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Chiron

Any Gluten Free Vegeterians Out There?

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I was just diagnosed last week and can't start gluten free living until after my biopsy on Friday. I am a vegeterain and was just wondering how realistic it is to try and go wheat free and meat free. I originally went vegeterian as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Even though it seems gluten has been the real culprit, I am not sure I want go back to meat. Any advice?

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There are number of celiac vegetarians out there,

http://www.vegiac.com/forums/index.php

is a site where many gather.

It's not been easy for me as I cant handle the salads and greens I used too. I also think of going back to meat at times

but I will never go back to gluten!

Ken

I was just diagnosed last week and can't start gluten free living until after my biopsy on Friday. I am a vegeterain and was just wondering how realistic it is to try and go wheat free and meat free. I originally went vegeterian as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Even though it seems gluten has been the real culprit, I am not sure I want go back to meat. Any advice?

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I gave up on being veggie when I went gluten-free, but that's mainly because I live at home and I didn't wan't to further complicate meals. It can also make eating in a restaurant REALLY hard. But if you feel you can do it, go for it! I admire you :-)

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Yes, we exist. There are even quite a few of us that are vegan to boot. I found I had to eliminate soy and still I'm fine.

Any time a diet change is anticipated, it can seem overwhelming. But you do a little research and find out it isn't that bad. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan recipes are gluten free or can be converted. I substitute a gluten-free pasta or grain and I'm fine. It is easier to think about the wealth of different foods you CAN have than the ones you can't.

I found I didn't have to change much when I found out I couldn't have gluten. OK, the fake meats were out, but they aren't really healthy to begin with. You can have healthy and tasty meals without them. It isn't necessary to mimic the Standard American Diet.

Vegiac.com is great. We have a little gluten-free cohort on our own little subforum on the McDougall board. There are also Yahoo groups for gluten-free vegetarians and vegans. The vegan one, "Vegan-and-Gluten-Free" has loads of recipes in its files.

My restaurant repetoire has gone down, but I can still go out. I've found the most success with tapas, middle eastern, some Mexican, Indian, and Ethiopian (assuming that they make their injera without wheat flour). Perversely enough, steak houses generally work too, because they tend to have plenty of nice sides. There is this wonderful vegetarian restaurant that caters to food allergies in my state too, not close enough for weekly trips, but a nice treat.

If you find you do have a problem with gluten, get hooked up with your local celiac group. My area has a Yahoo group, where we share information about restaurants among other things.

If you find you do need to eliminate gluten, there are plenty of other vegetarians who have done so. Just ask any questions you have and don't feel bad if you feel overwhelmed at first. I think everybody does, vegetarian or not. I found I had my little grieving period for the food I couldn't have anymore and then I moved on.

I guess I'm feeling philosophical because this is my one year gluten-free anniversary. I was upset in the beginning, but now it doesn't impact me much on a day-to-day basis. I worry when I go out of town, but I try to do my research and find places to eat. When that doesn't work, I just go to a nice restaurant, and explain the problem. The chef comes out and we work something out.

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I am a gluten-free vegan. If you know what you need to avoid then life is easy. There might not be as many options for us but we can be healthy and thrive. Vegiac.com is a great resource and there are many gluten-free vegetarian cookbooks. Good luck!

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I'm a vegetarian with Celiac Disease. It was easier to cut gluten out of my diet than it was to cut meat out. And by cutting out the gluten, I've been able to tolerate dairy again (I've been lactose intolerant for years). I'm so happy to eat dairy again!

I do a lot with beans, cheeses (only after you have given yourself a chance to heal!), veggies, rice, corn, and potato.

You can do this diet and stay a vegetarian although it does make eating out that much harder.

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I know that there are quite a few gluten-free vegetarians, but please don't get discouraged if it's difficult at first. When starting a gluten-free diet, it is very helpful to keep it simple -- whole foods, cooked veggies, limiting yourself to very safe foods. Hopefully, you will be among those who can do that without meat, but if not, you can almost surely get there once you heal a bit. Please be patient with the healing process, and not too discouraged if you find you need a bit of animal protein to get you through the beginning. It does get easier.

I was a vegetarian for a long time, but had added poultry and fish many years ago since I wasn't feeling great. When I got my celiac diagnosis 14+ months ago, I found that chicken was one of the best foods for my healing guts, and have eaten LOTS of it. Raw veggies didn't work, and most legumes didn't work for me, either. I also (like so many) can't tolerate dairy at this point. Although I actually ate a little red meat shortly after my diagnosis, I got past that need very quickly. I am hopeful that in time I can once again reduce my reliance on animal protein.

