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JesLin

Lost! CC Confusion!

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Hi all! I am new to this Ceilac thing and am so thankful for this site! I was diagnosed just this week and have since been reading post after post trying to comprehend the road ahead of me.

Like others when newly diagnosed, I am actually happy since I now have an answers to all of my health problems that have been running my life the past 10 years! But I am also really really sad that I will have to change my eating habits so drastically - I think I am in the mourning/denial stage right now. Of course I will do it - health comes first! But still very sad. 

My biggest question/concern centers around eating out/travelling. I am fine to skip the bun, get the gluten free pasta, order a salad without dressing and eat out a whole lot less but this whole cross contamination thing is making my head run in circles! I understand that even the slightest trace of gluten is harmful for a Celiac. I know that if there is gluten in the kitchen and the restaurant doesn't have strict rules surrounding the handling of gluten free items I could be in for some trouble. I have read in some posts that some Celiac's won't eat the potatoes in a breakfast joint cooked on the same grill as the pancakes whereas other Celiac's are fine with it. I have seen other posts and blogs where Celiac's eat out quite regularly and celebrate when a 'regular' resto has gluten free options (tho I am sure that many of those places don't guarantee or even try to avoid cross contamination!). 

I feel like since cc is such an issue for a Celiac then we can logically never ever eat out unless at a strictly gluten free place. So does this diagnosis mean I can never eat out again?? Never attend a wedding and eat the dinner? Never attend a work event? I am fine with a restricted diet but seeing as though I may never be able to eat at a social function again is what is really making this hard. Am I safe to eat out and just order a salad all the time (no dressing) or is this also a risk? Can I pick the veggies off my plate at a social event or is this a cc risk? Do I never step food in a regular restaurant again? Can I ever take a vacation again? Are Celiac's able to travel? Language barriers and cultural differences would make cc avoidance impossible! All these things are making me feel like this disease will have me under house arrest :/

Help!

 

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Hello and welcome :)

It's all overwhelming at first, but it's very early days for you. Usually in the period just after diagnosis most people are damaged so it's a good idea to spend 6 months eating whole foods and minimising eating out. That gives your body the chance to start repairing any damage. The good news is you're likely to feel better than you thought possible as you take gluten out of your diet. 

Once you're healing is under way you can begin to make informed decisions about the level of risk you're happy with and you can find out just how sensitive you are. There is no one right answer, some people are more sensitive than others or find that the longer they go gluten free the more sensitive they become. 

Of course life carries on and you will see members here preparing for holidays abroad, meals out etc. It just means you need to give some thought in advance. That may mean travelling with some safe snacks, or identifying a chain restaurant en route that you trust to prepare your meal safely.

I am far more relaxed now than when I first started on the diet. It doesn't mean I don't take precautions or take unnecessary risks, but just like crossing the road or riding a bike, life involves risk and if you tried to eliminate it completely you wouldn't have a life to protect!

If you've not yet seen it:

https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/

 

Best of luck!

 

 

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While CC can be a huge issues I found a few places I can trust, and I take test strips or a tester with me when I eat out. Big thing is look up reviews of places on FindMeGlutenFree app on a phone and check those out. I suggest not eating out the first few months though. But when you do ask the manager about how they will fix your food, make sure you order form the gluten-free menu. And if you can test it before eating. Simplest thing is ask unseasoned, no sauces on stuff. Most places will let you bring your own sauces, seasonings, and condiments if you have health issues. I do this all the time.

While eating outside my house I bring my own meals, prefixed, If your somewhere you do not quite trust and need to fix a meal, I find using freezer paper layed out over the surface and disposable utensils work. I bring a small chef kit on vacation and trips with a griddle, knife, simple trusted seasonings and gluten-free ingredients I source form local stores. If a Microwave is available make steam pouches out of vacuum seal bags preseason-ed and marinated just poke holes in it and zap. Or they make all kind of microwave cook ware now for steaming foods, cooking eggs, bacon, etc. So you can cook so much easier now outside of hte house. Whole foods and fresh produce can be sourced just about anywhere and are nice and simple alternative raw.

I will share a page of a bunch of gluten-free alternatives, places to order foods, and how to get them at local grocery store if you prefer. We do suggest Whole foods only for the first few months to jump start the healing process, and only eat stuff certified gluten-free to avoid any issues and til you master label reading.

https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/117090-gluten-free-food-alternatives-list/

 

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