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I'm new here and have been reading a lot of these posts, and I'm realizing that even though I'm really carefully gluten free, I'm probably not eating things that are helping me heal since I am (actually was until I had a horrible reaction today) still eating dairy and have just subbed in some gluten-free crackers and bread products and pastas. I keep reading here about a "Whole Foods" diet being much better for the early stages to let your gut heal.

Can y'all tell me more about exactly what that consists of? Just organic meats, fruits and vegetables? Should I use spices? Can I cook with olive oil? What about rice or quinoa? Are there certain fruits and vegetables that should be avoided, or is it all fair game? What about eggs? I really like the idea of healing my gut (at the moment it feels bruised from the inside out after that dairy reaction) and am willing to do whatever it takes--I just need more information. Help?

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Don't eat processed foods. The end.

I'm new here and have been reading a lot of these posts, and I'm realizing that even though I'm really carefully gluten free, I'm probably not eating things that are helping me heal since I am (actually was until I had a horrible reaction today) still eating dairy and have just subbed in some gluten-free crackers and bread products and pastas. I keep reading here about a "Whole Foods" diet being much better for the early stages to let your gut heal.

Can y'all tell me more about exactly what that consists of? Just organic meats, fruits and vegetables? Should I use spices? Can I cook with olive oil? What about rice or quinoa? Are there certain fruits and vegetables that should be avoided, or is it all fair game? What about eggs? I really like the idea of healing my gut (at the moment it feels bruised from the inside out after that dairy reaction) and am willing to do whatever it takes--I just need more information. Help?

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Don't eat processed foods. The end.

I don't mean to be dense, but I guess I don't quite understand what constitutes "processed." I get the obvious things like pre-made breads, crackers, cookies and pre-made meals, etc.--but is, say, brown rice "processed" or no? Soy milk? And can I use salt and pepper on my food or are those also processed?

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I don't mean to be dense, but I guess I don't quite understand what constitutes "processed." I get the obvious things like pre-made breads, crackers, cookies and pre-made meals, etc.--but is, say, brown rice "processed" or no? Soy milk? And can I use salt and pepper on my food or are those also processed?

You can use spices, olive oil, and the like.(I would recommend pure spices rather than blends as sometimes the blends have undesirable things... I've come across only a few that actually contain gluten, though) I consider processed to be anything that has two ingredients that is purchased at a store. (That's me) So, I don't think that brown rice is considered processed. Brown rice is actually one of the few things I could eat when I first went gluten-free that didn't bother me.

If something doesn't bother you, we'll use soy milk as an example, then go for it. But it's not healthy for any person, gluten-free or not, to eat large amounts of processed foods, but this is especially true when newly diagnosed and trying to heal your gut from the damage caused by celiac. So, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats that you season and cook yourself, etc.

And don't worry, you're not dense. It's a big adjustment and there are a lot of things to keep up with! :)

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Okay, so the basics of whole foods, which everyone seems to be talking all around, is meat, fin fish (not shellfish), vegetables, fruit, rice (preferably brown for nutrition). Then you add cooking oils like olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil, salt and pepper. Single ingredient spices, preferably McCormicks since they are the most reliable. You can add in hemp milk (I would avoid soy or almond for now), so that you can make smoothies for breakfast with frozen berries and bananas. Dried fruits are good for snacking, apricots, raisins, prunes, pineapple; also carrot sticks and such. You could add some seeds, pumpkin, etc., whatever strikes your fancy. Best to avoid nuts at first because so many people have problems with nuts. These form the basics of your diet. You may find that your intestines respond better to cooked rather than raw vegetables, that the skins of apples and tomatoes give you problems at first, it all depends. This is the kind of diet that should allow your gut to heal and be able to tolerate other things, which you can add back in every three or four days after two or three weeks. Drop anything that bothers you and challenge it again later.

Hope this helps.

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Okay a good question to ask is: Did this food item exist 100 years ago? Example: Uncle Ben's Brown Rice - this item did not exist in 1910. Thus, it is processed. Compare that to plain raw brown rice. This item DID exist and was eaten in the same form 100 years ago, thus unprocessed. If you told people you were drinking soy milk 100 years ago they would look at you like you were from Mars. Pepper is probably okay. Salt is questionable. Salt in the form you are familiar with is relatively new to the world. Opt for sea salt instead.

I don't mean to be dense, but I guess I don't quite understand what constitutes "processed." I get the obvious things like pre-made breads, crackers, cookies and pre-made meals, etc.--but is, say, brown rice "processed" or no? Soy milk? And can I use salt and pepper on my food or are those also processed?

