Common pitfalls to avoid when transitioning to a gluten-free diet:
1. Filling up on gluten-free processed foods
Although gluten-free products seem to be everywhere these days, many of these products are loaded with sugar and other filler ingredients making them even less nutritious than their gluten containing counterparts. Instead of reaching for packaged foods labeled “gluten-free,” focus on whole foods that are naturally gluten-free such as meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.
2. Not learning the different sources of gluten
You probably already know that gluten is found in wheat, but there are additional ingredients to watch out for as well. Gluten can also be found in rye, barley and oats can often contain gluten because they are often harvested on the same equipment as gluten grains. Remember the acronym “BROW” when reading labels; it stands for barley, rye, oats and wheat. Learn the common and not so common sources of gluten and learn to read labels carefully.
3. Eating gluten-free packaged foods just because they feel safe
Going gluten-free can be overwhelming. Many people fall into the bad habit of reaching for packaged foods labeled gluten-free simply because they feel “safe” and do not require reading labels. If you wouldn’t normally eat crackers or cookies with every meal, don’t eat them just because they are gluten-free. Opt for fresh vegetables or a piece of fruit instead.
4. Forgetting about vitamins and medications
This might not seem as obvious to people who aren’t used to dealing with food restrictions, but these can be sneaky sources of gluten contamination. Check the label on all vitamins and supplements, and be sure to check with your pharmacist for ingredients on any prescription medications you take. Gluten can be found in everything from iron supplements to headache medication so be sure to read labels every time.

Gluten-Free Recipe of the Month

White Chicken Chili

This is quick and easy recipe to throw in a slow cooker on cold winter days. The leftovers are even better, especially when served with corn tortilla chips. Just be sure to check that all ingredients are gluten-free as this can vary from brand to brand. 

5 cups chopped, cooked chicken (can also use a rotisserie chicken, just make sure it is gluten-free)

3 (15 oz.) cans Great Northern Beans, drained

1 (32 oz.) box chicken broth

1 (16 oz.) jar mild salsa

1 cup frozen corn

2 tsp ground cumin

Garnish: cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, jalapenos, avocado


In a 6 qt. slow cooker, combine chicken, beans, broth, salsa, corn and cumin. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with gluten free cornbread or corn tortilla chips and garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream cilantro, jalapeno, and avocado, if desired.