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about gffm + jackie

Jackie Aanonsen McEwan is the founder of Gluten Free Follow Me, the guide to living gluten free. Six years ago, Jackie learned she had celiac disease. She had just graduated from Georgetown University and moved to New York City for her finance job. Jackie had to figure out what gluten was, what foods she could eat, what foods she had to avoid, and the nuances in between. It was incredibly overwhelming, and she wished she had a go-to guide to tell her all she needed to know about following a gluten free diet. This manual did not yet exist so Jackie did a ton of research and learned how to maneuver being gluten free at restaurants and in her own kitchen.

Jackie is so happy that she can share what she’s learned and have others benefit from her experiences and research. She wants everyone to feel comfortable when eating. Whether you have to be gluten free, choose to be gluten free, or have a family member or friend that follows a gluten free diet, we all deserve to eat well! Gluten Free Follow Me allows users to do their own customized searches with 2,000+ gluten free friendly eateries, products, and recipes so there are an overwhelming amount of options. Jackie now splits her time between LA and NYC. She enjoys uncovering gluten free options in two of the most gluten free-friendly cities, discovering gluten free options in her travels, finding the best products, and developing her own gluten free creations.

Actually Adultish Podcast with Christina Rice

Guest on Actually Adultish Podcast: The Truth About Entrepreneurship and Working from Home

We talk about Jackie’s website relaunch, what it’s like redesigning a site, and how her brand has grown in such a short time. We discuss what it’s like being an entrepreneur working from home and how that differs from working in an office. We talk about the misconceptions about people who work from home, efficient ways to schedule your time, and the importance of movement. Jackie shares her experience working in banking versus working for herself from her apartment. We talk about social media time, social media advertising, and generational differences when it comes to social media…
The Chef and The Dish logo

How to Up Your Culinary Game

Jackie and other home cooks share their favorite kitchen tools to up your culinary game.
8th Annual Gluten Free Awards Logo

Top 20 Gluten-Free Blog in 2018

Gluten Free Follow Me was voted one of the top 20 gluten-free blogs in 2018 via the 8th Annual Gluten-Free Awards, presented by the Gluten-Free Buyers Guide.
Jackie did a guest blog post on Kale.Life

Guest Blog Post on How To Be Gluten-Free (and a Bonus Brownie Recipe)


PSA: Here Is A Complete Guide On How To Be Gluten-Free (And A Bonus Brownie Recipe, Too). One woman’s journey to food freedom resulted in a SUPREMELY handy resource to living your best (gluten-free) life.

Jackie was interviewed by NBC for Celiac Awareness Month

Interview on NBC10 Philadelphia

NBC10 is recognizing Celiac Awareness Month by giving tips to fight symptoms with a gluten-free diet. Jackie Aanonsen McEwan of Gluten Free Follow Me and CEO of The Rachel Way Gluten and Dairy Free Pantry Heather Gannon are in our NBC10 studios to tell us more.
Actually Adultish Podcast with Christina Rice

Guest on Actually Adultish Podcast

Jackie discusses what it was like to jump from a job in finance to building her own brand, the differences between California and New York, and how she manages the entrepreneurial lifestyle. We discuss stigmas that come along with blogging and the differences for men and women in the workplaces. Jackie also shares her personal story about how she found out she has Celiac, how she dealt with it, where gluten is hiding, her favorite places to eat, and more…
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Hundred Blog Interview on GFFM

Jackie has done that! If you don’t know her, she’s the lady behind Gluten Free Follow Me, and she’s a blogger/influencer who is the lady for all things GF. Working in finance previously in NYC, she built her business, and when right, made the leap to having this passion be her FT. If you’re looking for a spot to eat that’s healthy, amazing, and GF – her site has GOT YOU! …
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Guest Blog Post on on Dining Out Gluten Free

