Making the leap to a gluten and dairy-free diet? Check out this simple checklist of what gluten and dairy-free products include in your gluten-free dairy-free fridge. This post includes every single food I have on rotation in my fridge to create gluten-free dairy-free recipes for my family.
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I have been eating a gluten and dairy-free diet for a little over a year now. I made the big switch coming off an 18-day trip to Europe where I overindulged on some of the best croissants and cheese I’ve ever had in my life.
However, it wasn’t that trip that made me decide to take on a gluten-free dairy-free lifestyle.
In fact, that trip wasn’t at all an issue when it came to my gut. I ate and ate foods that at home, I would have been sick in a heartbeat with. I blame it on the manufacturing standards (even of organic products) in America. Things just aren’t the same in Europe as they are in the States when it comes to the quality of wheat and dairy products.
What brought me to a gluten and dairy-free lifestyle was years of an eroding gut. No, theres no technical term for that maybe leaky gut is as much as I could have been diagnosed with. The truth is that I was never diagnosed with anything. I had a doctor once tell me to start a food journal to track my symptoms, but that was about it.
I just knew that certain things weren’t functioning in my body the way that I knew they could and should be.
I had brain fog constantly, had trouble sleeping, had massive cystic acne, and ridiculous bloating, embarrassing gas, and swung between constipation and diarrhea all too often.
I had actually been waiting until after I returned home from that trip to Europe to make the switch, because I knew that after trying it out a few times for a week here and a week there that it was absolutely going to help with my digestive issues. So once I returned home, I made the commitment and I never looked back. (And yeah, it wasn’t necessarily easy you can check out my post on gluten detox here).
UPDATE #1: I’m revisiting this post at the end of 2014, one year after writing it to update you on my progress. I brought dairy back into my diet during the second and third trimesters of my pregnancy and for a few months after.
I started experiencing some completely new symptoms which lead me to a naturopathic doctor for testing. I was diagnosed with a milk allergy and gluten intolerance along with a laundry list of other intolerances. I’m now completely gluten and dairy-free and working on getting things like eggs back into my diet.
UPDATE #2: January 2017 I’m now able to eat some gluten and dairy in moderation, but eggs are still 100% out of my diet except for in small amounts if baked into foods. I have found a bit of my own tipping point after having too much gluten or dairy. I’m always a work in progress on this journey. You can read more about my latest eating habits here.
UPDATE #3: It’s January 2019 and I’m still eating a gluten, dairy, and egg-free diet almost exclusively. I’m not as strict with my diet as I used to be and will sometimes eat all of these foods in small quantities, but most of the time not at once or I feel awful.
Over the summer, I ate two bites of a crepe from our favorite local cidery… it looked so good and my husband said “Seriously, it’s two bites…” And I said out loud “Okay, but if I feel awful tomorrow or the next day, we’ll know why.” Sure enough, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck, foggy, lethargic, massive headache, body aches, and wanted to sleep for three days straight. My 4-year old son was the one who reminded me of what I ate when I was going on and on about how I couldn’t figure out what caused it. But when I thought about it.. it was the trifecta of all the foods I shouldn’t be eating, and I paid for it. I learned my lesson there.
I’ll be honest, now that I’ve been at this diet for as long as I have, I now know mostly what I can “get away with” in this diet. I can have a bite of this or that. I also know when my limit has been tipped over – and I feel awful for a while. I don’t really regret these times, I take them as calculated risks that I’ll feel bad. And most of the time, I determine whether it’s worth it or not to go for it. It sounds irresponsible, but I learned that I couldn’t feel like I was truly LIVING in this life without some exceptions. And I’ve learned how to get back on track when I go off, so that helps.
I’m adding some content to this post during this update… I realize how much more detail I could go into now that I’ve been answering questions about my diet for so long. I hope you find this post useful – and as always, pop any questions you have in the comments!
In this post, I’m going to share with you how to stock a gluten-free dairy-free fridge, because I get so many interested people asking me what I actually eat if those two major foods are removed from my diet.
At home, I try to eat 100% gluten-free and dairy-free, and when I’m eating out at a restaurant with my husband, I’ll always choose gluten-free over dairy-free. I figure bloating, gas, constipation and acne for three days over all those things plus headaches, brain fog and mood swings for five days is better.
All that said, I do my best to live a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle. I do it, because it makes me feel lighter in my body, gives me less digestive complaints, has cleared up my skin ten-fold, and helps to keep my moods even.
This list is the most comprehensive list of foods that are on rotation in my fridge and shopping lists. I have another blog post for what I keep in my gluten-free dairy-free pantry here. This is the list of foods that come through my kitchen for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts (when I get around to making them). Actually, as I’ve been making my weekly recipe and menu planning service, GFDF Weekly, I’ve discovered even more foods are naturally gluten and dairy-free – which is super exciting.
There are a lot of foods that are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, including:
- Lean meats and proteins
- Fruits and vegetables
- Beans and legumes
- Gluten-free whole grains (you can read more about these here)
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats like avocados and coconut
You can make a million different gluten and dairy-free recipes using just these whole foods – and since they don’t have gluten or dairy, you don’t have to worry about getting sick from them.
When it comes to vegetables, you can pick just about anything from the produce department that is safe. There are so many ways to enjoy vegetables in a gluten and dairy-free diet: in salads, soups, stews, smoothies, breakfast hash, as stuffed squash, peppers, or potatoes, in stir-fries, mixed into some desserts. I also like to stew, roast, spiralize, smoke, grill, and cook in my Instant Pot.
Some of my favorite gluten and dairy-free vegetable recipes are stuffed potatoes, massaged kale salad, and super simple chicken and veggie stir-fries.
