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Newbie Here - Looking For Lunch Menu Ideas

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Hello all! :D

My boyfriend and I have recently done our best to eliminate gluten from our diets, as we were both beginning to show signs of sensitivity. I kind of have it easy, I work in the Strip District in Pittsburgh, so I have *TONS* of places I can get a quick, cheap, delicious, and healthy lunch and stay gluten helps that I like all sorts of food and love fruits and vegetables. ^_^ My boyfriend...isn't quite so lucky. He's been glutening himself for lunch just about every day with fast food :( because he works in a bookstore outside the city that has only a really gross microwave in the break room and nothing in his area has anything decent that is gluten-free besides salads, which he won't touch. So he comes home every day feeling like crap, and usually feels a little better by bedtime, pretty good in the morning, and the cycle starts over again. :wub: He doesn't seem to have any other food sensitivities, but he won't eat raw veggies (except baby carrots and spinach, which has to be on a sandwich) and is very picky with fruits and seasonings. I still haven't perfected making bread at home, but we get some pretty tasty frozen rice almond bread at the store that we can eat. My question is, does anyone have ideas for lunches that he can take to work that don't need to be warmed up to eat? Sandwiches are OK, but he gets grumpy when he doesn't have variety, and really all we've tried for sandwiches is leftover chicken tenders on bread with spinach. If anyone has ideas even for lunches that you would send a teenager to school with, that would be perfect too! (not that I have to feed a celiac teenager, sometimes my man just eats like one ;) ) All ideas are welcome! :unsure:

Thank you so much! :D


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Okay, been wracking my brain, but the cruel reality is: he is going to have to try something he doesn't want to, in order to feel better. Honestly - most food preferences are found because something wasn't cooked properly (I have extremely picky eaters - husband and youngest step son) but with some tweaking and cajoling, they are getting there. But for cold things, how about some hummus and rice chips or celery (if he goes for celery). Apples and peanut butter. A bowl of cereal and milk? I make a killer cream cheese dip that goes great with rice chips or corn chips. Salsa and corn chips - throw some black beans in the salsa, and it fills you up more. Ranch dressing mix in sour cream with some hearty chips. I can't eat processed foods, and chances are, they will cause more problems than they solve. Does he eat soup? You could heat soup in the morning (I make mine over the weekend and then portion it out for the week) and put it in a soup thermos for the day. He could take a blender in to work and make a smoothie. Cheese and some other nibbles.

He may want to consider getting his own cheap microwave ($30 in at Walmart) and taking that into work. Put his name on it, and be very proprietary.

There are all kinds of things to try. Make a date night at the grocery story, and spend your time slowly perusing the aisles, finding things you would both enjoy. Make it fun, flirty, and try to look at what you can have vs. what you can't. Often a change of attitude (my husband just went on a diet, and so we had to have a realignment of purpose when it came to attitudes and foods) can do wonders, because it's easy to get caught up on the things we want...and totally miss the things we can have.

Good luck!


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I agree he may have to try & learn to enjoy more healthy foods..... I also will say I'm not sure where you are finding all the gluten-free foods in the strip without cross contact ( prepared by or cooked with wheat items). I know there are a few places but not that many I would trust...

lunch ideas: any leftovers from home , he will eat!

chicken salad, taco salad, taco's, peanut butter & jelly,progresso soups ie: lentil, creamy mushroom, clam chowder, chik & rice, chik & vegetable, chik broth & gluten-free crackers, dietz & Watson or Boar's Head deli meat , cheese on bread, wrapped in lettuce leaf or stuffed into a pepper.

Mac& cheese (gluten-free), gluten-free pizza, pepperoni & crackers, rice cakes, oberto beef jerky ( original), egg salad, chik nuggets,hamburger, chili

GoPicnic has little lunch box meals as well. protein bars: ie: pure fit, Zing Bars, Comfort Bars.

There are many frozen dinner type gluten-free meals also available...

It's fairly easy to clean a microwave or maybe he can buy a mini micro from Wal-Mart to keep for his own use......

Boston Market, Wendy's , Arby's have some gluten-free menu items.

If you need to find some cream of the crop in gluten-free just send me a message & I'll guide you to the best available! Also, there is a gluten-free ministry in Butler once a month if you are intersted in joining plus a mini coop for gluten-free!





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How about:

boiled eggs

pasta salad with stuff added: beans, bacon, chicken, ham, eggs, tuna...

trail mix

cold chicken

cottage cheese with fruit

yogurt with fruit added and nuts

potato salad

chili and chips

baked potato with chili

leftover rice dishes like spanish, fried, chicken...

cheese cubes

baked beans


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If you/he can do corn then Corn Tortillas are really helpfull (when I used them a lot I got the White Corn not Yellow). They work better if you heat them up some (I used a small pan on the stove) then make you lunch with them if you don't they tend to crack/break. I did cheese, meat, different seeds or nuts and carrots (those matchstick ones in the bag). I just fold it like a taco instead of a wrap and put it in a plastic container. Can do peanut butter/jelly pretty much anything you'd do on bread.

