As part of our quick guide to gluten-free survival, I want to leave you with some handy sites that refer to all things gluten. I’ve found some great ones with restaurant reviews, ones with support groups and forums, and a bunch of them with cooking of all kinds, their recipes designed for baking and cooking gluten-free. I’m tossing in several sites on Celiac disease and other food allergy information and support, because a few of you may be Celiac without knowing it.
Finding good restaurants that serve great stuff for both gluten eaters and gluten-free individuals is an ongoing project. The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America is out there educating restaurants about gluten-free food preparation. This is a voluntary compliance group, but so far my experience with restaurants in this database has been good. They are taking gluten-free dining seriously.
The Chowhound allows you to check on a regional level, with forums to ask questions of local GF individuals. The Celiac Handbook is an online resource and restaurant guide. Triumph Dining is a mixed site. They have dining cards in ten languages, restaurant guides and shopping guides, some free and some for a fee. Take a look around and visit them all!
The Gluten Free Registry’s motto is: “Putting people and gluten-free friendly businesses together!” and they’re getting quite a directory. Definitely worth a look. For Canadian readers, The Celiac Scene is a place for products and restaurant reviews.
And of course, there are apps for that. Try Find Me Gluten-Free, for starters. Restaurants on the run!
If you’re looking for recipes, there are a lot of places to find them. I found two “guy sites” where the GF writers are men writing with a slightly more manly bent. Switch 2 Gluten Free is one of those sites, and Good Without Gluten the other. They aren’t as active as some of the other sites, but there are good recipes to be had here.
A couple of these sites cater to parents cooking GF for themselves and others, especially kids. You think the average kid can be a picky eater? Think of having to deal with horrible food allergies. You’ll find other info on these sites, too – I found out a lot about shampoo brands containing gluten reading Gluten Free Mommy. Not only family-friendly recipes, but there’s even a menu swap area on the site.
Gluten Free Is Life contains lots of resources for living gluten-free, for individuals and for moms with GF kids. The blogger has a list of restaurants with GF menus, often including a link to the menus.
Are you looking for sites that concentrate on a specific area, like vegetarian gluten-free? Check out Book of Yum, which is not only vegetarian-oriented, but has restaurant reviews, too. Tiny Urban Kitchen has many ethnic varieties of food, especially Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and Sushi recipes.
If you want a blog that is more slice of life, there’s Gluten A Go Go. You’ll get recipes and commentary on living gluten-free from a cancer survivor. A Baking Life contains lovely recipes, photos and writing. The site is evolving, as the blogger has decided to design a gluten-free dessert menu for a new restaurant, but it’s still an informative baking site. The blogger at Cannelle et Vanille is seriously into her lovely photography. I’ve picked up a recipe there to try, the Chocolate Raspberry Financiers…they look awesome.
I’ve already mentioned previously that Gluten-free Girl is already a favorite site of mine. I’ve learned a lot about baking GF from Shauna, and recommend her site and her cookbooks. She serves up a lovely side helping of family and friendship, too. Gluten Free Goddess sucked me in with a carrot bread recipe – it has chai spices, and oh, I’ve missed carrot cake and bread! At the Savory Palate you’ll find cookbooks for sale, recipes to try and a bunch of other food allergy links as well.
Lisa’s site has a little bit of everything – cooking, shopping, dining, even a breakdown of recipes by the eight major food allergies found in the USA. Gluten Free Cooking School specializes in on-line cooking lessons dealing with cooking gluten-free, plus she’s written a survival guide for living gluten-free. BVC writer Deborah J. Ross cooks gluten-free for her husband, and she really likes this site, Nourishing Meals. She recommends the recipes!
The Celiac Chicks know what is new and hip in the world of GF. Turn to them for the latest buzz!
A slightly different take on the subject happens over at Food Allergy Talk. This site hits on the major food allergens, with support groups, specific allergen info and even some recipes. Truth in advertising happens over at http://www.gfcfdiet.com/, where you’lll find the gluten-free, casein-free diet intervention/Autism Diet. Find out if this can help your child.
Want to interact on a forum? Try Celiac.com. This site has been around since 1995 and has a big Celiac Disease and GF diet community using it. http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/ was set up by a dietitian. Recipe Renovator was designed by a blogger with a master’s in nutrition. She renovates recipe favorites to help out diet changes, including GF changes.
Finally, to get straight talk on the serious condition Celiac, take a look at these sites. National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (Celiac Central), the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and
The Celiac Disease Foundation all contain good information to help you understand this condition and learn to live with it, There’s also the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America and The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.
You’ve had time to investigate a gluten-free diet. How did it go for you? At the least, I hope it let you know just how much, or how little, gluten slips into your life. You may have made discoveries that will make eating and digesting just a little bit easier.
Remember that this is your body, and your life. So don’t be afraid to decide that certain foods simply are not for you. Fried chips just make my system unhappy. If you found out you can’t stand foods made with canola oil, for example, it’s all right not to eat it!
I hope you feel better for your hiatus from gluten. If you feel a LOT better, and have lost weight to boot? You might continue the experiment for a while. The longer you go without gluten, the more of a benchmark you have for when (if!) you return to gluten.
And if returning to gluten suddenly makes you feel lousy? Well, you know what to do. Let the gluten go.
Cat Kimbriel is a fantasy and science fiction writer with a practical streak, a passion for great characters, and a focus on justice and compassion. Her current ebooks can be found over here.