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And just something that might help when you are trying to figure out what to do with these foods? If you look up raw foods or garden foods or 'natural' foods, those are terms that have helped us find good recipes on-line that have ingredients that are less processed and more in their natural state.

As an aside? If you are making a lot of changes in your diet, and you've been having issues with milk and such already, it might not be a bad time to make a little food log, too (record what you eat and when, all the ingredients down to the oils used, and then record how you are reacting and when). It's SO much easier to do one when all your foods are one ingredient only. Makes it much clearer what the 'bad' food was, when you have a reaction, you know?

I'm new here and have been reading a lot of these posts, and I'm realizing that even though I'm really carefully gluten free, I'm probably not eating things that are helping me heal since I am (actually was until I had a horrible reaction today) still eating dairy and have just subbed in some gluten-free crackers and bread products and pastas. I keep reading here about a "Whole Foods" diet being much better for the early stages to let your gut heal.

Can y'all tell me more about exactly what that consists of? Just organic meats, fruits and vegetables? Should I use spices? Can I cook with olive oil? What about rice or quinoa? Are there certain fruits and vegetables that should be avoided, or is it all fair game? What about eggs? I really like the idea of healing my gut (at the moment it feels bruised from the inside out after that dairy reaction) and am willing to do whatever it takes--I just need more information. Help?

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I use the "does it have an ingredient list" rule of thumb. (Really, the "is it packaged? does it have more than one ingredient?" rule of thumb.) Anything packaged is going to have gone through *some* type of processing - even if it's processing that's been available for hundreds of years (like flours), but what we're really talking about is a "not-over-processed" diet. Are you getting the item in it's primarily whole form, without lots of modifications?

So:

Potatoes = whole food. Potato chips = processed food.

Corn on the cob = whole food. Corn tortillas = lightly processed food (but was around 100 years ago ;) ). Corn chips = processed food.

Apples = whole food. Dried apples = lightly processed food. Pre-made apple pie = rather processed food.

Beef = (essentially) whole food. Beef jerky = processed food. Canned beef stew = processed food.

You can make most of the "processed" items, but the idea is you're doing it yourself, from whole foods, knowing exactly what YOU want to put in them.

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Okay, so the basics of whole foods, which everyone seems to be talking all around, is meat, fin fish (not shellfish), vegetables, fruit, rice (preferably brown for nutrition). Then you add cooking oils like olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil, salt and pepper. Single ingredient spices, preferably McCormicks since they are the most reliable. You can add in hemp milk (I would avoid soy or almond for now), so that you can make smoothies for breakfast with frozen berries and bananas. Dried fruits are good for snacking, apricots, raisins, prunes, pineapple; also carrot sticks and such. You could add some seeds, pumpkin, etc., whatever strikes your fancy. Best to avoid nuts at first because so many people have problems with nuts. These form the basics of your diet. You may find that your intestines respond better to cooked rather than raw vegetables, that the skins of apples and tomatoes give you problems at first, it all depends. This is the kind of diet that should allow your gut to heal and be able to tolerate other things, which you can add back in every three or four days after two or three weeks. Drop anything that bothers you and challenge it again later.

Hope this helps.

Thank you, thank you! Yes, this is really helpful. I appreciate the breakdown of what I CAN eat--makes it simpler to get my mind around. ;)

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And just something that might help when you are trying to figure out what to do with these foods? If you look up raw foods or garden foods or 'natural' foods, those are terms that have helped us find good recipes on-line that have ingredients that are less processed and more in their natural state.

As an aside? If you are making a lot of changes in your diet, and you've been having issues with milk and such already, it might not be a bad time to make a little food log, too (record what you eat and when, all the ingredients down to the oils used, and then record how you are reacting and when). It's SO much easier to do one when all your foods are one ingredient only. Makes it much clearer what the 'bad' food was, when you have a reaction, you know?

That totally makes sense. That's why it was easy to figure out the dairy thing--because everything I was eating was so simple. Right now I'm a little suspicious about eggs, so I may leave those alone for a bit then eat some alone and see what happens. Thanks!

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I use the "does it have an ingredient list" rule of thumb. (Really, the "is it packaged? does it have more than one ingredient?" rule of thumb.) Anything packaged is going to have gone through *some* type of processing - even if it's processing that's been available for hundreds of years (like flours), but what we're really talking about is a "not-over-processed" diet. Are you getting the item in it's primarily whole form, without lots of modifications?

So:

Potatoes = whole food. Potato chips = processed food.

Corn on the cob = whole food. Corn tortillas = lightly processed food (but was around 100 years ago ;) ). Corn chips = processed food.

Apples = whole food. Dried apples = lightly processed food. Pre-made apple pie = rather processed food.

