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psparks

Getting Started

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Getting started means going simple at first. Start with meats, seafood, rice, eggs, potatoes and fresh veggies and fruit. All of this is readily available. Prepare them with limited spices. Salads are general hard to digest in the beginning.

Limit your dairy consumption and gradually reintroduce with after you are comfortable with the gluten free diet.

Make sure to check your shampoos, lotions and lip balms because they may find their way into your mouth and hinder your healing.

I know that you are most likely a little overwhelmed right now, but it does get easier.

Reading everything you can find on this site will be a tremendous help.

Welcome to the board. :)

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Hi--welcome to the boards. I know it feels a bit overwhelming at first, but trust this: you will figure this out, and you will adjust, and best of all---now you can eat to treat, and soon feel better. Here are some key coping strategies to get you started. If your town doesn't have a health food store, you might end up shopping on the Internet a bit. www.amazon .com has a lot of gluten-free foods. Otherwise, stick to foods that are naturally gluten free, as the previous person who posted recommended.

1. Know that you will grieve your old favorite gluten-filled foods. I actually tear up when I see a croissant sometimes. Grieving is normal, BUT DON'T EXPECT IT TO BE EASY OR COMFORTABLE. People around you will eat treats you can't have and you will feel sad and isolated. Strategy: stock your car, office, purse, backpack, secret drawer at home with gluten-free treats you can reach for any time you are feeling deprived. This really helped me. I recommend Baby Ruth Bars, Snicker Bars, Lara Bars, Dove Dark Chocolate, meringue cookies, macaroon cookies (read labels), Butterfinger, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. You get the idea.

2. Know that it will take time (months, probably) to figure out what to eat (it took me 6 mos.) and during this time, it'll be kind of a daily challenge to plan meals. Every time you go to the store it'll be a challenge to choose groceries. Strategy: plan on an hour--don't bring kids or friends. Go the bathroom before you start grocery shopping. Bring your reading glasses--read every label. The good news is, THIS GETS MUCH BETTER OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS AS YOU GET USED TO TO THE DIET.

3. It may take a while for your gut to heal, depending on how damaged it was at the time you went gluten free. So, you are going to have to be patient with your body--some people feel better immediately after going gluten-free, but most of us take longer than that. Don't give up if you don't see instant results. Strategy: Maximize your general health by getting enough rest, water, exercise, and limiting stress. Maximize your digestive health by limiting foods that are hard on the gastrointestinal tract until you're feeling better: limit irritants like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and fried foods--these are all hard to digest--go back to them when you feel your gut is recovering.

4. Accept right now that it will be YOUR job to teach those around you about your diet

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Thanks for your reply. I am a little over my head in this. I was reading an article in a Woman's World magazine. I couldn't believe that all the symptoms that were talking about, I have. I have spent so much money going from doctor the doctor and all they can tell me is that I have IBS. I told the last doctor that I didn't except that and I wanted to know why I feel so bad and spend so much time in the rr. I am going to see a nutritionalist tomorrow and I plan on bring the article with me to see what she has to say about this.

Once again thanks.

psparks

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I read that article also and I must add that it was full of inaccuracies. It made little mention that gluten can cause damage to the small intestings and left unchecked can lead to very serious conditions, for those of us that have Celiac Disease.

The article made reference to a food allergy. To many of us it is an intolerance.

If that article can lead you to a proper diognosis, that is a good thing. I would like to suggest that every thing you need to know about celiac of gluten intolerance can be found on this site.

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Thanks for your reply. I am a little over my head in this. I was reading an article in a Woman's World magazine. I couldn't believe that all the symptoms that were talking about, I have. I have spent so much money going from doctor the doctor and all they can tell me is that I have IBS. I told the last doctor that I didn't except that and I wanted to know why I feel so bad and spend so much time in the rr. I am going to see a nutritionalist tomorrow and I plan on bring the article with me to see what she has to say about this.

Once again thanks.

psparks

I would recommend that you copy the Home Page here that describes what Celiac is and bring that to your nutritionalist. It is more infomative. Good luck tomorrow.

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Guest lorlyn

Just wanted to say hi and welcome. This site has been a god send for me and my family. Just keep your spirts up and read labels and this site and you will make it through :rolleyes: Good Luck

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How do I start eating Glueten Free? Can I find these products at my local store? I live in a very samll town and I ahven't seen any of these products there.

Dear psparks,

I was ecstatic when I saw the article in there! Woman's World is my favorite magazine!

I have a list that should really help. This is overwhelming. I went through this with myself seven months ago. You spend most of your day cooking and cleaning obsessively. The rest you are on the phone with reps from companies trying to find out what is safe. I decided to save you the trouble!

1. There are a number of things in the regular grocery that are safe. Some things are labeled already. Wal-Mart's Great Value brand has numerous things you can eat.

