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BethProverbs31

New To gluten-free Lifestyle And Having Trouble: Help!

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I am new to a gluten-free lifestyle, not "officially" diagnosed yet, but MD and I suspect it might be the case because of symptoms and such. I have a 16 yr old daughter who has all kinds of bowel disturbances and since the intolerance is hereditary, think she might be as well...however she refuses to believe she is and won't let me get her tested. :(

Anyway, I have been avoiding gluten as much as is possible for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I am feeling better as far as mental clarity goes, but still feeling a little sluggish and haven't dropped any weight yet. I know it may be because I am not avoiding all gluten in products, but I am finding it very difficult to prepare gluten free meals with a husband who loves his pasta and sandwiches and a teen who balks at the idea of not being able to eat "regular" bread and pasta. I have not intentionally ingested the stuff, but am finding it confusing :unsure: reading labels on products that don't have gluten-free clearly marked on the label. I have been purchasing some gluten-free products, but with being on a strict budget, this has put a serious strain on our finances seeing that most of them are so expensive (seriously, 8 dollars for a bag of gluten-free pretzels and 5 bucks for a small box of lemon wafer cookies?! Sheesh!). And I really don't like many of the gluten-free breads/crackers/etc I have tried. Trial and error is getting rather expensive as well since the gluten-free products I don't like are getting wasted.

I am having the most difficulty figuring out what to take in my lunches for work. Sandwiches are out most times because I don't like the heavy gluten-free breads that are out there if they aren't freshly toasted. I tire of salads and fruit rather quickly when I take them so frequently. Strictly made gluten-free foods such as the pretzels I mentioned above and gluten-free frozen meals are rather expensive to be taking 4-5 days a week. I could cook and take leftovers, but a lot of days I don't have time to cook a decent meal (SIGH).

Does anyone have any ideas that will help me keep my sanity with these issues? :wacko::lol:

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I encourage you to look around these boards for ideas. Many of us are whole-hearted fans of Udi's bread which is even better than regular sandwich bread! And Tinkyada rice pasta and Schar pasta is excellent, and taste like regular pasta. I make them often.

Start buying naturally gluten free foods so you don't waste foods. If there is a gluten free item you really want to try, hop on here or google, and check out the reviews for that item. That should tell you quickly if it is a good option for you.

It is overwhelming in the beginning. Just give yourself some time to adjust, and for your family to adjust. It's a strain on everyone. But before long, you'll be surprised how easy this is...it is healthier, easier, and soon, you'll be throwing meals together like a pro!

Another help: get a cookbook of fast, easy recipes. I avoid the gluten free cookbooks, because it takes a lot of work to make gluten-y things gluten free. Instead, I got the biggest loser, an old fashioned Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, etc, and I started making regular dishes and subbing any ingredients that had gluten in them. it's super easy, and the meals are fast. Example: I cooked up potatoes and grilled chicken on Monday for dinner (had sandwiches for lunch Monday and tuesday). Tuesday night, I took leftover grilled chicken, cooked up some pasta, with sauce and provolone, and voila, dinner is served. Tomorrow, I'll make a crockpot meal of pork and saurkraut. That will last me two days with leftovers. I'll sub sandwiches in the in between days. if you don't like sandwiches, just take sandwich meat and cheese with you. I also eat rice chips, corn chips, regular chips. Salads here and there. Fruit. Rice crackers. Cereal (watch your labels!). Oatmeal. A frozen burrito (Glutenfreeda's). quesadilla (rice tortillas -- in freezer section). Gluten free pizza (I use frozen crusts as I don't have time to make my own). I whip up brazillian cheese bread, which is a tapioca flour based bun, or Robin Ryberg's biscuits. There are so many things you can make that will taste so yummy. Just take it easy, and ONLY add one extra trial food a week -- whether you buy it or make it. That way, you don't have a lot of pressure on you.

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Ty for the tips, Ciavyn! I tried some brands that are absolutely yummy....including the bread mixes from Chebe (I make turkey pepperoni rolls with the focaccia mix...yummy), and my absolute, out of this world good fave Italian rolls from French Meadow Bakery (SOOOOOO darn good!). Schar white bread is good IF YOU TOAST IT, but if you don't it doesn't taste very good or hold up well as a sandwich (learned that the hard way...lol), and it costs 6 dollars a small loaf at my local grocers. French Meadow Bakery has a site you can order gluten-free products from and they are reasonably priced (bread, rolls, pizza shells, tortillas, cookies, brownies, and muffins). They ship on Tuesdays (frozen so they are thawed by the time you get them, but per the bakery you can refreeze them) if you order by Friday of the previous week. Here is the link for their gluten-free products: http://www.frenchmeadow.com/products/gluten-free

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I'm a huge fan of bean based soups and dips, with either some rice or potatoes (sweet) thrown in. Currently can't because of an elimination diet, but am looking forward to eating them again... Summer tends to be dip, winter is soup. Fritatas, crustless quiches, or egg "bakes" with cheese and vegetables are good too if you can eat the cheese.

These are actually all things I ate regularly pre-gluten-free. What I miss are good, easy to find cookies that aren't $0.50 each for a little one. Baking is definitely going to be explored soon. And you could easily sub in yogurt or cottage cheese for the crackers if you like either.

ex. White beans pureed with marinated artichokes, carrot rounds, rice crackers, apple

Sweet potato and black bean soup with apple

Pinto beans cooked with smoked turkey wing piece, pureed, celery sticks, crackers or rice, fruit

Chick peas mashed with roasted red peppers, maybe garlic, generous slosh of oil; feta; cucumber; fruit

Daal, rice, fruit

Yumm... now I want a second dinner.

