Gluten Free in Orlando

This year for Christmas we bought family Universal passes and took a 5 day trip to kick them off. I was very nervous, this was only my second trip since my Celiac diagnosis and the first trip had some issues.

I used to greatly enjoy dining out. When I was first diagnosed with Celiac, I dreaded it: Would they cross contaminate? Did I know what was safe? Does everything have gluten in it? Fast forward 6 months, I more comfortable with eating out as long as I do some planning and research. I typically call ahead and ask about a Gluten Free menu. I realize that while I can probably eat a salad and chicken any where we eat, I prefer to know that the restaurant has some understanding of food intolerances, allergies, etc.

I have always heard that Orlando, specifically Disney, is a great place to vacation with special dietary needs. I did some research on restaurants and Universal’s policies about outside food then decided I would do a mix of taking in foods I prepared and eating at restaurants. Our hotel had a refrigerator/freezer and microwave, so I was able to cook at home and take food with me. I had no issues bringing the prepared food into the park.
Let me just preface this: I eat very clean, rarely do I eat processed foods, but this was vacation so I was very excited to find so many readily available gluten free and dairy free foods other than salad and lean meat. I think everything I ate was actually gluten free and each place was aware of cross contamination. However, by the end of the trip I did not feel great, I was tired and a little bloated. I think it was specifically due to all the processed foods I ate and not because gluten or dairy dairy was in the foods.
I started at BabyCakes at Downtown Disney. I am so excited for this bakery because as a family we always hit Goofy’s Candy Shop, so now I am not left out. They have gluten free and dairy free everything( they are also egg and soy free). I bought a lemon and a red velvet cupcake, a cake donut with chocolate frosting and chocolate chip cookies. All for about $13, which I thought was very reasonable. The cupcakes were sweetened with agave instead of white sugar.
I found several good and some not so good restaurants and meals during the trip, but my favorite by far was Kouzzina by Cat Cora at the Disney Boardwalk.
When we made the reservation through Disney Dining Reservation line, I let them know I am gluten and dairy free. Upon check in at Kouzzina, they confirmed the GF/DF with me, then our server confirmed and a manager and chef came out to speak with me. The chef let me know that I do not have to limit myself to just pasta or chicken, which he said is often common thinking with food allergies, etc., almost anything on their menu can be made gluten and dairy free. They have gluten free bread along with the regular bread and olive oil to dip, they even brought me a separate olive oil so I did not cross contaminate. I always appreciate a restaurant that understands many different dietary needs and restrictions.
I ordered hummus with gluten free pita bread and cinnamon stewed chicken. The food was beyond amazing.20131202_203549
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Gluten Free pita bread and hummus

Also on the Disney Boardwalk is The Boardwalk Bakery, where I was excited to find BabyCakes brownies and OMG! It’s Gluten Free cookies.

All this amazingness followed by fireworks from Epcot.
We will be back at Universal this weekend and I am excited to find more amazing places!

My fav red lipstick!


I am still on a mission for amazing gluten free makeup. I was ecstatic to discover (just in time for Christmas parties!) one of my favorite red lipsticks, Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour in Flame, is Gluten Free! This is according to reps at Maybelline, although I could not find this information on their website. I will keep you posted..


Gluten Free Beauty Products

I love lip gloss, I have ten in my purse and 20+ more in my bathroom. I will buy it anywhere, the dollar store, Target, Nordstrom. I do not discriminate. I also love most colors from nude to cherry red.

About a month after my Celiac diagnosis and being gluten free, I was getting ‘glutened’ on a pretty regular basis.  I discovered the hard way that lipglosses/liners/sticks, etc can contain gluten.( Side-note: When I get ‘glutened’ I get dizzy, nauseous, anxious and lethargic, it is a very serious reaction, so I always know.)  I went to my doctor to discuss the symptoms and she reminded me to check everything. I decided to Google my cosmetics, thinking surely they would not be an issue. Sadly, I could not have been more wrong.

At the time I had been wearing NYC City Proof Gloss for about a week. I passed the display at Target, liked the colors, and bought 3: Round the Clock Ruby, Coffee Break, and Gold with Me. After a week of symptoms, I looked at the NYC website and discovered that product is not gluten free. Upon further research, I discovered it actually contains gluten, not just the possibility of contamination. 

mac lipI disposed of all three of those and moved on to the next ones I dug out of my purse: MAC Cremesheen Glass in Floating Lotus and Paper Lantern. I love MAC Lip Glass, I’m pretty sure everyone does, and I was saddened to read neither of these are gluten free. I did learn  that my MAC lipsticks and liners are safe, so more on those later.I thought to myself  “How can I be Gluten Free & Amazing if I have no safe beauty products?” I decided extensive research on the internet and visiting beauty stores to talk to employees about the products were my best options. Clearly, I could no longer make purchases based on a pretty color on the Target endcap.ELF LipstickThe first lip gloss I tried, after reading on various sites that the whole line is gluten free, was e.l.f. I was excited to try it, and even more excited when I found some at Dollar Tree. I got e.l.f. Essential   Luscious Liquid Lipstick (I thought it was lipgloss) and loved it. I did not have a reaction so I knew immediately that it was safe for me. I continued reading online and discovered that the verdict is not in on whether e.l.f. is gluten free. Just to be safe I emailed the company, and received a quick response that satisfied me: 

Thank you for your interest in e.l.f. Cosmetics. Our products do not contain gluten or beeswax. Please be aware, however, that we cannot guarantee that the machinery used to process our products are completely gluten free.


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Me wearing e.l.f. in Baby Lips 

* Pics and colors included solely because I love lip gloss and we can all mourn the amazingness I can no longer wear.

About Me


I am Whitney, mother of two boys, wife, dreamer, over-thinker and newly diagnosed Celiac. I was diagnosed in August 2013 after about 2 years of serious issues. I am so fortunate to be working with a Functional Medicine doctor who is guiding me down a healthy and beneficial path.

Although I had minor symptoms my entire life, only recently were they debilitating. I knew for almost a year and a half that something was not right and I was getting worse every day . I suspected it was food related but did not get very far with my regular doctor. I was bloated, had digestive issues, unable to lose weight, tired, frequent headaches, anxiety, irritability and so much more.

After going Gluten Free went through a period of withdrawal, which is a topic of debate in the GF community, but I know what I experienced was a definite detox. I was dizzy, sweaty, having panic attacks and muscle spasms. The symptoms lasted about 2 weeks, although I was not truly better until I detoxed.

I have been Gluten Free for 5 months, and I am amazed at how much I have learned. But even more so at how much there is to learn. I hope this blog inspires someone, helps someone feel better, makes you laugh or just makes a difference.