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cmathews03

Just Diagnosed Last Week

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Hey there, everyone! First and foremost, let me preface this post with the notion that this website (and all the people who remain active within its community) is truly a God-send. I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease (last Thursday), and this website has already helped me in more ways than I can begin to count. So thank you.

My name is Christopher. I'm not yet 21, though my birthday is right away the corner; I'm originally from a suburb of Houston, though most of my life has been spent here and there, in various parts of America, Canada and even Germany. Currently, I'm in Austin, Texas, studying for degrees in both mathematics and economics. I admit that I'm considerably underweight (I stand at roughly 5'9" and weigh a meager 114 pounds), and I always attributed my physique to my being an active competitive swimmer. Perhaps I'm skinny *because* I'm celiac, who knows? But I digress...

For roughly five years, I've experienced near-immediate pain and discomfort after eating. Some days, I could 'suck it up' and go on about my business; other days, however, I would literally be holding my stomach in my room, trying not to cry or scream in agony. I've been in and out of the hospital with various problems ranging from serious colds to gallstones. I was even in a sleep study because there was a period of six days where I was unable to sleep for more than a more minutes. In fact, I was recently in the hospital with a stubborn flu, marked with a high fever and an inability to keep down food--and it was only after my grandmother's pleas that the doctors started investigating even further for the cause(s) of my myriad of sicknesses. Blood draws and a biopsy later: I have celiac.

In all honesty, when I first heard I have celiac disease, I was relieved. "Finally! An answer to all my questions!" I thought. But that feeling quickly passed. What I first believed to be a blessing in disguise quickly morphed into a curse.

I went shopping for my first batch of gluten-free groceries this morning, list of "unsafe" ingredients in-hand and fierce determination. (For the past week, I had been eating [almost exclusively] salads and Larabars and Glutino dinners I could conveniently buy at the grocery store within my dormitory; I needed more variety!) I left the store, empty-handed, overwhelmed and wanting to crawl into a hole of self-loathing. People were clearly annoyed that I would stand in one aisle for several minutes, agonizing over every label and glancing back and forth between my list and the packaging. One couple even had the gumption to demand I "move my ass already!" To make matters worse, the things I've come to consider pantry stables as a college student (i.e. EasyMac, Nutrigrain Bars, etc.) were no longer options, so I walked in and through and around the store, trying to dodge nostalgia at every corner. In the end, I just wasn't ready, so I left.

When I arrived back on campus, a gang of my friends approached me about going out to lunch. "Yes!" I said excitedly; the growling in my stomach was growing more intense, and, for the first time in a very long time, I *felt* as if I was starving; I needed food--and after the disappointing grocery store outing, I needed something to take my mind off my condition. My friends, however, were adamant on eating at Mellow Mushroom, a favorite pizza parlor for those living in Austin. I love Mellow Mushroom! Last year, I would eat there at least once a week. But, in the end, I chose to go up to my room and nap. There was little use or happiness in watching my friends devour the food I would never again be allowed to eat.

At this juncture, it's been only seven days since my diagnosis, but I feel more alone than ever. None of my friends seem willing to empathize with my new disease, and my family seems more prone to make light of it ("Oh, come on! A little gluten here and there won't hurt you!"). I feel isolated, from everyone and everything, and I feel... "different," as if something's "wrong" with me.

I met up with my University's dietitian just a little while ago. She was very sweet and very gracious and very caring; she took me around to all the different dining facilities on campus and introduced me to all the various chefs (so I could cultivate a relationship with them, and so they could help to cater to my needs). We even perused the University's online menu. Sure, the food options are now wider, and I no longer have to content myself with salads for every meal as being the only safe option. But... I still resent that my life has to change in such a large capacity. I still resent that eating and preparing food has now become a chore. And I'm starting to resent people who can still eat gluten. (Never in my life have I wanted to eat Oreos more than I do right now--and I've never even liked Oreos!) I'm aware that the change is still new, and that time will smooth out the wrinkles, but... guh. At this point in time, it's just hard.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll all see me around. I have a ton of questions, after all.

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I actually had a dream last night that I was back in college, except that instead of having the usual nightmare of having a final in a class that I never attended, I dreamt I had celiacs and was trying to find food I could eat in the dorm cafeteria. Well, I am 20 years out of college and I know there are people on this board who will have far better advice about navigating a college campus with this disease. I will say a little gluten will hurt you. Use this board as a valuable resource. It's truly been a lifeline for me this last month and packed with way more info than I was getting from doctors. I'd keep your diet to whole foods as much as possible. At this time I'll step back because I know there are young people here that can give you far better advice than I. It took 2 weeks for me to start feeling better, and for a lot of people here it's six months.

