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It’s Veganuary, that wonderful time of the year when all the gluten free foods get shunted off the shelves and replaced by vegan treats.

The free from aisle becomes a bit of a minefield to navigate and you’ll often find gluten-containing products in there which are vegan but not gluten free.

I’ve seen a lot of chat about this online and thought I’d poke a bit of fun at it!

So here are all the reasons why you know you’re a coeliac during Veganuary!

How many of these can you relate to!?

You wonder about doing Veganuary…

I mean, what could be so bad about eating more plant-based meals and trying to reduce your environmental impact?

I know I’m certainly up for a challenge at the best of times!

…but then realise you don’t want to give up anything else


I’ve already had to give up gluten – do I want to give up anything else!?

No meat, no eggs, no dairy… AND no gluten!? It sure sounds like a lot….

All the free from aisle are suddenly empty…

Just popped in to grab my gluten free pizza from the frozen aisle and…oh…. wait…. what is all this empty space on the shelves!?


…and the gluten free products are replaced with vegan goods

Ah, so it was all shunted out of the way to make room for the vegan products. I see.

You have to triple check all of the ‘free from’ items

Me: ‘Oh, this new cake in the free from aisle looks nice.’

Scans ingredients

Also me: ‘Oh, it’s vegan but contains gluten….’ cries

You can’t drink at your favourite coffee shop anymore

That’s right Pret, I’m looking at you, adding oat milk to the menu in Veganuary (2020) but making it one which isn’t gluten free.

Another coffee shop which is no longer coeliac-safe.

You get really excited when you spot something new…


…only to find it’s vegan, but not gluten free

Oh yea, that’s right, forgot gluten free doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all about the vegan label…

You realise ‘gluten’ is genuinely used as a meat replacement…

I kid you not, there is a whole line of ‘fake meat’ products made entirely from gluten!

Who’d have thought it!?

…and is apparently in most vegan foods

In fact, a lot of the vegan goodies actually contain gluten.

It seems you can only be coeliac OR vegan, who knew!?

You also realise how many gluten free products are ‘accidentally vegan’

But then you notice a lot of the gluten free foods you eat all the time are actually vegan anyway… see here for evidence

And that really, Veganuary isn’t as hard as you thought!

Maybe I could do Veganuary after all, hurrah!

And hats off to everyone who is trying it – although I’m not personally doing it this year, this post is just a bit of a giggle.

I think it’s a great thing to try!

Is there anything I’ve missed?

How many of these can you relate to? Is there anything else that frustrates you about Veganuary?

Share it in the comments below!

If you want a giggle, give these other posts a read!

And if you’re doing Veganuary, you might find this helpful…

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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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  1. I veggie, dairy free and gluten free (the latter two for health reasons first) and I agree it’s an absolute mine field! Everyone thinks that I’ll be able to eat all of it too for some reason!?

  2. Hell, no! No Veganuary for this chick! I’m still trying to learn to be GF, and that’s enough, while trying to lose weight.

    1. I went to my local Tesco store yesterday and in the free from frozen section which is already only 1 fridge I could buy gluten free fish fingers and ice cream cone. Hey if I was vegan for a month I had three fridges to choose from. Free from is always limited but it does get me down when food shopping

  3. I’ve been annoyed about this for a while. Gluten- free products do seem to be diminishing to make way for vegan. Vegan is a choice, for Heaven’s sake! Coeliacs don’t have that choice. It’s so frustrating!

  4. I have been gluten intolerant for many years, and felt I had it all sussed, food shopping no problem. I cook most things from scratch so I know exactly what my meals contain. However, I sometimes buy gluten free labelled products as an occasional treat, particularly in my local Sainsburys. However, recently they have relabelled the Gluten free section…… is now called the Free From section. And as you can imagine that means free from all sorts of things, like milk or eggs, anything really. So instead of picking up something I fancy in that section I have to read the entire product label to find out whether it is gluten free. Usually the ingredient labels are very small, unreadable without reading glasses for many of us! I am getting really fed up with it, and have come across several people who are not aware of the importance of the change of focus.

    1. I feel exactly the same!! I have been coeliac since waay before it was trendy to follow a gluten free diet and it’s just taking the Mickey now! Free from, great. Gluten free – whole different story. And it appears to be getting worse. You’re right about the shopping though, I used to be comfortable picking up gluten free things in sainsbury’s and Tesco’s etc but now have to scrutinise the label before getting excited and trying something new.

  5. Same as restaurants have really put the vegan menu out there, but don’t do the same for gluten free. Really don’t want to lose dairy when my diets restricted anyway , so annoying when the gluten free option has vegan cheese on it.

  6. Being vegan and gluten free is tough, but when you can’t have soy as well? That wipes out all of south east asian cuisine. The day soy forsook me was sadder than when I lost my beloved gluten. Many GF + vegan foods have some form of soy in them.