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Feeling A Bit Frustrated

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Greetings - My younger sister was told she has Celiacs in Nov 09. I have been doing a ton of reading and it seems the more I read the more frustrated I feel. There is so much to this. I spoke with her last night - and just learning that she is basically starving set me on a search for foods that she can eat. I had the bright idea that I would cook for her like I do for my family. I cook for a month at a time - which saves money. I thought I would find gluten free foods, buy them, run to her house (I would have to use her cookware so nothing is contaminated) and she would have food. But as I have spent hours now looking around at food - I just want to cry. I feel sick inside. The prices are out of this world. It's hard to not feel anger at the fact that people with this disease are 1-dealing with the disease but 2- basically being punished for having the disease. 3- being taken advantage of. Is it not awful enough that they have to deal with celiacs? Why must they be punished by having their food over priced. I personally would feel guilty and ashamed of myself to tell an ill person they have to pay twice as much to eat.

Sorry, I don't mean to come off as rude - but my heart really hurts. Now I understand why she is not eating. I was very stupid about the expense and couldn't understand what she was telling me - now I do.

I just want to help her - she is my best friend and I love her so very much. Is there any sight I can go to that can help me find foods that are cheaper? I would appreciate any input and help.

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Greetings - My younger sister was told she has Celiacs in Nov 09. I have been doing a ton of reading and it seems the more I read the more frustrated I feel. There is so much to this. I spoke with her last night - and just learning that she is basically starving set me on a search for foods that she can eat. I had the bright idea that I would cook for her like I do for my family. I cook for a month at a time - which saves money. I thought I would find gluten free foods, buy them, run to her house (I would have to use her cookware so nothing is contaminated) and she would have food. But as I have spent hours now looking around at food - I just want to cry. I feel sick inside. The prices are out of this world. It's hard to not feel anger at the fact that people with this disease are 1-dealing with the disease but 2- basically being punished for having the disease. 3- being taken advantage of. Is it not awful enough that they have to deal with celiacs? Why must they be punished by having their food over priced. I personally would feel guilty and ashamed of myself to tell an ill person they have to pay twice as much to eat.

Sorry, I don't mean to come off as rude - but my heart really hurts. Now I understand why she is not eating. I was very stupid about the expense and couldn't understand what she was telling me - now I do.

I just want to help her - she is my best friend and I love her so very much. Is there any sight I can go to that can help me find foods that are cheaper? I would appreciate any input and help.

You're a good sister :D Unfortunately, gluten free replacement foods are very expensive. The good news is there are LOTS of naturally gluten free foods. It is best to stick with whole, natural foods while she is healing anyway.

Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables are the best way to go. Rice, quinoa are both gluten free naturally and are very inexpensive. Some staples in my house are:

corn tortillas, rice, quinoa flakes (makes great hot cereal) bananas, apples, nuts, peanut butter, rice cakes, chicken breasts, lean ground meats.

There are lots of things that can be prepared in a tasty way. Try eggplant or zucchini in place of pasta for lasagne.

(Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned) has pretty good prices on bulk gluten free products, especially if you subscribe and save.

Good for you in knowing that your pots and pans could contaminate her. She is lucky indeed to have a sister like you!

Janie

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Meat and veggies do not cost more just because someone is unable to eat gluten. No reason for anyone to go hungry.

If you want to add in the gluten free pasta and bakery items, they do cost more. But are not necessary for health.

It is so nice of you to do the research about her gluten free eating. Do you think you may have the same problem?

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Meat and veggies do not cost more just because someone is unable to eat gluten. No reason for anyone to go hungry.

If you want to add in the gluten free pasta and bakery items, they do cost more. But are not necessary for health.

It is so nice of you to do the research about her gluten free eating. Do you think you may have the same problem?

