Living Gluten/Dairy Free

You will find on this page:

  • An introduction to eating gluten and dairy free
  • Transition foods – including ideas for substituting milk, and ideas for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
  • Foods that heal vs foods that harm
  • Cleansing & rebuilding ‘True Vitality’
  • Super-foods
  • Other influences on ‘True Vitality’
  • Calcium rich foods – links to a post – not on this page
  • Gluten Free /Dairy Free survival guide – links to another site – not on this page
  • How to have more ‘True Vitality’ – links to another post – not on this page
  • Recipes – for gluten and dairy free recipes click here or on the recipe tab above

An introduction

Practicing as a naturopath I would often suggest that people try omitting gluten foods from their diet and most of the time they found an improvement in their health and energy levels. On and off I would do the same. I would go three months without gluten to see how I would feel and also to see if it would have any effect on my weight. At the time it seemed to have little effect if I ate gluten or not.

Also at that time I wasn’t aware that there was gluten hidden in foods, so in fact I was never completely off gluten and so I wasn’t really able to gauge the effect fully. I discovered later that unless you are 100% off gluten you body doesn’t detox from it. So it’s as though you are still eating it.

I had a history of fatigue and weight issues for many years and had worked on the emotional aspects of giving away my energy, but the diet was the place I found that I could instantly feel a difference in my energy levels. I would often feel tired after a meal, but thought that this was just how it was.

Then I discovered that certain foods such as starchy foods can dull your energy and make you feel gluggy and sluggish and tired. Gluten and dairy seem to be the main foods that have this effect. Dairy isn’t a starch, but is difficult to digest and so it seems that the one common thread is in how difficult something is to digest determines how heavy that food will make you feel, hence dulling your energy and vitality.

But I also discovered another factor and that was with the effect of cooked foods and how cooking foods elevate your white blood cell count. This means that the body thinks that there is a foreign invasion when we eat these foods. When cooked and raw foods are eaten together the rise in white blood cells isn’t as dramatic. I actually discovered this theory after realising that raw foods felt better for my body by participating in a raw food preparation class and then eating this way. Not all of my diet is raw but I do try to incorporate as much fresh raw foods as possible each day. I feel that the fresher something is (which usually means raw), the easier to digest and the lighter and brighter I feel. (Note – some foods are energetically better when cooked and at times and for some people raw foods is difficult to digest and can feel damp and make you feel tired)

This started my discovery of how to make raw and cooked foods interesting as well as yummy, but still with the right feel to it. In the past I have enjoyed the art of gourmet cooking as well as simple foods that are cooked with love and presented nicely. I have always understood the effect that emotions can have on the food that is prepared, whether it is cooked or raw, just as eating when you are emotional can and does always affect digestion.

Being emotional, rushing about, eating quickly, being stressed, all puts the body’s nervous system into sympathetic overdrive, whereas the body can only digest if it is in parasympathetic mode which is what we are in when we are relaxed and still.

It is with this knowing that I have put together a range of gluten free, cane sugar free, dairy free raw and cooked foods that can be enjoyed by the whole family as they are or as accompaniments to other foods. Before we look at these, let’s take a minute to look at transition foods.

Transition foods

Going from processed wheat and dairy products to a totally healthy diet of no processed foods can be a shock to the family, especially to the kids. A simple place to start is to substitute wheat and gluten grain breads and pastas to the gluten free variety. There are many very tasty rice and corn breads, crackers and pastas available on the market now. Sauce mixes and condiments can be found gluten free in most supermarkets now. It’s just a matter of reading the labels to find the ones that suit you and your family. Once you have done this you will automatically know which ones to buy so the shopping trip doesn’t always have to be a long one.

Milk for cereals, drinks and shakes can be substituted with soy or rice milk. Also any nut, grain and seed can be made into milk.  Almond milk is the most popular, but you can also make milk from hazelnuts, cashews and quinoa. Cheeses and ice-creams can be found made with soy. Ice-cream is also great made from frozen fresh fruit that is put through a good quality juicer that is not a centrifugal type. These days you can also buy coconut and rice milk blends which taste great and are great in coffee and tea without curdling.