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I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons when I was 12- way back in 1991. I have only been gluten free for 6 months. Sometimes I get really frustrated and wish I could eat meat again but vegetarianism has been a part of me for so long now that I just don't think I could do it. It is who I am and I still hold the values that made me become one in the first place. Eating at home is no problem if you have a health food store or Trader Joes near by. TJs has gluten-free pasta, gluten-free bread, gluten-free Tiramisu, and a million other products that are naturally gluten-free. I live 2 blocks away from a Whole Foods. There are still quite a few Amy's frozen entrees if you are in a hurry that are gluten-free. Sunshine veggie burgers are gluten-free as well as Amy's Bistro burger. I have learned to LOVE polenta and corn tortillas. For added protein I eat Fage yogurt or make smoothies with whey powder. IMO- being a gluten free vegetarian is totally possible. I live it everyday and still love to eat. I do recommend though that you get the cookbook: The Gluten Free Vegetarian Kitchen. I use it all the time.

Eating out on the other hand is a pain! I am a pretty shy person and have trouble asking the millions of questions that you need to ask to eat safely. Usually I just get wine or a margarita when I have to go out. It makes the event still feel festive without me having to worry about CC. Good Luck! Message me if you need any more help.

Meredith

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I was a vegan when I went gluten free almost two years ago, and chose to start eating meat. Now I'm back to probably vegan again, but I'll tell you about my journey.

To add back, I started with "healthY' lunch meat, like Applegate Farms, etc. I thought since it was really skinny, it would work to introduce slowly. I ate it with mustard and raw sauerkraut. It was not very good, but lunch meat never has been.

Then I added back chicken, organic and pasture raised. This worked out pretty well for a while. Then I added back GRASS FED beef from a ranch I inspected myself. This was so great for a while - tasted so good, was relatively ethical since I checked out the spot, the cows were being fed their natural diet, etc.

Soon, I got into bacon. There is nothing healthy about bacon, but many veggies, myself included, find bacon the thing they miss most. It is really tastey. I think I got addicted to bacon - had it a lot.

All of this went fine. I digested it fine. I felt a bit more energetic than I had, but I had also gone gluten-free so there is no way to tell which was the trigger. I would have occassional bouts of diarrhea (always a C person with the celiac), probably from too much bacon. My bacon, chicken, and beef all came from sources I for the most part trusted (beef was the only one I was able to check out personally) so I felt that I was not contributing to the economy of animal cruelty and sacrificed heatlh/nutritional value that the mainstream meat industry is representative of.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I decided to go raw for the most part. This has been great so far, except for the difficulty in getting enough calories. Since most raw foodists are vegan, it just naturally followed that I would go that way, since I was checking out websites and books for recipies and the like. My digestion really perked up on the raw food. I would find that sometimes I did not feel my stomach (almost never happens) - like I might be a normal person for once. I am hungry a lot, have to think about food a lot, have to plan and prepare food a lot, but I figure that is my fate, you know. Food has been an issue for me since childhood.

Where I am now: 1) I am not sure if I am a protein type metabolizer or a carb type - if protein type, it is likely that I need some sort of animal flesh. If it turns out that way, I'll occassionally eat grass fed beef or buffalo or some other meat I can get LOCALLY from someplace that I've checked out and that I trust - and I won't eat more than 20% of any meal of meat. 2) if I can do it, I'd rather NOT eat meat. I don't like contributing to the economy of food as commodity (food is a human right and tied intrinsicly with dignity) and I don't like causing harm to animals or causing animals to be brought into this world just to be food. 3) I need to figure out my new energy problems - are they from lack of calories? am I detoxing? is it lack of protein? etc.

It is most certainly do-able - being a veggie/vegan and being gluten free. My personal advice is to watch out for several factors that I think get vegetarians in the end, health-wise. Soy is not good for you, number one. If you do five minutes of research on the Internet, you'll find out more about why you should not eat soy that you ever wanted to know. If you are replacing protein from animals with protein from cheese, you are not going to be very healthy either. If you eat cheese, it should be raw milk cheese, which has some goodness for lots of folks (I can't eat it, gives me poop problems). Consider eating at least 50% raw - we need the enzymes and the vitamins/minerals and water content of foods as they are gifted to us in nature.

Some good sources of protein: nuts, veggies, superfoods like spirulina or klamath algae.

Anyway, you already are veggie, so you doubtlessly know all that stuff.

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