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Just Found Out That I Have Celiac Disease

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I just came home from the doctor after finding out that all the health problems i have been having over the past year has turned out to be

Celiac Disease and I have to have a Gluten free diet. I was handed a magazine called Living Without and after browsing through it and reading online for a little while about this condition and what it entails -- I am very overwhelmed! I live in a very small town and there is nothing but the basics in this small town and am thinking I am going to have to start buying my food online. I would have a three hour drive to get to the largest city to find a specialty store that carries the products I need. I have been looking online at some stores and the prices for bread, pasta is like almost $5.00 for a box of pasta or a loaf of bread without shipping. Are there some people out there from small towns that are in the same situation that could guide me to some spots that you have found online that have reasonable prices etc? Thanks so much!

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Hey there, welcome! We were in your place a few months ago. The best thing you can do initially, in my opinion, is to stick to meat, fruits, vegetables, safe grains (rice, quinoa). Eat off that while you clean out and take stock of your fridge and pantry. Our pantry looked so bare when I did this but now it's overflowing. :) Once you get cleaned up, figure out what you really need to replace. For us initially, I had to have cereal for my boys, pancakes and pizza. From there I tried more recipes and that's where we're at.

To handle costs , stick to the basics at first. You'll initially spend more but it should start evening out. Especially if you're used to eating out, even once a week. I'm lucky because I live 30 minutes away from two "health food" stores. But in a pinch, both my local Kroger and Meijer are continuously stocking more and more gluten-free items. I use Amazon for a handful of stuff. If you find an item and it has a subscription you can save quite a bit. Even with the stores I have to order some stuff online where I can't get a break but I signed up for updates and if I see a sale, I'll be stocking up!

Personally, I'm trying to not be reliant on gluten-free items so we're eating less pasta, desserts are a special treat, etc. One reason is that I want to teach my children that regular old food is gluten-free and healthy for them. I'm eating so much healthier myself! Also, they're still young. I'm looking ahead into the future and I don't want to be spending $10 on pasta just to feed them. I remember how I ate as a teenager and they're boys! Now, I'm trying to cut more on the grocery bill by looking at sales and stocking up.

Oh, also, maybe being in a rural area - not sure where you're from - there might be farmers or whatnot that you can find meat cheaper. Or even fresh fruits/veggies in the summer. That's one other thing we'll be doing this year. Joining a CSA. You pay so much at the beginning of the year but then you get fresh fruits/veggies throughout the growing season. Of course you don't get a say in what you get. You're subjected to what the year gives, just the like the farmer. So it'll call for some creativity I'm sure!

Good luck!

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I just came home from the doctor after finding out that all the health problems i have been having over the past year has turned out to be

Celiac Disease and I have to have a Gluten free diet. I was handed a magazine called Living Without and after browsing through it and reading online for a little while about this condition and what it entails -- I am very overwhelmed! I live in a very small town and there is nothing but the basics in this small town and am thinking I am going to have to start buying my food online. I would have a three hour drive to get to the largest city to find a specialty store that carries the products I need. I have been looking online at some stores and the prices for bread, pasta is like almost $5.00 for a box of pasta or a loaf of bread without shipping. Are there some people out there from small towns that are in the same situation that could guide me to some spots that you have found online that have reasonable prices etc? Thanks so much!

Hello and welcome! You have found a great place to learn

Start simple. Don't buy gluten free foods right now, you won't like them. And take a deep breath.

By starting simple, I mean, eat naturally. Meat, fish, rice, potatoes, fresh veggies and fruit.

Cecelia's Gluten Free Grocery Shopping Guide, or Triumph Dining Grocery Guild will help you through your first years, when shopping for main stream gluten free products that you can find at any grocery store. After a year, you will be able to read labels successfully and need not depend on lists.

Our recipe section here can give you some great suggestions.

And read, read, read here. :)

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I think the first actual "gluten free" food I purchased was a rice pizza crust online. But it was about 3 years after I had gone gluten free. I just ate regular food from the grocery store before that purchase.

You may need to cut out dairy and soy for a few months while you intestines heal. Once I did this for awhile I was able to add them back without any problems.

For right now just start learning where all the gluten is hiding,adjust your kitchen to gluten free cooking and learn about cross contamination. The extras can come later.

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Welcome

There are many who are in the same boat as you! No place to shop & never a place for one stop shopping for gluten-free foods.

(Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned) has good pricing plus free shipping on many items....I also like to shop at The Gluten Free Trading Company.... via online ordering.

gluten-free Foods cost about three times more than gluten foods but for a healthy happy life we celiac understand we must be strict & forever true to the gluten-free lifestyle.

As others have stated if you stick to the basics it cost no more than regular food. It's the goodie part that gets pricey ie: cookies, cakes & speciality items that we all really need but love to eat!

blessings

mamaw

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I got my diagnosis today too! I have been crying off and on all day long. I've been sick all my life and now I have explanations for all the things doctors were confused about for the last 4o years.