I’m pretty excited to welcome a good friend & really fun guest blogger today, everyone meet Jackie! She’s the super talented blogger and resourceful mastermind behind Gluten Free Follow Me; a comprehensive dining guide that’s meant to make gluten-free dining effortless & conveniently easy for all. She’s eaten her way through some of the best restaurants …
Addicted to Lovely logo from her site

Addicted to Lovely Interview on GFFM

This week I’m over-the-moon excited to be featuring a gluten-free goddess who has saved my butt countless times – Jackie Aanonsen McEwan! If you’re not familiar with Jackie, she’s the creator of Gluten Free Follow Me, a gluten-free gal’s bible when it comes to eating out and finding the best restaurants in New York, California, and a ton of other places …
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Guest Blog Post on Tips for Saving $ on an Allergen Free Diet

Gluten free and other allergen free foods can be more expensive than their gluten-containing counterparts. However, eating with an allergy does not need to break the bank. I can help you save money with some easy strategies …
7th Annual Gluten Free Awards

Top 30 Gluten-Free Blog in 2017

Gluten Free Follow Me was voted one of the top 30 gluten-free blogs in 2017 via the 7th Annual Gluten-Free Awards, presented by the Gluten-Free Buyers Guide.
logo for gluten free gigi

Guest Blog Post on Dining Out Gluten-Free

I’m so happy to welcome my first guest blogger, Jackie Aanonsen McEwan, of Gluten Free Follow Me. Jackie is a very knowledgeable about gluten-free eateries and products, and just a warm personality in general. I enjoy following her site, as well as her social media channels…
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Easy Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes

We love sweets, and we seriously feel for our gluten free friends who struggle to appease their sweet tooth in a world where so many desserts have gluten. Luckily, there are now tons of delicious gluten free desserts to choose from…
Hilary's Eat Well a gluten-free brand

Guest Blog Post on Bread Swap

It is great having allergen free bread options, but it’s also healthier to avoid bread even if it is gluten free. It is cleaner to use a vegetable, or fruit substitute. Here are some of my favorite bread substitutions – they are so good that you won’t miss out on that slice of bread…
The Native Society their Logo

Featured on The Native Society

I know what it is like to be told you have to cut gluten out of your diet. Five years ago, I was incredibly overwhelmed when doctors told me that gluten was making me sick. I had recently moved to New York City and was so excited to eat at all of the amazing restaurants…
Hilary's Eat Well a gluten-free brand

Guest Blog Post on Allergy Free Must Reads

When I first learned I had to follow a gluten free diet, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know what gluten was, and my family and friends didn’t either. I ended up doing a lot of research online and by reading books on how to live a gluten free life…
Good Housekeeping Magazine and their logo

8 Gluten Free Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

We have collated our favourite 8 Instagram accounts that focus solely on gluten free dishes, whether that be recipes created by the Instagrammer, or their top restaurant picks. You’re welcome…
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Guest Blog Post on Ten of My Fave GF Eateries in NYC

With the growing number of food allergies these days, it’s hard to keep track which restaurants are the most helpful and sensitive towards dietary restrictions and which places are best for each of us and our friends to have a safe meal. To find out the best gluten-free restaurants and foods in New York City, we thought it would make the most sense to tap into expert Jackie Aanonsen from @GlutenFree.FollowMe…
Hilary's Eat Well a gluten-free brand

Guest Blog Post on Allergy Free Weddings

Do you have allergies and are either getting married or attending a wedding soon? I can help you out! Allergies tend to be more stressful during parties and events because you usually don’t have as much or any control over the food…
Hilary's Eat Well a gluten-free brand

Guest Blog Post on How to Dine Out Gluten-Free

I have a bit of a sweet tooth and LOVE chocolate! When I first went gluten free, I had to figure out which candies I could actually eat…
7th Annual Gluten Free Awards

