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Diagnosed On 1/28/05
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12 posts in this topic

My neighbor(Audrey) was diagnosed yesterday (1/28/05).

She has no computer so I am seeking info. for her.

She has no cash to buy the products that are gluten free at the Health Food Stores. We are going to the used book store today to see about cookbooks so she can learn what ingredients that are available at the grocery store for her to purchase. She freaked yesterday over a new $18 cookbook and told me she has no cash to buy from that store. So I'm trying to help her out and would appreciate anyone giving some info. for her. Connie

Sorry, one last thing...Since there's no computer at Audrey's home, could you please send the email direct with subject Celiac Disease to:

conrack50@charter.net

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Hi Conrack50 and Audrey,

You mentioned something about e-mailing it, so I'll also e-mail this to you in case you don't check back on the board often or whatever.

First off, I realize it's only a day after your neighbor's diagnosis, so I think I'll start at the beginning. Celiac disease affects approximately 1 in 133--many think it is even more common than that, but that's the current statistic. People with celiac disease, such as your neighbor, have an intolerance to wheat, rye, and barley, meaning that if any of these ingredients,e ven a crumb, gets digested, their small intestine gets damaged. This damage can be healed by cutting out all food products and medicine containing wheat, rye, or barley. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as looking at the ingredients list of everything for wheat, rye, or barley. These ingredients can be hidden under other names, such as natural flavors, artificial flavors, modified food starch, starch, etc. Because of this, you will find yourself (or Audrey will) calling many companies to ask if their products are gluten-free. For getting started, there are two important links to visit, if you haven't already seen them on the site: A page with links to safe and forbidden ingredient lists and information on how to maintain a 100% gluten-free diet and also the celiac.com site index if you haven't already discovered it here. It contains so much information, is a great place to start, and is consantly being added to.

If Audrey didn't want to buy an $18 cookbook, I doubt that she will be buying a lot of specialty products (breads, bagels, mixes, brownies, etc.). They can be extremely expensive. There are still a fair amount of options in terms of mainstream products, though. If you e-mail Oscar Mayer, they will send you a list of gluten-free products. Haagen-Dazs will mail you a list....and Kraft is probably the best company for celiacs. If you don't see wheat, rye, or barley (or some form of them, such as wheat starch, barley malt, etc.) on the label, they are guaranteed to be gluten-free. They will not hide ingredients in natural flavors, but if there is something in it that could affect us, it will be written in parentheses. Some simple things that are gluten-free: all meat (as long as it's not injected with something), milk, and all fruits and vegetables. I've e-mailed many companies over the last year, so I feel that I have a much expanded knowledge of mainstream products. If you have any questions, such as "what peanut butter is gluten-free?" (Jif and Skippy, but avoid the crunchy cause I remember it contains gluten in one brand), feel free to e-mail me.

I doubt that she'll buy many specialty gluten-free products, but if she does, there are many options online. Finally, I want to mention that there would be a way for her to buy special gluten-free products for the price of normal and gluten-containing products. You can deduct the extra expense of gluten-free foods from your taxes. It requires a lot of work, but if Audrey would prefer a more varied diet, this might be helpful. So, if she spends $5.00 on a gluten-free product that she could have bought for $2.20 if it wasn't gluten-free, she could, in her taxes, get back the difference, $2.80. Additionally, if the health food store was further away so she had to use more gas to drive there or if she ordered online and faced shipping fees, that, too, could be deducted. It requires a lot of work, plugging everything in, but it can be done and there are some that could vouch for it. You can only do this if the total expense of food, though, equals a certain percentage of your yearly income. Here's some information she might be interested in: http://www.celiac.com/st_main.html?p_catid...-22105195065.2a.

Seriously, feel free to e-mail any questions you have, or, even better, keep posting here, where you can get answers from multiple people. :)

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She needn't buy speciality items - all whole, truely and completely unprocessed foods besides wheat, barley, rye and oats are gluten-free. Brown rice and beans are inexpensive, and a good source of gluten-free carbohydrates. Plain, uninjected meats are gluten-free as well, and whole fruits and vegetables are also. It means more cooking from scratch, if she wants to avoid specially prepared gluten-free packaged items, until she gets the hang of what regular processed foods are gluten-free as well, but it needn't be expensive.

