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Intimidated

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I started my gluten-free diet on Sunday. I keep reading on forums and in books about cross-contamination and minute amounts in foods that shouldn't contain gluten. It has me quite intimidated! I'm currently feeling as if there's no way that I can possibly be this careful effectively. I feel like I can be 90% vigilant, but 90% isn't good enough.

As an example, yesterday I woke up. Realized the coffee I like is flavored. Looked it up online and in the manufacturer's FAQ they mention that all the "brewed coffee" is gluten free. What is brewed coffee? I use the K-cup version, does that still count? I tried to eat dinner with my coworkers last night. Wanted shrimp cocktail, everything else offered had the little wheat symbol on the label. The cocktail sauce has a bunch of ingredients I've been told to watch out for like ketchup and vinegar. I ask the chef who tells me it is gluten-free. I'm not entirely sure I believe her, so I sat there with my teammates eating nothing because I couldn't be SURE.

This constant vigilance seems exhausting but necessary. I can see "Perfect is the enemy of the good" coming into play here though--spending so much time trying to be perfect on the diet will probably exhaust my willpower reserves and make me more vulnerable to bread binges. :-/ Was anyone else super intimidated by this diet at first? How did you deal with it?

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ARGH! I know the feeling. Hm. I think...you just get used to be hyper vigilant, and you take a lot of your own meals. When someone asks me to lunch, I either call ahead, or I have a number of restaurants that I know can accommodate me...but it is always a risk. Give yourself time to get used to packing food, making dinners. You are going to screw up. Believe me, once you start feeling better and THEN screw up...ugh. You learn fast! It does get easier. I've been doing this since last November, and it has gotten much easier, five months later. I feel better, can have dairy again, and feel human. One thought: travel with your own dressing, or only get oil and vinegar. Make sure your salad is prepared with clean hands and a new bowl, and you should be able to get away with salad pretty easily. I ask about fillers in burgers and frequently order burgers. Check around on here about eating out and what to look out for.

Good luck!

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I cut out gluten from my diet and didn't get any better. Then I learned about cross contamination and became completely overwhelmed. Please know that it does get easier. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form, but the new habits do eventually become old habits.

I had to break myself of putting my hands by my mouth, had to learn to wash my hands every time I touched a dish or food, had to completely change my diet, had to eat before I "went out to eat" with friends, etc. It has gotten so much easier.

Today I went to a funeral and stayed for the lunch. I took with my own meal and heated it in the microwave. I covered my dish when the assorted cakes were passed over it. They didn't even look good to me anymore, and I definitely liked my sweets. Right now I am on a very basic diet of meat, low carb vegetables, olive oil, sea salt, and avacado. It didn't bother me in the least to eat my healthy food and watch others consume junk. It was very hard to do this before I started feeling better. I think of all the damage that "junk" is doing to others even if they aren't gluten intolerant.

I will admit though that I could really go for a good gluten free chocolate. I know the day will come when I will be able to eat it. The one thing I just can't watch others eat is pizza. It smells way too good that I just have to leave the room. I will try gluten free pizza when my stomach heals more. I have so many foods to look forward to and that helps keep me going.

Hang in there, it does get easier.

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I had a reaction with my K cup coffee. Hazelnut and vanilla both gave me a reaction. :-( I couldn't find any info on whether they were gluten-free or not. But my guess is not since I got a reaction each time they have some trace of something in there. I can tell within 15 if something has gluten.

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I drink K cups too -- but the teas. I drink Twinings and Celestial Seasonings. The companies have information on their website about the products being gluten-free but not specifically K cups. I felt comfortable with that info, but ff you aren't satisfied with the answer on the web, try and find the customer care number and put out a phone call. Definitely worth the effort if it is one of your staple foods!

It is extremely overwhelming at first. It still is for me - I am relatively new to this as well. However, it does get easier. Always do your research. My blackberry comes in handy during trips to the grocery store. I look up everything. I also go to major food manufacturer websites (Kraft, ConAgra, etc.) and print off their gluten-free lists. Also, make your grocery list like normal and then research each product (like cheese, deli meat, yogurt) to make sure you have gluten-free alternatives. Once you are aware of gluten-free go-to items, it makes it way easier!!! Good luck. You can do this -- and it will be worth every second of your diligence and hard work.

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The first couple months of being gluten free I didn't believe that I really needed to be as strict as I do. Apparently, I prefer to learn things the hard way. I made all kinds of mistakes the first few months until I switched to fresh meat, fresh fruit/veg, and minimal fresh potatoes rice. I swallowed my pride and packed a lunch for events where I needed to eat away from home. I resigned myself to eating boring food until I could learn what to add back. As time went on, I learned a new item or three each week. Eventually, I learned one cocktail and one meal I could order at any restaraunt with a chef so I felt prepared to go out. I also took Lara Bars in my purse just in case. It really does get easier with time. There will be weeks when you have pity parties, but overall, it is easier than a weight loss diet because there is a clear Yes or No. Cheating or having just a small portion isn't an option. After 18 months, I'm regaining an interest in cooking again because I'm always trying to figure out how to adapt a yummy smelling recipe. Hubby likes eating healthier and I feel better about all the toxin's I'm avoiding and getting back to what Grandma would have eaten (except her bread). I also got all new beautiful makeup and feel so girly putting it on.

Best of luck to you and remember it really does become a natural part of who you are.

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Be careful about what you are reading because old sources will tell you to avoid things that you don't have to avoid like vinegar. Only malt vinegar is a problem and generally they don't cook with that. They serve it to put on fish. I haven't had a ketchup problem. Does ketchup generally have gluten?

Print up the safe and forbidden lists here on this site and keep them with you. Read them over and over and highlight ingredients you might want to memorize.

It is intimidating, but you can't let it stop you from living. Eating out is harder, and you have to plan ahead but it can be done.

You are so new to the diet, you need to give yourself time. Also, many people go through healing and withdrawal periods where they can get sicker before they feel better. I did but after about 7 weeks I started feeling much better.

Yes, it is important to get all gluten out of your diet, but don't obsess either. I read and read and read on here to get lots of my info. I looked up old threads and searched for topics. Be careful to check dates again though because a thread from a few years ago can be outdated.

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I drink K cups too -- but the teas. I drink Twinings and Celestial Seasonings. The companies have information on their website about the products being gluten-free but not specifically K cups. I felt comfortable with that info, but ff you aren't satisfied with the answer on the web, try and find the customer care number and put out a phone call. Definitely worth the effort if it is one of your staple foods!

It is extremely overwhelming at first. It still is for me - I am relatively new to this as well. However, it does get easier. Always do your research. My blackberry comes in handy during trips to the grocery store. I look up everything. I also go to major food manufacturer websites (Kraft, ConAgra, etc.) and print off their gluten-free lists. Also, make your grocery list like normal and then research each product (like cheese, deli meat, yogurt) to make sure you have gluten-free alternatives. Once you are aware of gluten-free go-to items, it makes it way easier!!! Good luck. You can do this -- and it will be worth every second of your diligence and hard work.

Lots of chain restaurants have allergen info on their sites too. I'm working on a binder to keep in my car. If it's not on the site call the corporate office because sometimes they have the info there and you can take notes from what they say.

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