The Definitive Guide to Gluten E-Book
How to navigate the Gluten-Free maze

The Definitive Guide to Gluten E-Book

The Definitive Guide to Gluten: From Diagnosis to Starting on the Gluten-Free Path

Available to order NOW by email from the clinic on and online on our new website

The Definitive Guide to Gluten E-Book: From Diagnosis to Starting on the Gluten-Free Path

We are very excited, as this e-book will help so many of our clients AND new friends that find our website!

Sheep jumping
We are excited to share this e-book with you!

From: Cara, Singapore 

A guide that reflects Andrea’s comprehensive knowledge and extensive research into the topic of gluten, the potential repercussions of intolerance, and how to begin healing and continue a healthy lifestyle. Her passion for her work is tangible in these pages.

From: Keegan Smith, Australia

I just read Andrea Cullen’s E-book and I can now say that it is the go to guide that I will use with clients. It’s practical and sympathetic to the challenges of gluten-free living while also dispelling many of the myths around this increasingly relevant topic. After 3 years of living “primal” I can say that removing gluten from the menu has been part of the process for me being the healthiest, strongest and happiest I’ve ever been.

Thanks to Andrea and of course Dr Thomas O’Bryan for their efforts in making this health issue known and providing a working solution. I have had several athletes eliminate gluten with amazing results. While not all athletes are gluten intolerant there are few who don’t notice becoming leaner and experience faster recovery when they eliminate gluten from their menu. This resource makes the process of educating athletes, clients and their families a much simpler one. Thanks again!

I have had my own personal journey with gluten:

As many of my clients know, I am also gluten intolerant. I always suffered with a dodgy tummy as a youngster: I was ill after nearly every family ‘food’ event where there was rich food, I often complained of a sore and tender tummy, and I was numerous times dismissed by the school nurse as having an ‘anxious nervous’ tummy.

“As many of my clients know, I am also gluten intolerant. This means that I am able to fully and completely understand just how it feels to no longer be able to consume gluten in your diet; it sucks! But would I go back to eating gluten? Most definitely not.”

In my early twenties I started to feel tired a lot. This led to several trips to the NHS doctors in the United Kingdom; when cut backs and reduced health expenditure in the late 1990’s meant I was never even given a blood test or longer than 5 minutes of what didn’t feel like a very sympathetic ear. I was tired and no one was giving me answers. I mean TIRED in the “I feel like I cannot walk around the block” way and I was a fit and strong twenty-something year old so this made no sense to me. I was also starting to feel low and depressed, anxious and suffered on occasion with panic attacks. I didn’t know what was going on for me; and when no one was listening the only thing I could do was struggle on. Struggling on at least helped life to feel somewhat normal; however as I point out to all my clients, pushing through eventually leads to a C R A S H.

So struggle on I did. Then in 2005, when I was living back in Ireland, things really started to take a nose dive. And despite being a specialist in chronic fatigue; it was becoming ironically apparent to me that I myself was suffering with chronic fatigue.

its time to admit

Now this is not especially fun when there is very few practitioners in this country that even understand what chronic fatigue (truly) is. I got to experience first-hand the other side of the health care system, and well to take a positive out of a negative, I now know what my patients go through before they come to see me. So it is very personal to me that every client understands that I “understand” what they are going through; that I truly empathise with their story and will do everything that I can to help them recover their health.

To cut a long story short, it took a while to unravel the health problems back to the root causes of 1. a gastrointestinal infection (picked up in Egypt), 2. gluten intolerance, and 3. adrenal fatigue. Being a diligent worker I left my health suffer until it was a daily struggle and then realising that no one can be their own patient I had to trust in the medical system; and well as most of you know; it failed me also! Despite seeking support in the end I had to take my health back into my own hands and eventually (being a bad patient as every therapist is); I got myself back to 100% in about two years. When I work with clients I would expect a full recovery in 3 to 6 months (if you do as I recommend).

