12 Gluten Free Mistakes I’ve Made

25th August 2020
Blog post

My inspiration for sharing the 10 gluten free mistakes I’ve made since being diagnosed with coeliac disease: I get a lot of messages from people who have made mistakes with they’re beating themselves up about it. I thought this might help everyone to know that we all make mistakes, and I have done some very stupid things too haha 🙂 We live and learn, right?!

(1) Squash.

Yup, didn’t even think about “barley squash” containing barley. Sounds embarrassingly obvious now!

(2) Coke.

Same thing, had no idea it could contain gluten. Coca Cola and Pepsi are fine but some supermarket own brands contain gluten. Co-op coke, you got me good!!

(3) The Steamer Incident.

In my first few weeks of being coeliac, my brother boiled some super noodles and I steamed my veg in a steamer ontop. CC nightmare. I had absolutely no idea.

(4) Spices.

I was buying world food aisle spices and hadn’t even looked at the packet. Most are fine, but just double check. I’m pretty sure Aldi/Lidl salt is a may contain… at the moment anyway, they change their ingredients every 5 seconds :(!

(5) Vegan Ice Cream.

I’m gluten & dairy free. Don’t ask me how but I managed to eat half a tub of vegan ice cream, thinking “oh this is amazing for dairy free” before I even considered its potential to contain gluten.

(6) Deliveroo.

There’s a couple of small restaurants near to me who mark their allergens on Deliveroo. I happily ordered myself a feast, scoffed the lot and 24 hrs later I was in a pickle. Turns out the “may contains” weren’t marked on the menu. If I’m ordering on Deliveroo, I always call straight after to give them my order number and let them know I’m coeliac now.

(7) Pick N Mix.

For months I was going to the cinema and helping myself to a big stash of pick n mix without even thinking about the cc risk. Judging by my DM’s, this is one of the common gluten free mistakes!

(8) Things you don’t even order.

The one that is top of mind is when I was offered some unwrapped boiled sweets when the bill came in a restaurant. I took them, popped one in my mouth, then had that horrible realisation it might not be gluten free and had nowhere to put it haha

(9) Confidence.

This was probably my biggest mistake in my early days. I was so nervous to ask questions in restaurants or at other peoples houses, I just said “is it gluten free?” and if they said yes, even in a totally vague, non-confident way, I just accepted it and moved on. Its still something I’m learning to cope with and it certainly doesn’t come easily but we’ll keep trying!!

(10) And finally… I didn’t ask enough questions.

I tried to learn it all myself, didn’t have a good dietitian/nutritionist teaching me how to read labels or what cross contamination was and I muddled my way through. Obviously, it was totally unnecessary and I wish I’d have know about all the resources on Coeliac UK and within the Instagram community sooner. Remember, you can always ask me 🙂 🙂 🙂 I might not have all the answers but I’ll do my very best!

Couple of new ones for June 2023! I don’t completely blame myself for these but I’m going to include them here anyway, just incase it prevents you from being glutened!!

(11) The Lounges – I’m not sure this is the case for every branch but my local has a “gluten free” menu… which is amazing… but it doesn’t include the “may contains” so not everything on the gluten free menu is coeliac safe. To see the may contains, you need to look on their website or ask for the allergen folder.

(12) Vegan products in the free from aisle – The free from aisle is a mix of products that are “free from” *something*. That could be gluten, milk, eggs, nuts etc. A couple of times now I’ve picked up items in the free from aisle that are actually not gf, they’re vegan. Totally my fault (but it would be nice if they put the vegan items separately). Also, some packaging for the gf vs vegan versions are VERY similar so its easy to pick up the wrong one.

Couple of examples (1) Just Love Cakes – all similar boxes, some gf (first pic), some not (second pic)

(2) The Real Yorkshire Pudding Co Vegan vs GF Toad in the Hole

*Want some more hidden places to find gluten? Check out that blog post for 18 of them!!**


  • Neale Unitt

    21st April 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Love this and your blog. Hardest thing I find is trusting my friends to cook for me. They are aware I can’t eat gluten but it’s still a leap of faith.

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