I live in a city with healthfood stores, etc. nearby so I have no advice on that, but I just thought I'd say hello and let you know you're not alone. I am very overwhelmed myself and still quite sick from the latest attack that landed me in the ER, but thankfully led to my diagnosis.

I have done wheat alternatives for a long time because I was misdiagnosed with wheat intolerance, and was told I could eat all the gluten I wanted, but just to go moderate on my wheat consumption. You can make your own flour in a food processor out of brown rice or whole oats and use those for recipes. At least you can make some pancakes out of that.

I would focus on finding a good bread so you can have a sandwich here and there for convenience. I tried Udi's and it was really good. Way too expensive for a small loaf but I just won't eat it all the time. Maybe also a rice pasta. I wouldn't go nuts with crackers and baked goods and all that right now.

Good luck to both of us! I'm sure in a few months we'll be like the rest of the experienced people on here. We'll have our diets under control and be so happy that we aren't suffering anymore.

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I got my diagnosis today too! I have been crying off and on all day long. I've been sick all my life and now I have explanations for all the things doctors were confused about for the last 4o years.

I live in a city with healthfood stores, etc. nearby so I have no advice on that, but I just thought I'd say hello and let you know you're not alone. I am very overwhelmed myself and still quite sick from the latest attack that landed me in the ER, but thankfully led to my diagnosis.

I have done wheat alternatives for a long time because I was misdiagnosed with wheat intolerance, and was told I could eat all the gluten I wanted, but just to go moderate on my wheat consumption. You can make your own flour in a food processor out of brown rice or whole oats and use those for recipes. At least you can make some pancakes out of that.

I would focus on finding a good bread so you can have a sandwich here and there for convenience. I tried Udi's and it was really good. Way too expensive for a small loaf but I just won't eat it all the time. Maybe also a rice pasta. I wouldn't go nuts with crackers and baked goods and all that right now.

Good luck to both of us! I'm sure in a few months we'll be like the rest of the experienced people on here. We'll have our diets under control and be so happy that we aren't suffering anymore.

Those that are more experienced please feel free to correct anything I've said if it's not a good idea. I don't want to steer another newbie the wrong direction, or myself for that matter.

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There are many who are in the same boat as you! No place to shop & never a place for one stop shopping for gluten-free foods.

(Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned) has good pricing

Can someone pm the name of the company so I know not to suggest them, or just half the name. lol We really need a thread to list this type of thing. Is there one?

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Mail order source hint:

Piranhas live in this river, which has its headwaters in the Andes and is the biggest river in Brazil.

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Life is much easier with A-M-A-Z-O-N dot com!

I buy gluten-free pasta from them in bulk--both Tinkyada and Mrs. Leepers brands are very good, and not much more expensive than "regular" pasta.

I buy gluten-free flour blend there, too, also in bulk. I get betterbatter brand, which is pretty much cup-for-cup substitutable for regular flour. www.betterbatter.org has a fabulous website, with EXCELLENT recipes, and explanations for how to sub their flour for things like breads, which require additional liquid. A dot com sells 9-5 pound boxes for less than what you'd pay for the same amount on betterbatter.org. They also sell Tom Sawyer brand gluten-free flour blend, which is also very good.

You might start by ordering one box to see if you like baking with it. I make everything--bread, pizza, cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes-- from scratch, and it can be time-consuming, but once you get organized, it really doesn't take that much longer than any other food prep, and the results are SO worth it. In fact, I was surprised how much LESS time it takes than I thought it would.

If you have kids--enlist them to help! They'll love it, and it's probably a good idea to at least get them gluten-lite, since they are at higher risk of developing celiac or gluten intolerance and all the nasty autoimmune disorders that go with them.

Making my kids gluten-lite made us discover that they had MAJOR problems with gluten. We had had no idea that gluten was causing my son's severe eczema, or intermittent diarrhea, constipation, and severe stomach aches for all the kids.

But for now, you probably want to AVOID gluten-free breads, cookies, cakes, etc., until your intestines heal, as they are a bit tough on gluten-damaged tummies--it will feel like you've swallowed a brick, unless your tummy is healed from the gluten damage.Most celiacs also need to avoid dairy during this time, though few doctors seem to know this. The protein in dairy can prevent the intestines from healing, even though it was gluten that caused the damage.

Luckily, there are some excellent milk substitutes available these days. Avoid Rice Dream--although labeled as gluten-free, it is processed with barley (gluten!!!), and most here have had bad reactions to it. Almond Dream is safe, as are other rice and nut milks, and soy milk is safe as long as you are not sensitive to soy. I think they all taste good, and I don't even have a problem with dairy. Coconut milk is now available in the fridge section, and is my absolute favorite. (It makes amazing hot chocolate

If you desperately need to snack (I know, I did!), Fritos are safe, as are Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips--and both are available at Sam's Club and Costco! (I really like the bulk thing...and can you tell I like chocolate?)