Oh, and I still stand in the aisle and pore over ingredients if I'm buying something processed. I shop at Whole Foods so maybe nobody gives me grief because I'm not alone. That idiot that told you to hurry up isn't worth one ounce of your attention.

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Hi Christopher,

Not much time for me to write now, but a few quick things. You have come to the right place. :) It will be overwhelming, and facing the emotions now is much better than pretending you are fine with it all. AND just so you know... Kinnickinick makes a chocolate sandwich cookie that to me is really quite like an oreo. Go find some, NOW. ;) Whole foods & mother's market carry them. Since you haven't ever cared about oreos before, knowing it's out there may help.

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Welcome to the board. Hang in there it will get better. We do often go through a bit of a greiving process after we get diagnosed so feel free to be angry and a bit sad. It is a big life change. You also may be going through a bit of a withdrawl but that also will pass.

Things will get easier as you start to feel better. It is hard in college but you are lucky to have a school that is being accomodating to you. Take advantage of the chef's you met and don't be shy about asking them questions.

A couple good breads are Udi's, Grainless Baker, Kinnickinnick is good also. Most of our breads taste better toasted or zapped. If your dorm has rules about you having a toaster or microwave go to your schools Disability office or perhaps the Dean or your Advisor to see if you can get that waived as Celiac is covered under the ADA. PB and J can be nice when studying. Snyders makes decent pretzels and explore your local health food store or Whole foods and you will be surprised at how much good stuff you can find to snack on when others are munching gluteny stuff.

Do ask any questions you need to and feel free to vent when needed.

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Hey and welcome! I will start by saying, this website is amazing and soooo helpful! I was in the same boat November 9th, 2009....so extremely happy, there's IS something wrong with me!! The pain and suffering is for a real reason, it's not just the way I am! But, then like you, I almost immediately got very upset and actually cried the first few times I went out to eat. I am 26 (was 25 when diagnosed) and SO very happy they found out when they did. I have had problems with Anemia, which I still struggle with, and many pains and bathroom issues over the years. Be happy you know whats wrong and can move on from here. It does get easier. I still have days that I get really sad...the other day I was heating up Chef Boyardee Ravioli's for my boyfriend, and they smelled AMAZING to me at the time. I never thought that when I could eat them! But, you will find, there's a way to buy, or make just about anything gluten free. Natural food stores are the best place to find a variety, but I fund plenty at my grocery store, too. Even online, you can order a lot of stuff. My best advice, if you don't know..google it. I have searched hundreds of things "gluten free (any fast food name or restaurant)" and many places have menus! My favorite places-Chipotle, Wendy's and Red Robin. I have found gluten free mac n cheese (boxed and how to make homemade), gluten free oreos (which takes just like real Oreos to me :)), all kinds of gluten free pastas...just don't cook them for too long or they get mushy. In the 10months I have known and been on this diet, there have been more and more places and companies really showing that they care about us and make it a point to have GLUTEN FREE on their packaging or menu items. Anyways....enough of my rambling. I just get so excited when I can be the one to help someone new to this...because we have all been there...and the only way to learn is to do your research and ask the wonderful people on this website!! Good luck and know you always can vent on here..and it will get better and you will FEEL so much better!

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Some Mellow Mushrooms have gluten-free pizza.

Some easy to find things to eat with little or no cooking:

Chex cereals most are labelled gluten-free

Microwave popcorn

Chips and salsa

PB on apples or celery or gluten-free crackers

Some Progresso soups are labeled gluten-free

Nuts

Google " gluten free Progresso, or Frito Lay, or ?

When reading ingredients in the grocery, move to the side and push your cart to the side. :)

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Some Mellow Mushrooms have gluten-free pizza.

Some easy to find things to eat with little or no cooking:

Chex cereals most are labelled gluten-free

Microwave popcorn

Chips and salsa

PB on apples or celery or gluten-free crackers

Some Progresso soups are labeled gluten-free

Nuts

Google " gluten free Progresso, or Frito Lay, or ?

When reading ingredients in the grocery, move to the side and push your cart to the side. :)

Also I just discovered we can have a lot of different flavored Doritos!! They label wheat on their packaging. As far as junk food...it's cheaper and I love them :) Just to add to the list! ;)

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Sorry you're feeling this way. It does get better, especially when your symptoms subside. Unfortunately, we do end up with a bit of an uninvited hobby with the gluten-free diet. The diet is a shock at first and you do have to grieve. Do your best not to resent other people for what they can eat. I'm sure you realize thinking that way is only going to make you feel worse.

