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How Do I Know I've Succeded

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Hello,

I was diagnosed with celiac disease almost two weeks ago. I only went through the tests because of an off handed comment I made to a doctor about some D. A couple of months later I got the diagnosis after blood tests and biopsies. My symptoms (thankfuly) were never very bad. It was intermitent. How do I know now that I have succeeded at becoming free of all Gluten. I am sharing a kitchen with two roommates who are trying to be careful, and I am being very careful about checking ingredients so I haven't ingested any that way. How do I know that I'm not getting any from my kitchen for example? I have washed everything down, but right now just don't have the money to get all new dishes. I did get new spoons and spatula. I am going to find a colinder and cutting board when I can. How do I know that I have succeeded as I don't feel too different except tired and hungry?

Thanks.

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You shouldn't be tired and hungry. Are you eating enough? Protien? multi-vitamin? enough fluids? You can only do the best you can. The absence of illness is the only way I know. After that it's just keeping things simple so I don't have to second guess myself.

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Well, you could still be tired, you've only been healing for two weeks. Depending on how long you've had it and how old you are, etc., could be 6 mos. to even a year to complete healing.

I don't have a gluten free kitchen either (my husband is not celiac) but, aside from things that are "mine" (gluten-free) like cutting board, colander, even mixer, you don't need to get new dishes or utensils unless they are plastic or wooden. One thing you do need, however, is your own toaster. And also beware of teflon coated pans. We have a couple non-stick pans that no gluten is allowed to go into (no regular pancakes, french toast. pasta, etc.).

An easy safeguard, for day to day prep in the kitchen, is to never put anything down on the counter. If it's for you, lay it on a plate, paper plate, paper towel, piece of wax paper, etc. Then you always have a shield between your food item and a possibly contaminated surface. It will get to be habit in no time.

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Well, you could still be tired, you've only been healing for two weeks. Depending on how long you've had it and how old you are, etc., could be 6 mos. to even a year to complete healing.

I don't have a gluten free kitchen either (my husband is not celiac) but, aside from things that are "mine" (gluten-free) like cutting board, colander, even mixer, you don't need to get new dishes or utensils unless they are plastic or wooden. One thing you do need, however, is your own toaster. And also beware of teflon coated pans. We have a couple non-stick pans that no gluten is allowed to go into (no regular pancakes, french toast. pasta, etc.).

An easy safeguard, for day to day prep in the kitchen, is to never put anything down on the counter. If it's for you, lay it on a plate, paper plate, paper towel, piece of wax paper, etc. Then you always have a shield between your food item and a possibly contaminated surface. It will get to be habit in no time.

When it comes to putting things down on the coutner, I have a small space that is just mine. However, do I need to worry about gluten that might be on the bottom of the dishes I am using if I have to put them down in the other area? What about the door nobs to the cabinets? Is the regular setting on the dishwasher ok or should we have it do the pots/pans setting that is longer and harder? If I can't see the gluten can it still be there (for example the fridge door handle)?

As for what I am eating I think I just am not eating enough. I am eatting 2 apples a day with peanut butter (one breakfast, one lunch), 2 string cheese for lunch, and whatever I have the energy to put together for dinner (usually when I am the most tired). I had to get rid of my multi vitamin (not that I was taking it) because it had gluten in it. I am seeing my doctor next week and hopefully she will have something to say about what vitamins I might be needing to take. I hope to add in rice cakes to my diet tomorrow and buy cereal for breakfast on my way home tonight. I feel like before i was able to just grab something when I was hungry but now I can't seem to figure out how much I should be eating.

Thanks again for answering my questions.

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I would be really tired and hungry if I only ate what you described. I usually eat two eggs and a banana for breakfast. Apple, peanut butter, juice or almond milk for lunch. Afternoon snack of cereal or chips. Meat, veggie and rice or potato for supper. And I've lost 13lbs. If I wanted to lose more I would replace the banana with tomato, juice with water and the rice or potato with an extra helping of veggies.