Breakfast and lunches seem to be the hardest to substitute if the family is used to having toast or cereal. As mentioned above there are gluten free breads and cereals available for breakfasts, but you can also break free from habits and try something different. Fresh fruit with a sprinkle of whole or ground nuts and seeds are tasty and nutritious. Eggs cooked in numerous fashions including thin pancake style eggs with a filling of mushrooms, tomatoes or mixed veggies make a welcome change as do pancakes made from buckwheat flour. Or for a quick breaky why not mix up a smoothie with almond milk and your favourite fruit. Smoothies are a great way to get extra nutrients thrown in by mixing with the other ingredients. Porridge made from quinoa or rice or both mixed with dried fruit to sweeten and topped with almond or coconut milk is a warm start on a cold day. Super-foods such as spirulina, bee pollen, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are great blended into the nut milk and fruit base. Quick and easy with a boost to get you or the kids through till lunchtime.

Lunch time can see the use of freshly baked gluten free bread, or corn or rice crackers with the usual fillings that the family likes. Salad wraps using lettuce leaves or mustard leaves are great for lunches at home. Whereas rice paper wraps and gluten free wraps are good for lunchboxes. Don’t forget that a lunch pack of gluten free pasta with tuna or salmon is still a favourite to many. Crackers and dips are also good for variety and can be served also with carrot and celery sticks or pieces of apple.

Dinners give a bigger range of foods to choose from. If you eat meats, then traditional meat (including fish, seafood, red meat and chicken) and vegetable dinners are perfect. Seasonings are plentiful in the gluten free variety these days. Stuffing vegetables with a variety of things such as pork mince, prawns or grated seasoned vegetables into zucchinis, eggplant, capsicum and potatoes are very popular. Soups, stews, casseroles, roasts, curries and risottos can still be a favourite for the family dinner. To expand your repertoires of recipes try using the many cook books available and either choose ones that don’t use dairy and gluten products or substitute using the following as a guide.

Milk – almond milk, soy milk, rice milk or coconut milk

Butter – nuttlelex spread, margarine or oil

Soy sauce – wheat free tamari

Cheese – difficult to substitute but you can make or buy cashew cheeze, soy cheeze

Breadcrumbs – gluten free breadcrumbs are available made from GF bread or rice

Cornflour – use ‘corn’ cornflour rather than ‘wheaten’ cornflour

Cookbooks that often don’t use dairy or gluten or are easy to substitute are often the Asian inspired cookbooks.

It is more important what you DON’T eat than what you actually eat.
It’s all about obstruction. In other words, which foods are damaging and obstructing the ‘True Vitality’ of the body. The number one benefit from eating simple, fresh foods is the elimination of all the processed foods that are DAMAGING to the body. Your body will be able to rejuvenate if you have eliminated harmful processed foods such as refined sugar and processed starches from your diet.

Increasing your ‘True Vitality’ with food choices

 Foods can be broken down into several groups or categories:

1. Processed starches/grains – breads, cereals, cakes, biscuits, pasta

2. Refined sugars – sugar, ice-cream, sweets/lollies, chocolate, soft-drinks, alcohol

3. Dairy products of all animals

4. Processed oils – any oil from vegetable, animal or seed not cold-pressed

5. Meat and eggs – chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, eggs

6. Unprocessed and not heated (cold pressed) oils from nuts, seeds and vegetables

7. Cooked fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and herbs

8. Raw fresh fruits, vegetables (including salads) and herbs

9. Sprouted seeds, nuts and legumes

Most diets that claim that they work for good health or weight loss omit the first two to four food groups.

Whole grains such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and animal proteins in moderation (125-200g 3/week), will still result in reasonably good health. It is a moderately acidic diet which will leach some alkalizing minerals, which can lead to osteoporosis but is certainly better than a diet based on processed foods.

Remember it is more important what you don’t eat than what you do eat. What you leave out of your diet completely is the key to ultimate health.

The natural process of digestion causes fermentation. Cooked foods cause more fermentation than raw foods. Also, not chewing any type of food will cause more fermentation due to the food not being broken down enough first. It is important to note that the stomach doesn’t have teeth! The stomach does have acids to break down foods, but these acids are stimulated to be secreted in the stomach by the action of chewing.

