Reader Question: I'm Allergic To Wheat!

Yummy Mummy Brandelyn in Maricopa asks:

I am allergic to wheat. All these healthy recipes call for wheat ingredients| especially vegan/vegetarian recipes. Help! What can I do?


Dear Brandelyn|

Ah| yes| the wheat question.

The truth is| we could all use less wheat in our diet. It has been hybridized over the century to yield more gluten| in fact 5x more gluten| so one piece of bread today is like 5 of what your grandma would have eaten. No wonder so many are turning away from wheat. Gluten is the protein that makes bread nice and stretchy| airy| fluffy when baked| and we have accustomed our tastes to it. But that glue-y-ness can cause trouble for the bowel.

Some recipes are easily modified with rice flour| like gravies| soups and sauces. Rice flour 1 for 1 makes a nice| simple alternative. As for baking| there are loads of gluten free cookbooks out there and you will have to experiment.

This will take care of the majority of foods in a sweeping gesture but it is the hidden sources that will turn you into a label reader. For instance - soy sauce has it - switch to Braggs liquid aminos which has a soy-y flavor with out the wheat. Some Tamari sauces are wheat free too. You find an entire gluten free section in all health stores and many grocery stores. Go on line to find a source if you are in a rural area. There are pancake mixes| bread mixes| muffin mixes...

You don't say whether it is the wheat or the gluten that you are allergic to so I can't advise you on whether you can have spelt or barley breads. These gluten containing breads are great alternative if it is the wheat. But| yes| you may just have to get used to avoiding bread all together. It is an emotionally and logistically charged undertaking but I have seen it done on many occasions. In fact| those who do avoid bread all together tend to drop 10 pounds without breaking a sweat. We eat too much of it| it causes an insulin spike which tells the body to store fat.

So| you have received the ultimate lifelong health commandment| I know it feels like a life sentence but you will be writing the book on it in no time.

Good Luck!


Theresa Albert, a yummymummyclub alum is a foodie who happens to be a nutritionist and not the other way around. She loves to explore food and the culture of food and all of the human love/hate rituals that surround it. Her new book Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck (McClelland & Stewart) is a fun, practical guide to making tasty, changes for improved health using morsels of information and delicious, healthy recipes. Her television show "Just One Bite" aired on the Food Network for over two years in a daily time slot and still appears on BBC kids, it introduced her energetic style to millions. She is also the author of Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day.

Definitely not a finger wagger, as a registered nutritionist, Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP, has a passion for simple, honest solutions to today's lifestyle choices. In addition to her private practice at the Toronto Clinic, she has provided content and comment for every major Canadian broadcaster and is forever pushing the bologna out of lunchboxes and out of the news media. As an avid social media user, blogger/writer and as a parent, she understands the struggles of balancing priorities in real life. In print newspapers and magazines, you will often see her quoted when an issue needs common sense clarification. 

She prepares a free weekly newsletter to make you laugh, eat well and be inspired. It can be found at