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Need Recipes And Ways To Get Started!
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I am feeling so overwhelmed that I haven't started my gluten-free diet yet and I am still sick as can be. I need tips and things i should do broken down into steps to get started. Are there special containers, strainers or things like that, that maybe I should buy? Also I have the iphone and I downloaded the "Is that Gluten Free" app and the "Scanavert" app. Sometimes they work but finding stores that have gluten-free food is the most difficult thing because I live in Vegas. I guess just an helpfull advice or tips to get me started and less stressed and overwhelmed would be amazing. Thank you so much for your time in advance!!!

~Celia Hilts

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I don't have much time, and you'll get lots of answers, but my first "tip" is to not trust your smartphone app 100%. ALWAYS read the ingredients before you buy or eat anything. Manufacturers change their recipes often and those apps don't always catch the changes right away. So use the app as a reference, but learn the "gluten" word-list so you know what to watch for on the ingredient lists. I carried that list with me for the first year because the words that are gluten and aren't gluten are sometimes confusing and obscure.

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Okay. Take a deep breath. There's also a thread about the top two tips for the newly diagnosed. Find and read it. Your first concern should be eating gluten free. After you've settled in a little bit, consider nutrition and possibly taking out dairy. I wouldn't worry about it too much during the first couple weeks just because it can be really emotional and difficult to change the gluten aspect that sometimes that takes all your energy. (Dairy is difficult for many recently diagnosed folks to handle.)

Then, go through your standard recipes. You probably have some that are already gluten-free, like:

1) tacos with corn shells instead of flour tortillas, or just nachos

2) rice and beans

3) lentil soup

4) baked potatoes, broiled chicken, steamed veg

5) scrambled eggs with frozen veg and baked potato/sweet potato (omelettes, fritattas, etc)

6) chili

7) baked beans or three bean salad

8) salad with homemade dressing

9) risotto

10) pork chops with two veg and apples (or apple sauce)

11) spring rolls with peanut sauce

The key at first is to cook. Just make plain food that you bought ingredients for like rice, or plain beans, or eggs during the first couple of weeks. Then, add in the spices and condiments. It's fairly easy to buy gluten-free condiments (except for soy sauce) but like the poster above said, READ the label.

In terms of equipment, you need a dedicated toaster, colander, and anything porous like wood or scratched up non-stick. Stainless steel and glass (pyrex) are good investments because you can generally scrub them down if someone goes and makes a flour-laden cake in it.

There's also a thread where people post what they have for dinner/breakfast, so check them out. Some are pretty snazzy (love2travel!) but there's plenty of broiled chicken and steamed broccoli sorts of meals too. Baking is more complicated, but simple cooking isn't too bad as long as you have a few basic cooking skills. There are also LOTS of gluten-free bloggers out there, so look around and see if you can find someone who has similar tastes.

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I'm new to this whole thing too, and I found that partially converting my daily food was the simple way to go. I like dairy snacks, and found that Yoplait yogurt and Breakstones cottage cheese are safe. My hubby is eating up the last of the Activia because I can no longer touch it. I get annoyed with all the label reading so the biggest thing that I've done is to switch to fresh fruits and veggies. I use to eat mostly canned, frozen and lots of prepackaged meals. It's healthier anyway; less salt and preservatives. With that plus lean meats (I buy them in bulk at Sam's Club then seperate them out and toss them in the freezer), I'm finding that my hunger stays more satisfied. My bloodsugar doesn't seem to be crashing as often. But I do keep a few Soyjoy or Larabars in my bag. I've got 2 little boys and don't want to find myself hungry away from home! ;)

How do you normally eat? It may be easier on you emotionally to try to find substitutes in the beginning.

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Using the search engine on the forum has helped me a number of times, and I think you might find it useful too. This forum has literally been a lifesaver for me. No

P.S. My favorite lunch is choppd lettuce (preferably romaine, which has a good shelf life.) Top that with safe tuna (tuna and olive oil is what it should read on the label) or leftover meat or fish from home with chopped veggies on hand, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil. Top that with toasted sunflower seeds or safe nuts. You can add dried or fresh fruit too (like romaine with sliced chicken, sliced strawberries, balsalmic vinegar, Olive oil, nuts. All of that is equally good on a bed of gluten-free pastas or wilted spinach with garlic.

Wish you the best! :)

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Here is a place to start.