I don't not think I have the same problem - but bec I am a cancer survivor and bec of some of the cancers I have had - she thinks it may be a possibility. Right now - I'm really not concerned about it...I'm more worried about her. When it comes to meat, how do you know if it's ok? aren't cows and chickens feed with products that she can't have? I understand that she is still learning what is ok for her to eat and she's a bit stressed by all this, I just feel that if I can understand it also, then together we can get everything the way it should be. Right now she is struggling with buying the proper food and knowing what is ok to eat and with extremely high medical bills - which reduces her money for food. I just want to buy all the right things and help her out. I don't want to cause her any more issues or make her sick.

Thank you for your help - It's REALLY appreciated!!!!

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All plain (fresh/frozen) meats, poultry, fish, seafood are gluten free.

Give us some examples of things you would normally cook, and we'll help you convert them.

Many 'normal' foods are either gluten free, or can be made gluten-free with one or two conversions. (chicken soup, tacos, ...)

Here is some info the help - use them all and food shopping is less confusing.

Unsafe ingredients: http://www.celiac.co...ents/Page1.html

Safe ingredients: http://www.celiac.co...ents/Page1.html

A list of companies that has a clear gluten policy. If you don't see "wheat, rye, barley, barley malt, oats" on the labels, its not there, or hidden in "flavors, starches, etc." http://www.glutenfre...lists/index.htm and http://glutenfreeins...ct_updates.html This makes shopping MUCH easier.

FDA foods are required to list wheat - it cannot be hidden.

Rule #1: Never eat anything without reading the label first.

Rule #2: Consistently check labels, even of your favorite products, as product formulations can change.

Rule #3: If you are unsure of an ingredient, or the company's policy on labeling, call the phone number on the back of the product or email the company.

Great info to get you started: http://www.gluten.net/publications.php

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I am just this week starting the gluten free stuff. I realized that I already have many things I make that are gluten-free. I make a beef stew in my crock pot that uses tapioca to thicken. I take chicken, carrots, celery, a little garlic & cook it in Kitchen Basics chicken broth(at my grocery in a yellow box). Take chicken out & cut up small then add rice (either already cooked or cook it in the soup). I make a lot of this with our the rice & keep it in the freezer.

Yes chickens, cows, etc eat grain but, without a complicated scientific explanation, it changes to cow or chicken & has no gluten in it. Where it might have gluten is prepackaged stuff that has flavorings injected or coatings. I finding that most BBQ sauces in my areas are gluten-free. Peanut butter is almost always gluten-free. Got some almond butter at Costco thats only almonds & is wonderful. Eggs are always good with veggies or cheese. Toast the gluten-free bread & put eggs & cheese. Hope that helps. I have to get going, but if I think of more or you want the stew recipe, I check back later. Karen

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All plain (fresh/frozen) meats, poultry, fish, seafood are gluten free.

Give us some examples of things you would normally cook, and we'll help you convert them.

Many 'normal' foods are either gluten free, or can be made gluten-free with one or two conversions. (chicken soup, tacos, ...)

Here is some info the help - use them all and food shopping is less confusing.

Unsafe ingredients: http://www.celiac.co...ents/Page1.html

Safe ingredients: http://www.celiac.co...ents/Page1.html

A list of companies that has a clear gluten policy. If you don't see "wheat, rye, barley, barley malt, oats" on the labels, its not there, or hidden in "flavors, starches, etc." http://www.glutenfre...lists/index.htm and http://glutenfreeins...ct_updates.html This makes shopping MUCH easier.

FDA foods are required to list wheat - it cannot be hidden.

Rule #1: Never eat anything without reading the label first.

Rule #2: Consistently check labels, even of your favorite products, as product formulations can change.

Rule #3: If you are unsure of an ingredient, or the company's policy on labeling, call the phone number on the back of the product or email the company.

Great info to get you started: http://www.gluten.net/publications.php

thank you so much happygirl - i will talk to her and find out what she use to eat or likes to eat. In my house we do chicken dishes that go with pasta (bec pasta is cheap and fills up the 3 men in my house) I also make tacos - i use canned roast beef, fry corn tortillas in oil and ofcourse lettuce tomato and cheese

I also cook pork chops in many different ways and we do a lot of burritos stuffed with different things here. I'm not sure what my sis normally use to eat at her house. I really do appreciate everyones help. I am taking this very serious. When I cook for her - I don't want to cause her to get sick. Thanks!!!!!