*Hormel Natural Choice -- Packaged deli meat labeled gluten free

*Castle Wood Reserve deli meat is also labled gluten free (I have only seen it at Sam's Club)

*John Soules Foods has bagged meat (chicken, beef) that is labeled gluten free (Seen at WalMart and Sam's Club). I've warmed it up and put in salads or with rice and cheese.

*Canned Chicken (I get the Sam's Club brand) I use cottage cheese though instead of mayo

*Rice (Uncle Ben's has some that are labeled gluten free and Minute Rice) -- can make ahead of time and eat cold with something else

*Pudding Cups

*String Cheese

I know you said no salads... but I didn't really care for them that much but you learn to like the things that you "can" eat :D A salad dressing I found that I like is Lite House brand Homestyle Ranch. I add carrots, seeds/nuts, meat even rice pretty much anything that mixes in so its not "just" salad... even corn chips (I use mission) I break some up in the salad sometimes if I need something else in it.

Dinner Leftovers are ALWAYS good =)

A lot are good cold so no need to use the microwave. An easy dinner that I found recently is Lasagna using De Boles noodles they make a Lasagna Noodle that you don't have to cook ahead of time just make it up and it cooks in the oven. I made one last week and it was good cold or heated up.

Good Luck


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    • They didn't. The labs were run two and a half weeks ago and before I got confirmation on here that it should be done despite my drs saying otherwise. I was glutened the week prior anyway so it would've been high regardless.  It's all very frustrating. So I guess I'll wait five or six months and go back and demand it vs asking about it. 
    • Did they run a DGP IGA?  While your DGP can take over a year to come down, I still think you should be getting tested every six months until you see a downward trend.  I am not making that up.  Google it.   My DGP was off the charts when I was glutened last summer.  My symtoms were severe, yet at diagnosis, I just had anemia.  It took six months for all symptoms to completely resolve (rashes and hives took the longest and three month to regain dairy).  What I am saying is that symptoms for celiac disease can change.    
    • Long pause because I wanted my latest lab results and they took forever.  Cortisol, ACTH, estadiol, vitamin a and whatever else were all fine. They are retesting my thyroid in four weeks. I definitely bought the wrong product and glutened myself a few weeks back so I guess that has to wait which really irritates me. My gliadin iga ab was greater than 100 almost two yrs ago at diagnosis so I guess sometime next yr I'll redo that and hope it's down :-/. Trying to do all the right things and get bad information from doctors.  Thanks for all the info you've shared and helped me with. I've had lab work every month since May and will next month for the thyroid again. Sigh. 
    • Hi Carle, Congrats on your symptoms going away.  I did seem to have reactions to rice for a while after going gluten-free.  But after some years on the gluten-free diet I can eat it again.  So reactions can change over time. I was searching for an article on gluten in common store products, but didn't find it.  There was a group that did testing on some common grocery products like beans, rice, corn etc that we would normally consider to be gluten-free naturally.  But they found some level of gluten in some of them.  So it's not impossible to pick up something off the shelf that ought to be naturally gluten-free and find it is contaminated.  That may have happened with the rice you ate.  A quick rinse of water before using the rice might help.
    • Hi Doit, The reference ranges to the right of the test result show the values the result ought to be in for normal readings (no celiac disease).  Your results appear to show no higher than normal results that I can see. However, you aren't following the recommended process for celiac disease blood testing.  The blood test is supposed to preceded by 12 weeks of daily gluten eating.  That is generally enough time to cause a sufficient quantity of antibodies to build up in the blood stream to be detectable by the tests. Not having antibodies in the blood stream doesn't mean you aren't being damaged.  People with DH (dermatitis herpetiformis) sometimes test negative on the standard blood tests.  My theory is possibly because the antibodies are concentrated in the skin instead of the blood.  In gut damage, it is possible the antibodies are concentrated in the gut, instead of the blood.  After some time they show up in the blood also.  The thinking is the antibodies go where the work is.  Anyway, theories aside, it takes very little gluten to kick off an immune response.  Those antibodies are not aimless soldiers.  They start doing their work and destroying gluten and gut tissue even if you don't feel symptoms.  Did you know there are some people who have no GI symptoms of celiac disease but still have it?  They call that silent celiac.  So going by symptoms is not a good way to judge actual damage in the gut. You are wise to go in for followup testing, but the followup testing is hopefully to show compliance with the gluten-free diet, and lower antibody test results.  Have your close family members been tested for celiac disease?  It sounds like they should be.   There is a 5% higher chance of them having celiac than the general population. Welcome to the forum!
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