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Diagnosed 4 Months Ago. Still Lost.
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Alright. So I was diagnosed with Celiacs back in January maybe February. Since then my diet has been potatoes, eggs, cereal that I have found to be gluten free (so glad fruity pebbles was one of them!), White rice, meats, poultry. I even found a local pizza shop that serves fully gluten free pizza prepared with utensils and in a shop that is strictly gluten free.

This is all great so far but here's my main problem. I am still totally lost as to meals and (as much as it embarrasses me to say this) being able to afford such.

I found that there's a Market District which has a small aisle dedicated to gluten free. Which is great, but then again it all seems to be coming down to affordability. I just got my job back, yet my isn't for another 2 weeks. And my job is physically demanding and I am worried about improper nutrition leading to another trip to the hospital.

Basically what can i do that would be low cost yet still nutritional? Stick with what I am currently doing and hope?

(Family is unable to help, Also I know this is a lot, but I am honestly at a loss)

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there are tons of threads here of easy recipes & things to eat. One man made chili mac with vegetarian beans & Annies mac & cheese. (which is about $4 a box) also just google gluten-free recipes.

Unfortunately gluten-free foods are 2/3/4x the price of regular food. You will have to cook more often. I have to cook more often too something I hate & am not good at. But we gotta do it. Good Luck!

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Yea, im not bothered bout cooking more often, just with the prices of things, its staggering. guess ill just have to get use to it. i just cant believe it though, a box of gluten-free chicken alfredo (chicken not included lol) cost $5.50 while a non gluten-free chicken alfredo cost like $3

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I was going to say the same thing. In order to make this affordable, you need to cook for yourself. My family pretty much had to give up going out to dinner because the food was never safe (or I was too freaked to trust it) and the food I'm buying my family is very expensive.

You didn't say how you were feeling on the processed food. I'm assuming you're feeling okay. I felt better for awhile but in order to really feel top notch, I had to move to a whole foods diet. It's a time commitment. If I were to give you advice I would say start with basic meats with veggies. I don't eat grains anymore, so I freely drink fruit juice and all the fruit I want to get enough carbs. But most meals are a piece of fish, chicken or beef with a steamed veggie on the side. Not super snazzy I know but it's a jumping off point. In the fall I like to make soups. I make my daughter gluten free muffins and sometimes I make bread with coconut flour that we can both eat.

The thing about meats is that even just salt and pepper are sometimes enough for seasoning. I know meat's expensive...potatoes and rice are a great supplement too. I had better luck with white rice than brown rice as far as digestion. If you have some favorite recipes you can research how you can modify it yourself. The rare times I am in a restaurant and eating something that's actually made with some love, as opposed to a dry piece of fish and over steamed vegetable, I try and figure out how I can make it at home.

I think you'll get some more suggestions. It does get easier but I promise you, you have got to learn how to cook. Unless you can afford to hire a chef. I just don't see how else you can get through this.

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Cooking isnt a problem (chilling with mom in the kitchen for so long wen i was lil) its just ya no buying for meals really, i found some places that I can trust, but new places i am really freaked out bout going to, and family still try to help, but again i dont trust much when it comes to preparing my meals,

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Sweet potatoes and winter squash (pumpkin, butternut squash) are also great carb sources and reasonably affordable and a little more nutritious than white potatoes if you're really counting your pennies and nutrients. As are frozen peas and corn. Cabbage a great wicked cheap vegetable (don't overcook it!!), and whole carrots tend to be reasonable too.

Do you have a place to garden? This time of year, almost all you have to dig is drop some seeds and water occasionally.

Imagine your plate. Half should be lower calorie veg, 1/4 should be protein (meat/beans/nuts), and 1/4 should be complex carbs from grains/starchy veg like potatoes. Fruit and dairy extras, or you can replace protein and carbs with them. It sounds like you're probably pretty close to that.

Corn tortillas are usually cheap in latino groceries, but not so much in the mainstream ones. Migas, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. I use beans as the carb portion too. Lentils cook faster than most other dried beans and are pretty affordable. A basic lentil salad is a good way to start, then add whatever fresh veg and extra protein you want. Boxed cereal tends to be relatively expensive per serving, so you might be better off buying the hot cereals if you can find any and then adding a few nuts for the fat. Cream of rice, cream of buckwheat, gluten-free oats, etc.