Personally for me, gluten was linked with a vast number of symptoms as you can see below. If I had not been blessed to attend a lecture in 2008 presented by Dr Thomas O’Bryan, the ultimate gluten guru, I would not have connected the dots quite so quickly. Dr O’Bryan not only helped me to help a far greater number of my patients as I can now extremely quickly diagnose gluten intolerance, but he helped me help myself AND what is even more lovely is that we all then get to help a vast number of people in our daily lives as we recognise their red-flag gluten symptoms.

The symptoms and conditions that I suffered in relation to gluten include the following :

  • Chronic gastrointestinal problems
  • Appendix burst and taken out aged 14 (I now know retrospectively that this is linked with my gluten intolerance)
  • Co-infection with Epstein Barr virus
  • Co-infection with Blastocystis hominis, Helicobacter pylori and several other unwanted gastro beasties (this can be a somewhat chicken and egg scenario, as the gastrointestinal infections can lead to gluten intolerance or the gluten intolerance can compromise health resulting in increased likelihood of opportunistic infections)
  • Iron and B12 deficiency anaemia
  • Yellow skin due to zinc deficiency hindering the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A
  • Multiple other nutritional deficiencies such as Vitamin A, Magnesium, and Vitamin D (bear in mind that I was on top of my diet and supplements so had I not been I would have been in a much more serious state of depletion)
  • Migraines with aura and vision loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Intense brain fogginess and fatigue following a (gluten-containing) meal
  • Chronic neutropenia (to the extent that leukaemia was being investigated)
  • Amenorrhoea
  • Chronic itchy skin (for years I had to get in a cold shower every night the itching was so intense) that later developed into Dermatitis herpetiformis (skin rash that no doctor or skin specialist accurately diagnosed)
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

To be honest there was probably more than this going on, but I have put it all in the past and so have forgotten the A-Z list of symptoms but i have not forgotten just how awful I felt and how every day was a struggle. I went from a strong fit person constantly doing sport to someone who felt like she could barely walk around the block, was foggy brained, fatigued, constantly falling asleep and yet unable to sleep at night, and was quite frankly frightened when she was getting the words lumbar puncture thrown at her! So I took my health back into my own hands and practiced what I preach.


For a while I felt guilty as a therapist that I didn’t do a better job with my health; that I didn’t do as I recommend to all my clients and get myself diagnosed and better more quickly. And it wasn’t until I was at a conference and had a bit of quiet time with Charles Poliquin that he reminded me that every therapist, even the great ones, must have a go-to person to support their health. That it is impossible to be objective about our own health no matter how vast our knowledge. So I know choose to see my adventures with gluten intolerance and chronic fatigue as an education in what it personally feels like for many of my clients. I have been both sides of the fence. I understand!

So fast forward on to today; I am 100% rocket fuelled in my health and energy, and I have been absolutely gluten-free for over 3 years. Although I absolutely would kill for a slice of Irish brown bread, I see gluten as the poison that it was in my body.

{FYI the tests that were helpful to me in my recovery and that we often use in the clinic were Genova Diagnostics CDSA+P (comprehensive digestive and stool analysis with parasitology), Spectracell Micronutrient analysis, and Genova Diagnostics FACT test (Food Allergen Cellular Test); these are all available through the clinic. I also completed a DMSA toxic element clearance profile; also available through the clinic.}

mouse in bread
No humans touch bread in my house!

I truly do understand how it feels to be gluten-free and my intent for this e-book was to help everyone along their journey to eating gluten-free. When I sat down to write this I had planned on writing a short document that would make things easier for you practically in your daily life at home, at work, and out at play. Little did I envision that a week later I would have produced a 100+ page document. As I started putting information together I couldn’t stop; all the information is vitally important. Gluten is such a controversial topic; so I put together a 102 page resource to guide you.

I believe this is one of the most comprehensive and practical gluten e-books out there. I have not attempted to reinvent the wheel; this e-book is a resource and so is filled with links that point you in the direction of where to learn more about gluten science, which YouTube clips to watch for online education, which food bloggers, scientists and health writers are worth following, what foods to buy and where, how to bake, where to find online recipes, and which books I recommend purchasing for your cookbook library. I also touch on which toiletries and cosmetics are greener option ….and so much more.

