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Joyous

I Need The Least Expensive And Most Effortless Possible Menu...

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I'm going to try a gluten elimination diet, but I need help planning the menu... Whenever I try diets (South Beach, etc.) or try to eat healthier (cut out as many processed foods as possible, etc.) I end up in worse shape than I was when I started because I don't eat enough.

Basically, what happens is that when I know I should eat and I'm going over my options, everything seems like it's more effort than it's worth and I procrastinate. I end up eating one real meal a day and a few small snacks, often going too long without eating. My blood sugar drops and I start freaking out... I become irritable, frustrated, and frantic.

Needless to say, it's extremely stressful and after a few days of that I end up feeling worse than I did to begin with. I guess diets only work if you eat. lol (Though in all honesty, this sort of thing happens sometimes even when I'm not trying to avoid unhealthy food. Eating itself usually seems like a chore... one that's more effort than it's worth.)

What I'd like is suggestions on what to buy and eat. What are the simplest reasonably healthy gluten free meals? Are there any complete menus (say for a week, or something like that) out there that consist of the most effortless and least expensive meals possible?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Joy

Not gluten free yet because I'm waiting to be tested.

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What I'd like is suggestions on what to buy and eat. What are the simplest reasonably healthy gluten free meals? Are there any complete menus (say for a week, or something like that) out there that consist of the most effortless and least expensive meals possible?

We eat a lot of basic foods -- roast with veggies, baked chicken with veggies, hm (homemade) stew, hm beef and veggie soup, hm chili, crockpot beans...stuff like that


Shellfish free since 1980

Milk free (all forms) since 1991

Feingold in 2003

First gluten-free round 2007

Now entering full time Gluten free, egg free, almond/peanut free

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That stuff sounds good, but to be honest, a week of eating that type of meal three times a day would take more time and effort than I've spent on food in the past three years. I would like to change that, and I could see myself doing it at dinner a lot of nights, but I can't take that much time out of my day to prepare lunch (much less breakfast!).

What do you eat for breakfast and lunch?


Joy

Not gluten free yet because I'm waiting to be tested.

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I eat eggs for breakfast. Breads and cereals don't "stay" with me as long, and I crash an hour or two later, plus I get hungry.

Another option is the Japanese breakfast: miso soup, rice, and fish--yum!

For lunch, I have salad with chopped fresh veggies and shredded deli turkey or ham. Soup is good for lunch, too. So is leftover rice with the salad (or in the soup!). Or you could make wrapless wraps: take a piece of deli meat (make sure at the counter that it is gluten-free), spread with cream cheese or ranch dressing, add shredded cheese, lettuce, and some shredded carrots, roll up, and enjoy!

Don't forget to have fruit at every meal!

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I can't claim to do much better, my breakfast is non-existant, and more days than not my lunch is a Venti Mocha from Starbucks. I usally only eat a big dinner, about 40% of the time eating out...

However... I do have some suggestions.

Thai Kitchen Rice noodles. These are like Ramen noodles only more exotic flavors and more expensive with rice noodles. I keep these around for lunches.

If i eat breakfast, it's usally a banana, a orange, or a chocolate bar.

I also like crustless pizzas - a layer of pepperoni, a layer of tomato sause or paste, and then shredded mozzarella on top. I nuke it in the micro for about a minute... eat with fork and yum! I like them for lunch, I bring all the ingredients to work and then nuke in the microwave.

Like I said, I know exactly where you are coming from... I often eat bad just to eat.


Dx 3/23/07

Gluten free 3/27/07

Intolerant:

Gluten

MSG

Allergies:

Ragweed

Honeydew

Cantalope

Nickel (jewelry)

Dx'd Lymphocytic Colitis 6/16/08

I am a bad silly-yak!

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If you can eat eggs and cheese, a fritata makes a great breakfast. You can even make them ahead of time and reheat in the oven. I used 4 eggs, 1 cup of milk, chopped ham, and cheese. You can use spinach, brocoli, any vegie you want. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. A knife should be clean to test. I poured them in 3 bowls. You can also put in a pie plate and bake for about 40 minutes. You do need to oil the pan.

