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scott_in_pa

Grocery Store Visit

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Hello again,

Since my recent Celiac diagnosis (this week), I decided to venture to the Grocery store-- a trip which took me about 2 hrs. to complete-- is this normal or I am I being overly-neurotic about reading labels. I just wish making more complicated selections could be as easy as picking up a bag of grapes or apples...but instead, I agonized over purchasing basics like fruited yogurt, corn tortillas, cereals, etc. What are the best strategies for "first timers" in the real grocery store (as opposed to the much more Celiac-friendly health-food store)?

Take along a list of good vs. bad ingredients? Steer clear of items with "lots" of ingredients, i.e. stick to the basics: meat, veggies, fruits, etc.

I was gone so long my wife feared something had happened to me on the way there or on the way home! LOL

Help!

Scott_in_PA


Diagnosed March 2008

Gluten free since March 20, 2008

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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Safe: https://www.celiac.com/articles/181/1/Safe-...ents/Page1.html

Not safe: https://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsaf...ents/Page1.html

Food companies that won't hide gluten (so you don't have to worry if you don't see it): http://www.glutenfreeindy.com/foodlists/index.htm

Take these with you to the store and it will help you considerably. Good luck!

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Welcome Scott and wife!

We've all been there at the store, reading labels til we were ready to start throwing items at anyone who didn't need to read them!

It IS a good idea to stick to basics first, just because it's much healthier for a tummy that's not quite healed. Come to think of it, it's probably healthier for healed tummies, too.

But it's also nice to KNOW what you are eating, and gluten hides in such strange places, like Giant Eagle brand tuna salad (has bread crumbs), and some lite ice creams (thickened with wheat starch), and even most brands of soy sauce (which should be named, "wheat sauce," as the ingredients, in order, are "water, WHEAT, soybeans, salt."

When I was a newbie, nice people on this forum provided gluten-free recipes for all kinds of my favorite foods, or else easy ways to substitute ingredients, so feel free to ask away!

BTW, where in PA do you live?

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It takes me about that long to buy groceries, unless I am just buying a few things. We have additional food allergies so I do have to read every label every time. Every time I just grab something, remembering that it was safe the time before, it seems they change something and it's no longer safe. So now I just do read the label every time.

I do also order some things online. I find that saves me some time. More expensive though.

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If the area you are in has a Wegmans that should be your first place to go. Wegmans labels all their gluten-free food, and they are very gluten knowledgeable. If you don't have a Wegmans then the lists that are already provided will also be very helpful.

Sticking with whole unprocessed foods is the safest way to go in the beginning. It will help you heal fastest and lead to less frustration. I actually get pleasure now being able to walk past all those aisles and saying to myself 'nope don't need anything there' as I walk around the outside aisles and get my fresh veggies and fruits, meats and then head to the frozen food section for any frozen veggies I like to keep on hand. I have also found I actually spend less on groceries now than I did prediagnosis, but I do only use a minimum of specialty gluten free products. It can be daunting at first, the first month after diagnosis my DD refused to shop with me any more because I started crying from frustration in the middle of the store. Being as sick as I was the thought that I would have to actually cook almost all our food was terrifying as I barely had the strength to breathe let alone cook and clean up afterwards. We ate a lot of homemade veggie soups and stews those first weeks, cook once eat for 3 days.

It takes some getting used to and our maker friendly but consumer unfreindly labeling laws make things so confusing.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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I second Raven's Wegmans information. Since going gluten free I shop primarily in that store. They have a huge gluten free selection and like previously mentioned all of their house brand is labeled gluten free. You win both ways since the house brand is always cheapier too :) If there is one in a fairly close driving distance it might be worth it to check it out.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

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My first trip to the grocery post-DX took about that long. But it was because I was reading the label on every product in the store trying to figure out what I could eat. Many of those products I wouldn't have bought anyway. I was reading the label on every bottle of ketchup, for example, while in reality I would have only bought one. I read the label on every box of cereal, while I would have only chosen one or two at a time.

I used the safe/forbidden ingredients lists that Happygirl posted above. I memorized them so I didn't have to carry them with me. Then I figured out what manufacturers have good labeling practices (Kraft, Hormel, Unilever, etc). I started with those brands and worked out from there. Once you figure out your favorite brands, it will go much quicker. You can just go straight to it, give the label a quick glance and be on to the next thing on your list.

Buying whole foods (friuts and veggies, a bag of potatoes, rice, fresh meat, etc) can help speed thngs up, too. You don't have to read the ingredient panel on a carrot. ;)

Hang in there, it gets better. Before you know it you will be an expert.


-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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Since my recent Celiac diagnosis (this week), I decided to venture to the Grocery store-- a trip which took me about 2 hrs. to complete-- is this normal or I am I being overly-neurotic about reading labels.

I was gone so long my wife feared something had happened to me on the way there or on the way home! LOL

Help!

Scott_in_PA

:lol::lol:

It gets better!! I promise!!! On one of my first trips, I was gone a couple of hours. I walked into the house carrying two small bags of groceries. My husband hopped up to get the rest out of the car. I said "Ummm, this is it, I've got it". He gave me the look of "what the heck have you been doing?" :lol::lol: It takes a long time to read the labels. I was reading labels on stuff that I wouldn't buy anyway. Nobody here eats Thousand Island dressing, but there I was reading the label for it. It's all part of the self-education process.

