gluten free

Growing up, I never had any issues with food. I could eat anything, never get sick, and go on with my life. In fact, I did just that – I ate the typical SAD (standard American diet) full of processed  and fast foods. During college, I started to have stomach problems after I ate certain foods. I really didn’t think much of it, but just figured it was the stress of college.

After I graduated in 2009, I moved back in with my parents. Around this time, in 2009-2010, I started having getting sick from different foods I was eating. It was really difficult to pinpoint just what was causing this distress, and I didn’t really look into it too much until November of 2010. At this time, I was bloated, getting migraines every day, had a rash all over my body, and was experiencing joint pain and emotional symptoms (irritable, etc.). I started to keep a food journal with the foods I was eating, how I felt after I ate foods, but wasn’t exactly sure what was causing the problem. I finally went and saw a holistic doctor who completed some tests and came to the conclusion that I am gluten and corn intolerant.

Going gluten free was one of the most challenging things I ever did to be perfectly honest with you. I won’t lie and say it was incredibly easy. It wasn’t until I became educated on what gluten was and what gluten is in did I finally start to get a hold on the gluten free lifestyle. It took me some time and I had to take baby steps in order to figure out what I could and couldn’t have. I didn’t go gluten free and the next day have the knowledge on how to bake a loaf of gluten free bread – it was NOTHING like that. It is a learning curve and the lifestyle is a lot of take a hold of. With that being said, it is quite manageable if it has to be done. In fact, most whole foods ARE gluten free! By focusing on real, whole foods, I was able to go gluten free with a bit more ease.

I never got blood tested to see if I had Celiac Disease. In order to do this, I would have had to eat gluten for a long period of time in order for the test to be accurate — this never sounded appealing to me at all!  I eliminated the gluten and corn out o f my diet, and it has made a WORLD of difference. I no longer experience those GI symptoms, my migraines disappeared (within a few days!), and I now only get rashes if I happen to “get glutened”. I also avoid most dairy, as my body really does not enjoy milk or cheese products.

Some great resource for gluten free information are the following:

Celiac Disease Foundation

Please remember that I am not a health professional and am not recommending you go gluten free if you don’t have to. Please see your health care provider if you suspect a gluten intolerance/allergy.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie @ Mr and Meatless May 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hi Chelsey! Anna at The Guiltless Life recommended your blog to me because I just recently found out I was allergic to corn and wheat (not gluten, but I’m finding gluten free is pretty much my boat). I’m excited to go through your recipes and try some of them. I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment. It seems like EVERYTHING has either corn or wheat in it! I’m also what I’m calling “mostly vegan,” (I haven’t eaten meat since I was 11, but the eggs and cheese have been hanging me up) although since I found out about the corn and wheat, I’m not stressing about that as much as I’m just trying to find stuff to eat every day! Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know I’m excited about your blog! I need all the help I can get!


sweetberry May 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I think I need a little advice. My 6 year old son has been advised to go gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, and red meat free by his holistic doctor. So basically he is about 4 days out the week a vegan. The rest of the days he can eat seafood and poultry. By the way, he has polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. He has been showing progress since the diet. The doctor also told me to keep a food diary which I did diligently for 3 months. I don’t anymore. I find it hard! How did you do it? Any tips? It would nice if we could pinpoint to the exact food sensitivities if only I can be more disciplined in keeping a food diary going. Love your site! And thank you.


Christina July 23, 2012 at 10:55 am

I feel your pain! I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease for 5 years. Maintaing a gluten free diet is hard but in the long run i have seen so many benefits!