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You could eat eggs or cottage cheese and fruit for breakfast. You could eat cottage cheese or yogurt for lunch. Of course making sure it was gluten free first. You could have cheese and cold cuts for lunch. Or some gluten free soup. There are some canned soups and chilis that are gluten free. You can make rice pasta and spaghetti sauce. Lunch can be leftovers from the night before.

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Thank you ladies. :)

While eggs usually don't agree with me, some of these other ideas would work. (Raw eggs I can handle if they're cage free, but for some reason cooked eggs have always made me feel horrible after eating them. Maybe it's time to tell my boyfriend we're going back to cage free/vegetarian eggs...)

There are a few of books I've read about nutrition, and one of the messages that each one tries to strongly convey is the importance of eating a big breakfast. One of them stressed the importance of eating protein, fat, and carbohydrates every time you eat anything. I think I'm probably going to be eating breakfasts that look more like lunches. Or maybe eating leftover dinner for breakfast.


Joy

Not gluten free yet because I'm waiting to be tested.

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Perhaps, but restaurant eggs make me feel gross, too, and I don't always use a non-stick pan. I don't always feel bad after eating eggs, either. Scrambled eggs and omelettes seem to be the worst.


Joy

Not gluten free yet because I'm waiting to be tested.

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Here is a list you might find useful:

50+ easy things fo find/fix on the gluten-free diet

Most things are very easy to find and inexpensive.

If you are stumped for breakfast ideas, try thinking outside of the breakfast realm. One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast is a baked potato with cheese. Easy, tasty and cheap. Cold pizza or yogurt with fruit are also winners in our house.


-Colleen

Dx 8/05 via bloodwork and biopsy (total villous atrophy)

13-year old son Dx 11/05 via bloodwork and biopsy

Daughters (16 and 5) have tested negative via bloodwork

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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Heres my trick as with my job I only have time to prepare 1 meal a day and some days not even that....

Double your supper.... then package the leftovers in lunch sized containers for taking to work/school the next day... some can also be frozen for next weeks lunch

salads also can be a wonderful and quick meal.... add lunch meat at will

Breakfast is a hard one for me, I have never been a "morning person" and the fact I HAVE to get up at that ungodly hour really doesn't work well with conciously getting a meal together and during my work week I only have about 30 minutes to eat it after getting to work, if I dont get it eaten by then to bad until lunch so I mostly use snacks I can carry with me.... dried fruit, nuts, anything somewhat healthy and easy to carry in my pockets... and when in a real crunch popcorn :o On my weekend however I wait a little later in the ungodly morning and make something a bit heartier, my version of an omelette, more meat than egg, BRM wicked yummy hot cereal, bacon/eggs, ham/eggs, steak/eggs, breakfast quickie pizza and when all else fails I have also been known to grab a leftover dinner packet outta the fridge and have lunch for breakfast. Who said ya had to have eggs for breakfast anyways, had to have been a guy ;)


Just my .00000002 cents worth

If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

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i also make enough for leftovers when i do dinners. makes lunch prep in the morning cake! as far as breakfasts go, i make cream of rice with ground nuts, apples and maple syrup, or i do migas - eggs, shredded tortillas, ham or bacon, and cheese. a whole meal in a frying pan!

search this forum for recipes. i like to just browse through the recipe section and see what's new.


Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT

Gluten-free since June 2006

Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991

Dairy-free for good since summer 2008

Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008

Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(

Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

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A good idea for baked potatoes, which usually takes about an hour to cook in the oven, is to take a potato, wash it, pat it dry with a towel, put a tiny bit of oil in your hand and rub it on the skin of the potato, then wrap it up in a napkin and then wrap it up in a dishrag/towel, pop it in the microwave for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the potato and voila, an easy, fast baked potato. Make sure you stick a knife in the potato first to make sure its done, if it isn't, cook it for a few more minutes.

