Gluten Intolerance: 9 surprising things I had to give up (or find alternatives for)

Gluten Intolerance Wheat Field

Two Weeks Into My Strict Gluten-Free Lifestyle (and why I’m struggling)

Gluten intolerance is no joke! My body punishes me every time I think I can get away with eating it, and even when I don’t realize I’m eating it! Check out this article I wrote on why I’m going gluten-free and follow my journey.

It doesn’t seem to matter if I scarf down an entire plate of spaghetti, or accidentally eat something that “may contain wheat” (keep reading for more on those dreaded words).

The reaction is always the same.

I decided that starting January first, I would follow a strict gluten-free lifestyle. That means not eating any obvious wheat products (pasta, bread, cereal, pastries, etc.) But also reading labels carefully to be sure there’s no sneaky gluten in the ingredients.

Gluten intolerance

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“May Contain Wheat”- A Nightmare for Those With Gluten intolerance

I decided to go through my spice cabinet after I realized my jar of cinnamon had the words “may contain wheat” on the back of it. What a nightmare! I didn’t realize so many ingredients I was using on a daily basis could be hurting me.

“May contain wheat” is one of those phrases that make you stop and really weigh your options. The product in question MIGHT be contaminated with wheat. This could mean it was processed in the same factory as gluten-containing products. It could also mean that the product doesn’t contain gluten ingredients, but it hasn’t been verified or certified as gluten-free.

Gluten Free Ingredients

Some of my everyday ingredients have the phrase, “may contain wheat” on the labels. I’m shocked!

Every time I see those words I have to ask myself, “is it worth the risk?” I could get sick, or I might not. I hate being put in that position. Most times I will err on the side of caution and skip the ingredient. It’s not usually a risk I’m willing to take.

9 Foods that “MAY CONTAIN WHEAT” That Shocked Me

Cinnamon– I was using cinnamon every day in my coffee, not realizing I may have been contaminating it!

Garlic Powder– Seriously? Never would have thought!

Onion Powder– Again! Who would have known!

Spice Cabinet
Image by LouAnn Clark from Pixabay 


Season Salt– Ugh. I was just about done with this one.

Taco Seasoning– I’ve found some brands that don’t say “may contain wheat”, but they aren’t always labeled gluten-free, so I stick to the certified brands now.

Packaged Gravy Powder– I don’t use brown gravy very often, but this one still surprised me!

Oatmeal– Cross-contamination can ruin oatmeal. I don’t eat it much, but I use it in dishes like my Taco Meatloaf.

Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice- Come on, y’all!

Candy– did you know licorice is made with wheat? Black licorice is my favorite! How disappointing! Not only licorice, but my sugar-free chocolate also has the dreaded words on it!

The Plus Side

As far as most of my seasonings having the words “may contain wheat” on them, that’s pretty disappointing. I love using lots of seasoning in my food when I cook. Bland flavors just aren’t my thing!

But, there’s always a plus side! One positive thing that has come from me choosing not to use those ingredients is that I have started to incorporate fresh ingredients instead.

Gluten intolerance Onion and Garlic

Instead of garlic powder, I now use fresh garlic in my dishes. In place of onion powder, I now grate fresh onion into whatever I am cooking.

Of course, it’s not as difficult as I imagined it would be to find most of these products in the gluten-free section at the grocery store. I just have to ask myself if I want to spend the extra money for certified gluten-free products, or if I can simply find alternatives. In most cases, I can find an alternative and it works out better than I expected.

Giving in to Temptation

I was doing great with this whole gluten-free thing, but yesterday I caved and ate a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. It was amazing. However, the “hangover” headache I woke up with this morning was not!

We were out thrifting in a new town and came across a food truck. The type you would see at a carnival. The kind with “FUNNEL CAKE” and “DEEP FRIED OREOS” screaming at you. I couldn’t resist.

Philly Cheese Steak

Honestly, would you be able to pass that up? The fries are probably not gluten-free either if they are cooked in the same oil as their fried Oreos!

I realize this is going to be an ongoing struggle. I may not always get it right. There are going to be times when I give in to temptation. But I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Today is a new day, and all I can do is start over.

My Gluten Intolerance Struggle Recap

  • It’s an ongoing struggle to stay committed to being gluten-free
  • You may have days when the temptation is strong. Don’t feel guilty if you give in
  • Today is a new day, keep going
  • “May Contain Wheat” products can be just as damaging as products definitely containing gluten
  • Always read labels, even if you don’t think it would contain gluten
  • Check your pantry and spice cabinet. You may be surprised by what you find
  • Being forced to use fresh ingredients is a plus side to the limitations of gluten-intolerance

I hope you are able to take some of the information in today’s Gluten Intolerance post and use it to make your gluten-free journey easier!

As always, please leave a comment below if you would like to share your story or advice!

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