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Vegetarian, Gluten-Free And Dairy-Free - Can It Be Done?


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#1 carriej82

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:53 PM

I have many adverse symptoms to gluten and am ready to give the gluten-free diet a good long-term run. The thing is, before making this discovery I was mostly vegetarian... I say mostly because my family only eats chicken in a meal maybe two or three times a month. I just try to stay away from animal proteins because of genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, heart disease, etc. Wheat honestly has been my staple food. I made all my own breads, muffins, etc by grinding my own wheat, to be as nutritional as possible with no preservatives or anything... lol... funny now I find all that grain wheat likely accounted for my declining mental health over the past year.

I also read many of you going gluten-free suggest to also be dairy free at the start and stay away from processed foods. So... it seems all gluten, processed gluten-free foods, dairy, and most meat is out for me. What the heck am I going to eat? That is 3 major food groups right there. I feel like this is too impossible and I will surely starve. If I don't replace my grains with more meat (don't think I'm willing to do that), I would have to replace them with gluten-free substitutes, but I don't want the processed stuff. So I need to make my own, which is very daunting to me, plus it seems pretty clear there is no true subtitute for whole wheat bread.

Anyone in a similar situation? Oh, the bigger challenge is that I have to feed my gluten-free skeptical husband, and 3 children ages 1, 3, and 5 who LOVE wheat bread and are used to all of my homemade wheat products at every meal, and very stubborn about new foods. *sigh*...
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#2 mushroom

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:42 PM

I see a lot of legumes and pulses, and rice in your future :) Beans and rice make complete protein. Lots of vegetable casseroles. Be sure to soak all your beans thoroughly. You get to try new "grains" like quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, millet, amaranth, teff. Cream of rice or rice flake cereals. I eat a Bircher muesli mix of seeds, rice flakes, dried fruits and nuts. Dairy you will have to experiment with. Most of us just have to avoid lactose at first, not all dairy, because lactose and casein are digested by different enzymes and it is those that digest lactose that are not being produced until you heal. So you may be able to eat hard cheeses, yogurt - I could even eat sour cream and butter (everything where the lactose has been removed or pre-digested by cultures and enzymes). There are lots of good milk substitutes - almond, hemp, rice, coconut. and also ice creams. Make a processed exception for pasta (Tinkyada is pretty reliable) and that brings in lots more choices. Eventually you will probably want to make your own gluten free bread. It's really not as daunting as it might first appear, especially if you ease your way into it. :)
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"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

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(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
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Now tolerant of lactose

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#3 MaryJones2

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:28 PM

I was a strict vegetarian for 14 years. I was gluten, dairy and soy free for 3 during that time. After 3 years or so I was able to tolerate a little dairy and am now ok with it. I generally avoid soy because it still bothers me but I can tolerate in small amounts. I choose to add meat back in because like you said I felt like I was starving...

It is certainly possible but requires a lot of time and with very few exceptions you really can't eat anywhere but your own home. Finding a restuarant or product that meets all 4 products is a little easier now but still very difficult - I made all of my food from scratch during this time. My suggestion is to stand firm on the gluten-free household and get creative when it comes to dairy and soy. You can do things like make veggie burgers for yourself and feed your family store bought gluten free ones (if they don't have issues with soy or dairy too). That way they aren't subjected to your super restrictive diet and are more likely to accept things long term. It's a difficult transition and takes time but you'll work it out. Good luck!
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#4 kenlove

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:37 PM

I've been gluten-free for 7 years and Vegan for 2 of those years
There is a book called the pleasure trap by Dr's Alan Goldhammer and Doug Lisle both of whom helped me turn things around after some heart trouble on top of the celiac. So, thanks to them I went Vegan and now feel 20 years younger, don't miss dairy or meat at all. So many create creative alternatives out there.
good luck
Ken

I have many adverse symptoms to gluten and am ready to give the gluten-free diet a good long-term run. The thing is, before making this discovery I was mostly vegetarian... I say mostly because my family only eats chicken in a meal maybe two or three times a month. I just try to stay away from animal proteins because of genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, heart disease, etc. Wheat honestly has been my staple food. I made all my own breads, muffins, etc by grinding my own wheat, to be as nutritional as possible with no preservatives or anything... lol... funny now I find all that grain wheat likely accounted for my declining mental health over the past year.

I also read many of you going gluten-free suggest to also be dairy free at the start and stay away from processed foods. So... it seems all gluten, processed gluten-free foods, dairy, and most meat is out for me. What the heck am I going to eat? That is 3 major food groups right there. I feel like this is too impossible and I will surely starve. If I don't replace my grains with more meat (don't think I'm willing to do that), I would have to replace them with gluten-free substitutes, but I don't want the processed stuff. So I need to make my own, which is very daunting to me, plus it seems pretty clear there is no true subtitute for whole wheat bread.

Anyone in a similar situation? Oh, the bigger challenge is that I have to feed my gluten-free skeptical husband, and 3 children ages 1, 3, and 5 who LOVE wheat bread and are used to all of my homemade wheat products at every meal, and very stubborn about new foods. *sigh*...


