fourteen years ago by a rheumatoid specialist I should be in hospital, that is enough for a person to make serious changes, but it is too bad we have to wait for the sledge hammer to fall, and wake us up or knock us out :0)

  48. agnes says

    hello, i have celiac and i eat gluten free bread. but i also have the regular bread once in a while. i think that’s okey agnes

    • Michelle says

      Agnes— if you have celiac, then no, no it is not ok to eat gluten containing products once in awhile. You may be lucky, and have a milder form that you don’t physically feel the effects of eating gluten. But your body does react- especially in the small intestines. You’re body will have issues absorbing critically needed vitamins and minerals. And before you say you take supplements- you should also know that if your body if fully functioning (not inflamed from an allergic reaction), you will at best absorb about 20-25% of that pill. Another reason not to eat gluten if your allergic is because it can take your body anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to fully heal itself. And if that isn’t enough incentive to stop eating gluten… more autoimmune diseases are having strong links to food allergies- especially gluten. That is including things like Multiple Sclerosis and Crones. Please, for your sake, don’t believe everything you see or hear- go and do your ow research, but make sure your reading valid studies/research, etc and not Jane Doe’s comments. I did, and I learned alot, including changing my mind set from “its only a little, and I don’t feel it, so its ok”, to need to avoid the gluten.

    • says

      Hi Agnes,
      I too agree with Michelle — it’s not ok to eat regular bread at all if you’ve got celiac disease. It takes a very small crumb of wheat bread to cause damage to your small intestine that can take months to heal. I certainly don’t want to make you feel bad, but I do have to make sure that everyone knows that celiac is not something that you can occasionally cheat on with gluten. It’s a serious autoimmune disease that is triggered by the presence of gluten. By continuing to eat it, even only “once in a while”, you increase your risk of cancer, thyroid issues and all sorts of other serious health concerns. I certainly don’t want to see any of that happen to you (or anyone else out there).

  49. Gill says

    Thank you very much Jennifer for writing this article. Here i am feeling exhausted, sick and a bit down, having just eaten GF bread for brunch. Yesterday I didn’t have any bread and felt good and motivated. All week I’ve felt exhausted and unmotivated, I was barely able to make it into work – all week i’ve eaten this same type of GF bread, and i suddenly I had a thought, perhaps the two are connected – as this is a lighter case of a reaction that i had earlier in the year (albeit to Spelt flour). I’m thinking that there is something in this type of Tapioca and Rice flour and yeast loaf that reacts with me (even though it’s GF).

    I also react to dairy so i find it harder to find substitutes for things, but potatoes, especially sweet potatoes work well for me. And you are so right, I’m just lazy, i don’t want to plan my meals, cook in advance and research healthy alternatives – that’s what makes bread so attractive to me.

    I also had the same as you Jennifer, a tremendous improvement in my health at first when going GF & Dairy-free, then after a few years – whilst eating lots of GF replacement products, i was often just as lethargic and unwell, even depressed as before. Now i try to eat more veges and less GF replacement products, but my challenge is still to replace GF bread.

    I always enjoy raw food (when made by professionals) and also embrace the Paleo ‘diet’ – but I’ve come to realise that it’s whatever works for the individual, no one answer fits all.

    Also, it might interest people to know that i read on a US university site, their Celiac studies department showed that people can have a sensitivity to gluten without being a Celiac, and one of the symptoms can be a sort of brain fog – which happens to me.

    Right, I’d best work on my commitment to planning more healthy meals! I just wanted to share my thoughts in case anyone else has anything similar, but as i say, it can be different for different people. Have a good day!

  50. Kate says

    Great post, I had suspected that the weight gain and craving for candy bars was a bad sign and I have been eating four slices of gluten free bread a day.

  51. ir says

    I agree with you. Ive been recently switching to gf foods and thought about the unhealthy flours /starches typically used in baked goods. Thank you for the great article!

  52. Athena says

    Hello. I agree with what you are saying. Can you give me some ideas what to eat to get proper fiber? How do you feel about teff or sorghum flour? All of my gf recipes call for xanthan gum. But i have read flax meal can be used instead. Have you tried this?

  53. Kathy Maurin says

    Cuz nothing says sandwich like a floppy piece of lettuce. Sometimes yo just want to have a sandwich.

    • says

      I’ve NEVER eaten a sandwich with floppy pieces of lettuce… it’s always super crisp and fresh lettuce which is actually really good. Sorry that’s been your experience, but that’s really not what eating a lettuce wrap is like.

