Gluten Ingredient Cheat Sheet (printable)

When we were first transitioning to a gluten-free life, I had the hardest time trying to remember the 'banned' ingredient list. Grocery shopping was a bit stressful. Trying to read all of the ingredient lists while toting my toddler and baby through the store was a challenge in itself, but throw in new dietary restrictions, and I was a hot mess.

I didn't have an easy to reference cheat sheet, but I wished I did. I was in 'tired mommy' mode as I balanced life with my newborn and toddler (19 months apart), so I never made a list, I just suffered through those early gluten-free shopping days.  Sometimes, I made mistakes and brought something home that had an ingredient on it that I forgot was another form of gluten.

Well, I finally found some time and was able to make a cheat sheet (it only took me 2.5 years!). This will be useful for you even if you don't need to be on a gluten-free diet. Maybe you will have some gluten-free dinner guests one night and will wonder what you can feed them, or maybe someone you know just found out that they have celiac disease - give them a cheat sheet to help them in their journey!

Without further ado, I give you my 'ingredients to avoid' cheat sheet:
See all those numbers in the "Check with manufacture" list above? Download the PDF (click the link below) and you will see an extra page with more information on why those ingredients may or may not be gluten-free (courtesy of

There are other strange ingredients out there that are 'glutenous' but since they have names like, Hing, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, and Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, I left them off my list. If it has wheat in the name, don't trust it - pretty simple, right?

Going gluten-free promoted a great deal of processed food elimination in our home and it increased my 'whole food' mentality. My rule of thumb is, if something has really strange, hard to pronounce ingredients listed on the package, it's better for my health not to eat it.

Anyway, click the link below to download the PDF. Feel free to use the buttons at the bottom of this post to share this post with the world! :)

DOWNLOAD: Gluten Ingredients to Avoid - Printable

Post this list on your fridge, drop one in your wallet, give one to a friend! I hope you find this list as helpful as I would have back when I was just starting my GF journey. ;)

I am working on making the list in an easy-to-print wallet size (because wouldn't that be cool?). I will post an update with a download link when it's ready.

If you see anything missing from my list that you consider a 'normal' gluten ingredient, drop me a line!

Happy shopping!

(This post is linked up to a blog hop here: Laura's Gluten Free Pantry)

How To...Lose the baby weight (what worked for me)

I gained quite a bit of weight when I was pregnant.

At the time, I didn't realize that I was overweight. In fact, I felt great weight-wise while pregnant and I loved having an excuse for eating random junk food all day. When I look back at the pictures, I realize that I was in fact, a bit on the bigger side. This is totally embarrassing for me to post my before pics, but hey, sometimes seeing is believing - and if it helps encourage someone else to realize their goals, it will be worth it.
Some people drop their baby weight with ease, but it was a challenge for me. Here's how I did it:

Join/create a Biggest Loser Challenge or find an accountability partner - A friend set up a Biggest Loser challenge on Facebook. Everyone paid $20 to join a 3 month weight loss challenge and the top 3 were paid out at the end. 23 people joined the challenge. This was a HUGE motivator. Every Sunday, by 11am, everyone had to send in their weight or face a half pound penalty. The beginning and end weigh in had to be captured on video and you had to wear the same thing and use the same scale you started on. Every week the stats were posted up on Facebook. The weight loss was calculated by total percent lost (much more fair than by the pounds lost). Having to report my weight to someone every single week for 3 months was the best motivation in the world! I didn't want to report the same number week after week, so I made sure I was sticking to my plan. I ended up coming in 2nd place and taking home $120 (*pats myself on the back*).

Learn how to set up your own challenge here:  How to start a Biggest Loser Competition

No eating after 8pm - Basically, dinner was the last time I'd eat for the day, even if I was up really late (which happens often). My husband and I used to eat after-dinner snacks (ice cream, cheese and crackers, popcorn, etc) almost every evening. It was bad for us and totally needless.

No obvious sugar - What's an obvious sugar you ask? Well, it's that vanilla coffee creamer or blueberry muffin (those usually have a lot of sugar in them!) or desserts at parties... yup, pass it up, it's not going to help you lose that weight, so move along to the vegi tray.

No alcohol - Alcohol is actually loaded with calories - you don't need those extra calories, so skip the wine/beer/liquor until you reach your weight goal.

Look up just how many calories are hiding in your favorite drink: Calories in Alcoholic Drinks

Exercise - This seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, to be honest, I only exercised 2-3 times each week (if I was lucky) and combined with everything else in this list, it worked. Some weeks I didn't even workout (it's hard to find the time when you have little kids running a muck). When I did exercise, I would most often run a 2 mile loop around my neighborhood. Occasionally we would take the family on a bike ride or a hike (with the littlest strapped to me) - any exercise counts!

Portion control - Take smaller portions and slow down your eating. By eating slower, you will realize you are full before you've over-eaten.

In 3 months time, I ended up losing my baby weight and I even dropped below my wedding weight!

How about you - are you struggling to lose weight? Did you already lose your pregnancy weight? Do you have any advice or success stories to share??

If you are at the start of your journey, I hope these tips help you to get to your goals. You can do it!