Someone mentioned a wrap-less wrap, I've found that corn tortillas [the ones you find at the supermarket, ie. Kroger's, Walmart] are a great thing to have, you can make any type of wrap with them, whether it be with lunch meat, chicken, meat leftovers, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots even, just add what you wish and wrap it up in the tortilla.

It's also good to have instant mashed potatoes handy, there's a lot of brands that don't have gluten.

The brand Healthy Choice has a few gluten free TV Dinners, one being Glazed Chicken with rice and steamed veggies, it is a small meal so it is something good for lunch, I have tried and I am in love with it, the gravy is just sooo tasty! Night Hawk brand also has one, which is broiled meat fingers and tater tots, but I've found it to have toooo much fat, there's also another one from Healthy Choice that is Chicken with mash potatoes and gravy and veggies.

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I use corn tortilla's alot. I melt cheese on them for a quick breakfast. Also I take plain yogart, honey and put in frozen berries. Mix it up and take to work. I bake muffins about every 2 weeks and freeze them. Put them in the microwave and have that. (My favorite is cranberry orange, I use nuts and ground flax seed for additional fiber)

Lunch is usually salads - lots of veggies. Fruit for snacks and lots of nuts. I also eat a few hersy kisses in the afternoon or mini gluten-free candy bars - paydays, reeses and snickers are my favorite. I do pack my lunch most of the time. There are some soups out there but be careful, many are not gluten-free. I also eat alot of beans - refried are usually gluten-free so are black beans. (with of course my corn tortillas)

Dinner for me is the easiest for years my dinners mainly consisted of meat, vegtables with either potatoes or corn. Almost all of my reciepes for cooking can be modifyed to use potatoe or corn starch instead of flour. (I dont fry anything).

In texas my best choice if there are no resturants with gluten-free menus (outback, PF Changs, etc.) is Mexican food. I usually do not get gluttened in Mexian resturants.

It will get easier as you go along. It is a healthy way to eat. Good luck.


"The only thing constant in life is change"

Celiac not confirmed, but positive results with diet change

Gluten free since 10/06

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Pancakes/Waffles are the preferred breakfast item at our house. On the weekends I make a huge batch and freeze the leftovers (separated with wax paper). Nuke the pancakes and toast the waffles to heat up as needed. Peanut Butter instead of syrup will give you some protein to stick with you longer.

My daughter's favorit lunch (she would have it everyday if she could) is peanut butter on a rice cake.


Janet

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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Here are my cheap and easy suggestions:

Breakfast: rice cake with peanut butter (or almond butter, or cashew butter or tahini) and a drizzle of honey. Or, cottage cheese and a piece of fresh fruit or canned fruit on top, or cherry tomatoes on top. Vans wheat free waffles with peanut butter and jelly are good, and stay with you a while. There are several gluten-free cereals at the health food store

Lunch: lettuce leaf with cold cuts and cheese rolled up (or my son's fave: 2 slices of deli turkey rolled around a piece of string cheese and eaten with your fingers). Several Progresso soups are gluten-free: Creamy mushroom, chicken and wild rice, lentil, split pea. You can find several of those instant soups in cardboard cups at the health food store that are gluten-free: black bean soup, split pea, etc.

Snacks: trail mix, beef jerkey (read labels to make sure there's no soy sauce that has wheat), Cheetos, tortilla chips and bean dip, Baby Ruth bars, Snickers, Butterfinger, popcorn, gluten-free pretzels dipped in peanut butter.

Dinner: Several Amy's frozen entrees are gluten-free. Chicken breasts with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce dumped over them and baked. Progresso Creamy mushroom soup dumped over chicken breasts and baked (I jazz it up by adding a can of sliced drained mushrooms, some dried minced onion flakes and fresh cracked black pepper). Baked salmon with olive oil, salt and pepper sprinkled over (or Old Bay spice mix sprinkled over). Tacos. Omelets. Chili. Jar sauces by Classico (marinara, alfredo, pesto) are all gluten-free.

Good luck.