(For example, homemade soup can be inexpensive and go far - 1 whole chicken, a couple onions, and couple carrots, a cup or two of rice, and other vegetables if you want them, and a few whole spices (the plain spices themselves tend to be gluten-free - McCormick definitely is), and you've got at least three quarts of chicken soup for under $5 - if they chicken is on sale.)

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Oh--something else I should mention. Regardless of whether she's Jewish or not (I'm not and I still take advantage of this), buy lots of food around Passover. All food labeled kosher for passover is gluten-free unless it contains matzoh. So she should definitely visit the grocery stores during that time and stock up. Last year I got chicken broth from Manischewitz--quite tasty w/ Tinkyada noodles. Just another mainstream option to be aware of.

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Here is another suggestion for you.....

If you go into www.delphiforums.com then click on "Health & Wellness" on the left hand side, the very first forum that comes up is the Celiac website. There is a wonderful lady in that forum called Mirielle, she has an incredible amount of recipes posted on this site. If you don't have a printer to print them out, then Audrey can just copy them down on paper from your computer.....

Hope this helps......

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Yes--definitely. The delphiforums board is the largest celiac board on the web, I believe--many members and people are constantly on. You might also post your question there--I know you'd get many replies. They have great gluten-free lists that are updated often, very reliable, and comprised, edited, and corrected by the members of the board. You need to join to view the board, but membership is free. I meant to tell you of this in my first post, but I forgot :D

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Oh Thank You Ladies,

I've printed off all the posts for Audrey.

Connie

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The gluten free diet can be expensive and it can also be inexpensive! Some inexpensive meal plans/ideas:

Stir fry: frozen/unfrozen stir fry veggies, rice, gluten-free soy sauce (I use VH), corn starch, ginger root, garlic clove, ect.

Meat + Potatoes + Veggies: unbreaded fish fillets cooked in heinz pure white vinegar and margerine, potatoe, and carrots/peas. Also, a chicken or turkey can go a long way (soup/casseroles/chicken fried rice). I'm sure her new cookbook will have ideas and recipes for turkey leftovers (I hope).

Chili: Hamburger, Chili style red kidney beans, Heinz tomatoe sauce or Hunt's Tomato Sauce, Mc Cormick chili powder (other things I add, Heinz original beans in tomato sauce, Imagine tomato soup, onions, red/green pepper, corn).

Chili can be made and then eaten for a few days after!

gluten-free Spaghetti: Tinkyada rice spaghetti noodles (they are not that expenisve and they are good!), hamburger (optional), onions, red/green pepper, garlic clove, Heinz pasta sauce 100 oz or any other gluten-free pasta sauce.

Some gluten-free product lists:

http://www.penny.ca/Product.htm

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:UQPeD...uten+free&hl=en

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Hello,

I am not sure where you and your neighbour live, but I wanted to provide some information regarding the cost of gluten-free products.

If you live in Canada, you can claim the incremental costs of purchasing gluten-free products as a medical expense for the 2003 and subsequent tax years.

Essentially what that means is if you purchase a gluten-free loaf of bread that costs $6.00, and a regular loaf of bread costs $2.00, you can write off the difference ($4.00) between these two products.

Here is a link to more information about this:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/individuals/t...s/celiac-e.html

I am not sure if there is a similiar tax break for those who live in the United States...

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trinitey,

We live in Oklahoma. Thanks for the information. I'll get it to Audrey.

Connie

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Maybe this is too obvious, but don't overlook the library as a source for books and other information on gluten-free living.

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You can do the tax thing in the US, as well. She can deduct just about everything, provided that it amounts to a certain percentage of her income. Basically, you start a table and list the price of everything gluten-free that you buy. Then in the other column you list what it would have cost if you could have bought the other kind. Then you subtract the difference, which is tax deductable. If she has to drive a few miles further to get to the healthfood store or to get to doctors, even that can be deductable, as long as it's properly documented. Unfortunately, there's not a really good web site that I know of with the tax information for the US. Someone on here might be able to provide you with better specifics, though.

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