Leanne @ eatandgetmoving August 17, 2012 at 4:38 am

Hey Chelsey, I came here … I don’t even know how… but I’m glad I did! You have a wonderful blog! I’ve got a blog myself but I haven’t had much time lately to stay up to date – finally I made some time to look around and I love what I’ve found here! ;)
I’ve been living gluten free since birth, I can imagine it’s quite a shock to hear you have Celiac’s after such a long time of eating a “normal” diet. But even though I’ve had a strict diet all my life, it’s still hard at times! + I tend to feel “abnormal”, so it’s great to read about other people’s stories and share our own I think :) Have a great day! Leanne


Katie August 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I found your blog through Pinterest and I am LOVING IT!! I have bookmarked the majority of your recipes! You have no idea how excited I am!
I try to eat mostly GF because I have a wheat sensitivity. I am also a vegetarian who avoids dairy products because my body hates me if I consume them!
I grew up in the NW suburbs of Chicago (recently moved to California) and I am also 24 and a teacher (well…looking for a teaching job, ha). We have so much in common! ;)


cleaneatingchelsey August 27, 2012 at 6:15 am

:) We were destined to be buddies!!!


Katie August 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm

And I graduated from Illinois State. And I went to Riviera Maya this summer. Too weird!


Sarah October 7, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hi, I am curious if EVERYTHING here is gluten free AND clean? I am trying to figure out this “clean eating” thing and and GF too.

Any tips on getting started are appreciated!



Chardonnay October 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hello! I just wanted to tell you, that your website makes a huge difference and gives me so much insight! I started my GI tract journey 2 years ago this month…(October)

I had severe pain in my stomach for a few months, when one day it was just too much to bear. I ended up going to the ER, where they diagnosed me with a UTI and sent me on my way. I kept having “flare ups” and could not pinpoint what was going on.

After a trip to a GI specialist and a colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and given no information on how to deal with it, mentally or physically. I seeked a second opinion and was undiagnosed with Crohn’s. After SEVERAL procedures, I was referred to over 10 physicians. None could find out what was wrong with me. It was suggested that I may have endometriosis, so I had a laparoscopy done last year in November. Which, by the way, when you’re suffering with stomach pain and being poked and prodded, it’s NOT FUN! It was actually absolutely miserable.

The lap showed nothing. I was devastated. Not being diagnosed is extremely difficult to deal with mentally, let alone physically being in pain.

A month later, I was in the hospital with bilateral pulmonary emboli. I had blood clots all over my lungs. This is due to neglect from my doctors. I almost died.

After that and almost a year later, I stopped seeking for a diagnoses. I decided to “Let food be thy medicine,” and decided to go gluten free. After that, I cut out dairy…and finally, meat. I still eat eggs, as I don’t consider them to be a meat. I feel MUCH better, although I still do have some bad days here and there.

I have been gluten free and vegan for about 7+ months. I’m hoping I can continue this and maybe one day learn what is wrong with my body, but until then, I’ll continue to eat the awesome oatmeal in the mornings and I can’t wait to try more recipes!

It’s not like I want to eat this way! I love pies and cheeseburgers and tacos! They just have to be made a little bit different now.

Thank you for your insight. And giving people hope that have had similar problems. We are not alone!


cleaneatingchelsey October 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Wow! That is quite a story. Kudos to you for trying to find out what was wrong and not give up! You’re an inspiration!


Andrea October 19, 2012 at 7:16 am

Hey, Chardonnay,
I have learned through dealing with chronic pain, thyroid and gut issues and all that comes with that that most MDs are taught to treat symptoms with prescription drugs and to order tests that look for disease. If there is no disease to be found, they are at a loss. I have gained much insight and help through my naturopath, who practices Applied Kinesiology. I would suggest you seek a naturopath ie one who practices functional medicine. They don’t just treat symptoms and search for disease, rather they try to connect all the dots, looking at the physical, mental, and emotional components/symptoms and get to the root of the issues you are having. You might look for one that practices applied Kinesiology. I’ve found it to be quite helpful in getting to the bottom of all my issues.


Megan November 11, 2012 at 8:16 am

I’m so glad I found your blog! Clean eating and Gluten Free!! Just what I love! My son is gluten intolerant. We found out a year ago when he as just 2 years old! So we are a gluten free house! I also used to get migraines all the time but once we started eating GF they have gone away!!


