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Storm

My First Shopping Expedition... It Didn't Go Well :-(

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I was diagnosed with Celiacs the day before I flew to the USA on holiday.

While I was there, my friend, who has been AMAZING, helped me through the first 3 very very tough weeks. We had to experiment with food, some of which made me really ill and some of which was quite nice!

Now I am back in the UK, I ventured out to go shopping for the first time. I went to a Waitrose store as on their online food list, they stocked over 2300 gluten free items!! I thought this would be heaven.. how disappointed was I when I went into the store, only to find they stocked 6 .... yes 6... items of gluten free food. :(

Leaving there with 2 tins of soup, cereal, pasta and milk, I went home, feeling upset and lost.

I am still struggling badly with trying to find a store with enough food in stock to keep me going, but it is proving SO tough and SO expensive.

I feel the world is against me right now and I am so so hungry... I nearly gave in and bought a sandwich, but I suddenly thought of how sick I was in the USA and decided that I would suffer hunger instead.

I did find some crisps (potato chips) that did say on the back that they were suitable for celiac sufferers, so I bought a few packs of those to keep me going...

Is it always going to be this hard?????? I had to ask someone to come shopping with me the other day as I really could not face going on my own. It was upsetting.....

My friend in the USA has found places I can eat out in the UK with gluten free menu's but I never thought I would face such an uphill challenge to avoid hunger on a daily basis.

:( :( :(


"When your going through hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill

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Storm, we have all been where you are right now. I would suggest starting with veggies and meat instead of worrying so much about gluten free processed foods. Steak and a baked potato is an easy one (just check any spice blends you use first).

The thing that helped me the most in the beginning was a basic gluten free flour mix although I'm sure rice flour would work too. For any of my regular dinner recipes that called for flour, I substituted this mix (i.e., shepard's pie, dredged pork cutlets). Once I looked at what I usually cooked for meals, I was suprised at how many items were already gluten free or could easily be made gluten free with a simple substitution. Doing this also cuts down on the cost considerably.

Hang in there, it does get easier.


DD diagnosed Celiac by biopsy May 2008 at 7 years old.

DD diagnosed with Asthma November 2009 at 8 years old.

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Thank you ...

I am just having NO motivation at all and prepping food etc is a challenge..... I think its denial, I am not ill at all, I am fine so why should I make the effort to prep special food.... then it hits home :(

I am hoping it will get better, my partner has been a HUGE help but is not always around to help me, but she is fantastic at helping me.


"When your going through hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill

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Sorry to see your'e having so many problems getting started, but I think your'e seeing it as harder than it is. In time, the diet will be second nature, but we probably all felt bewildered and confused at first. Stick to basics. Fry a hamburger, stick some frozen f.f.( gluton free-not all are) and open up a bag of salad mix. Not the kind of meal I ordinarily eat, but easy, cheap, and your'e NOT STARVING.

You might want to buy gluten-free bread and crackers at first, but buy mostly naturally gluten-free things. Meat, fruits, veges. Good luck to you.

Susan

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i second the meat/veggies/fruits diet. if you go out looking for all the gluten-free substitutes and try to rely on those to fulfill your want of the normal glutened food it is going to be harder and just more stressful.

take the time to let your body clear out the gluten and start to get on the healing path. then you can start to look at other stuff. but you will probably need to bake/cook for your self to do most gluten free versions of the normally glutened goods.

also look for things you like that are gluten free by their ingredients not because they are gluten free versions. Chips (fries states side) should be gluten free for the most part, i found one brand here that is not so i have to get another but most of them are pretty good about it.

i have eaten steak, chips/fries, and salad many evenings, not a huge variety there but its at lest decent food

it hard at first no doubt but just look around online for good recipes that are gluten free just from the ingredients chosen

-matt

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Hiya Scott,

Wished you lived near me then we could help each other. I went hungry for the first week but I am slowly getting the hang of it now. I know what you mean by being overwhelmed, wanting to give in etc. I've had a few frustrated tearful moments and isolated times in the bath where I would allow myself to feel sorry for myself so nothing wrong in that Scott. BUT there is a lot we can eat. Have you joined the Ceoliac Uk as you get a free Food and Drink Directory? It's a Godsend and even has our local supermarkets in there!!!!!

I am more than happy for you to email me if it helps. You are not alone and don't go hungry, no need for you to. Take care Nikki

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I eat almost nothing but food I cook, don't trust prepared foods from the grocery, restaurants, in a box, frozen, nothing!!