With years of poor eating the cells in our body grow and become full of carbonic acid. As you eat less fermentive foods the cells contract and give off waste gas and shrink in size. This is why people seem to be gassier when first eating a healthy diet, they are releasing the gas build up from their cells. However, gas from eating legumes is because they have usually not been soaked and sprouted to remove the enzyme inhibitors and so this causes fermentation in the gut and the subsequent release of flatulence.

The clearer and cleaner you become, the more sensitive you become, but you also become clearer and more sensitive to energies – more connected and clear feeling.

When you stop eating certain foods that are toxic, the body will detoxify. This may give symptoms of runny nose, headaches, nausea etc, so it is important to firstly realise that this is the body clearing and to assist it where you can.

Ways to help the body to detoxify are – body brushing, sweating, drinking plenty of pure clean water, drinking fresh vegetable juices especially green vegetable juices. Herbal teas such as dandelion & fennel can be helpful. Walking in fresh air especially by the seaside or in the bush where there is a greater concentration of negative ions.

Cleansing and Re-building ‘True Vitality’       

A truly balanced diet is always half cleansing (removing undesirable toxins and catarrh from the tissue) and half building (repairing and restoring tissue integrity). When we recognise that the body has become unbalanced, we can choose to have a higher cleansing ratio to ‘catch up’ on the detoxification side of things and also have a period of rebuilding and regenerating good healthy tissues, blood and lymph.

Living foods in general, whether we are talking about juices or raw whole living foods, vibrate with a special energy (Life Force) which affects you physically and mentally. They give you the strength, clarity of mind; confidence and sense of wellbeing that make you want to do what is best for your body. This is something that no diet of cooked foods and no amount of vitamin pills and supplements will ever do.

The cells in the body have a very close connection with the blood. The blood visits every cell in the body, so it makes sense to ensure that there is enough good quality vitamins, minerals, enzymes and life force to nourish the blood that feeds the cells of the body.

When cells become weak from deficiencies, various processes lead to DNA damage in the cell nucleus. These breakdowns usually take place in a constitutionally weak part of the body and can initiate the start of degenerative diseases. Plants that have deficiencies get diseases, and vets well know of how animals that have deficiencies get diseased too, so why would we think that we are any different?

Some vegetables, nuts and seeds contain the high powered principles and chemical activities that are needed to renew glands such as the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, prostate, ovaries and so on. When we take the ‘gland building factors’ we help the whole body to rebalance.

All nuts and seeds have a natural coating of enzyme inhibitors to prevent them form sprouting too early when the conditions are unfavorable to germinate. This allows the seeds to keep for a very long time to preserve the continuation of the species.

There have been seeds found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb that are 2000 years old, that when planted –grew! These enzyme inhibitors when ingested prevent our digestive system from digesting the seeds and nuts and therefore not allow the nutrients to be absorbed. This is why we soak the seeds- to remove the enzyme inhibitors. The sprouting is to ignite the release of the ‘life force’ and activates that seed or nut to its highest nutritional value.


Foods which are very high in essential nutrients are called super-foods and they can help us reach optimum levels of health by providing us with the vitamins and minerals which are missing from our diet.

Super-foods are an excellent way to make up for dietary deficiencies. Even if you are eating a 100% organic diet you will still not be able to get all the nutrients you need from your food due to unsustainable, profit driven agricultural practices which have seriously depleted our soils and hybridised our food.

Many nutritionists claim that deficiency is worse than toxicity. Even though toxic build up needs to be dealt with, in some ways the body can cope with a certain amount of toxicity. However, mineral, vitamin, protein, fat or even enzyme deficiencies can have a serious and immediate impact on your health.

Spirulina – The protein, vitamin and mineral powerhouse

Spirulina contains a most powerful combination of nutrients such as protein, most of the essential minerals and vitamins, particularly iron and B vitamins and has ten times the Beta Carotene than carrots. Apart from mother’s milk, Spirulina is the only other whole food that contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). Spirulina is also a rich source of magnesium and many easily absorbable trace minerals.