Molly @ Just Your Average Athlete November 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hi Chelsey – very glad to have stumbled across your blog. Balancing gluten-free and healthy living can be tough, so I always enjoy finding other bloggers that are experiencing the same challenges as me and picking up great tips along the way! What you said is so true…discovering your have a gluten allergy and how to navigate it can be SO tough. It’s not something you just pick up one day and you’re golden. There’s a huge learning curve with it, but it CAN be done. Congrats on finding a balance with gluten-free & clean eating :)


Alexis November 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I’m so glad I found your blog!! I’m currently having some issues after eating (swollen toes, very upset stomach, etc.). I think I have found these issues to be present when I eat bread, wheat, or sugar– so i’m not sure if its the carbs in general or gluten. Either way, i’m very glad I found this blog!!


Jen December 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hi Chelsey! I just want to say you go girl! I only found your blog recently when I did a google or bing search for gluten free vegan recipes. I have only tried one recipe here so far but I so enjoy looking through them and can’t wait to try out many more. I enjoy the humor you include here and there as well as your sharing your passion for exercise. So many of us can use that as inspiration to get going a little more. I have a definite passion for learning more and more about eating clean and will continue checking out your blog as one of my sources for recipes and more :) Keep up the good sharing!


GramaKathy January 15, 2013 at 7:01 am

would like to get your posts…it’s hard to manage Vegan and Gluten free


Mo Brady January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm

What test did your doctor do to determine you were sensitive to gluten and corn? I am also a migraine sufferer and have gone gluten free, and it did help with the migraines for a while and got rid of my bloating, but I am still having migraines. I am wondering about corn, as I eat a lot of it. Would love to know what test you did to determine what your food sensitivities were.


Gabrielle Rysenga January 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I am SUPER EXCITED to find your blog/recipes… you and I are kindred spirits- gluten free “whole food” vegan unprocessed low sugar and dairy etc… I was thinking I was the only one of my kind out in the world, and here you are with TONS of fun yummy looking recipes for us to try!!! WHOOHOO!!! I tried to subscribe via my email, but your button didn’t work… you may want to look into that by the way… otherwise SUPER EXCITED!!! going to bookmark your site!!!


Lisa January 31, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I have been following your blog for a few weeks now, I am amazed at how similar our stories are. I finished my undergrad in 2009, I am a teacher, I stopped eating gluten in January of 2011, I was never tested because I won’t put gluten back in my body. When I read your post the other day about listening to KLOVE, I nearly died, that’s my first choice for a radio station. Thanks for blogging, I always enjoy new food ideas.


Jennifer March 12, 2013 at 8:18 am

Hi Chelsey,

Your recipes are amazing! I never would have thought to put nut butters on my oatmeal (almond butter for me).
I’ve been GF/DF for many years. Vegan for over a year. Still crave salmon every once and awhile. Trying to quit. Your recipes are helping that.
I’m a teacher (Sp. Ed.) and am on break this week. I made the roasted potato broccoli white bean soup the other day and plan to make many more.
Thanks for being awesome!


T. April 9, 2013 at 5:14 am

Hi Chelsey, Lovely website with some great GF and Vegan recipes. As a person struggling with Celiac Disease it’s very difficult to manage meals for a family. GF products are expensive and home baking is time consuming. As you probably know, there are many hidden Glutenous additives in everyday products that we include in our meals everyday. Soya sauce, Teriyaki, mustards, curries, hydrolyzed plant protein, barley, malt, kamut, caramel, even root beer! (Dr. Pepper is ok apparently yay!) Just wanted to thank you for your work on the blog, but thought you may wish to be aware of your advertisers. Triscuits? Doughnuts?


cleaneatingchelsey April 9, 2013 at 6:14 am

Thanks T – Unfortunately I don’t get to pick the ads that show up on my blog because of the company I work through!


