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Posted 03 May 2004 - 10:00 AM
I was diagnosed w/ the gluten allergy roughly 1.5 yrs ago. It has been an uphill battle for the majority of that time. I wanted to share some insight with regards to my diet for people that have been recently diagnosed and are trying to get on track. I am not a doctor and don't claim to have a "sure fire" way to get better. If anyone wants to expand on this or correct me, feel free. However, I have almost been able to manage my gluten problem. ALMOST!
Things I've learned:
1) I've have become a darn good cook over the past year! I previously sold restaurant equipment so I already had a decent background in cooking utensils. I purchase a ton of raw food on a regular basis. This comprises 90% of what I eat. I purchase lots of fresh veggies, fruit, meat,(lots of eggs), and dairy products. I also use nuts in my meals if I am %100 sure it doesn't have a wheat additive. My grocery store specializes in whole and organic foods so they guarantee there is no wheat added.
2) I recently used McCormicks spices for a taco salad meal. I had heard that Mccormicks spices were gluten free. If most other celiacs are like me, I assume they eat lots of left overs as it takes time to cook. I had eaten the taco salad for the last two days and have regreted every minute of it. I had a terrible reaction. I highly recommend visiting the gluten free pantry on the net and ordering their gluten free spices. Also, I visit the gluten free mall's website for good sauces.
3) I very rarely eat out. First off, I don't think most of the chefs even know what products contain gluten. I know, I used to work with them on a daily basis. Second, the grease that they use to fry and the (cooking surface) they grill on often contains gluten. I stick with a salad that I know is safe and eat my own stuff later. I have not eaten at Outback Steak House yet. I hear they have a good gluten-free offering.
3) I take Garden of Life vitamens and Probiotics. These can be ordered on the web and are cheaper. I have noticed above average results and I believe all of Jordan Rubin's supplements are gluten free. The two I take (Living Multi) and (Primal Defense) are. These vitamens are not cheap. However, I am a health nut and work out on a regular basis. I have noticed a difference in taking these. Also, I go to the doctor once a month for a B-12 injection. This helps boost your energy big time. I understand that celiacs have a problem absorbing B12 in the intestines.
4) I would recommend that if your taking any medications that you make 100% sure that it doesn't contain gluten fillers. I had been taking Synthroid for my thyroid condition on a daily basis. I recently switched to Levoxyl and noticed a dramatic difference in my symptoms. I am not medically claiming anything. But I do notice a difference with the new fillers in the medicine.
5) Gluten free eating is GOOD for you! Honestly, when you figure it out, you can't ask for more healthy diet. I seriously feel like I am in the best shape of my life. Yes you have to educate yourself thoroughly to get on the correct track and it is somewhat time consuming to cook. But if your like me, I am sick and tired of playing with my health and lifestyle. Honestly, if I am not 110% certain that the product doesn't contain gluten, I don't touch it. You really don't have any choice but to listen to your body if you want to be healthy. In turn, you will be rewarded with good health. If you start with raw food and work from there, it isn't that complicated. This is a matter of survival if you have the problem. Don't play games with your body by being lazy.
6) Gluten free cooking isn't that hard. Some meals I find relatively easy are:
Pasta & grilled chicken: Get gluten free rice noodles, fresh parmision cheese, garlic, olive oil and chicken (I prefer free range). Season your chicken w/ gluten free seasoning (gluten free pantry***) and fire up the grill. Begin to boil a pot of water. Throw on your chicken and boil your noodles. Once done cooking, cut chicken into strips and throw it on your bed of noodles. I use a garlic press w/ fresh garlic and add a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Work these two in and then throw on the cheese. Yummy! *****Substitute noodles for salad for a tasty and fresh delight.
Mexican Salad: Buy some gluten free refried beans. I use an off brand that contains salt a pinto beans. You can also make your own if you have issues. Get onions, green peppers, garlic (always!), salad, 1 lb ground beef, gluten free chips (i use Lundberg rice chips) gluten free taco seasoning (gluten free pantry***) and mexican cheese mix. Brown your ground beef in a fry pan, drain, add seasoning to your liking, water, and vegetables. Cook to your refried beans on low in seperate pot stiring several times throughout. Throw your meat mixture on the chips, then add the beans on top, and cover with cheese and lettuce. That should take on any appetite.
You don't have to be gourmet. Just be creative and search out recipes. The more you practice the easier it becomes. If all else fails, use plenty of spices!!! Trust me. I am a 25 year old male who couldn't cook anything but eggs and meat up until a year ago. Once you know what ingredients are safe to play with you can have a lot of fun. Remember at first, stick to the basics (raw ingredients). Time to get cooking!