If you like things breaded, like chicken fingers, you can make them EASILY--just use corn meal or potato flakes for the breading. Season them with garlic, herbs, paprika,Old Bay Seasoning, Parmesan--whatever you like! I recently went to a place in Cape Cod that has been using ONLY corn meal in their breading for decades, not because it was gluten-free, but because their customers liked it that way.

I Hope this helps--welcome aboard!

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Mail order source hint:

Piranhas live in this river, which has its headwaters in the Andes and is the biggest river in Brazil.

Whoops, guess I goofed on that one, sorry!

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Mail order source hint:Piranhas live in this river, which has its headwaters in the Andes and is the biggest river in Brazil.

Thanks. Very fitting for all their spamming.

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Hey there, sorry about your diagnosis, but you know what? its really not bad at all. Once you eliminate whats making you sick you will feel like you have your life back. I want everyone to know that if you stop eating gluten and your symptoms DO NOT disappear rapidly... as was the case for me, please, please pickup the book "Life Without Bread" your answers lie in that book.

I had the genetic test done and sure enough had all the genetic markers for Celiacs and had all the wretched symptoms associated with it. Going Gluten-free DID NOT help me! What did help me was applying the theory from "Life Without Bread" by Wolfgang Lutz and Christian Allen. Its truly a life saver, and is clinically proven to work. Google it!

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Amazon has some pretty good deals.

As far as bread, IMO there is no comparison to Udi's, unfortunately you have to order from them-some whole foods also carry it, but mainly in the west.

You might be surprized what your local store carries. I also live in a small town and my store does carry a few basic gluten free items. Basically some pasta and flour mixes, and a loaf or 2 of bread, not many to choose from, but they have it. It took me a while to find it though. The gluten-free pasta is not with the rest of the pasta. Ironically it's in with the organic, whole wheat, Kashi type of foods. Ask your grocer to make sure.

Actually, the only specialty items I keep in my house are bread, pasta, and flour. I'm also about an hour away from whole foods. I try to go down about once a month or so to stock up on breads, pizza crusts etc and just buy a bunch and freeze them. In a way, I'm actually glad that it's a trip to get that stuff. I find I eat healthier without all of the gluten-free convenience foods.

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You dont need any special products or "replacement" foods. Just stick to whole, unprocessed foods you make yourself. Meats, veggies, fruits, rice, good oils, avacado, nuts. Etc.

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It's really tough at first because everything seems to be off limits, but as time goes on, you'll figure it out and be able to go down the "regular" aisles at the store and buy so many items that are less expensive. Anything made by KRAFT will clearly disclose any gluten in the product, just read the ingredient labels. Kraft makes so many things, it makes it so much easier to eat less expensive foods gluten free. Planters nuts are made by Kraft, Oscar Meyer is made by Kraft, Miracle Whip is made by Kraft, and the list goes on. Just read the labels and they will clearly tell you if there is any wheat/barley/rye.

As far as specific gluten free foods, I order off Amazon, as the price often ends up being 50% less than that of my local grocery stores. If you use subscribe and save, where you receive the items at intervels(you can ALWAYS cancel or change your plan) you save so much more. Here are a few of my favorites on Amazon:

-Ancient Harvest Quinoa Veggie Curls, 8-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)-

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, comes to $2.35/box, not too bad for gluten free!

-Pamela's Products Wheat-Free & Gluten-Free Bread Mix, 19-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)-

I love Udi's bread, but it comes to $6.67/loaf when I order it online. Yikes! This is my second favorite, I love it! Comes to $3.76/loaf, but the loaves are large enough, I freeze half...pretty good deal!

-Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix, 64-Ounce Bags (Pack of 3)-

I use this baking mix for banana bread, pumpkin bread, fried chicken, blueberry muffins, and pretty much everything!!

-The Gluten-Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix, 16-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)-

These are my favorite brownies ever!! They come to $3.13/box with subscribe and save and are totally worth it when you need chocolate.

-Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel, 14.1-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)-

These pretzels are kind of pricey, but holy cow, they taste IDENTICAL to wheat pretzels! Nobody in my family can tell the difference, they are so good! They're $5.21/bag after subscribe and save.

-Lundberg Garlic Primavera Risotto, 5.5-Ounce Units (Pack of 12)-

-Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto, 5.5-Ounce Units (Pack of 12)-

Lundberg makes the most delicious rice products, these risotto boxed dishes are my favorites, they come up to $2.10/box, super good price!

Hope this helps a bit! I know how panicked I felt at first, until I realized I could buy in bulk. It's a pretty big expense up front to buy everything, but a case of these things on Amazon will last you quite awhile!

Let us know how everything goes!

Janie

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