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Celiac In The Real World

6 posts in this topic

Hey all,

I've been gluten-free since August and I am realizing just how sensitive I am. If it says same equipment or facility, there is a high chance I will be glutened. I recently started the final semester of college as a student teacher in a high school classroom. I've been glutened a few times throughout the semester, luckily a few of them have been on weekends so I could recover enough to go back to work. I only have so many days I can miss, but I can't help it if my source of food (the cafeteria) accidentally glutens me. I try to cook as much as I can on my own, but with financial restrictions like gas money and no source of income, it's extremely hard for me to afford it right now. I don't know what to do! How do most people deal with this if you are glutened and have to go to work. I have really bad symptoms like severe mood changes, the usual abdominal pains and problems to where I might as well not go anywhere. Any tips? What is it really like to live and be gluten free in the real world?


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Sarunski, I know what you mean about the expense...I can't afford the diet either as we are on one income, Im just buying some things here and there, and trying to stock up on some ingrediants so I can make my own stuff. I deffinately can't afford for my whole family to eat that stuff, and unfortunately because of the no preservatives, it goes bad much faster....I also have the same abdominal pains that you do, its doubled over almost a continous cramp. I am very new to the diet and finding it very hard re expense and knowledge.

I don't work, I have to stay home with my son who had a heart transplant and a stroke so I am busy and find cooking an absolute nightmare.

Having said that though, I made a HUGE pot of beef/veggie soup the other night and froze almost all of it. That way if I don't feel like cooking I can take a container out and stick it in the mic. Last night it was caramel apple pork chops with smashed potatoes and green beans almandine....extravagant for me, but really not a big deal....made enough that I have leftovers for tonight too. The potatoes are crazy easy to make and would make something good for you to take to work.

Just a thought, and like I said there are others on this board who are WAAAAAAAAY more knowledgeable then me, but know that you are not alone, in pain or frustration!

Take care!



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You said you are student teaching and eating at the school cafeteria is that correct? Can you prepare your own lunch and bring it? I would think that is safest. Could you supplement some cafeteria food with your own or stick to things that come individually packaged like fruit (things with peels like banana, orange), single serve fruit or applesauce cups, cheese sticks (if you can do dairy), yogurt, nuts? My guess is the cafeteria food isn't all that tasty anyway.


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Believe me, it gets better and easier once you've gotten used to it. There are pages and pages in these forums of inexpensive ways to make your own food. The only thing you can't replicate gluten free is convenience. It will take you time to make your own food, but it doesn't have to be spendy.

First of all, if it is affecting your job performance (I'm assuming that leaving a classroom to run to the restroom could do that), stop relying on the cafeteria for lunches. Heck, as a cost saving (as well as nutrition) measure, my son brought all of his lunches from home. He isn't celiac, but it saved us money rather than costing more.

Second, stop buying the packaged gluten-free foods. Instead, find your local Asian food store. There you will find a wealth of rice based ingredients, especially flour and noodles. I find my favorite rice based crackers there. A can of tuna, a little mayo and I have the ingredients for tuna salad on crackers. Nice lunch. Replace the tuna salad with chicken salad, egg salad, ham salad, thinly sliced beef roast, hummus... you get the idea. Even PB&J taste pretty good on rice crackers. If you don't have a Asian food store nearby, and can't find the crackers in the Asian aisle of your local food store, Blue Diamond makes some nice rice/almond crackers that can be found in the regular cracker section of most supermarkets.

In the end, what it comes down to is being creative and even a little adventurous. You can eat gluten-free on a shoestring budget.


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It really is not more expensive to eat gluten free if you avoid the packaged convenience stuff, and cookies, etc. Bread will probably be more expensive but on the other hand I find I eat way less of it. So a loaf probably lasts just as long as a gluteny one did. I love Udi's with peanut butter for breakfast, but don't like it as sandwiches.

I bring my lunch every day instead of eating in the cafeteria. (I work in a hospital and the only thing I trust in that cafeteria is a hard-boiled egg!)

Some of the things I bring for lunch:

-- leftovers

-- hummos and carrots

-- yogurt

-- applesauce

-- salad

-- lunch meat

-- cheese

-- lettuce (to make lettuce wraps with my meat and cheese)

-- cheese stick

-- pudding

-- soup

-- fruit - fresh or canned, depending on the fruit and the season

-- frozen vegetables (I buy those Steamfresh bags, cook them at home in the morning in the microwave, then bring them to work)

-- rice (cook up a bunch at once then you have several days' worth)

-- hard boiled egg

-- chips and guacamole (I buy individual packs of guacamole since it goes brown as soon as you open it)

That's just off the top of my head. None of that is made specifically "gluten free", it just is naturally. When I cook dinner I often make extra to be used for lunches. Yesterday I took sausage, mashed potatoes, and corn.


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I went Paleo to fix the problem.

I have saved a ton of money.

Meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts.

A1 and mayo and mustard.

No gluten free grain flours or products.

If we crave a sweet I make Nestle toll house recipe and sub Almond flour for the flour portion.

The more you eat mainly meat, the less you really have to buy all that other stuff.

My food budget is cut by 25% at least just by not buying any packaged foods or grain products at all.

I mean we Will buy gluten free bread, but it lasts just forever in the freezer. we eat like 2 slices a week each and there are 2 of us gluten free.

My first month gluten free I bought all that stuff, but soon realized there was very little nutrition in it.

Good fats, protein, fruit and veggie are great for your metabolism too.

Corn tortilla's with bakad chicken mayo and lettuce are great if you miss a sandwich. Not the same but just great for us.


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