staffybow April 19, 2013 at 2:58 am

Hi, I notice that quite a few people are saying that they are GF but also say they have oatmeal, that has gluten doesn’t it?
Im really hoping that I am wrong.


cleaneatingchelsey April 19, 2013 at 6:16 am

You can buy certified gluten free oats! :)


Kari August 17, 2013 at 8:55 am

Please research “gluten free” oats, where and how they are grown. There is cross pollination with glutenous grains, not to mention they are grown in the same fields. I reluctantly gave up on oatmeal (my favorite go to breakfast!!!) due to migraines, swollen joints and other complications. I have been gluten free for 5 years, and feel so much better. Stick with it, your health and well being is so worth it.


Sav May 10, 2013 at 8:01 am

Hi Chelsey! I am very interested in becoming gluten free. I notice when I cut out foods with gluten my hands seem not to swell. Now that I am pregnant and have most of the summer I am debating if I want to do it now, or after the pregnancy. I know in the morning I need some kind of whole grain to hold me together. But I have seen gluten free breads and gluten free oats. How did you make the switch. I know you said it was a challenge, but I am up for it. I went vegan for a while, but I really missed my buffalo chicken. Thank you in advance!


cleaneatingchelsey May 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Hi Sav,

Really in the beginning, it was just a time commitment to research and make time to prepare foods. A lot of prepackaged gluten free foods are full of fillers and sugars (which I try to avoid most of the time), so I make a lot of thing on my own. I usually eat oatmeal in the morning – or I’ll eat a piece of gluten free bread with peanut butter and banana alongside two or three whole eggs. That typically holds me over for 4 hours or so. :) I hope this helps!


Gretel May 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

What a great blog and people here sharing information.
I been looking for recipes for my family. We have different food intolerant and allergies so this blog is perfect.
For Mo Brady, In our family we did the Food Stats antibody Assessment, this test cover all kind of food.
is a blood test and takes 3-4 weeks to get results. Naturophatic are one the doctors that make this.
My daughter has big tonsil as a kid, cough . They just her tonsils, They never gave us a why. she had problem at school with focus, math , she could not get anything done. then she star with seasonal allergies, then asthma (sport induce), then asthma at home. Natural remedies where are a huge help.I been learning a lot on my own, read book or taking conference with Naturophatic doctors. Making changes is so important so as finding the right products to help us support and recover our gut. We need to stay a way from wheat, gluten, eggs and corn, almonds(just me ). The wheat and corn are so difficult they are in everything.
Thank you for sharing your recipes .


Debbie May 26, 2013 at 7:34 am

I just want to say thank you for your blog. I was having horrible medical issues. I had IBS, joint pain, weight loss issues, etc. and I finally found a nutrionalist who tested me and found out I have Wheat/Gluten and Corn Allergy, Celiac Disease. I felt like my life was over. Alot of Celiac disease websites and gluten free websites mention corn as ok and I have been so confused, not to mention skeptical that food was the cause of all my problems… but as I can see I am not alone. The symptoms are real and I don’t feel so crazy anymore not knowing the cause. Your recipes and advice are a lifesaver. When they told me what I couldn’t have I thought my life was over, no this no that… no more of my favorite foods I grew up loving… But I’m starting to see there is alternatives to enjoy food. I have went basically on a eat clean diet in addition to the gluten/corn free diet and I feel amazing and it’s much easier to manage thinking “Eat Clean” than just “Gluten Free”. Thank you again so much for your website!


Emily June 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I’m loving your site! I had near-daily headaches for about 15 years and have battled chronic migraine for three years. In those three years, I’ve had two beautiful boys. I’m trying a very restrictive elimination diet in an effort to treat these headaches without going on preventative meds. It’s only been five days, and you’re right…it’s tough! Especially for a Southern girl who runs a lot and is used to being able to eat anything without much concern about weight.
You and other bloggers give me hope that this will work for me. Your site is creative, smart, and easy to navigate, and I’m sure the recipes are delicious. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your insight :) Wish me luck!