You'll get to the point where you have your favoUrite brands and it'll be a quick glance at the label to make sure nothings changed. I really like the list of companies that happygirl posted. Then, when you find yourself at the grocery store and thinking you need some <fill-in-the-blank> but you forgot to research which brand was OK, then you can look for one from Kraft, Unilever, or ConAgra (or their subsidiaries) or one of the others and just check the label for WBRO.

If you are having a hard time finding a replacement for a favourite item, let us know and we'll help you out. We all want to buy as many mainstream items as possible to keep our costs down. Like Fiddle-Faddle posted, almost ALL soy sauces have wheat . . . but LaChoy is OK. Same with worcestershire sauce . . . but Lea&Perrins is OK (for US only).

Good Luck!!! Be sure to take your reading glasses, the print on thoses labels is pretty small!! :lol:


Janet

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

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Good Luck!!! Be sure to take your reading glasses, the print on thoses labels is pretty small!! :lol:

And when the print is in white on a dark background, it's even worse! :angry:


Sandi ~ learning to live in a world obsessed and infested with wheat.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" probably was not referring to us . . .

"For the love of money gluten is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (apologies to 1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

The person we most dislike is still a soul for whom Christ died. (David Jeremiah)

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Both WholeFoods (expensive) and TraderJoe's have lists of the gluten free products in the store. WholeFoods has a good selection of specialty gluten free foods. You have to ask for them at customer service. I still read all the labels though.


Phyllis

Gluten Free - 30 years

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Hello again,

Since my recent Celiac diagnosis (this week), I decided to venture to the Grocery store-- a trip which took me about 2 hrs. to complete-- is this normal or I am I being overly-neurotic about reading labels. I just wish making more complicated selections could be as easy as picking up a bag of grapes or apples...but instead, I agonized over purchasing basics like fruited yogurt, corn tortillas, cereals, etc. What are the best strategies for "first timers" in the real grocery store (as opposed to the much more Celiac-friendly health-food store)?

Take along a list of good vs. bad ingredients? Steer clear of items with "lots" of ingredients, i.e. stick to the basics: meat, veggies, fruits, etc.

I was gone so long my wife feared something had happened to me on the way there or on the way home! LOL

Help!

Scott_in_PA

I don't know if this helps but....

I am currently in a foreign country where I don't understand the very complicated language here. When I grocery shop, I only buy things that allow me to identify all of the ingredients without having to read the label. I can sometimes make out a couple words on the label (such as voda - water and sul - salt) but if there are more than three or four ingredients I can't buy it. So, I mostly have to stick to the basics. It's really easy actually :)

The ingredients on labels these days in the US basically consist of foreign words that we can't pronounce anyway, so it's easier just to completely avoid that stuff.

You could also try shopping in health food stores where the ingredients even in the processed foods are a bit more basic.


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

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The ingredients on labels these days in the US basically consist of foreign words that we can't pronounce anyway, so it's easier just to completely avoid that stuff.

This is the most truthful statement. :)


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

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Thanks, everyone, for the excellent advice. Yes, I had seen the "safe" and "unsafe" lists on Celiac.com-- many thanks-- next time, I'll print them out and tote them with me to the grocery store.

I am in south-central PA and am located about 40 miles between two different Wegmans-- Trader Joe's is not too terribly far away either (about 45 miles) and I believe there is a Whole Foods at about that distance as well.

I will stick to basics and as a I get better at remembering and learning about more complex ingredients, I will venture into braver territory!

I appreciate the time that everyone took to answer my questions.

THANKS FOR HELPING THE NEW GUY!! :D


Diagnosed March 2008

Gluten free since March 20, 2008

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Hey Scott, I don't know if you have a Super Walmart near you, but if you do I highly recommend shopping there. They label their gluten free foods as gluten free. Its so easy to shop there if you're in a hurry, just pick up a can and look for the gluten free stamp.


~Angie~

Gluten free since May 2004

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Congrats on keeping the first shopping trip under three hours :D

It does get easier. It takes time but you figure it out; you get to the point where you know what is probably safe and what absolutely isn't and that cuts down on a lot of time and label reading. I would also suggest carrying a magnifying glass for those really small labels with the ingredients in white print against a red background <_<

Mostly these days I shop in the cheese, coldcuts, dairy, meat and veggie/fruit sections. I pretty much avoid the aisles all together. I occasionally make a forage in there for olive oil or rice noodles or something, but most of what I eat are whole foods now with next to nothing that is processed, packaged, frozen or canned. I also just kind of automatically shy away now from ingredient lists that are a mile long and list things normal sane people wouldn't eat. If I can't promounce it I've decided I don't want to be eating it.

Thanks, everyone, for the excellent advice. Yes, I had seen the "safe" and "unsafe" lists on Celiac.com-- many thanks-- next time, I'll print them out and tote them with me to the grocery store.

I am in south-central PA and am located about 40 miles between two different Wegmans-- Trader Joe's is not too terribly far away either (about 45 miles) and I believe there is a Whole Foods at about that distance as well.

I will stick to basics and as a I get better at remembering and learning about more complex ingredients, I will venture into braver territory!

I appreciate the time that everyone took to answer my questions.

THANKS FOR HELPING THE NEW GUY!! :D


"My mother always told me, it's okay to play with a man's mind

as long as you put it back where you got it when you're done with it."

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