Top 30 Gluten-Free Blog in 2016

Gluten Free Follow Me was voted one of the top 30 gluten-free blogs in 2016 via the 6th Annual Gluten-Free Awards, presented by the Gluten-Free Buyers Guide.
The Daily Meal Logo in NYC

15 Great Gluten Free-Friendly Restaurants and Bakeries in New York City

Gluten Free? Follow Me! There are SO many gluten free friendly restaurants and bakeries in NYC. Your issue shouldn’t be finding gluten free things to eat – it should be deciding where to go to first! I detail and rank over 900 gluten free friendly eateries in NYC…
So Ripe which is an online publication

Humans for Health Feature

It’s been amazing to connect with the gluten free community in New York City and around the world. I’ve had people tell me that they planned their trip to NYC based on my website and restaurant recommendations. It means so much to me that I’m able to use my gluten free knowledge to help people realize that they CAN eat gluten free when dining out…

When and how did you find out that you had to follow a gluten free diet?

Six years ago, my sports doctor had all of his patients take a food intolerance test, and gluten came up in my test results. I was like, what’s gluten?! Looking back, my diagnosis made a lot of sense because I would get sick at least once a week in college. In college, I would eat stir fry on Sundays (using gluten-filled soy sauce) and always felt nauseous. I would get sick after eating my favorite sandwich at Cosi and thought it was food poisoning. I went to the Emergency Room at a nearby hospital a few times because I couldn’t keep any food or water down. I had these reactions throughout college but no one ever brought up gluten as a reason for my sickness. I normalized these reactions because they had unfortunately become normal to me. Gluten sensitivity/intolerance and celiac disease were not as wide-spread as they are now. Looking back, it seems silly that I never pressed doctors on what was making me sick but gluten wasn’t in the forefront of my mind or their minds.

I was incredibly overwhelmed when I finally found out that gluten was making me sick. I didn’t even realize I was sick! I had recently moved to New York City and was so excited to eat out at all the restaurants. I went to a few gastroenterologists and found out I didn’t just have a gluten intolerance – I also had celiac disease.

What made you decide to start Gluten Free Follow Me?

My diagnosis forced me to rethink what I was eating because I had to immediately cut gluten out of my diet. My first thought was that I had just bought a Costco-size of Quaker Oat’s instant oatmeal packets which I kept in my desk at work (oats need to be certified gluten free in order to be safe).

I did a ton of research on what foods had gluten in it, what foods were gluten free, and all the grey areas in between. The gluten free diet has become much more popular in the past couple of years, but it wasn’t as prevalent six years ago so it was challenging. I wished there was ONE guide that had everything I needed to know about following a gluten free diet.

A few years ago, I started to post about some of the gluten free foods I was eating on Instagram. Surprisingly to me, my posts were met with great reception. People I had never met were asking me for more tips on gluten free friendly eateries, products, and recipes, and I was more than happy to continue to make these discoveries. I was getting so many questions that I knew I needed to put all this information in one place rather than just Instagram. I taught myself how to make a website and how to code, and I launched www.glutenfreefollowme.com in September 2014! I wish I had something like Gluten Free Follow Me to guide me through my new gluten free diet six years ago, but I’m glad I can be a guide for others now!

What is gluten?

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids. Gluten helps food maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of food – not just bread! Gluten is commonly found in breads, baked goods, soups, pasta, cereal, sauces, salad dressings, but there are so many gluten free alternatives nowadays so it really isn’t hard to be gluten free!

When I first went gluten free six years ago, it was challenging because it wasn’t popular then. You really had to do your own research and search for gluten free items. Now, most supermarkets have an entire section for gluten free items, and they label which items are gluten free outside of that section.

Many mainstream products label their products as gluten free if they are or have adjusted their products to make them gluten free. The gluten free diet has become more popular with greater public awareness and better diagnoses. More and more people are discovering that they have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. I’m glad that it’s become more acknowledged because it’s making people more mindful of allergies and thoughtful about what’s best for their body.