Brenda Llanas June 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thank you so much for this blog. About a year ago my stomach started getting very painful, eventually reacting negatively to what I now know as gluten. Also, started having abdominal and stomach disorders that were severe. And, the gastrointestinal symptoms were something else not at all good. Then, last August I had a bone density scan, it showed osteoporosis. A couple weeks later went to my wonderful doctor, asked him whether I was celiac, he said yes. He is a medical doctor who happens to be a great friend. Oh, I was born and raised in the medical profession so he and I speak the same language, which is great!! Another good thing is that I cannot take medications, because if taken I have to go to the hospital. Meat is another food that has not been eaten for a year and a half, but fish and eggs are.


clarissa August 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Chelsea – Do you have a book with your recipies or do we print them from your site? Clarissa


cleaneatingchelsey August 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

print them :) – a book would be a fun task someday!


Kristin August 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Fell upon this as I was looking up healthy food blogs for my clients. Definitely cant stop reading and looking at the recipes! I am an ACSM health fitness specialist who has been struggling with GI problems as well. I have been restricted and its hard! No gluten, dairy, soy, eggs or grains! so its hard to find the proper balance of nutrition when I am teaching and training all day long. not to mention I am a sad italian girl (no pasta, tomatoes, cheese :( ) but I am interested in trying your recipes! have you ever heard of microscopic lymphocytic colitis? I wish you luck with your arrival of the twins!


Melissa September 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

LOVE your recipes, just made the gluten free blueberry pancakes. Lots of excellent recipes here, thanks!


brianna September 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I need advice.. My son has never had a normal bowel movement and I have asked multiple doctors about what i should do. all they said was try no juice or apple sauce and that it seemed common in a lot of toddlers. I was advised by someone to go gluten free. So I did. after 2 weeks he had his first normal bowel movement in 2 1/2 years !! He had a couple of normal ones after that but it has seemed to go back the way it was after accidentally giving him gluten once about 3 weeks after we started it the first time. Im so frustrated !! He does occasionally have oatmeal but i thought that was gluten free as is.. any advice or suggestions would help!! thanks :)


Gina October 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm

My daugther is 12 she has been in and out of the hospital for stomach pain, headaches to constipation ongoing. We have started on gluten free foods. we had labs done and she has many food senetivities. She is highly allergic to Wheat, Beans and Nuts. From all the research I have been reading Vegan, gluten free, corn free and possiblly dairy free might be the best for her?

I love all the information and your story. Your babies are so to cute!!!!

On top of all her food issues she now has type 1 diabetes and is on insulin. I want to teach her to just eat real foods but I need Ideas. She loves subway but now thats not a healthy joice for her. Its almost as if she knows what bothers her she frowns on certain foods. She turns away frome most my foods. She eats lots of salad with select toppings. At school they call to tell me she wont eat qute often. Anyways I hope you could give some input. Also she has been tested for celiac and its been negitive bothe times. from the info I read celiac wont test positive till the damage is done and doctors are not testing for all 4 catogories.Also wheat and gluten are 2 different allergies right? I could go on and on we all want our kids to be healthy she cries to me and asks why cant you make my stomach ache go away mom….?

Thanks gina


cleaneatingchelsey October 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I am so sorry your daughter is going through this – especially at such a young age! It’s hard to make all those dietary changes, especially if the tests come back negative. Wheat and gluten are two different allergies. All wheat has gluten, but not all gluten is wheat (if that makes sense). Gluten also includes barley, rye, etc. Gluten is the protein that holds things like wheat together. I’m no doctor, but it sounds like it’s worth giving it a shot. Maybe you should sit down with her and discuss the option of eliminating gluten to see if the stomachaches DO go away!