      • Brendan says

        I’ve NEVER eaten a sandwich with floppy pieces of lettuce… it’s always super crisp and fresh lettuce which is actually really good. Sorry that’s been your experience, but that’s really not what eating a lettuce wrap is like.”

        I think you completely missed her point, Jen. Some people just want a sandwich – not a lettuce wrap ;)

        • says

          Actually, I didn’t Brendan. If you want to eat a sandwich, that’s one’s prerogative. However to say that you’d not want to eat a sandwich made with soggy pieces of lettuce isn’t the same. I’m not into being snarky… so I answered her back as I would with an honest answer.

  54. Athena Mays says

    Hello. I agree that the gf diet is high glycemic. I have gained 30 lbs in the 4 years I have been gf. So I understand what you are saying. I make all of my own bread, crackers, desserts, etc. And lately I have been experimenting with flours higher in fiber and protein. I’m wondering how you feel about sorghum and teff? I haven’t used quinoa flour yet, but I love the noodles! When you say the gf lifestyle could still be hurting us then should the alternative be paleo? I haven’t ventured there yet. But I’m breaking out of the Bette Hagman mold and trying new flours. Hence, teff. I love it! I have read some people say to replace xanthan gum with flax meal. I wonder if it works as well? Do you have a great flour mix you could suggest, please?

  55. says

    I have been GF for about 18 months. In the past two months, I began eating GF bread products regularly. Before, I did not eat them except very rarely – less than once a month. Well, in the time since my diet changed, I have gained weight and lost the benefits I enjoyed from not eating gluten, which is primarily a relief from pain due to RA. I think this post confirms what I suspected. Thank you!

  56. Jerry says

    Actually, I recently discovered that I have not been able to digest gluten for most of my life, and the result is that my intestines have been destroyed, and I have developed various auto-immune diseases and other food intolerances.

    I wonder how many people that is the case for?

  57. Eric M. Bram says

    I did find one GF bread that I liked. It was delicious and particularly good with eggs. It was made of a minimum of ingredients: GF flour base, eggs, canola oil, and yeast—and that’s all. The GF flour base was mostly chickpea flour. The ingredients in it (in order of amount) were chickpea flour, tapioca flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum. Notice the amount of xanthan gum was even less than the amount of salt in it.

    Unfortunately, the company that made it, Food For All ( stopped making the product. I’m not even sure they’re still in business.

  58. Zeta says

    Yeah well I’ve been off gluten for a while because I’ve developed an intolerance to it (though I can eat a biscuit now and then with a cup of tea). Anyway, I’ve been eating primarily an Asian style diet (including dairy) and I started to lose about 500 gm per week (roughly) of weight. About two weeks ago, I noticed that there were some new GF breads on the market and I began to include them in my diet (replacing the rice about twice a day). Well well well! did my weight skyrocket or what! I put on 2 kg in two weeks! I’m astounded. I’m eating the same amount of fat, fruit, veg, protein, but the replacement of rice with GF bread (toast in the morning and s’wich at lunch) seems to have caused the weight gain. And, I’m craving sweets again!!

    Tonight I googled to see if others have had similar results and found this article.

    In addition, I read the back of the GF bread packet and am quite convinced that the GF bread is NOT as healthy as I had thought. The ingredients are mostly natural, but there are some numbers and fats that I’m not familiar with, that probably makes the bread more palatable and dense so it doesn’t break apart.

    I honestly prefer rice 3 x day and it’s so much easier to digest. I don’t know if others have had similar results with GF bread where the BMs are extraordinarily powerful. I suspect some of the ingredients might have some laxative effects on the system.

    I think this was a good article, and I’m glad I’m not alone discovering the downside of GF bread.

    Thank you.

  59. says

    Many people require a balance of fiber (soluble and insoluble) in their diets in order to have a well run digestive system, so removal of all grains is not an option for everyone. I too dropped the costly, flavorless, and nutritionally void gluten free breads. I make my own by grind small batches of flour: using a dedicated coffee grinder I make a flour blend from rolled oats, quinoa, millet, brown rice – and other grains – whatever I have in supply, including coconut and nuts. I’ve converted a chiffon cake recipe, where the structure comes from the lofty beaten egg whites, into a loaf pan bread. It’s airy with a little density, it toasts well for when I crave a slice with eggs. I don’t tend to go for sandwiches, but it would certainly work well. Quick to make, tricky only in the techniques of beating egg whites and gently folding in the flour. Freshly made bread – you can’t beat it.