Watch a cooking channel on the Tube... you can cook much faster after watching some of those people do their "magic"!! I've cooked from the time I was a kid, but I was "sslllooowwww" as Christmas... now, I can throw out a meal in 15-45 minutes, depending on the food, number of people eating, etc, etc. And, I enjoy it... unlike before, when it was misery, 'cause of the time it took!!

B)

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Well my hubby and kids wanted KFC tonight so I just grabbed wotsits! Tonight i HATE being celiac!

Question for you Matt..you say chips are ok but when I checked on the back of the frozen ones they said they contained wheat as covered in wheat flour??

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Well my hubby and kids wanted KFC tonight so I just grabbed wotsits! Tonight i HATE being celiac!

Question for you Matt..you say chips are ok but when I checked on the back of the frozen ones they said they contained wheat as covered in wheat flour??

well it depends which brand you buy (at least here in the states) i know Ore-Ida here are all gluten-free.

another choice is to get a cutter your self, not sure how common they are over in the UK but in the states, especially farther south they are pretty easy to find

-matt

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Hi Storm,

I been there, it takes a while to adjust. I think part of it is being programmed to eat certain things all your life, and then suddenly having to learn to think about different things to eat. Sort of like changing a life long habit. Eating suddenly becomes something requiring effort, just to decide what's ok to eat. But once you get past that phase, it does get easier (he says through clenched teeth with his fingers crossed). Just kidding, it really does get better.

Here is something simple to make that I like lately. It involves vegetables, so I hope you like them.

I take a potato, chop it up in smaller chunks like for hash browns. And same with an onion or half an onion. Chop chop. I fry those in a skillet for 3 or 4 minutes to brown. Then throw in some frozen veggies, green bean, lima beans, whatever floats your boat. After the veggies are nice and hot I break an egg into the pan and stir it up quick. Throw in some herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. It ain't too bad with some mayo stirred in also (after it's off the heat). You could add some canned salmon or other meat to give this more protein. Or some lemon juice and olice oil and apple cider vinegar. I can make this quick meal in about 10 minutes easy.

The other thing I do is make big pots of rice, veggies and meat on the weekend. I freeze a bunch of it and keep some out in the refrigerator for quick nuking. If you make a different version of rice each weekend and freeze some you will soon have several frozen varieties to choose from during the week. You might try a Hawaiian version with cocounut milk and cinnamon, ginger and chicken etc some time, or a red sauce version with tomatoes (if you do them), or olive oil and vinegar. Zillions of ways to make rice. Rice pasta is another option and generally pretty good.

I also keep bags of fruit around, apples, bananas, oranges, whatever is in season and cheap at the store. I also like to make guacamole and use it on tortillas with other fixins for rollups. Guacamole is just avacadoes mashed up with mayo, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

There is a thread in the recipes forum for quick nuker bread. You mix up 4 tablespoons of gluten-free flour, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons or so of baking powder and zap it for 90 sec to 120 sec. in a bowl. Makes a quick biscuit or bun type bread. I usually add a few drops of lemon juice as the acid helps the baking powder work.

https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=56641

Over here we have a company called Hormel that sells a gluten free ham. Boneless skinless chicken breasts in bulk are good to get also. We also have a brand of corn chips called Tostitos' that are gluten-free. You might find something like that too. Great with the guacamole.

The problem after a while will become not having nothing to eat, but having too much to eat! :)


Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.

Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, pistachios, and hard work. Have a good day! 🙂 Paul

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Thank you everyone...

It is SO daunting, my partner will tell you just how hard it has been for both of us.. many many times I have felt like throwing in the towel and taking sickness over hunger. Had many a tearful day as well.

It just seems so uphill all the time...... I know it will get easier, but at the moment, I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I tried to cook a chicken tikka massala tonight, but in my panic to eat a decent meal, I messed up the rice, put too much gluten-free mix in the pan with the chicken and ended up in tears as it went into the bin...

:(


"When your going through hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill

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Thanks Matt, explains it, the USA seems to be more gluten free friendly than over here!! Looks like I'll be cooking my own :)

McCain oven chips in the Crinkle cut and straight cut versions (yellow packets) are gluten free (sorry if you already know that!). The home fries however are NOT gluten free.

As Storm's partner I can agree that there have been some tough days but I am trying to view it as learning process and a challenge. I have discovered a lot about food through this.