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Hello! I think it's great that you want to help your sister!! :D There is absolutely no reason for anyone to go hungry, feel starved or feel deprived living gluten free. I spend extra time and effort but not really any extra money. I'm shopping, cooking and eating differently and it is an adjustment but I'm eating well and I treat my self often. ;)

I don't generally buy 'gluten free' specialty things like bread and such. It doesn't taste as good as the regular stuff and I'd just rather eat something really good instead. I did get crackers for tuna/chicken salad and cheese.

All fresh fruits/veggies are safe. All meats are safe as long as they are unprocessed and have not been injected with the 'flavor enhancing' preservative solution so popular now. Plain rice is safe. All spices are safe as long as they are 'just' spice with no additives -try mccormick. Dairy is safe as long as it's the real thing.. cheese not processed cheese food for example. Yogurt is safe but you would have to research flavored varieties. No beer or malt beverages but wine is fine. :)

It's just getting back to basics. Check out allrecipes.com for ideas on what to cook. Prepare your chicken dishes and give her a box of boil in bag rice instead of pasta. Soups and stews are great - just thicken with corn starch instead of flour. Pork chops alongside veggies and potatoes is always good. Jello pudding, many ice creams, chocolate, and a lot of candies are gluten free for treats. Most soda, teas, and coffee are safe. Just beware of flavorings added. Pure 'real' not imitation extracts are ok. So there is a lot to choose from!

Google foods you like for gluten free.. ie.. candy gluten free or blue cheese salad dressing gluten free. That is how I have found a lot of brands to look for.

Hope this helps and just be creative and try new things. Processed is going to be gluten or pricey but healthy whole foods are easily available, reasonably priced and delicious. :D

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I will give you a few pointers, and bless you for your empathy.

If you cook or do food prep for somebody else, wash your hands first, and make sure the soap you use hasn't got gluten in it. Plain Dish soap is usually quite safe, and I will dilute it with some water and put it in a pump dispenser. This is important if you've been smearing gluten laden lotion over your hands for dry skin, or handling pet food that has gluten, etc.

Paper Towels Are Your Friends. Use them often. I just automatically put one down on any work surface. I put one in the microwave glass bottom all the time as a spill catcher, etc. We have adorable old tile counters in our kitchen, but I don't know if they will ever truly come clean, even with years of scrubbing. And then there's the crumbs problem if it's a shared household.

Use gluten free dedicated pots and pans for baking. Old glass pyrex casseroles you may be able to get clean, but some of the old metal baking pans, no way. If using a bread machine, make sure it's new and dedicated to gluten free, because things like this are almost impossible to totally decontaminate. Cast iron can be nuked in the oven and then scrubbed out and re -seasoned.

Ingredients. Many newly diagnosed or discovered celiacs/gluten intolerant can not handle dairy products at first. This may or may not go away and the person might be able to eat lactose free, such as cheese, later. Many others can't do soy products. Some people have more sensitive taste buds and bean flours gag them, others of us don't. Some people just can't eat a great deal of gluten free replacement baking without feeling puny. Some brands of yogurt just seem to mess up and have lactose, and you don't figure this out until it's too late. Soy Dream Soy Milk can also be a big culprit, as well as some of the other Dream brands, because of cross contamination caused by their rice syrup being processed with barley. (I have had personal experience with this as well. ) So it's good to ask if there are any other things, or brands, the gluten free person is trying to avoid.

_________

The Plainer the Better. The fewer the ingredients, the less likely an item has the potential to make the eater sick. These are some things you may wish to stock your sister's pantry with, that she could use :

Plain Rice. It's hard to mess this up, and it's cheap.