Bee pollen – The king of foods

Bee pollen is considered by nutritionists to be one of the most complete foods found in nature. It contains a rich source of high quality protein due to it containing all the essential amino acids. Bee pollen contains vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as being very rich in B vitamins including Folic Acid. Bee pollen contains many minerals, including: barium, boron, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc, as well as having over 5,000 enzymes and the phytonutrients such as co-enzymes, bioflavanoids, phytosterols, and carotinoids. Bee pollen also contains 15% natural lecithin and is an alkalizing food.

 (Warning: some people have an allergic reaction to bee products including pollen)

Coconut oil – Another miracle nature food

Coconut oil is the highest source of saturated medium chain triglycerides (MCT) of any naturally occurring vegan food. Around 50% of these MCT’s are made up of Lauric Acid, the most important essential fatty acid in the building and maintaining the immune system. Mother’s milk is the only other source of Lauric acid. These medium chain fatty acids are more digestible and much more stable that any other fat and in fact can be left at room temperature for a year without going rancid. Coconut oil is great for the skin, both taken internally and in external application for dryness and sensitivities. Additionally coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties and for this reason it is a powerful ally in the fight against Candida. Incredibly, even though it is a fat, coconut actually assists weight control by promoting the body’s ability to burn unwanted fat and has even been shown to lower bad cholesterol. For this reason coconut oil has been used for under active thyroid to increase the body’s metabolism.

Linseeds (flaxseeds) – Essential Fatty acid boost

The greatest nutritional benefit flax has to offer is its high Omega 3 essential fatty acid content, whose benefits include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels and lowering blood pressure. Flax also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals: vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine, iron and zinc. It also contains fibre and mucilage that promote healthy intestinal function.

The alpha linoleic acid (a type of Omega 3 fat) in flax may help prevent heart attacks by reducing the risk of potentially deadly blood clots as well as abnormal heart rhythms. Flax also provides the highest plant source of phytoestrogens, which may play a key role in the prevention of breast, prostate and colon cancers.

Himalayan salt – the healthy salt full of minerals

Himalayan salt is mined by hand from a protected area of the Himalayan Mountains, is free of the pollutants found in sea salt and table salt. The salt contains 84 minerals of the possible 92 trace minerals, in the same proportion as naturally exists in our blood. It contains a highly crystalline structure, which allows nutrients to be absorbed at the cellular level, purifying the body physically and bio-energetically.

Consumption of the salt has been associated with neutralizing the acid/alkaline balance in the body, breaking down the build-up of heavy metals, stimulating blood circulation and the nervous system and re-mineralizing the body.

Maca root powder – hormonal balancer and strengthener

Maca root is native to the mountain regions of Peru, where it has been used by native Indians as a vital ingredient for health for thousands of years. Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E.
Maca root has been associated with improving fertility, hormonal balance, increasing sperm count, stimulating and strengthening libido and increasing energy and vitality.

Sea vegetables

Although they are part of the plant kingdom, sea vegetables are a complete protein source and one of nature’s richest sources of vegetable protein (up to 38%) and vitamin B12.Ounce for ounce sea vegetables are higher in vitamins and minerals than any other food group. They are particularly high in vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, and B12.

Seaweed also contains a substance (ergesterol) that converts to vitamin D in the body. In addition to key nutrients, seaweeds provide us with carotene, chlorophyll, enzymes, and fiber. Seaweed’s saltiness comes from a balanced, chelated combination of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and a myriad of trace minerals found in the ocean. Because their chemical make-up is so similar to human blood, sea vegetables have a balancing, alkalizing effect on the blood. Sea vegetables are known for their ability to reduce cholesterol, remove metallic and radioactive elements from the body, and to prevent goiter. Seaweed also has antibiotic properties that have shown to be effective against penicillin-resistant bacteria.

Other influences on our ‘True Vitality’

 It’s not just the foods that we eat that deplete our energy or ‘true vitality, but the diet is one area that we have easy control over. This is a vast subject that can take many hours to explain, but briefly the key elements are about not giving away our energy to people and situations in our life. Stress is one of the biggest drains of our vitality and we know all too well how it can effect our digestion. Ulcers are an example of this.

How self-loving we are to ourselves is a key element also. Self-love comes into play with food choices and choices in our life in a big way.