Posted 04 May 2004 - 09:38 AM
I have to second the B12 reccommendation but I would reccommend once every 2 weeks at a minimum. B12 has a relatively short half-life and is in and out of the body pretty quick. Also if possible, do the shots yourself. They are easy and pretty painless. You can do them subcutaneous with an insulin pin or intramuscular. Here in Canada you can buy B12 over the counter at any pharmacy without a script. I have seen some websites in the U.S that sell it as well.
B12 is great for energy, digestion, and appetite among other things.
Posted 04 May 2004 - 10:00 AM
Posted 04 May 2004 - 10:21 AM
Posted 04 May 2004 - 11:23 AM
The only other thing you can do is avoid processed products as much as possible and never eat out. Something like 20 percent of processed products that a manufacturer thinks are gluten-free actually have gluten, according to a recent study, and contamination in a restaurant is inevitable.
Personally, I avoid the types of products that seem MOST likely to be contaminated (such as cereals or flours made in a facility with flour) and choose restaurants carefully because I refuse to spend the rest of my life shut in my house like a hermit.
Posted 04 May 2004 - 11:41 AM
The only way you can be 100% sure is to either only eat "whole foods" like fresh veggies & fruits or meat/poultry/fish (and those you would pretty much have to hunt or raise yourself to guarantee something wasn't added later!). Anything else that is manufactured or packaged is suspect, but that does not mean you can't eat it. Just try to stick to the basics as much as possible. The more ingredients a product has the higher the chance of it having something suspicious in it.
And you are right, some of the customer service reps know even less about their products than we do. Most don't even seem to know what gluten is. And it seems to me that they just read the list of ingredients for that product and because it doesn't say "gluten" on it, they say it is gluten free. It is most important that you educate yourself, and also pay attention to what others are saying. I had one customer service rep tell me their digestive enzymes were gluten-free in the US even though it listed barley on the label (their Canada product is gluten-free and I wanted to know if I could buy it and ship it to the US!). She insisted they were the same product and would not listed to me about the barley. I never got a reply back about the Canada product and went with a different company for digestive enzymes.
Sorry for rambling. I hope you are doing better.
Mariann, gluten intolerant and mother of 3 gluten intolerant children
Posted 04 May 2004 - 02:32 PM
Posted 04 May 2004 - 06:19 PM
Posted 05 May 2004 - 05:52 AM
Posted 05 May 2004 - 07:10 AM
You mentioned that you saw a big change in symptoms when you switched from Synthroid to Levoxyl. My understanding is that Synthroid IS gluten free, no? SInce I also take it daily I am interested in that question, but also in what exactly you experienced in the way of symptom change with Levoxyl. Thanks.
Posted 05 May 2004 - 07:34 AM
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you." Numbers 6:24-25
Posted 05 May 2004 - 02:25 PM
Posted 05 May 2004 - 04:20 PM
Posted 06 May 2004 - 09:06 AM
I contacted Abbott Labs directly to inquire about there ingredients. The individuals I spoke with told me that the suppliers of their ingredients all claim that they are gluten free but they (Abbott labs) do not independently test for gluten. Levoxyl is essentially the same drug but with different fillers. I switched and have noticed a change. For example, when using Synthroid I had little or no control over my frequent bathroom visits in the morning. Now for the most part, I have more control over when I go and the frequency has diminished. I might be "ultra" sensative to even the slightest amount of gluten? But I have noticed a difference. Also, my philosophy toward companies has changed substantially over time. It is my personal opinion that if a company responds to a gluten inquiry without 100% certainty, than they really arn't guaranteeing anything. I read replies from various food manufacturers that state that they do x y and z to prevent gluten from getting into their products. But at the same time, they won't tell you that there products are 100% gluten free. I put two and two together and assume that at one time or another, I'll probably ingest gluten when consuming their products.
I hope this is helpful. If nothing else, It might be beneficial to give Levoxyl a try if you are experiencing negative symptoms.
Have a good one,
Posted 06 May 2004 - 09:39 AM
The companies that tell you the product is not formulated to have gluten but they don't guarantee what comes from their suppliers, are simply telling you the whole truth. Unless the company has complete control of every single thing that goes into every single ingredient in a product, there's simply no way to truthfully guarantee no molecules of gluten whatsoever.
I listen to what a company says and what others who have used the product say and then make a judgment. Otherwise I'd go insane worrying about gluten, and I refuse to do that.
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