The 7 Stages of Becoming Gluten Free

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The Seven Stages of Becoming Gluten Free-Anyone who has had to make the transition to a gluten free lifestyle can relate to the initial shock of realizing that life is about to change drastically. Knowing what’s coming next can help.

STAGE 1  DISBELIEF  “What do you mean I can’t eat bread?”

Your craving for a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich becomes uncontrollable.


STAGE 2  PANIC  “I can’t eat that either?”

The dark realization sets in that not only can you not eat bread, you cannot eat waffles, cake or ice cream sandwiches. Anxiety overwhelms you as you wonder what you will do to celebrate your birthday.


STAGE 3  DESPAIR  “Oh my gosh, I can’t eat anything!”

You clear your pantry of all non-gluten free food and proceed to make your last will and testament. You are sure that you will die of starvation.

STAGE 4  DISCOVERY  “I will live!”

The point at which you discover the health food section of your local grocery store and the “Gluten Free” label. You buy every box and bag with the words “Gluten Free” and feel quite happy that life will be returning to normal.


STAGE 5  REALITY  “My total is what?!”

At which time you are standing in the check out line and realize that you will have to take out a second mortgage in order to eat.


STAGE 6  RESEARCH  “There has to be another way.”

Determined to live, you begin researching gluten free recipes. You spend hours in the grocery store reading labels to find normal foods that are gluten free. (Check out this list of Naturally Gluten Free Foods!)


STAGE 7  RHYTHM  “I can do this!”

You find foods you like, shortcuts to take (like having Gluten-Free Baking Mix on hand) and a balance of cooking from scratch and buying processed foods. You’ve made it!


If you are anywhere from Stage 1 to Stage 7, The Peaceful Mom can help!  Check out gluten free recipes, product reviews, coupons and deals, weekly menus and more!


You can also see my Gluten Free Pinterest Boards here.


©2011 K. No material on this website may be reprinted in any form without the express written consent of the author. Please note that this post is not intended as professional advice but simply the author’s personal opinion. You should seek professional advice if your circumstances require it.


You May Also Enjoy:

Naturally GF List

GF Recipes

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  1. Pam says

    We are somewhere between 4 & 6. I’ve had food allergies for almost 8 years so I know that life goes on, but we are talking about my son now. That is hard. My allergies are different than his so I’m researching everything now. :( Daunting. Thank you so much for your site! It has been a great help this week!!

  2. Brenda says

    I was just diagnosed with gluten, tomatoes, sugar & cow milk allergies. It’ s been 2 weeks. I am spending a lot of time reading and getting informed, and sometimes hungry because of fear. I, too, am somewhere between 4 &6. I used to come here for coupons, now for GF resources…God already knew I was going to need this. Thank you so much for this site! Many blessings!

    • says

      So sorry to hear of your diagnosis Brenda! That’s got to be a challenge. Because my daughter is only allergic to wheat we include dairy and tomatoes in many of our recipes, but you could probably substitute coconut milk (especially in smoothies) or veggie cheese. Not sure how it tastes, but I’ve heard of people doing that. I will try to include some more dairy free recipes soon. :)

  3. Sasha says

    I think you should add a stage that goes back to despair after you purchase all the gluten free options at the grocery store and discover that they all pretty much taste horrible!

  4. Christian says

    I had to go gluten free over a year ago and it was horrible. These steps pretty much sum it it up though! Sasha – the longer you go gf, the better it tastes! I can’t remember what bread tastes like, which sucks but makes it easier to eat gf foods.

    • Amber says

      I am at stage #2, as I lay in bed with a stomach ache from eating food I know that caused this. It runs in my family and I just don’t want another food allergy. I don’t want to eat like a rabbit. Right now it is just me pouting in the corner not wanting to face reality, but I now it is a must. Still pouting but will move through the 7 stages. Great site. Thanks.

  5. Liz says

    You are so right, these are exactly the stages. I’ve been struggling now with making the transition to eating gluten-free for over a year now. Even though it causes me a lot of stomach pain and sore throats I constantly have urges to binge on gluten-containing foods, especially fast foods. Do you have any tips for cutting the urges and transitioning to a healthier diet?

    • says

      The best thing that we have found is to decide what you really miss and find a good substitute for it. Udi’s white bread is a pretty good replica of the real thing and Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownie mix is amazing. You can read our gluten free product reviews here: Hope that helps. :)

  6. Donna says

    This made my laugh – it’s so true! I’m only 2 months into my gluten-free life and it’s been TOUGH. I’m around stage 6 already…my budget can’t take any more of the GF replacements (too expensive & most are AWFUL, blah!!) so I’m working on meal plans, recipes & getting the budget under control again. Thanks for all your GF meal plans! :)

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