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Storm,

it is truly heinous and awful, the first few shopping trips as a celiac. I remember sobbing in the aisles of Whole Foods (which we fondly call Whole Paycheck - a loaf of g f sandwich bread is about $9.50 :o and you can still kind of tile a roof with it <_< ). Well, really, the first few months.....a huge life change and adjustment, accompanied by much grieving. We have all been there.

First, I think you need some help from a seasoned UK celiac veteran. I will send a note to one of our dear British pals who is very well-versed in all of this. I can't advise as to shopping, as am in California and have no idea what is offered in the stores over there. I mean, we have lettuce in bags (I am soooooo lazy), roasted chickens at the grocery store (gluten-free), and many g f salad dressings. So, I can get very easy meals out of that combination, and just add some green onions, blue cheese, maybe some sliced cucumbers or cherry tomatoes. I am a laaaaaaaaaazy chef! :)

One other thought is - do you have Patek's curries in the UK? they are pretty much gluten-free and I use those all the time. You can actually microwave or saut


SUSIE

Diagnosed January 2006

"I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells." ~Dr. Seuss

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The Pataks website is brilliant!!

They stock huge amounts of gluten free curry sauces and you can also see which supermarkets in the UK stock which items as well...

Thank you Susie for the advice!


"When your going through hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill

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Thank you everyone...

It is SO daunting, my partner will tell you just how hard it has been for both of us.. many many times I have felt like throwing in the towel and taking sickness over hunger. Had many a tearful day as well.

It just seems so uphill all the time...... I know it will get easier, but at the moment, I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I tried to cook a chicken tikka massala tonight, but in my panic to eat a decent meal, I messed up the rice, put too much gluten-free mix in the pan with the chicken and ended up in tears as it went into the bin...

:(

McCain oven chips in the Crinkle cut and straight cut versions (yellow packets) are gluten free (sorry if you already know that!). The home fries however are NOT gluten free.

As Storm's partner I can agree that there have been some tough days but I am trying to view it as learning process and a challenge. I have discovered a lot about food through this.

the frustration will go away in a few weeks as long as you all can stick to gluten free. the gluten is causing depression/mind fog/etc that are making you feel this way more so than you should and it will take a good month for it to clear out fully from your body storm

one good easy quick meal i do is fried rice (you have to use a gluten free soy cause but la choy here in the states is gluten-free, you probably will find one over there). you basically just do 2 cups (about 480 ml) of cooked rice, meat (i do about a steak size amount of beef or a couple breasts of chicken), 1 egg peppers and onions (you can do snap peas and carrots too) then soy sauce. you saute the veggies until how you like them, add the rice and cooked meat in and cook on med heat for 2 mins make a "well" in the center and crack the egg in there, let it cook for a min, add soy sauce and cook for another min or 2 at least, i usually go longer to get it to the consistency i like, i also add a bunch of sweet and sour sauce so i dont have to add it later.

another great simple meal is take chicken breasts, put them in a baking pan with some olive oil, cover in a bit of lemon juice and any/all of: basil, sage, oregano, etc and bake for a bout an hour at about 195-200* C

-matt

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The Pataks website is brilliant!!

They stock huge amounts of gluten free curry sauces and you can also see which supermarkets in the UK stock which items as well...

Thank you Susie for the advice!

:) You're welcome!

This thread reminded me of it, and I just ate some vindaloo chicken for dinner!

<MUCH better if you saut


SUSIE

Diagnosed January 2006

"I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells." ~Dr. Seuss

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Thanks Laura on the chips advice, we usually buy the blue packet version so I'll look at the others :)

Scott you really need to get that Food directory as it lists all the foods we can buy and there are hundreds!!!! As I said earlier it lists our supermarkets also, I certainly wished I had it before and have been reading it now for the last 2 days AMAZED at what we can actually eat!!! :D

Until yours arrives I'm more than happy to sit and answer your questions. I know I'm in the early days like you and my hubby is learning the same but we've no choice but to get through this and we will, just like everyone else has on here and it will become second nature.

Hope you have a good day, Nikki

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Storm & Laura!!! :D (I think I have posted in response to another of your topics....If I remember rightly you also live in Essex (as do I), yes?)

My hubby was dx'd 5 yrs ago and our son 3 yrs.

The first few shopping trips after hubby's dx were at best lengthy, disheartening, frustrating and TIME CONSUMING!!!! :angry:

...but the good news is it gets better, EASIER and plain second nature eventually until you can whizz round your supermarket and you'll never feel hungry again!!