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You might have to start making your own sauces and such. Unless you are pretty well off, eating only boxed and canned gluten-free foods (especially pasta/breads/cakes/etc) is not financially feasible over the long term.

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hmm see i never hung roun dwen mom did gardening lol, I was hopign that once i got a stocked pantry of regular foods, this would get easier, but from what you all are saying, hmm...well i do have vegetables n stuff down, just buying those from the grocers, then also milk n such, but yea like i said, its mostly been nothing but vegetables since this started. salads as well,

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I posted a month's worth of dinner plans on my blog recently. I feed a family of 7 and while some of these dinners aren't super cheap there is enough variety that you should be able to get a few ideas.

Lentil soup, salad and gluten-free cornbread

Hamburgers, steamed cauliflower and baked potato wedges

BBQ salmon, brown rice, steamed broccoli

Grilled skewers from M&M meats (they have several gluten-free varieties), grilled asparagus and rice

Roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn

Turkey tostadas with homemade corn tortillas

Bacon & eggs, hashbrowns and fruit salad

Asian peanut butter pork, rice and broccoli

Green Thai curry with chicken, zucchini, carrots and baby corn, rice

Beef stir fry with lots of vegetables and rice or rice noodles

Salad and turkey soup made with the bones from last week's turkey

Tacos with corn taco shells, ground beef and homemade taco seasoning along with all the usual taco toppings

Breakfast skillet with potatoes, eggs, sausages and toast

Sole fillets fried with panko crumbs, cauliflower and rice

Chicken nuggets, fries and tabouleh

Maple salmon, brown rice and corn on the cob

Grilled steak salad and baked potatoes

Butter chicken, curried cauliflower and rice

Prawns sauteed in garlic butter with rice and grilled zucchini

BBQ chicken, Macaroni and cheese (I'll post a recipe for feeding a mixed family of gluten and gluten-free eaters) and salad

Homemade pizza

Fritatta with potatoes, peppers and mushrooms, fruit and bacon

Beef stir fry with lots of vegetables and rice or rice noodles

Asian peanut butter pork, rice and broccoli

Hamburgers, salad and fries

Maple salmon, brown rice and steamed carrots

Chili and cornbread

Korean Ribs, rice and steamed broccoli

I don't generally plan a full 31 meals because there are always at least 3 evenings a month where we eat leftovers or eat out or just feel like oatmeal and tea.

t's pretty much the same food we ate before I had to stop eating gluten. I just cook with some slight modifications. Where ever there is a bread product I either purchase a gluten free alternative for myself and a regular version for everyone else or I bake a gluten free version for everyone.

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Fresh fruit and produce! Now is the time for farmer markets to start. I have an ALDI near me and their produce is cheaper than regular grocery stores. Lean meat! 100% ground turkey with Manwich..freeze leftovers. Corn tortillas with chicken, fish etc.... A crockpot! Many recipes here for that. If you have room, you can cook and freeze a lot! Try jasmine rice for a change up...walmart has it cheaper than the rest.Cook it in chicken broth, add veggies, cheese(if you can eat it)and or meat. There is so much you can eat without the cost...what are some of your likes??

Check the recipe forum!

I like to make different breads with gluten-free bisquick. They last for a few days and will make plently for just one person.

There are also the fruity pebbles ceral bars on the market now!

The ideas are endless : ) Google gluten free recipes, there are several great blogsout there!

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Do you have a crockpot? Many inexpensive meals can be made in one and they are easy to do too if you are just learning to cook. It does take planning in advance, but many people here do large batches of crockpot food on the weekends and freeze in invidual portions for the week. Checkout this blog for ideas: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ Everything she makes is gluten-free and she has even made a post about how to save money by using the slow cooker: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/07/slow-cooking-during-recession.html

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You can eat very well at home for so much less that it costs to eat out, and your risks are significantly less.