Christine January 16, 2014 at 5:43 am

I love your blog! I’m native to Chicago so it’s always fun to see what a Chicagoan is up to :) I just noticed that you’re corn-free AND gluten-free. I’m managing a corn allergy. Do you have any go-to corn-free things or anything you specifically avoid?


Annie January 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm


I am a long time reader and I am going to be trying a gluten free diet. I have psoriasis which is and immune system disease that causes red rashes to appear all over me. I had a blood test that indicated I have a wheat allergy. I went to a nutritional counselor who told me I need to avoid wheat and gluten like the plague. I am hoping this helps. I’ve already tried your apple cinnamon muffins and they were great. The transition will not be easy but I am glad I have your blog to reference :) By the way, your daughters are so adorable!


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rebecca February 11, 2015 at 11:35 am

Thank you for allowing us to join you on your journey. I am a 30 yr old with hashimotos, asthma and “seasonal” allergies. I’ve gone GF several times and it ALWAYS helps, but I could never stick to it. But, 4 months ago I woke up in the middle my very first Anaphylactic reaction, it was super scary and required an ambulance ride ( another first). I was put on a crazy amounts of medication, steroids, antihistamines, stomach meds, and still ended up in the ER one more time before my body calmed down. After seeing a allergy specialist and having all my testing done we determined that it wasn’t environmental, but something I ate. However, unlike most anaphylaxis, mine was delayed. The only thing that came back on my food panel was dairy and beef. So, I LOOSELY followed a DF and beef free diet for a while, cheating often, and dealing with the constant wheezing, itchy skin, bloated stomach, and allergy flare ups. Then 3 weeks ago I woke with the start of another reaction. I had eaten a hamburger with cheese the night before, so I knew exactly what the cause was this time. I had to use my Epi, and call 911. I was determined after that that I needed to cut all allergens from my diet. I went on a strict GF, DF, low (natural source) sugar free and all red meat diet, starting the moment I stepped out of the ER. Today is my 3rd week, and I feel AMAZING!!! I have been suffering from sinus headaches forever, and those are gone, my body does not feel inflamed anymore, my joints have stopped hurting, my stomach bloat is completely gone, my allergies are manageable, and my energy level is at an all time high. I made the mistake of eating a glutinos wafer cookie yesterday and it made my stomach hurt, so I am sticking to making my own foods and desserts, so I can control what goes in them. I am a believer now, and this is not a diet, but a life style now.


Ally February 24, 2015 at 4:20 am


Great read, i am in a similar position long time veggie suffer with IBS seem to have problems if i have starchy foods but in particulr try to stay off wheat, gluten & also trying to ween off dairy, a lot of vegan products are processed and i try to eat clean its a struggle with so little to eat in terms of protein really struggling to find something in the morning especially to replace the eggs. Would love some tips for staying clean on essentially a vegan GF diet


chante February 25, 2015 at 2:46 am

Hi, I stumbled upon this website, and I am glad I did. I would like to say I hope I am on the right track, after MANY tests, ( colonoscopy, endoscopy, CT scan with barium dye) My tests showed Dr issues but what was causing these issues? after being in such discomfort I gave up gluten on my own out of desperation, I have only been gluten free for 1 month so I have had set backs not realizing gluten was in SO MANY things, ( salad dressings, sauces, most packaged seasonings) I was wondering if you get glutened, how many days does it take to cleanse it out? can something be done to speed up the process, what are other people’s symptoms? I hear “bloating” but mine was more to the effect of “distended” at times. my intestines basically SHUT DOWN. any thoughts?


cleaneatingchelsey March 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Hi Chante,

I’m glad you finally figured out the root of your problem! I think for everyone getting “glutened” is a little different. For me, I always get an instant headache and have some abdominal discomfort that lasts about a day. My other symptoms (foggy brain, rash, etc.) hasn’t happened since I went GF because I have never consistently eaten it.. only accidentally or if there are homemade donuts to be eaten. ;) Then I just can’t resist.


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