First off- have you joined Coeliac UK??

http://www.coeliac.org.uk/

We found the food and drink directory very helpful in the beginning.

Were you biopsy diagnosed???......if so you are entitled to some prescription foods from your GP.

Have you got a Tesco's near you???....they have quite an extensive 'free from' range. Sainsbury's also AND they have frozen ready meals (gluten-free lasagne, shephards pie, pizza)

These are great when you haven't had time to plan ahead.....but we found in time we tended to steer away from expensive 'replacement' foods and found ways to eat naturally gluten-free :)

I remember the week after hubby's dx he must have ate jacket potato with cheese every night :lol:

I think, at first, we made the mistake of trying to replace everything that was gluten (bread, cakes, bisccuits etc...etc) but infact realised we needed to completely overhaul our attitude to food and what we ate.

We have 3 children, 2 without coeliac BUT our evening meal is always gluten-free for convenience, lunches are (IMO) the hardest to do gluten-free.

To give you an idea of what might be an average days meals:

Breakfast: Sainsbury's golden porridge with a banana

Lunch: (if at home) Grilled bacon,scrambled eggs,(heinz)baked beans, mushrooms

Dinner: Sausages (Tesco's 'free from') and mashed potatoes/cabbage/home made gravy

Snacks: Fruit,nuts or cheese & apple, yoghurt or a chocolate bar :ph34r: (bounty,aero,buttons)

Packed lunches for my son at school or on the go might be:

gluten-free pasta mixed with Sacla pasta sauce, small bitesize cheddar cheese packs, Ambrosia creamed rice small pot, Raisins

You really don't need to stick to the 'free from' shelves....... there's lots of ok foods out there BUT it does required alot of 'reading the ingredients' <_<

Most food packs will list all ingredients and will have an 'Allergen box' e.g This product contains nuts ....etc

Very few foods will say 'safe for coeliacs'....but loads ARE!!

I know in the beginning it does feel overwhelming :( but it truly does get better and easier.....AND it forced us as a family to eat healthier :rolleyes:

Dingogirl's suggestion of Patak's was a great one.......we often have chicken curry with poppadoms :)

Finally, any specific product questions might be better answered on this Brit site for coeliacs

http://members2.boardhost.com/glutenfree/

Please feel free to contact me with any questions - I'd be more than happy to help in any way

Good luck :)


It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required - Sir Winston Churchill

Nikki

Son diagnosed with Coeliac Disease Oct 2006 by biopsy (at age 13yrs)

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HI Storm,

I definitely relate to you - we have all been there and it is a major change in the beginning. But then it just becomes second nature and you are feeling so good that the diet doesn't seem like a sacrifice. Even though it was awful, I think the best thing that my GI did was to keep me on gluten before the endoscopy. I was so ill that I now have an aversion to bread.

I would stay away from gluten-free versions of food for a while. It is overwhelming enough without having to invest in a cupboard full of ingredients, spend hours on a gluten-free recipe (like pizza) and have it be disgusting. Just eat fruits, veges, meat, meat, rice and potatoes. (that said - one ingredient that you should invest in is Xanthan Gum. It really does improve the texture of foods made with gluten-free flour)

I second what Susie said about curries. If you want to eat at restaurants, Indian food is traditionally gluten-free. And delicious.

Also, like many people on the board, I have become an excellent meal planner. The large dish I make for myself and my fiance on Sunday is what I bring for lunches through the week. And, I can't say how much I love my rice cooker. Between that and a Foreman Grill, you can make dinner in no time and it doesn't have to be a huge production.

Good luck! I promise it get easier.

Hilary

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Hi Storm!

I totally know how youre feeling. I just went gluten-free a few weeks ago and during my first trip to the store, I started crying! I thought itd be easy but it's proven to be a bit of a challenge.

I wish I had more advice for you besides what everyone else has said.... all I've learned to do is take one day at a time! I try to plan my meals ahead of time, especially if I am eating at work. It helps not to splurge or feel rushed. I have been back to a different store one time and found some good things... but I'm still struggling!

Maybe we can help each other out!

Good luck!

Emily

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o something i forgot that makes it easier when you just want something that is tasty, find a candy you like a lot that happens to be gluten free. not sure how much of the same candy yall have over in the UK but over here snickers, butter fingers, and ressese peanut butter cups are all gluten-free, and that made it a lot better for me at least

-matt

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