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Eating out in big towns doesn't work usually either.  Unless you can find a gluten free restaurant, with a dedicated kitchen, it's really hit or miss.  In the past couple weeks, even normally reliable places have been bad for me.  It's just not worth it.

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My local grocery has a gluten free section that contains about 12 flours and mixes. And that's it. Eating at home works but I have to travel some to get pretzels and things like that. I hate telling the waitress that I have celiac or that I have a wheat allergy because I get this stare and look like 'what are you talking about? '

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We're small town too... in Arkansas. While the two healthfood stores carry a lot of stuff... it's very expensive and I've ordered a lot of stuff from that online store named for that big So. America river over the years. Ordering things like Tinkyada pasta in bulk (12 packages) and the flour I like to use for baking (Better Batter) and bread mix (Pamela's) is less expensive that the stores and they bring it to my door! We don't eat out either. I've just had too many bad experiences... having the long conversation w/ waitstaff and managers only to get my order and finding it filled w/ flour tortilla strips or other no-nos. It's just not worth it. We eat simply and (mostly) freshly and rarely buy anything of a processed nature. It's difficult but doable!

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My local grocery has a gluten free section that contains about 12 flours and mixes. And that's it. Eating at home works but I have to travel some to get pretzels and things like that. I hate telling the waitress that I have celiac or that I have a wheat allergy because I get this stare and look like 'what are you talking about? '

 

Welcome to the board.  :)

 

Once you find a few gluten-free items that you like, you won't need more variety.  Most of us just used wheat flour before we were dagnosed, and that's just one thing, right?  I tend to keep coconut flour and Bob's Red Mill All purpose gluten-free flour in my cupboard.  I also use ground flax meal, hemp and ground chia seeds in most of my baking but they are becoming more mainstream and aren't generally marketed as gluten-free items.

 

The other gluten-free items I keep on hand are granola bars, Glutino brownie mix, a lemon cake mix, cookie crumbs, Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust, boullion cubes, soy sauce, worchestershire sauce, and Udi's bread. I think most everything else is just plain old food.

 

A word of warning, gluten-free flours tend to not last as long as regular flour so if you are keeping it for many months, you may want to keep it in the freezer.

 

Hang in there.  You'll get in the groove.... and get used to not eating out that often.  :(  I tend to go out for coffee now - it's cheaper anyways.  ;)

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Get the "The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook" by America's Test Kitchen. It's amazing! They have figured it all out & the recipes do not disappoint. It takes time to make them but it will save you tons of grief trying this & trying that & ending up throwing a ton of stuff in the garbage which relates to throwing money down the drain. 

You will get used to ordering your supplies online. In many ways it's much better b/c it comes right to your door. 

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Depending on how you ate before, most food is naturally gluten free.  Don't go overboard thinking you have to buy dedicated gluten-free foods.  Obviously for bread, pasta, etc. you will have to change, but if you usually have a meat, potatoes, vegetable for a meal, all of that will most likely be gluten-free.  Some things to watch are meats with added seasonings/broth and I've found a couple frozen vegetables that have been processed in a plant with wheat or have a gluten containing something in them, barley or something.  99% of frozen veges are fine though.

 

I'm sure there are trips into a bigger city at times.  You can stock up on bread--I like Udi's the best and it's kept in the freezer section-pasta, etc.

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Whole natural foods are the best.  Best for you, naturally gluten free and help to heal the gut.  I stay away, as much as possible, from any processed foods, even if they are gluten free foods.  If they have more than a couple of ingredients listed then it ceases to be  a whole natural food and instead become a food product ewhich can cause gut issues.

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I hear ya! Diagnosed a few weeks ago. Merry Christmas to me. We live in a tiny. No gluten-free restaurants within 100 miles. We have maybe a 2' section of gluten-free food at our grocery store. It's frustrating. I've been eating chicken and rice or potato. Yesterday was sad for me because all of my fav foods were a no go. Going off gluten is messing with my hormones too so I'm hoping in 6 months it won't be a huge deal for me anymore. It has to get easier! :)

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It gets a TON easier. Hang in there. Believe it or not, it will become second nature.

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I would also talk to the manager of your grocery store to see if they can stock other gluten free foods for you, bread and pasta especially.  Udi's bread and some others come frozen so it's easier to keep in a store with lower turnover of products.  I'm going to guess you are not the only one in your town that would buy the gluten-free products too.

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In my tiny town it took a while but there is a nice woman who works at one of the grocery stores. I got to know her and she kept pushing the manager, telling him she had had lots of requests for gluten-free foods. They finally started stocking them and now have a whole section on a separate "island", away from gluten foods. Breads, pastas, baking mixes, salad dressings and dips, cookies, crackers, chips, lara bar type things, soups, sauces, you name it.

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I live in a small town in coastal NC.  They are finally starting to stock some gluten free items.  Udi's bread is just too expensive so I make my own.  My husband and I through trial and error have found a great bread recipe that tastes just like regular bread.  The texture is a little firmer but other than that, it's wonderful.  Depending on the things you like to eat, there are gluten free cookbooks out there for just about everything.

 

One thing a lot of people don't mention is that if you have been diagnosed with Celiac then the difference in price between gluten free items and their "normal" equivalent is a medical tax deduction.  It doesn't help in the short term but at tax time, it can be a definite blessing.  Just make sure to keep your receipts.

 

I don't know what state you live in but another thing that's tax deductible is sales tax.  We didn't really worry about it in Ohio because most things weren't taxed.  However, here in NC, it was literally sticker shock because they tax EVERYTHING!  Plus they have more than one tax rate so figuring it out in your head as you grocery shop is impossible.  So, we keep all our receipts and I have a spreadsheet for sales tax, medical items, etc.

 

Hang in there.  It does get easier.  Every once in a while, I do get blindsided by something but for the most part it's not bad.  

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