What do you get in the e-book?

The e-book comes as a digital e-book, with an option for a paper copy very soon which will be accompanied with a CD copy so that you can follow the hyperlinks into numerous helpful resources. I recommend that you keep a printed copy for reference as well as a digital copy on your computer for further research and shopping.

The e-book currently is 102 pages long and covers the following long list of topics as listed in the contents; I have no doubt that I will continually be adding to this resource as I discover more resources to support you or as more news and research comes to light:

  • Introduction
  • ‘Why would I want to go gluten-free’?
  • What is Coeliac Disease and Gluten Intolerance?
  • What is gluten and where is it found?
  • Read labels!
  • Codex standards
  • Gluten-free grains, grain alternatives, seeds and flours
  • The gluten train crash… does gluten cause so many problems?
  • How can I test myself for gluten intolerance? And who should be tested?
  • The Gluten-free home and Kitchen
  • Taking gluten on the road: travel tips
  • Airports and Airlines
  • Gluten Mistakes
  • Going gluten-free – Breakfast cereals
  • “Bread” options
  • Pancake mixes
  • Home-baking and Baking tips
  • Crackers, crisp breads, and chip options:
  • Pasta alternatives
  • Bars and treats
  • Gluten free bar review
  • Sauces, spice mixes, relish, dressings, mustards, and dips
  • A note on dairy
  • My yummy shopping list taste bites
  • Is gluten hiding in your bathroom cabinet?
  • Dentists, hygienists & toothpaste
  • Useful gluten-free Websites , resources and books
  • Appendix 1: Where to start? A heartfelt letter from client ‘Catherine’
  • Appendix 1: Must read practical tips from ‘Catherine’
  • Appendix 2: Testimonial Peggy April 2013
  • Appendix 3: What alcohol can I drink?
  • Appendix 4 FAQs
  • FAQs Question: Is Chinese soy sauce gluten-free?
  • FAQs Question: Is Vinegar gluten-free?
  • FAQs Question: is barley malt extract safe?
  • FAQs Question: is mustard safe?
  • FAQs Can I eat maltodextrin?
  • FAQs Can I eat dextrose?
  • FAQ Can I eat monosodium glutamate (MSG)?
  • Appendix 5: Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)
  • Appendix 6: Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)
  • Appendix 7: A note on Soya

Here is an except from the e-book:


Before I start let me get a few things straight:


• Gluten intolerance is not a fad.

• Gluten intolerance will not go away or cure itself.

• Being intolerant of gluten containing foods is for many linked with significant health conditions.

• If you are gluten intolerant and decide to ignore the fact that you are gluten-intolerant or have been recommended to exclude gluten, and continue to ingest gluten, you run the risk of a snowball effect whereby more and more health conditions linked with gluten ingestion may start to occur leading to increasingly complex health conditions and more than likely, MISERY.

• If you have been recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance then it is recommended that you have your children, parents and immediate family members assessed. This is a genetic condition and so there is a chance that others are affected or may be in the early stages of developing gluten intolerance (latent or silent). This may not be immediately obvious as the symptoms can be so variable, so for example Mum may have a thyroid problem, your sister IBS, your aunt fertility problems, your brother migraines, and your son skin problems. A well-trained expert should be hot on this .

• If you have children, I recommend that they, in so far as possible, also exclude gluten from the diet. This is to limit their chances of developing gluten intolerance also as risk is associated with exposure should they carry a genetic predisposition to the gluten problems.

• The medical system is terrible at diagnosing gluten intolerance; and often misses the many odd and unusual seemingly unrelated conditions that gluten may be triggering. (For example I might see the following all in the one client: frequent mouth ulcers, diagnosed IBS, problems conceiving or miscarrying, itchy skin, migraines and insomnia. Yes all in one patient, OR IBS, thyroid problems and fatigue, etc.). Do not let an uneducated doctor or consultant sway you away from excluding gluten just because they have not done due diligence to keep up with the research; even if this may be the more convenient option for you and your family. If you are hitting walls with a specialist put them on to me and if I am not good enough for them I can find plenty of highly qualified medical experts with which they can log heads with. If doing your own research, the best medical resource is PubMed online library.