  60. Denni says

    I guess I grew up differently as every meal in my home did not revolve around sandwiches at every meal. Sure, for school lunch where there was no access to heating aplliances, and if I wasn’t eating the school lunch, I’d likely had a sandwich but at no other meal would bread be involved. No bread basket at the dinner table for us or many other kids I knew. I think people who were raised eating a lot of bread probably crave it even if they don’t eat it.

  61. Moe says

    I love bread, i am not allergic to wheat nor suffer from any disease that prevents me from eating gluten. I agree with you, all the sandwiches American eat are crazy, when having a lunch or dinner filled with delicious vegetables and proteins friut, using whole grains instead of bread is how I eat. I do love my bread though, but I usually eat it at tea time or for breakfast. I don’t want to spoil my delicious meals filling up on bread. I rarely eat sandwiches unless on a picnic which I haven’t been on in years.

  62. Yet Another Jen says

    I just got diagnosed with celiac so I decided to go get some gluten free bread and burger buns. I had 2 slices and got horribly sick! It’s almost 6am the next day and my rashes are now blowing up, my stomach still feels like an atom bomb went off inside me, and I’m completely exhausted. I don’t know what crap they put in there but Holy toledos I’m NEVER NEVER EVER eating GF bread again! It was worse than my celiac symptoms!

    • Melanie says

      Buy a bottle of coconut shell activated charcoal, and take a couple of capsules whenever you eat something questionable. It reduces the after effects of toxins and allergy reactions, by a LOT. I’ve got a major wheat sensitivity problem, and have found from personal experience, that it works! . Just don’t take vitamin supplements within a couple of hours afterward, as the charcoal will negate the benefits of any vitamins.

  63. Geoff Bethell says

    Gluten-free bread? YUK!!! In other words I feel the same about it as most others. I DO miss my cheese sandwiches of course (with wheat bread) so I simply have a mashed potato substitute. Instead of mashing up the potato with butter I mash it up with the cheese. I eat it like that. I tried frying it but the cheese tends to come out of the mixture and run all over the pan. What I need to do is see what I can do with rice rather than potato. I may be pleasantly surprised.

  64. Heather says

    Can you suggest a good replacement for kids with a slight nut allergy? All the recipes I find are made with almond meal or walnut flour and I have had trouble getting coconut flour to bake well??? Thanks for you help.

    • says

      Hi Heather, I’d check out Civilized Caveman Creations, Elena’s Pantry and The Paleo Mom websites for recipes. At least one should probably have one that will work for you. Many even Nom Nom Paleo’s site too!

  65. Cheryl says

    Have been going to Drs. for almost a year. They cant figure out whats wrong, but can clearly see its some type of arthritis. Took matters in my own hands, slowly started eating healthy. Except my “whole grain healthy bread. I realzed that I always felt worse afterwards. Your message opened my eyes to duh, why do I even need it? Its an ingrained habit. After 40 years of thinking it was normal, its just an ingrained taught habit.
    I worked in school cafeterias for quite a few years and although they are getting a little better, I had to quit cause it bothered me what they called nutritious
    Really…I argued with the principal when we got a healthy slushy maker with REAL ftuit juice. Haha, 2nd ingredient included high fructose….. oh, but its natural.
    I do agree unfortunately it would be extremely cost full to have a totally healthful lunch at larger schools. Which would run into problems with families who border not being able to buy lunch everyday, and the government bought lunches. We had a family trying to insist we make theyre childs lunch seperate because of an allergy. While I sympathize with that, the kitchen workers already work theyre butts off for little pay and im sure they would not get paid more for extra time that would have to be spent making adjustment s for everyone’s specific dietary needs. Lunch prices are already too high.
    P.s. Having a toaster for gluten free meals would not stop other kids from using it for regular bread. In cases like that I think the parents should figure out how to get their child a nutritious lunch.

    • says

      I couldn’t really say, Jonathan. It’s a grain which if you can tolerate grains is fine so long as you’re consuming it in a more whole form. But remember… tortillas are made from flour… flour is not whole. It’s not to say that you don’t ever eat this stuff, but it probably shouldn’t be a daily part of your meals.