Beef = (essentially) whole food. Beef jerky = processed food. Canned beef stew = processed food.

You can make most of the "processed" items, but the idea is you're doing it yourself, from whole foods, knowing exactly what YOU want to put in them.

I like this logic. I've been employing the "fewer ingredients=better" logic, but I'll take it to the next step and try to eat things in their most natural forms and see what happens. I feel so much better now, just off gluten and dairy, that I'm amazed! Thanks for the help.

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You can use spices, olive oil, and the like.(I would recommend pure spices rather than blends as sometimes the blends have undesirable things... I've come across only a few that actually contain gluten, though) I consider processed to be anything that has two ingredients that is purchased at a store. (That's me) So, I don't think that brown rice is considered processed. Brown rice is actually one of the few things I could eat when I first went gluten-free that didn't bother me.

If something doesn't bother you, we'll use soy milk as an example, then go for it. But it's not healthy for any person, gluten-free or not, to eat large amounts of processed foods, but this is especially true when newly diagnosed and trying to heal your gut from the damage caused by celiac. So, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats that you season and cook yourself, etc.

And don't worry, you're not dense. It's a big adjustment and there are a lot of things to keep up with! :)

Thank goodness my other half is good with a grill and we live in Arizona, where it's still warm enough to use it! Thanks so much for not making me feel like an idiot. I'm a smart gal, but there's a LOT of information to take in. Sheesh!

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... Dried fruits are good for snacking, apricots, raisins, prunes, pineapple; also carrot sticks and such. You could add some seeds, pumpkin, etc., whatever strikes your fancy. Best to avoid nuts at first because so many people have problems with nuts...

Hope this helps.

in my personal experience (but not everyone on this board, although I don't think I'm the only one), dried fruit can be a bit tricky. I have had a mild reaction to some, no reaction to others...not sure if it's cross-contamination, or actually using something with gluten in processing (to keep it from sticking) or maybe even just more concentrated sugar than my body is used to. So you might want to consider drying your own, getting it from a very reliable source, or adding it in when your system is otherwise happy and note if it agrees with you or not.

Good luck! The whole food diet was a big help to me especially when first going gluten-free (I found it about 3 months in)

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Hey there. I'm on a whole foods diet myself. Best thing I ever did for my body. Processed food is nasty and contains so many chemicals and other things. I used to be just gluten free but still eating processed food but then I stayed sick for a long time and eventually figured out that processed foods almost always contain something that bothers me. Figuring out I was also intolerant to corn was a big part of it.. as so much contains modified corn starch, corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, etc. It's just not worth the hassle of trying to figure it out and eventually I decided it would be better to make EVERYTHING from scratch. So thats what I do now.

I also have problems with dried fruit, unless I dry it myself, I dont go there.

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I'm looking at all the gluten free food and some of it is pretty good. There's pasta with whole brown rice, or some cereals, but most of it is just junk food. It's gluten free junk food but junk nonetheless. I'm thrilled that it's out there. I know that I'll be heading for the Betty Crocker gluten free brownies when I need a fix, but as a regular part of your diet, I'd say it's not good.

I'm bummed that most of the gluten free breads are all white flour and starchy. Can't they make one with some good whole grain brown rice and oat (non contaminated) flour or throw some oatbran in there? It seems like all the ones I've looked at are trying to mimic white bread which isn't good for you anyway.

I am gluten free only 7 days now and eating a whole foods diet to heal, but a couple of days ago I got a mean craving so I made the Betty Crocker brownies. They were amazing. Can't tell the difference at all, but they made me feel awful. I've been so healthy, that sugar rush was just too much for me.

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The other rule of thumb I go by is very similar to the above but with a twist: (Other than meat) Does it have to be (or has it been) heated, refined, or processed by machine before making it into my hands?

For example:

  • Canola oil - take from the rapeseed plant, inedible in natural form by man BAD
  • Honey - processed and pasteurized prior to being sold in the grocery store. We buy Raw (unprocessed honey) at the local Farmer's market now. BAD
  • Peanut butter: Adam's 100% natural peanut butter (requires stirring) - no other ingredients besides peanuts. OK

So my 'food filter' consists of: Does it have any additive in the ingredient list? If yes - end of story, otherwise proceed to question two.

There are various premade mixes which do pass my test (Nahmaste mixes for example), but for most stuff we make it from scratch. Invest in a bread machine that has a gluten free setting and use only pure natural flours. Arrowroot, sorghum, millet, etc. Avoid things like soy flour which require processing to be edible in their 'flour' form. Sorghum is better and was present in the diet via simple hand mill or stone mill grinding. Cornstarch is artificial and can be replaced with potato starch or arrowroot, both obtainable without chemical or machine processing.

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