• Standard tests in Ireland MISS all patients with extra-intestinal gluten intolerance (in other words gluten intolerance that is affecting other areas of the body outside of the intestines. Tests in this country only catch coeliac disease that has resulted in significant gastrointestinal damage). So don’t be surprised if you have a negative test back from the doc. This is what we term a ‘false negative”.

• Currently it is tricky to get access to reliable tests for gluten intolerance in Ireland. If we are working on a budget; I may ask you to trust me on the fact that I strongly suspect you are gluten intolerant. If needs be we can look to organise tests from the UK and hopefully soon an even more reliable test from the USA.

• If you are gluten intolerant you may NOT sneak in the odd bit of gluten without immune consequences. Just 1 g of gluten can trigger an immune response with consequences for approximately 90 days.

• Gluten intolerance is for many a serious matter; if a dietician tells you that avoiding gluten is just some temporary fashionable diet or fad, then walk out their door for they know not what they are talking about.

• Oats contain gluten and spelt, kamut, and ancient wheat grains contain gluten.

• Processed gluten-free foods are junk foods; yes that means gluten-free cornflakes, gluten-free Oreos, gluten-free white bread, gluten-free cakes, gluten-free biscuits, gluten-free bars, get the picture? Processed foods are not good for our health and this includes most gluten-free alternatives.


• The health food industry is an INDUSTRY; period. More often than not, it is all about the money. The only true health foods are the foods that are grown ethically and preferably locally and organically and are lovingly prepared in your kitchen from scratch. There are many ‘real’ foods naturally free from gluten to choose from. Every day we must do the best we can to achieve the ideal; and not beat ourselves up when something comes from a jar. Make the best choices that you can in each moment and build on this.

• If you feel significantly better on removal of gluten from the diet, this is a fairly good indicator that you should keep on this road.

• I don’t believe that people get away with just reducing gluten; if you have gluten intolerance ALL of it must be removed from the diet, indefinitely in order to prevent the immune response to gluten. Most symptoms are silent and so we are only codding ourselves if we tell ourselves that we are getting away with it.

• It takes time to heal the gut (months to years), resolve inflammation and gastrointestinal hyper-permeability, to restore optimal microbial balance and to heal the body once gluten is removed; be patient and work with your therapist. Other food allergies are a common complication and must be assessed and addressed when suspected by your therapist in order to permit complete healing.

• In some situations, due to chronic gastrointestinal inflammation and the possible co-existence of atopy, multiple food allergies may be present. This requires a conscientious therapist to correctly diagnose and treat in addition to ‘the gluten issue’. Common allergens include dairy, soya, yeast, corn, beef, tomatoes, coffee.

• You will have to start reading labels; never trust a food, and always ask in restaurants for Coeliac-friendly meals (if you say gluten intolerance they may not take you seriously).

• I don’t for one minute accept excuses; I myself have to eat gluten-free so I know it can be done. I do however understand just what a commitment and effort it takes and will aim to support you every step of the way. (I am not being hard on you because I want to; only that I see just how extensive and significant the damage gluten has in the body and for this reason I am especially passionate to get the truths out there and to heal your own health and protect you from further future health problems). I know just how much I would like myself to eat bread and experience normal scones now and again; however I also know the damage so well, I just have to grin and bear it too. Even though for many of us, the damage is more silent and less obvious and it feels like we can get away with it; we don’t. Every day you stay on the gluten-free path is a victory for your health that will pay dividends.

• I am on your side; I am continually exploring new foods, restaurants, online blogs, resources and cook books. I will endeavour to do my best to keep you updated and informed in my blog, on my Facebook page and my webpage. Please do share your experience for the benefit of others. You would be amazed how many of us are on this boat.

The Definitive Guide to Gluten: From Diagnosis to Starting on the Gluten-Free Path

Available to order NOW by email from the clinic on and online on our new website



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