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

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#5 Kelleybean

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:43 AM

My 3 year old hates meat except the very occasional cheeseburger so we do meatless meals a lot. If you're ok with eggs, that gives you more options. I make bean patties a lot - rinsed and drained mashed great northern beans, some bread crumbs, and egg, and seasoning, shaped into patties and pan fried in some olive oil. We do tofu a lot too. Quiche (again assuming you are ok with eggs), pasta with a cashew cream sauce. Like someone else suggested, beans and rice. Pasta with pumpkin sauce. I make a bean dip with black beans and soaked cashews - sometimes we have that on rice crackers for a light dinner.
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#6 lucia

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:52 PM

It's completely possible. My husband is vegetarian so most of my meals are gluten-free and meat-free. Many of them are or could easily be made dairy-free as well. I posted a few meals lately to the "What are you cooking tonight?" thread that are in this vein.

http://www.celiac.co.../page__st__2130

It definitely helps to experiment with all kinds of beans, nuts, corn products, quinoa, and rices. And also coconut milk, which will sometimes seem like a godsend. I've discovered so many new foodstuffs since being forced to go gluten-free. It's actually been a lot of fun, if you can believe that! Skylark on the board once mentioned that she'd never realized how many different kinds of rice exist until forced to go gluten-free.

You may want to look beyond American/European food to spark ideas. For example, most Indian food is traditionally vegetarian and gluten-free. I recommend purchasing a cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey to start. I have her "World Vegetarian" which is extensive, as well as one of her Indian cookbooks. When I first went gluten-free, a friend bought me an African cookbook for a birthday present, and that was also eye opening.

Also, if you must eat out, a good choice is an Indian restaurant.
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#7 MaryJones2

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:51 PM

I recommend purchasing a cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey to start. I have her "World Vegetarian" which is extensive, as well as one of her Indian cookbooks.


That's a good suggestion. I have 2 of her cookbooks and love them.
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#8 carriej82

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

Thank you all for your encouragement and suggestions. What kinds of rices do you all cook with? I am only familiar with white, brown and wild.
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#9 kenlove

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:41 AM

Besides the various types of rices, (a dozen different types of wild and blends) there are a few types of quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, millet, tef and other gluten free grains to experiment with both as a side dish, cereal or as a flour. I've devloped a taste for white sorghum that I either get online or in japan. great taste but very high in carbs.

Thank you all for your encouragement and suggestions. What kinds of rices do you all cook with? I am only familiar with white, brown and wild.


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"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

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#10 Judy3

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:36 AM

I am not vegetarian but I do try to maintain a semi vegetarian diet. I found this website that is very helpful. You have to look at the recipes as many contain dairy. I never had to cut out dairy when I went gluten free but I know some did. There are some pretty amazing recipes out on this site. Whole foods are the best with seasonings and you are good to go. Fruit, vegetables, naturally gluten free whole grains.. etc.. Hang in there you'll be fine!!

http://www.wheatfreemeatfree.com/
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Food allergies to fish, seafood, tree nuts, aspartame(Equal),flax seed, and many drugs
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Celiac disease- negative test in 2009, positive tests in Nov. 2010
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#11 lucia

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:15 AM

Thank you all for your encouragement and suggestions. What kinds of rices do you all cook with? I am only familiar with white, brown and wild.


I stock up when I can get to an Asian market. If you have one nearby, I'd suggest poking around to see what they have. My new favorite is Thai 'forbidden' rice. It's a rich, dark purple, sweet rice. In addition to the rices, you may find rice wrappers (like for spring rolls), rice flour, rice crackers and rice noodles. They may also have Japanese mochi, either frozen or fresh. Mochi are sweet little round cakes of various flavors made of rice.

A health food store or gourmet food store, like Whole Foods, will also have various kinds of rices and grains, such as kenlove suggested. (An Asian market will be cheaper, which is why I generally prefer this option.)

In addition to cooking rice plain and topping it with vegetables, beans, potatoes, nuts, tofu or whatever you can think up, there are other ways to serve it too. I like making pilafs these days. Indians often cook a pilau (made from basmati rice). Italians make risotto (made of arborio rice). Chinese make fried rice. Japanese make sticky rice (made with "glutinous" - meaning sticky, not gluteny - rice). Another good option is to add rice to soup. You can also make rice patties (good for leftover rice) by combining rice with a little egg and pan frying. When I'm sick now, I always make congee, a Chinese porridge which is comforting and easy to digest.

Also, don't forget about rice pudding - great for leftovers. I love to make an Indian rice pudding from basmati rice with coconut milk, raisins, and cardamon. I also make a rice pudding with Thai forbidden rice, coconut milk, a little agave (a sugar substitute), mango, and mint. I could even leave out the sweetner for that one since Thai forbidden rice, coconut milk, and mango are all so sweet.
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#12 MaryJones2

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:33 AM

I keep basmatti, jasmine, brown, wild, short grain sushi rice, black/forbidden and red/bhutanese in my pantry.
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