Tinkyada Rice Pasta. This stuff is a miracle for the pasta eater. It's made in a gluten free facility, and once you get the hang of cooking it, it WORKS. Salt the water, add a dollop of olive oil, boil the pasta, check to see if it's al dente, and RINSE it before eating or it will stick. But the uncooked noodles can be done in a lasagna if you add extra water to the sauce.

Classico tomato sauces for spaghetti. Read the labels, but so far, they've been good. If needing plainer, a large 2 lb can of tomato puree and a small can of plain paste (MUST read labels) = a batch of fast sauce, when olive oil and oregano are added.

Spice. McCormack. Cinnamon. Basil. Oregano. Cumin.

Vinegar. REAL apple cider vinegar is okay. Some people can do real balsamic vinegars.

Extra virgin olive oil. While the giant metal tins cost $$$$, they are the cheapest by unit and can last 6 months to a year, which beats buying the little bottles.

a set of cruet bottles to put it in, and there's the gluten free salad dressing. Much cheaper.

Lundberg Rice Cakes. Another consistently good gluten free product. This and peanut butter makes excellent snacks. Great with cheese. A rice cake crumbled into a bowl can be treated as inexpensive cereal, also.

Plain baked potatoes. Another source of starch that is so versatile, and topped with anything. They store best in cooler temperatures, but not as cold as the refrigerator.

Canned Pumpkin. A frequently overlooked, versatile, high fiber and filling, easy to digest food that can be used in many, many different ways. It can be sweetened and eaten for breakfast (try mixing it with yogurt or nut milk), or used as a soup or stew base which thickens. It is fantastic when used in chile with beans and tomatoes, and it can also be used a soup base for hot curried types of African soups. And it's great when baked with coconut milk and eggs and honey in a gluten free, dairy free custard.

Canned beans. Protein. If drained and rinsed well in a colander, they can be quickly heated in a microwave with some cumin, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and drop of American Tabasco sauce to make anything Mexican.

Boxed, aseptic, gluten free soups. Yes, they do make these and many regular grocery stores carry them. Imagine brand. Pour into the bowl, heat in microwave, and there is soup. Add some beans or meat, and it's a filling lunch. Make great gifts.

Boxed nut milks. Require experimentation and careful label reading, but once you find something that is acceptable, very easy, tasty calories. Makes great gluten free, dairy free cocoa, just by adding plain powdered coco and sweetener.

Avocados. A great thing to eat more of, when they are on sale, especially if having to avoid cheese, because of their high fat content. A corn tortilla topped with drained, rinsed, seasoned and heated pinto beans, fried eggs, and sliced avocado in season is a very filling, easy meal. The day AFTER the Superbowl, stores will usually have ripe avocados on sale that they didn't sell off by today.

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Thanks for the above. I'm new to thid gluten-free eating & found that helpful. I printed it for my family to see. Pumpkin custard sounds wonderful. Can you give the recipe? Thanks

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WOW!!!!! thank you so much - one and all. This is going to help out so much. I'm still a bit lost, but, I think I'm getting there. I know it takes studying and patience - I'm just in a hurry to help. My husband and I took her shopping last week. she broke my heart. She was so excited that she cried. This wasn't to make her cry! and it wasn't for the thank you's - it was only because we love her. If she lived with us, we would have done the same.

I just really appreciate everyone here. I will be back - I'm sure - with more questions

Thanks again

Aj

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Thanks for the above. I'm new to thid gluten-free eating & found that helpful. I printed it for my family to see. Pumpkin custard sounds wonderful. Can you give the recipe? Thanks

____________

Take a can of Libby's pumpkin (not the pie filling, just the plain pumpkin). Follow the recipe on the can for pumpkin pie filling, but bake it in a pyrex dish instead of in a pie shell. Add extra spices if you wish. Substitute a can of coconut milk for the condensed milk. Use honey or agave for the sweetener, if you wish. (use slightly less of these than sugar, because they are sweeter) Top with pecans. When this bakes, it may take a longer time depending on the depth of the baking dish and the liquidness of the honey - test the custard for doneness by sticking a clean table knife into it, and seeing if it comes out clean. The pecans slow toast in it, and are really good if you can do nuts.

