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Making a home entirely gluten free isn’t easy. Trust me, I know.

Maybe you want to eliminate gluten from your diet to live a healthier lifestyle. Or maybe a diagnosis is forcing you to be gluten free. It could be that you just want to try something new. Whatever your reason is, going through an entire house top to bottom takes time, patience and can be a bit overwhelming.

I want to share with you some tips that made this entire process a bit easier for us…

Start with Focus

Going gluten free overnight is so overwhelming. I remember when we made the change because of my daughter’s diagnosis. It was crazy, I didn’t know where to start! I wanted our home to be safe for her. I wanted her to look in the pantry and be able to pick something out without having to think about whether or not it was safe to eat.

Now with that being said, not all homes are gluten free because one person has a sensitivity or intolerance, and that’s perfectly fine too. I did what I thought would work for us. What would be conducive to our lifestyle. But that doesn’t always work for everyone.

So anyway, back to focusing 🙂 Start with one part of the home, whether it’s the pantry, refrigerator, bathroom, etc. Don’t stress yourself by thinking about everything you have to do or worrying about this big task in front of you. Just focus on ONE thing at a time. That’s it. One thing.

Once you tackle the bathroom, making sure the lotions, body wash, toothpaste, shampoo are gluten free, move on to the next part of your home.

It’s a process. A never-ending, ongoing process so start small. Trying to do it all at once will create more stress than necessary. Focus on one thing at a time.

Use Technology

I found an app for my phone that was a lifesaver. The Gluten Free Scanner. It has free version, although the database is limited. But the $3.99 price tag for the full version has been wonderful. Not only can I go through the pantry with my phone scanning barcodes but I can walk down the grocery store aisles doing the same. It’s pretty cool.

Their inventory is not all-inclusive though. I have scanned some things that are not in the database but more times than not, I have found what I wanted to know.

Piece of advice: Don’t completely depend on the scanner without looking at labels. I use it for convenience in a pinch but the best way to know if something is gluten free is to learn how to read labels.

Find Support Groups

I can’t say enough about the help I have found through support groups on social media. There are so many groups out there which makes finding one that you fit into pretty easy.

They’re a great resource. Ask questions. Find out how other people made their homes gluten free. What were some tricks they used?

Support helps remind you that you’re not alone on this journey. It can be challenging. It can be tough. But you’re not the only one in this. Talk to friends, to family. Wherever you can find the support, engage it.

Eliminate Cross-contamination

Ugh, those two words I get so tired of thinking about. Cross-contamination. It can be everywhere. It’s hidden and super tricky, if not impossible, to avoid all together.

Start simple. Replace your current butter container with a new one. Think about it – when you butter a piece of toast, breadcrumbs from the knife stick to the unused butter making the potential for cross-contamination that much more likely. So replace it altogether.

When I was making my house gluten free, I gathered my butter, peanut butter and Nutella jar (along with all the gluten-filled foods we collected) and delivered them to my Mom’s house. That way, we didn’t waste anything in the transition.

Clean the toaster from top to bottom. Or donate it to a friend and buy a new one.

We have a toaster oven so I washed anything that had come in contact with gluten and felt comfortable using it moving forward so we didn’t replace ours. Do what works for your situation.

I bought new cutting boards and tossed my wooden spoons. Gluten can get absorbed into the wood so I wanted to start fresh and buy new. Again, do what’s best for your situation. Clean the KithenAid, hand mixer or anything else that has come in contact with flour.

Any cleaning solution combined with hot water would be sufficient.

I came across this combination which can break down gluten and remove starch:

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup 70% rubbing alcohol

Combine and pour into a spray bottle. Use to clean appliances and countertops.

Grocery Shop

I must say, when I ventured out on my first gluten-free grocery shopping trip it was super overwhelming! I spent hours walking up and down aisles without focus. Without a list. I just went for it.

Don’t do what I did. Go prepared.

Make a list and stick to it. Break it up into a couple trips if you need to. One trip buy fresh produce. The next, shop for pantry items and freezer foods. However it works for you, do it. But make a list, especially those first few times you’re out.

Think about what you’re replacing and when you’re in the store, look for safe alternatives.

Let’s take cereal for example. Give away the open box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in your pantry. When you’re in the store, find an alternative to the cereal. Annie’s Cinna-Bunnies work well for us. Or even Cinnamon Chex.

This is such a huge change but breaking it up and thinking about it in small ways will make this entire process easier to digest (no pun intended ;).

Eventually it will be like second-nature. You’ll fall into a routine and your thinking will be automatic. You’ll find brands you like and unfortunately, brands you don’t. Eventually though, grocery shopping will feel like it once did. Give it some time.

Read ingredients, scour labels, check boxes. You’ll become a pro.

We’re in this together! Remember, start small. Work your way through the house room by room. Give it time but stay patient.

Believe me, it’s not easy but you’re not alone. Reach out to family, friends, neighbors for support. Join groups with like-minded individuals. Utilize all the great advances in technology and download an app or two.

But most importantly, stay positive!

I would love to hear from you! Add your info below and tell me what your biggest obstacle in becoming gluten free is.

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