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" I am eatting 2 apples a day with peanut butter (one breakfast, one lunch), 2 string cheese for lunch, and whatever I have the energy to put together for dinner (usually when I am the most tired). "

You are definately not eating enough. Can you eat eggs? They are a good source of protein and you can hard boil them to eat for lunch or a snack. You can pick up some gluten free pretzels and perhaps rasins and for sure gluten free nuts and toss them in a bag to snack on. There are a couple of things you can do for dinner that make it easier, if you can get a crock pot you can throw in some meat, potatoes and veggies and start it before work or school and it will be done when you get home. Another time and energy saving item is a rice cooker. They come with a steamer basket and I just throw some rice in the bottom and then put frozen single ingredient veggies and some cooked meat or shrimp in the basket turn it on and relax. If using shrimp I thaw them and then add them in the last few minutes to cook as if they overcook they are very unappealing. I keep a frozen bag in the freezer and although they are known as a pricey food one bag costs about ten bucks and I get at least 5 meals out of it. Dinty Moore Beef Stew is gluten free, I often fix that and throw in some peas or green beans while it heats on the stove. Potatoes will bake themselves, just pierce with a fork and they cook in about an hour in the oven. If you want to hurry them up then zap them in a microwave for 5 minutes first then toss in the oven and check them after around 15 minutes. They are done when you insert a fork and they literally fall off of it. Cook up some broccoli and then put that on top of the potato along with some cheddar cheese and you have a good effortless meal.

It is also possible that you are still going through a bit of withdrawl as you are only two weeks into the diet. That will be over soon.

Another thing you might want to consider getting is some sublingual B12, many of us are defecient and you can be low for a long time before the blood test shows it.

If you are sharing the dishwasher make really sure that food is well rinsed off and that there is no debris in the bottom to contaminate the dishes.

Hang in there, things will get easier.

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I don't see nearly enough protein in your diet. The eggs suggested will be excellant for you. Is there a reason you don't eat meat? You may have to get at least a little in there. Your body especially your muscles, like your heart muscle, really need protein for good health. Eat more nuts and avocados are a good scource of dietary fat. All those changes should help with the tiredness and hunger. You need more gas in your engine!

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I don't see nearly enough protein in your diet. The eggs suggested will be excellant for you. Is there a reason you don't eat meat? You may have to get at least a little in there. Your body especially your muscles, like your heart muscle, really need protein for good health. Eat more nuts and avocados are a good scource of dietary fat. All those changes should help with the tiredness and hunger. You need more gas in your engine!

I tend to eat meat once or twice a week at dinner, chicken usually. Before going gluten free I never ate much meat, but I had a lot of milk and cheese and peanut butter, which usually was enough. Now I just seem to be unsure about everything I eat. I used to know how much of different things I would need, but now I just feel confused abou the whole topic of eating. I will try to eat more chicken and increase my diary intake (I don't seem to have any problems with dairy). I just feel lost, and there is no one I know off-line who is dealing with this. I felt like before it was easy to just grab something when I was hungry. Only since this weekend have I had any munchies in my cabinet which I think is helping. But at the same time I don't want to eat my food too fast as it was a stressful and expensive trip to the grocery store last weekend. I don't know. I see the doctor next week and the nutritionist the week after that. I will also add eggs in.

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You are doing so great! It is awesome that even though you did not have very intense symptoms, you are quitting gluten because it is indeed true that eating any of it will make your small intestine unable to do its job. I've had active Celiac since I was a small child and did not get diagnosed until I was 37 or so - a long time to have diminished nutrient quantity and a compromised digestive system.

One great place to check out is a blog my nutritionist puts out. It is here: http://www.wholelifenutrition.net

I remember at first how frustrating going to the grocery was, because so much of what is on the shelves has gluten in it - and it felt so defeating and helpless. That gets better as you start to learn what works and what does not, though you always have to double check. Quite honestly, every single time I guy a prepared food that was gluten free last week, I check again for the label. You never know how things might change. The best rule of thumb for healthy eating, gluten free or not, is that foods that have not been altered are best, like fruits and veggies and if you so choose, meat and eggs. I don't know what you like to eat, but some great options for grab-and-eat stuff are:

fruits

fruit rollups

nuts (in moderation - these can be hard to digest for anyone and are extra fatty - even if it is good fat)

seeds (same as nuts)

veggies dipped in hummus (hummus easy to make, but also can buy it. emerald valley makes good gluten-free one)

smoothies (does require cleaning the blender a lot and can get expensive) (also, watch out for wheat grass)

chicken strips made the night before if you eat meat/like chicken

gluten free hot dogs if you eat meat/like hotdogs. (Beelers is good and Applegate Farms is good and nitrite free) (salty)

Coconut Bliss "ice cream" (this stuff is totally like heaven, no refined sugar, gluten-free, no dairy, etc.)

boiled eggs (someone mentioned this one)

tuna salad (make sure mayo is gluten-free or use olive oil instead)

tabbouleh made with quinoa instead of Bulgar wheat (this is awesome!)

popped amaranth

Lara bars (and others - I don't do bars, can't manage the dried fruit, but good immediate source of energy)

Corn tortillas (with cheese) (or if you don't like corn tortillas, there's rice and hemp and teff for other gluten-free options)

Salad with or without a protein source such as grilled salmon or chicken or steak or whatever.

slightly more time consuming, but also works

when you make dinner, saute more veggies than you need and keep them for the next day's lunch or to make an omelet with in the a.m.

cream of rice or Bob's hot cereal are both good, and the Bobs, believe it or not, tastes okay cold too, for taking with you

if you choose to keep eating bread, you'll have to experiment. Everyone seems to like different kinds, and they all require toasting to be very good. For that you would need your own toaster - a brand new one. I like Food For Life Millet Bread.