For a really quick pumpkin custard- like concoction, mix pumpkin and gluten free yogurt in a single serving bowl, and add a bit of sweetener and a dash of cinnamon, maybe a spoonful of coconut milk if you have a can of it open, eat cold or heated up. mmmm mmmm very fast

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____________

Take a can of Libby's pumpkin (not the pie filling, just the plain pumpkin). Follow the recipe on the can for pumpkin pie filling, but bake it in a pyrex dish instead of in a pie shell. Add extra spices if you wish. Substitute a can of coconut milk for the condensed milk. Use honey or agave for the sweetener, if you wish. (use slightly less of these than sugar, because they are sweeter) Top with pecans. When this bakes, it may take a longer time depending on the depth of the baking dish and the liquidness of the honey - test the custard for doneness by sticking a clean table knife into it, and seeing if it comes out clean. The pecans slow toast in it, and are really good if you can do nuts.

For a really quick pumpkin custard- like concoction, mix pumpkin and gluten free yogurt in a single serving bowl, and add a bit of sweetener and a dash of cinnamon, maybe a spoonful of coconut milk if you have a can of it open, eat cold or heated up. mmmm mmmm very fast

Sounds yummy! NonGFs would like this. My printer printed the recipe & then sucked the paper back in some how. So computers like this too.

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Remember that in addition to gluten remaining in her pots and pans, it can hide in lots of other places. Any wooden utensils or cutting boards should be replaced right away. You will not be able to get gluten out of a surface like wood. Also, any seasonings that were used before she was diagosed should probably be replaced. They could be contaminated from spoons that had been also used for flour. This also goes for open jars of mayo, mustard, peanut butter, jelly or anything a contaminated utensil could have been used in.

Be sure she checks all of her medicines, shampoo, lotions, etc. These can also contain gluten, which can cause problems. It will take some time, and some trial and error, but I'm sure with a sister like you she will see improvement. Good luck to both of you!

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When i was first diagnosed, i bought the food lists from clan thompson. I liked having little booklets that covered groceries, medications, over the counter meds, and restaurants. You and your sister might find buying a food list will help get her started on this diet. Within a month, she will have a much easier time shopping for groceries and coping with the diet.

BTW, it's nice to hear that you are trying so hard to help her get started. Many of us celiacs have the hardest time with our family adjusting to the new lifestyle.

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She should also replace her toaster, if it was used for regular breads before. There are tons of recipes in the recipe section here too.

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I understand your frustration 100%. We all felt the same way in the beginning, but you really do adapt and find new foods that you can make her. What an awesome sister you are!! Wow. :)

Pulling for you! Your sister is so fortunate to have you!

Janie

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Things like pasta and Asian sauces have been the biggest sticker shock for us. We only occasionally want bread, or other doughy products, so those don't hit us too hard. For the pasta and sauces, online can be your friend. Since they won't go bad right away, you can stock up at good prices.

For everything else, it's helpful to be at least a tolerable cook with simple ingredients. Instead of looking at cooking as a chore, which it certainly can be, look at it as a hobby. It can be overwhelming at the grocery store the first few times, but it gets much easier.

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It's so sweet that you're trying to help your sister.

Another thing you may want to look into is gluten-free food blogs. They're really fun to read and can make a gluten-free lifestyle seem a lot more fun.

One that you or your sister may like is Gluten Free Easily glutenfreeeasily.com

The author uses a lot of naturally gluten free foods rather than specialty products. She also has a lot of lists of foods that are naturally gluten free. You can make a lot of great dinners with meat, vegetables, dairy (if she can handle it), rice, beans, and potatoes. Start with that. Also, a lot of foods in Thai, Indian, and Mexican cuisine are naturally gluten-free.

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