  66. lynne eccles says

    I have IBS and Bread and milk gave me really bad cramps, so bought GF bread to try first day was ok but today made a sandwich with it and 7 hours later still suffering from stomach cramps ,started 10 min after eating GF bread and now i will be not be buying anymore ,i didnt mind paying the £3 for it as long as it had no gluten and wheat in, thought i would feel better but no! so glad to have found this site ,been very helpfull thank you No more bread for me!!

  67. Tim says

    all very good advice in the article.

    i started making my own wheat free bread, and i only do it seldom in the winter, going with certain dishes. its a seldomly done thing.

    eat more fruit. got a sweet tooth? eat more fruit. have a sugar craving? eat more fruit. need to fill a nutritional/caloric space in your diet? eat more fruit. one i realized how food actually is utilized in the body and that ‘sugar’ is not ‘sugar’ unless it comes in the white crystal/powder form, everything else is just a whole part of a food. that being said, fruit is the base of my diet and i’ve never been healthier.

  68. Jenna says

    I have a couple questions that I’d love if someone could answer:

    First of all, I don’t know officially if I’m allergic or just sensitive to wheat because I don’t know where to get tested that won’t cost like a billion dollars so if anyone can suggest where to get tested for food allergies and the severities of each, I’d appreciate it. (I just know I seem to have a problem with wheat because the “healthier” I ate the sicker I was getting and when I noted how much Whole Wheat was in the “healthier” things, I took a shot and went from low-carb to gluten free and lost 8 pounds in the first week. I’m still having IBS symptoms but have only been gluten free for a week and a half, so hoping that tapers off or I will have to figure out what else I have to give up. I’d love if I could just have some freaking testing to know what to avoid rather than having to figure out elimination diets to test by trial & error.)

    Secondly, I am fine making “sandwiches” that are just wrapped up in lettuce, but since one of the biggest things I miss is garlic bread and grilled cheese sandwiches, is there something I could use to make a gluten free grilled cheese dish? I don’t think lettuce would work out right for grilling cheese in it.

  69. says

    Thank you for the great article, Jennifer! I’m gluten-free, dairy-free and additive-free. Whenever I’ve tried the gluten-free breads or tried to make my own, I haven’t felt well, with varying issues. I just thought I found a “great” gluten free bread at Costco based on its ingredients … one sandwich later (ohhhhhhhh). Your article explains well why breaking free of the sandwich habit really is best. I was curious as to whether the substitute flours had their own problems. Don’t know why I needed more “proof,” but you are exactly right. I eat regular corn tortillas with the most simple GF ingredients (corn, lime, water, salt) on occasion. No more any type of weird substitute GF bread or bread type products for me!

  70. Zara says

    I find it strange that in one breath, you are telling people to eschew bread, at penalty of their health and well-being – OK, makes sense to me if you are talking about highly processed foods, as most gf bread is…but in the next breath, you are telling them to sub out pieces of lunch meat instead of the bread. Um – is there a more highly processed food on the planet than store-bought lunchmeat? It’s full of nitrites, nitrates, MSG, bad fats, preservatives and other crap that no one should be eating…and this type of processed meat has been linked with all sorts of terrible diseases such as leukemia. I was with you up until then, but now your whole based of knowledge seems suspect.

    • says

      Hi Zara, Thanks for the comment! I want to say 2 things because I do agree with you here on this point about processed meats.
      1) While I’m a fan of eating clean, I already recognize that telling someone to get rid of gluten-free bread is a pretty big deal. So I also have to give people baby steps to getting healthier. While I might be inclined to say… just stop eating sandwiches altogether… that doesn’t work for everyone. For a newbie, the first step is getting rid of the gluten free bread. Then the second step is making better choices about other food components they choose to eat like lunchmeat.
      2) Also keep in mind that there are some companies out there like Applegate working hard to produce better quality, organic lunchmeats that are less refined. In a perfect world, we shouldn’t eat it, but in the real world… upgrading one’s sandwich insides is a practical and easy step when they can buy something of better quality.

      As a personal aside… there have been times when I’ve been traveling or at an event and what I can eat are the veggies and lunchmeat options. While I certainly don’t condone eating lunchmeat daily, if I’m stuck and hungry, it’s better to eat something safe than starve and potentially eat something that’s not safe. I think as much as it can be easy to make sweeping generalizations and feel frustrated that others aren’t as far along on the path to better eating as we are, we’ve got to give people the space to take those smaller steps and be practical about how to eat gluten-free in the real world. If you can eat super clean 80 to 90% of the time, I think that’s a real success considering how poorly many eat most of the time and also the incidence of body-image and eating disorders. I don’t want to be the gluten-free police, but rather would love to inspire change, hopefully provoke some thoughtful consideration and get people moving on their journey rather than harp on everything that’s going wrong.