Susanna


Diagnosed in March 2006 by blood test and biopsy. Eleven year old son diagnosed in May 2006. Both gluten-free since diagnosis.

The Susanna (Flagstaff, AZ)

"I GOTTA have more cowbell!."

--The legendary Bruce Dickenson

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gluten-free pretzels dipped in peanut butter

OHHH!!!!!! hadn't thought of that..... and I got pretzels in the cupboard! Now where did I put the peanut butter?


Just my .00000002 cents worth

If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

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You don't need to spend huge amounts of time on each meal, you just need to be willing to set aside 20 minutes or so each day for preparing food.

For example, take some good pre-made chicken or veggie broth (maybe Imagine or Pacific)....pour a couple containers of it in a big pot along with some chopped up veggies and dry green lentils. Boil.

Put a dozen eggs in a big pot. Boil.

In not very many minutes you'll have soup to last several meals and enough cooked eggs for several breakfasts. You might have to add some herbs or spices to the soup and some pieces of fruit to the breakfast, but that stuff is easy.

If you put together your lunch the night before things will be easier as well.


"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." - Hippocrates

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You and I are a lot alike -- before I had to go gluten-free, I virtually never cooked, and if I did, it was junk like Hamburger Helper or something.

Now I find cooking dinner is fun, and I do some baking and cooking on the weekends to use during the week.

I eat healthier than any of my co-workers, and I save a TON of money overall by not grabbing lunches or breakfasts out.

Some easy meals:

Put olive oil in a rectangular glass dish. Add some McCormick spices for chicken. Add chicken breast. Sprinkle spices on top. Cook about 25 minutes at 375 degrees. SO EASY! And pretty quick, too.

Gluten-free pasta.

Hamburgers with vegetables on side

There are many easy options, and you'll learn as you go along.

I virtually always eat breakfast at work (so NOT a morning person), and here's what I eat -- keep in mind I also can't have dairy and right now am not eating soy.

Breakfast:

2 pieces of fruit (I rotate among bananas, apples, oranges and grapes most of the time)

or

Rice cake with peanut butter and jelly

or

Homemade banana bread (see Ener-G tapica starch box for recipe)

Lunch:

Soy-free tuna on spinach with gluten-free croutons from Gluten-Free Pantry

or

Prebaked chicken on spinach with croutons

or

Leftovers from previous night's dinner


"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy. I'm telling you it's going to be worth it." - Art Williams

Currently gluten-, casein-, soy- and nightshade-free.

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Offthegrid - I love your signature :)


Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT

Gluten-free since June 2006

Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991

Dairy-free for good since summer 2008

Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008

Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(

Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

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I'm going to try a gluten elimination diet, but I need help planning the menu... Whenever I try diets (South Beach, etc.) or try to eat healthier (cut out as many processed foods as possible, etc.) I end up in worse shape than I was when I started because I don't eat enough.

Basically, what happens is that when I know I should eat and I'm going over my options, everything seems like it's more effort than it's worth and I procrastinate. I end up eating one real meal a day and a few small snacks, often going too long without eating. My blood sugar drops and I start freaking out... I become irritable, frustrated, and frantic.

Needless to say, it's extremely stressful and after a few days of that I end up feeling worse than I did to begin with. I guess diets only work if you eat. lol (Though in all honesty, this sort of thing happens sometimes even when I'm not trying to avoid unhealthy food. Eating itself usually seems like a chore... one that's more effort than it's worth.)

What I'd like is suggestions on what to buy and eat. What are the simplest reasonably healthy gluten free meals? Are there any complete menus (say for a week, or something like that) out there that consist of the most effortless and least expensive meals possible?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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If you go on a gluten free diet without being tested by a blood test or a biopsy, you will not be able to have a definite confirmation of Celiac Disease. You will test as not having celiac disease if you are already gluten free. For insurance purposes and other reasons it is good to have a definite diagnosis. I think the diet is too hard to deal with to just try it to rule out other things. A blood test is not that expensive. You would probably spend that much on gluten free products.

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