2. For the love of God use Coupons on items you are allowed to eat. People can get them and print them out online even. Call some of the local stores and ask if they accept online coupons.

3. Check the ads online and in the newspaper. You would be surprised how many people do not do this.

4. Some items like rice flour and rice noodles are safe to buy at the Chinese or oriental market. The merchants are more than happy to help you if you cannot read the label.

Now, here is my list of great things to get you started:

Condiments:

Smart Balance Margerine

Crisco Shortening

Crisco Oil

Pompeiian Olive Oil

Great Value soy sauce

Heinz Ketchup

Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce (all Lea & Perrins Products are safe)

Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce

Kraft French Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Kraft Thousand Island Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Pace Picante Sauce

Ortega Salsa

All Classico Red and *White sauces

All Jif Peanut Butters including Smooth Sensations

Welch's Grape Jelly

Cool Whip*

Philadelphia Cream Cheese*

Miracle Whip

Daisy Sour Cream (fat-free, low-fat, regular)*

Snack Foods:

Utz Potato Chips (Found at Sam

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This list is awesome and was just what I was lookng for! I'm happy to see I won't have to give up as much as I thought! LOL I appreciate your work on that! I'm not feeling nearly as overwhelmed.

Kym

Dear psparks,

I was ecstatic when I saw the article in there! Woman's World is my favorite magazine!

I have a list that should really help. This is overwhelming. I went through this with myself seven months ago. You spend most of your day cooking and cleaning obsessively. The rest you are on the phone with reps from companies trying to find out what is safe. I decided to save you the trouble!

1. There are a number of things in the regular grocery that are safe. Some things are labeled already. Wal-Mart's Great Value brand has numerous things you can eat.

2. For the love of God use Coupons on items you are allowed to eat. People can get them and print them out online even. Call some of the local stores and ask if they accept online coupons.

3. Check the ads online and in the newspaper. You would be surprised how many people do not do this.

4. Some items like rice flour and rice noodles are safe to buy at the Chinese or oriental market. The merchants are more than happy to help you if you cannot read the label.

Now, here is my list of great things to get you started:

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If you can get to your GP, and they are somewhat openminded, I'd try to get an appointment ASAP and get the Celiac blood tests done. They need to still be done while you are eating gluten. This will give you a solid diagnosis, and that may be needed for some insurance purposes.

But if you can't, don't fret, some people don't get diagnosed, they just respond positively to the diet!

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Dear psparks and kdean823,

You are so welcome! There are some wonderful options out there! I am glad you are feeling less overwhelmed now. Some places have had reports of cross-contamination you should know about. Steer clear of Quaker, Bob's Red Mill, and Amy's Kitchen. They are not wheat-free facilities! It is not worth the risk! Also, Lay's makes Tostitos and Fritos and some other snack foods you should be careful with. I got sick from Tostitos recently. They are not made on dedicated lines. Stick with the Lay's Stax. They are made on dedicated lines. Hormel Beef and Pork Au Jus Entrees also have had reports of cross-contamination. Avoid those!

Here are a few things I forgot to put on the list we can have:

Yoplait Yogurt (Will clearly label gluten if present, this includes Whips! Try the Latte flavor!) I cannot eat this anymore. I had to stop eating dairy except a really small amount like in chocolate once in a while. :(

Hormel Pepperoni

Fresh Express Salad Blends

Planter's Nuts (They are clearly labeled when gluten is present, they are made by Kraft)

Skittles

Starburst Candies

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (all flavors except for cinnamon toast)

Kraft Minute Rice

* If you want to save time at the grocery, make your list by department. That way, you do not have to run back and forth from frozen to canned foods, etc.

* Do all of your cooking in one day if possible. I have difficulty doing this, because I have limited cookware, however, if you can afford to buy a new set, do so. A crock pot is terrific as well. You can cook all of your meals for the week in one day over several hours, then have everything ready and freeze it in airtight containers such as Gladware or Ziploc.

As far as blood tests go, mine were negative. This was many years ago, back in late 2000. They tested for different antibodies than they do now. I was seronegative. However, my doctor says I am Celiac, due to my medical history (anemia, gallbladder disease, digestive issues, thyroid trouble) and she has had a handful of patients who were Celiac test negative through bloodwork. She feels they are not accurate. Many people on here spoke about Enterolab testing. They do a panel for Celiac, Gluten Intolerance, Soy Intolerance, Egg Intolerance, and Casein Intolerance. This is done by testing the stool sample for antibodies. They also do a test for the Celiac and Gluten Intolerance genes. The entire panel costs $380. If I could afford it, I would get it done. Unfortunately, I do not have insurance and am too ill to work. However, I have other issues aside from this, such as an overgrowth of Yeast.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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