      But thank you for the two cents… yes… the next step would be to either upgrade lunchmeat to an organic, better-quality product or eliminate it altogether and use homecooked meats you slice yourself.

  71. Candy Garcia says

    i found a good millet bread that is gluten free and tastes good. It is made however in a facility that have traces of gluten, wheat and yeast. I have also found this to be true in most breads that say that they are gluten free. They are tasteless and hard as a rock. I am not a celiac so I can eat either way. This is the first time that I have seen where people get sick eating gluten free. So it looks like it can go either way. Evidently it depends on the person.

  72. William says

    Ironic. I’m sitting on the toilet after I had a gluten free pizza today. It didn’t taste very good and fell apart before each bite. Even worse……. I can’t stop pooping!!!! My suggestion is don’t try to substitute. Just eat veggies, meat, poultry and rice.

  73. Cate says

    While I support your tips or the idea of eating healthfully and weaning oneself off of bread as much as possible, I don’t get your complete negativity against *all* GF bread in one broad stroke. Although obviously you’ve described that many GF breads are not such healthful choices, your article seems quite close-minded that all GF breads are necessarily this way. I came across your article because I was researching GF bread after eating today a certified organic, certified non-GMO, fresh GF bread made from organic whole sprouted grains (sorghum, flax, other grains) that per slice is naturally 70 calories, high fiber (4g per slice; total carbs 16g), has decent protein (2g per slice), 2g sugar vegan, certified organic, 75 mg potassium, 80 mg sodium, 1.5g fat, only uses organic sunflower oil on the equipment and not as an ingredient. I recognize every ingredient in the list and all appear to be actual foods that one would eat. It has a short shelf life (about a week). But was really tasty and when I compared the nutritional info to other breads (normal non-GF artisan flax from a local organic bakery, store bought whole grain bread) this one came out on top and I am considering having it as an alternative choice to standard wheat-based bread in my diet, from time to time. So I was really surprised by your article that GF are so terrible. I’m sure many are that are store-bought and/or mass manufactured. But I felt I had to write because you seemed adamant and flippant that all GF bread is terrible and unless I’m out to lunch about the bread I had, it was absolutely none of the things you wrote about (in fact was the opposite) and did seem like an excellent nutritional choice.

    To be clear, I am not Celiac and have no need to eat GF (and don’t normally), I don’t eat a lot of bread normally anyway, and have no affiliation or sponsorship with the company that made the bread I ate. The breadmaker is actually a spa that has taken their bread to the mainstream market on a small scale, so obviously is a very specific item. I was just really excited about finding what looked like such a healthy item, and was shocked that your article might lead people to assume that GF bread is always bad (that certainly is how your article sounds) and would turn people off from actually, carefully reading the labels of whatever they buy and making informed decisions. Had I not bothered to pick up the bread and read the label I probably would have just passed this product by, assuming that GF bread is bad, as you wrote. So my point is it that there probably are indeed a lot of bad GF breads, but isn’t the point to actually encourage people to *read the labels*, and understand the nutritional values, and the content of what you are eating, and where it came from – not just to say simply that “GF bread = bad so why bother eating it”?

    • says

      Cate, I’m glad you found this healthier, but most people don’t have this luxury. Most of what’s out there and easily available is junk. If you have it occasionally, it’s one thing, but most people are eating it daily (in products that include lots of gross ingredients and are heavily refined) and that’s where the problem is.

  74. Gabie says

    What about gluten-free waffles? The Van’s brand has some good GF types.
    I just started eating GF, 5 days in I did realize the sugar
    content in most premade baked goods is off the chart.
    I still wont sacrifice my morning “sweet” so I usually have some type of GF bar, with not more than 11Grams of sugar.

  75. LisaMarie says

    Thank you very much for this article. I was reading it while in line at the grocery store no recently went GF and thought I would try some GF tortilla bread. I looked at the ingredients and found that they were all the ones listed in your article! I had no idea how disgusting xanthan gum was. I felt like many companies are stamping items GF to capitalize on an unsuspecting public. I really appreciate your info.
    Thanks again

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