- collard greens
- red or green leaf lettuce
- green beans
- sweet potatoes or yams
- acorn squash
- butternut squash
- delicata squash
- spaghetti squash
- summer squash
All fruits are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Which is great news, because behind vegetables, they’re also some of the healthiest foods out there. I like to incorporate fruits into my breakfasts every morning in smoothies or into my oatmeal bowl. My son and I also love fruity desserts so we try to make a few of those every year, especially in the summer.
What I love about the fact that fruits are safe to eat on a gluten and dairy-free diet is how many of them are freezer-friendly. It’s so easy to freeze many fruits and enjoy them year-round, even when you’re in the dead of winter.
- citrus fruits
- stone fruits (apricot, plum, peach, nectarine)
- melons (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe)
You might be wondering if I buy organic or if I buy conventional foods with all these different foods in this list. I do my best to buy mainly organic and basically the highest quality I can find. However that said, I don’t buy EVERYTHING organic. I make my decisions based on the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists – and buy things on the Dirty Dozen list in the organic section, and feel okay about getting things off the Clean Fifteen list conventionally grown.
When I first wrote this blog post back in 2013, there were only a handful of dairy alternatives available on the market. I remember my first time going through a normal grocery store and realizing there just literally were no options for me. I was so disheartened. At the time, I just simply gave up milk entirely – in all forms for a few months.
It wasn’t until I went to a local health food store (that I had never heard about before) and realized that all my dreams had come true! I finally found a few options of dairy-free milks, vegan butter, even yogurt! They were all plant-based and I felt really good about them.
These days, I don’t live close to a health food store like a few years ago. But luckily, the dairy-free options have exploded. It seems like every six months, theres a new milk option out there. Ive tried a number of them and even reviewed the pros and cons of some of the most popular options here.
On a daily basis these days, I usually use almond milk (Califia Farms) for cereal (which I don’t eat all that often), coconut milk for baking and cooking (So Delicious and Thai Kitchen), and coconut milk-based coffee creamers (So Delicious and nutPods). Ive gone back and forth over the years of which I use and what I like best, but that’s where I’m at right now.
With so many options, there’s plenty for you to choose from. I recommend trying different brands out and different varieties of dairy-free milks, vegan butters, and yogurts if you decide to incorporate them in your new diet.
Dairy-free Milk Alternatives
- coconut milk (or the full-fat canned variety)
- almond milk
- cashew milk
- rice milk
- soy milk
- hemp milk
- almond chocolate milk
Dairy-free Butter & Cheese Alternatives
- Earth Balance vegan butter
- vegan cheese (I usually buy Daiya brand or make my own cashew cheese)
Dairy-free Ice Cream Alternatives
- almond milk ice cream
- coconut milk ice cream
- soy milk ice cream
- cashew milk ice cream
Dairy-free Yogurt Alternatives
- almond milk yogurt
- cashew milk yogurt
- rice milk yogurt
- soy milk yogurt
Dairy-free Dressing Alternatives
- Tessemae’s ranch dressing
- Just Ranch ranch dressing
Dairy-free Coffee Creamer Alternatives
- coconut milk coffee creamer
- almond milk coffee creamer
Meat & Eggs
Chicken and beef are almost always on my gluten-free dairy-free shopping list every week when I go to the store. Even though I don’t eat eggs anymore, we still buy them, because my son and husband enjoy them for breakfast and its easy for me to find my own options at breakfast time.
I do my best when buying any kind of meat to stick with as organic as possible, but I use that as a guideline and not a hard rule. I buy most of my meat these days at Costco, because I find that the quality of the meat there far surpasses my local grocery stores – and I can taste the difference.
Every month when I go to Costco, I usually buy ground beef, chicken breasts, and chicken-apple sausages. These are our normal rotation of meats and you’ll see that reflected in the dinner recipes I include in my menu planning service, GFDF Weekly.
- chicken breasts
- gluten-free chicken-apple sausage
- organic gluten-free pepperoni, salami cuts, and deli meats
- seafood (as long as its fresh and not packaged)
- pork, bacon, ham (check that its gluten-free)
I feel like its important to keep a good amount of condiments on hand, so that I can always make any meat and vegetable dish – or any dish for that matter – a little different. I can make chicken a thousand ways, because of all the variety of condiments I have on hand to make the flavors different each time.
While I have a lot more condiments in my house (you can find a more complete list in my Stocking a Gluten-free Dairy-free Pantry blog post), these are the ones I keep inside my fridge on a regular and rotating basis.
- fresh herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.)
- hot sauce
- dijon mustard
- whole grain mustard
- yellow mustard
- green olives
- sauerkraut(a new favorite!)
- tamari soy sauce
- bbq sauce
- 100% whole fruit preserves
- maple syrup
- nut butters(almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
You can see my top gluten and dairy-free condiments list for details on brands and how I use them in my cooking.
I hope you’ve found this list helpful! Again, I don’t have everything on this list in my fridge at any one time, but its a good example of the foods that rotate in and out throughout the year – and ones that are safe to eat on a gluten and dairy-free diet. I do my best to create grocery shopping lists based from this list each week – and build meals around it.
If you’ve been wondering how to go gluten and dairy-free, I have a few things Id love to pass along to you I offer a course on the basics of a gluten and dairy-free diet called GFDF Living for Beginners. If that sounds like something thats up your alley, be sure to click here or the image below.
I also turn these ingredients into healthy meals for my family each and every week – and I happily share them with my community too! If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, check out GFDF Weekly, my recipe and menu planning service by clicking here or the image below.