We had grilled marinated lamb shoulder chops tonight with rosemary (I grow it, super easy) olive oil, lemon juice, grainy mustard with salad from lettuce we grew and potato leek soup. I had enough left over soup to take to a neighbor (and I tend to be stingy about my gluten-free food). Check out Food Network. There are so many good recipes out there.

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I'm also hampered by a very tight budget, so I know where you're coming from. For most of the month, I eat soups made of vegetables, beans, chicken, etc., or stir-fries using cheap, gluten-free rice noodles from Thai Kitchen (I add veggies and gluten-free soy sauce). However, during the last week of each month, I usually end up eating eggs, potatoes, apples, and cereal....because that's all that I can afford. During the summer, I grow vegetables...and that helps a lot, though last year I ended up eating tomatoes almost nonstop and got sick of them! If you don't know how to garden, you should take walks around the neighborhood, chat up the neighbors who like to grow vegetables to get their advice, and they might even bring by their extra produce during the summer to share with you.

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ok lets try and reply to everyone here.

Poppi: That is great! thats what i need! ive watched my mom n gram always make dinner but i cant think of jack wen it comes to the store, this helps!

CarilonaKip: yes i know bout farmers market my pap goes down all the time for fruit, looks like ima b going down there more often myself as well. im sure gram has a crockpot some where around here, and dadly a walmart is far from us, but im sure i can find that some where around. i tried google and it was very over whelming and i just got very upset at all the things i need sometimes. And i will be checking about those cereal bars.

GFManna: Again I still have to ask about if we have a crock pot, but i saved your links and ima check those out next time i get a computer client pay off (trying to stock up on food little by little) TY!

Marilyn R: I actually just had some grilled hot dogs 2 days ago, it was so good, but again the meats and such is kind of a rarity due to household income. and i didn't think mainstream places liek that would be too keen on gluten-free, now that i have celiacs i realize how little i know and how restraining it is.

rosetapper23: Yea, we have a neighbor at the end of the street that devotes like his whole yard to gardening, i was thinking of asking him, or maybe even making him my personal farmers market lol. now for things like stir-fry would i be able to use like Flavorite white rice? i don't think i react to it, i checked like every ingredient on the box and everything was safe by what i found.

I really cant thank any of you enough for your posts and help, i just came back from giant eagle and found gluten free pancake mix (half the box double the price -.-) but i was so overwhelmingly happy that i found something that extended what i could eat. then i come back and see all these posts ive honestly been on the verge of tears writing all these replies cause it is such a relief and . . . . just awesome feeling that there are people willing to help and collaborate like this. Thank you everyone.

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Well, you don't really need to buy a whole bunch of stuff from the gluten free section. You do need a gluten-free flour - like Pamela's Baking Mix - you can use this for pancakes, cookies, anything really you want to bake, and for making gravies to go with meats and stews (in the crockpot maybe). You do probably need to buy some gluten free pasta like Tinkyada, and you would probably enjoy some gluten-free bread like Udi's or Kinnickinick. And Rice and Corn Chex is gluten free as long as it says so on the box. And then you just need your meats, fruits, veg, and just a plain old bag of rice - you don't need to buy any of those mixes from a box, just plain old rice, 1/2 cup rice to one cup of boiling water, cook on low for 20 mins with a bit of salt and seasoning, but make double quantity and then you have some left over to microwave for another meal. It is really quite simple and cheap to eat gluten free if you don't try to get too fancy. :D

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Yea, im not bothered bout cooking more often, just with the prices of things, its staggering. guess ill just have to get use to it. i just cant believe it though, a box of gluten-free chicken alfredo (chicken not included lol) cost $5.50 while a non gluten-free chicken alfredo cost like $3

Make it in bulk by hand so you freeze servings. Chicken Alfredo was one of my most favorite dishes and I thought I'd have to give it up but I didn't. I found a really easy recipe for the sauce (half/half, cream cheese, parm. cheese and butter) so I make a big batch and freeze it in smaller containers. I then just make the noodles when I want some and reheat the sauce. I'm not a cook...don't like to and am not good at it but I'm learning. I thought I'd lose so much weight but I seem to have found plenty of gluten-free food to keep me well rounded. :P

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