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I'm a huge fan of bean based soups and dips, with either some rice or potatoes (sweet) thrown in. Currently can't because of an elimination diet, but am looking forward to eating them again... Summer tends to be dip, winter is soup. Fritatas, crustless quiches, or egg "bakes" with cheese and vegetables are good too if you can eat the cheese.

These are actually all things I ate regularly pre-gluten-free. What I miss are good, easy to find cookies that aren't $0.50 each for a little one. Baking is definitely going to be explored soon. And you could easily sub in yogurt or cottage cheese for the crackers if you like either.

ex. White beans pureed with marinated artichokes, carrot rounds, rice crackers, apple

Sweet potato and black bean soup with apple

Pinto beans cooked with smoked turkey wing piece, pureed, celery sticks, crackers or rice, fruit

Chick peas mashed with roasted red peppers, maybe garlic, generous slosh of oil; feta; cucumber; fruit

Daal, rice, fruit

Yumm... now I want a second dinner.

LOL...yeah, I haven't eaten much today except for some buttered brown rice and pear flavored applesauce, so all that you listed sounds good! The beans with smoked turkey sounds like a great idea...except maybe I would use lentils or white beans, so does the chickpea mixture (I love hummus), but doesn't feta have gluten in it? My daughter thinks I am nuts...the family does, too. I don't know why folks look at a gluten allergy as something weird or unlikely.

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As a suggestion, I would get tested for celiac (blood work and biopsy) before going gluten free. If your doctor is suspicious, ask for the tests now. If you feel better gluten-free, it will be really hard to go back on gluten to get your diagnosis, and many people often don't. It is really worth knowing if and your daughter are celiac vs gluten sensitive. As my doctor said, if you are celiac you absolutely cannot consume gluten because of the harm it does to your intestines. However, as awful as glutenation is to someone with a gluten allergy/intolerance, they don't have the GI damage. So, to fully understand what is going on in your body it is definitely worth getting fully tested, and before going gluten-free will so much easier!

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My feta does not. But it's a block, not flavored crumbled stuff which could well have other nonsense in it.

Yeah, white beans or lentils, or black beans or even some combo would work well. The original recipe pretty much said make this, use whatever beans you want. I also throw in a bit of shallot or scallion, parsley, garlic, and a small chili pepper.

I've also been eating lots of rice and applesauce, but with the occasional dose of well cooked carrots and lamb. Fun fun...

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My feta does not. But it's a block, not flavored crumbled stuff which could well have other nonsense in it.

Yeah, white beans or lentils, or black beans or even some combo would work well. The original recipe pretty much said make this, use whatever beans you want. I also throw in a bit of shallot or scallion, parsley, garlic, and a small chili pepper.

I've also been eating lots of rice and applesauce, but with the occasional dose of well cooked carrots and lamb. Fun fun...

Ok, now you made me want to go buy some lamb! I haven't eaten lamb in a while...hubby doesn't like it...but me, YUM! :) Have a grest weekend and TY for replying!

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I am new to a gluten-free lifestyle, not "officially" diagnosed yet, but MD and I suspect it might be the case because of symptoms and such. I have a 16 yr old daughter who has all kinds of bowel disturbances and since the intolerance is hereditary, think she might be as well...however she refuses to believe she is and won't let me get her tested. :(

Anyway, I have been avoiding gluten as much as is possible for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I am feeling better as far as mental clarity goes, but still feeling a little sluggish and haven't dropped any weight yet. I know it may be because I am not avoiding all gluten in products, but I am finding it very difficult to prepare gluten free meals with a husband who loves his pasta and sandwiches and a teen who balks at the idea of not being able to eat "regular" bread and pasta. I have not intentionally ingested the stuff, but am finding it confusing :unsure: reading labels on products that don't have gluten-free clearly marked on the label. I have been purchasing some gluten-free products, but with being on a strict budget, this has put a serious strain on our finances seeing that most of them are so expensive (seriously, 8 dollars for a bag of gluten-free pretzels and 5 bucks for a small box of lemon wafer cookies?! Sheesh!). And I really don't like many of the gluten-free breads/crackers/etc I have tried. Trial and error is getting rather expensive as well since the gluten-free products I don't like are getting wasted.

I am having the most difficulty figuring out what to take in my lunches for work. Sandwiches are out most times because I don't like the heavy gluten-free breads that are out there if they aren't freshly toasted. I tire of salads and fruit rather quickly when I take them so frequently. Strictly made gluten-free foods such as the pretzels I mentioned above and gluten-free frozen meals are rather expensive to be taking 4-5 days a week. I could cook and take leftovers, but a lot of days I don't have time to cook a decent meal (SIGH).

Does anyone have any ideas that will help me keep my sanity with these issues? :wacko::lol:

A couple of ideas for you

1st don't tell them what you're cooking.

2nd ask your daughter if she wants to continue being sick?

3rd I learned to bake my own snack foods www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com

I suffered from insomnia during my bad time last year and started watching rachel ray"30 minute meals"

if you can find your way around a kitchen you can make these meals

Bets wishes

Mike

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LOL...yeah, I haven't eaten much today except for some buttered brown rice and pear flavored applesauce, so all that you listed sounds good! The beans with smoked turkey sounds like a great idea...except maybe I would use lentils or white beans, so does the chickpea mixture (I love hummus), but doesn't feta have gluten in it? My daughter thinks I am nuts...the family does, too. I don't know why folks look at a gluten allergy as something weird or unlikely.

No fate doesn't have gluten in it. But remember to aways check. My hummus has the following

Chickpeas

Red pepers

Lots of garlic

Tahini butter(made from sesame seeds)

Lemon juice

pinch of sea salt

cilantro

and cumin

The Biggest thing I found is to keep it fresh and simple

And when in doubt leave it out

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