If you have a crockpot, you can make a pot of beans every few days, or whatever other crockpot thing sounds good. We make black beans almost every day with jalepeno and onion and whatever else is hanging about the kitchen.

You might also look into the alternative "grains": quinoa and amaranth. There's also buckwheat and millet.

As to protein intake, a lot of folks accidentally look at it that you have to eat a protein source to get protein. Actually, if you eat a piece of chicken, for example, your body disassembles all the amino acids and reassembles them in the shape of human protein. The only way to eat a protein source and have it stay built the same way is to eat human flesh. So what is actually happening all day long is that amino acids you eat throughout the day, and all foods have them (except straight sugar I believe) are used as building blocks to make human protein. So whether or not you eat animal protein or plant protein does not really matter in the sense of eating protein to make human protein. There are benefits and drawbacks to eating animal protein, for example tryptophan is higher in animal protein, there are other factors there as well. On the other side research shows that the more animal flesh you eat the higher incidence of diabetes, cancer, etc. So it is probably all about balance. But one does not need to think of eating a "protein" to get a protein; one needs to eat a balanced diet and our bodies make protein out of amino acids.

I also think it's very reasonable for you to be tired for a spell after changing your diet, and it does seem as though you are not getting enough calories. It can be really hard at first, but I think you'll find after you get the hang of it, it's worth it knowing that you're taking care of yourself for the long-haul. I've been gluten free for 3 years now come to think of it. Wow.

Take care. Make sure to ask lots of questions here. Check out that blog I linked you to, and there are other gluten free blogs out there as well. You might have a local support group, and your local co-op or healthfood store may well have something going on, or at least a gluten-free product list. Take care.

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Thank you everyone for your advice. I am most pessimistic because I went to the grocery store near me and found very few gluten free foods (no gluten free pasta for example). Your lists of foods to add helps. I don't eat beans (except for green beans) as I have never liked their texture and have always been limited in the meat I eat. I guess now I have a reason for eating the plain foods I have always liked better than the seasoned ones. Ahhh well, I will have to go to whole foods which will be more expensive and requires public transit for my food.

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I just feel lost, and there is no one I know off-line who is dealing with this.

Let me seriously encourage you to find a local support group if you can. The one in my area has been a lifesaver for me. Hang in there!

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Googles,

This is a list of many mainstream products that can be found in many grocery stores at "regular prices". You don't need to shop specialty stores and spend all that extra money.

Wenmin

Disclaimer: This information, generated by Fox Valley Celiacs (FVC), is intended for the benefit of its members and other interested parties. Some celiacs may have other sensitivities (e.g. corn or soy). The text has not been submitted for approval to the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA). Neither FVC, nor any of its members, assume liability for the use of this information. Reproduction of this material is allowed to facilitate the exchange of celiac information. Food manufacturers' products are subject to formula change at any time. If you cannot confirm, by the label, that a product is gluten free, call the company's toll-free number. Many company websites will list their gluten-free products. A more inclusive list of gluten-free items can be found at www.glutenfreeinsd.com , which is also associated with CSA. ALWAYS read labels.

FOODS

Bacon― Oscar Meyer, Hormel

Baked Beans― B & M, Bush

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Wenmin,

Thanks for that comprehensive list. This whole thing just shows how little I actually knew about what I was putting in my body. Thanks again.

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i'm very small, but I would be starving if I ate as little as you! I do eat meat more frequently than I used to, but in smaller portions. It does seem confusing at first, but get's easier. I've been at it for 6 months and still learn new tricks. This forum has saved my life, because no one I know ( including the medical people) know much about celiac. And, I too, was a grabber of snacks. I've had to learn how to really plan and sometime it seems like all I think about is food. One thing I do is make a large omelet and pre-fry some cornmeal mush so, in the am, all I have to do is heat up a piece and eat. Not good in the am! Hang in there - it gets easier, and the rewards are worth it.

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Thanks everyone. I seem to have been able to work out the amount I need to eat better. Though still find late afternoon challenging. I just need to take more snacks to work.

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