Why do some people avoid gluten and how does gluten affect them?

People react differently to gluten. My reaction to gluten is I have to throw up anywhere from three to ten hours after eating it. I definitely don’t miss the 3am trips to the bathroom after getting glutened at dinner. Thankfully this reaction hasn’t happened to me in a long time since I’m so careful. I’m very sensitive to gluten, so I will know if I ingest it! This is why I do a lot of research before eating out and ask questions regarding cross contamination and food preparation. Other symptoms can be bloating, skin rashes and red-like skin, digestive discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, headache, tiredness, weight loss, stomach aches, nausea, and more.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease and affects about 1% of the general population. Unfortunately, many people who have celiac disease don’t even know that they have it. I’m so thankful that I found out five years ago because if it goes untreated, it can lead to malabsorption, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, other autoimmune diseases, and in general a reduced quality of life. Ladies, if you’re having trouble getting pregnant, try going on a gluten free diet. Many doctors now know enough about gluten’s impact to recommend this.

A lot of people, including me, forget that certain symptoms you’re having aren’t normal. You normalize it because it happens so much but you shouldn’t feel sick or uncomfortable all the time! I recommend taking a food intolerance test as a first step to see what comes up – the results may surprise you.

Many people feel better when they give up gluten, and they end up self-diagnosing themselves as it can be tough to diagnosis gluten sensitivity. If you feel better going gluten free (just like with anything), then by all means, continue to do so! 

What do you eat for lunch when you’re not eating out at restaurants?

When I’m not eating out, my typical lunch is a big salad and omelet topped with lots of roasted veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, and squash. It’s so easy to make, and it’s healthy and delicious.

What are your go-to snacks?

I love berries, especially blueberries and blackberries. I’m also obsessed with healthy two ingredient pancakes – yup, just two ingredients! I make these all the time, and they’re too good. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but I also have a sweet tooth and love my chocolate

If you follow me on Snapchat, then you know that I get a lot of packages which adds variety to my snack game. I’m constantly trying new products – no complaints here!

Do you ever miss gluten?

I miss it a bit when I’m out with a group of people and everyone but me is eating the bread from the bread basket. However, rather than filling up on the bread, I am able to eat more of the “real food” later on in the meal. When a restaurant does serve gluten free bread, it makes me appreciate it even more. I definitely don’t miss my gluten reaction, so it’s all worth it in the end.

If you have to follow a gluten free diet for health reasons, please don’t cheat! You’re directly hurting your body, and it isn’t worth it!

Can your recipes be made vegan or dairy free if not already?

Usually yes! If you’re following a dairy free diet, make sure you use non-dairy butter, cheese, and milk. For milk, you can use nut & seed milks such as almond, cashew, hemp, flax, and macadamia milk. Or soy milk and coconut milk.

If you’re vegan, you can use an egg substitute. When baking, you can replace 1 egg with a flax “egg” which is 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp warm water, or a chia “egg” which is 1 tbsp ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp warm water. Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill also make egg replacers.

Can your recipes be made paleo if not already?

Usually yes! If you’re following a paleo diet, you can use coconut sugar as a 1-to-1 substitute wherever it says sugar and then cassava flour as a 1-to-1 substitute wherever it says flour. You can also substitute coconut flour for flour but it won’t be a 1-to-1 substitute – it’s more like 1/4 cup coconut flour = 1 cup flour. You can substitute honey for white sugar, and substitute maple syrup for brown sugar. If you don’t want to use butter, than feel free to use coconut oil or ghee.

HAVE A QUESTION that wasen’t answered?
ASK JACKIE HERE & she’ll get you answer >>

interested in collaborating or partnering?

I love working with you! If you would like to partner, view my media kit, send me products, invite me to a restaurant or event, or something else, feel free to contact me.

reach out to Jackie for more information >>

Comments or Questions?

Please email me at glutenfreefollowme@gmail.com or fill out the form below!