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I am feeling so overwhelmed that I haven't started my gluten-free diet yet and I am still sick as can be. I need tips and things i should do broken down into steps to get started. Are there special containers, strainers or things like that, that maybe I should buy? Also I have the iphone and I downloaded the "Is that Gluten Free" app and the "Scanavert" app. Sometimes they work but finding stores that have gluten-free food is the most difficult thing because I live in Vegas. I guess just an helpfull advice or tips to get me started and less stressed and overwhelmed would be amazing. Thank you so much for your time in advance!!!

~Celia Hilts

Until you get familiar with the diet and reading labels, I would recommend www.triumphdining.com - grocery guide or www.CeceliasMarketplace.com. These will get you over the hump, but it's not something to rely upon after a year or so. Things change quickly and ingredient listings may not be current.

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    • Squirmingitch, I forgot to mention best of luck to you during the storm! I hope you are safe and that your home isn't impacted too badly! I'm on the coast in SC so we will see some storms from it but nothing near as bad as what you will have. Take care and good luck.
    • SquirmingItch, I really appreciate you gathering info for me! To answer your questions, yes, I'm on Dapsone now and have been on it for about 4.5 weeks. I have been gluten free for the same amount of time. I started on 50 mg of Dapsone which didn't seem to help much. I spoke to my doctor about it and after about a week she raised it to 100 mg. Since then I did notice a huge improvement in both my rash and itch. I no longer have any active rashes and my itching isn't completely gone but it's very minimal. I have been getting weekly blood tests done and will soon be moving to monthly.  My DH skin biopsy was done before the gluten free diet and Dapsone. My results for the skin biopsy came back as inconclusive, but even with those results, my doctor was convinced I had DH. I specifically asked her about the fact that she took the biopsy directly from the lesion rather than next to it and if that affects the result. Her explanation was that if it's a fresh enough lesion that isn't scratched, there should be IgA antibodies present. But she said that an inconclusive result isn't surprising because the IgA antibodies come and go from the skin so quickly that it can be very difficult to get a positive result, even in someone who is positive.  That's when she decided to run the celiac blood panel on me. And even though those results came back positive for the deamidated gliadin and negative for tTg, she still is very convinced that I have DH. I am happy that my doctor seems to be certain, but I would just feel better if the results were more definitive. The one other thing I am waiting on is I have been asked to attend grand rounds at the local academic hospital in 2 weeks. I guess grand rounds is where all of the academic dermatologists and dermatopathologists get together to review certain complicated cases. They will meet with me, review all of my pictures, biopsies and blood tests. My situation has been so complicated so they asked me to come. I am hoping maybe then I will get some more answers. 
    • It sure is, it really is. 
    • shellyb, I have info. for you & you may yet be able to get an official dx from your dermatologist as she sounds like she would be willing to learn. If you are dx'd with dh it is definitive & no other testing is needed. You don't need to see a GI. Im in FL & have had a long day watching Tropical Storm Hermine & making preparations for it's track which is over where I live. I'm tired! I will have links for you to reputable medical info. on the rash but it make take me till tomorrow or even longer if we lose power.  I'll be back as soon as I can. Question: You're on Dapsone now? How long have you been on it? How is it working for you? Are you getting the proper testing at regular intervals to make sure it isn't doing bad things to you? Were you gluten free before the skin biopsy?
    • Thank you so much for your quick response, GFinDC. While I wouldn't be completely opposed to another skin biopsy, I already had 4 done (3 were done prior to my dermatologist suspecting DH) so I don't love the idea of  yet another hole and scar on my body. Plus, fortunately I don't have any fresh lesions now, which I believe is needed for the biopsy. I wish I would have known to see a GI before going gluten free but I was so desperate to get any relief that I started that and Dapsone as soon as my doctor mentioned it to me.  My rash is definitely symmetrical and I have it in all of the "classic" DH spots although it basically spread over my entire body. As much as I'd like a more formal diagnosis, I really don't think I can go through all of that again. It was so bad that not only was I getting no sleep but I had to change my sheets every morning because there was blood all over them. Sorry, TMI. The worst part is that this all developed during my ninth month of pregnancy and got much worse after I delivered my baby. So not only was I dealing with this insanely itchy rash but I had a newborn and a toddler to take care of.  My daughters' pediatrician did mention doing DNA testing on me first and then my daughters to see if there's any concern that they may be susceptible. I may just go that route for now. I was just curious if others have had similar test results to mine and how did their doctors treat it? Thanks again!
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