Don't sweat the shopping and STOP CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!!! When it comes to strangers in a grocery store, you celiac is none of their damn business. Just make sure you're not blocking the aisle or shelves as you read labels so you don't inconvenience other shoppers. Stay aware of the people around you and be quick to step out of the way.

Your friends and family will eventually come around, especially as you get healthier. Family members are often thrilled by the changes in the health and emotional state of celiacs off gluten. Your friends will get used to it as well, and you might be surprised how kind they become when you make it clear that deviating from the diet makes you really sick. My friends didn't take things very seriously at first either, until they saw me get healthy, and then become sick from making mistakes on the diet. Now they are very solicitous and read labels for me. :lol:

As for the lunch, your gluten-free kung fu needs practice, grasshopper. Mellow Mushroom in Austin has gluten-free pizza. Beer is trickier, though if you go there a lot you might ask them about carrying bottled Redbridge once you're 21.

http://www.mellowmushroom.com/promotions/glutenfree#/store/promotion/austin/glutenfree

With foods, peanut butter and jelly is always good especially if you can find Udi's bread. Progresso soups are gluten-free. Some of the Hormel chili is gluten-free. Bananas and apples fit into a backpack for snacks easily. Safeway has a gluten-free rice noodle soup that's like ramen and cheap. You've found Larabars, there is a gluten-free cliff fruit and nut bar now, and Mrs. May's nut crunch bars are really good. String cheese is also a good backpack snack. A truly dangerous number of chips are gluten-free. All plain potato and corn chips, some flavored Doritos, many Cheetos, plain Fritos, and Lay's Stax come to mind.

Hope this helps. It does get better. Really!

(Edit: Whiskers is SO right. I meant some Progresso soups, not all. They say gluten-free right at the bottom of the ingredients and some even say it on the front of the can now.)

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Not all the Progresso soups are gluten free. Just some of them. There are grocery guides you can buy to help navigate the grocery store. I often wish I would have purchased one. Tai Kitchen has rice noodles in a red box in the asian food section. I like their noodles best. Ragu has lots of gluten free sauces, but not all. Ragu is produced by Unilever. Unilever, Kraft, and general mills have a policy of including all wheat, rye, barley, or oat derived ingredients clearly on the label. For example modified food starch by a random company could be a problem, but by one of those 3 it will be either safe or say modified food starch (wheat) or modified food starch (corn). There are several other companies with this same policy, but I can only remember those 3. This makes shopping easier. I park my cart 10 feet away from me preferably in front of something wierd. That way people can still get by when I step back to survey which product to pick up and when I step close to read the label. I never stand in the middle of the aisle and I keep an eye out for people stopping near my cart in case they need to get behind there. (That's much less likely if you park the cart in front of the pimentos or something healthy vs. the pop tarts and hamburger helper).

Family can be harder to convince that friends at times. They will come around in time if you are clear, strict, and nice.

Hey! Congrats on figuring out what's wrong and for having it be fixable without a lifetime of meds. You may find a new athletic spurt come next semester or spring with this new diet.

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Hi Christopher and welcome! I'm glad you found this board, I find the support here to be wonderful and it's really helped me. Things will get better. It is a lot easier if you can avoid the stuff you can't have - smelling the fresh bread at the supermarket can send me into such waves of dizzy longing I can't bear it - but you don't want to isolate yourself.

About the shopping... it's good to check out other stores since I've found different places stock different things. So if you have access to a car, explore! Plus that way you'll be irritating a variety of people, not the same ones (I'm kidding!) :P Plenty of people read labels carefully and for all different reasons. It just seems odd to you right now because as nearly 21 year old guy (wishing you an early happy birthday!), you're not really in the label-reading demographic. You'll get used to it - and just ignore anyone rude.

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Go ahead and be mad. Grieve the losses and come here to vent. We'll all be here for you.

Funny, I was thinking after reading your post I bet we both had anger and grieving over exact opposite issues. You are so young, you probably feel like "Why do I have to be saddled with this now in college when all my friends are out eating all that pizza and partying?" I on the other hand got diagnosed at 40 and I was so angry that I suffered for so many years with all the misdiagnoses and idiot doctors who had no clue.

So as much as it's a burden to you right now, in the future you are being spared a lot of pain and heartache.

There are SO many restaurants that serve gluten free food. Go to the restaurant section here on this board and do your research. Go to websites. Call restaurants you frequent. I almost didn't go out with a bunch of people because they were eating at Buca Di Beppo- italian food. How could I safely eat italian? Well I called anyways and it turned out they have a gluten free menu that is awesome. Ate safely and have gone back several times.

I know as a guy the beer thing can be hard, but wine is gluten free and so is most alcohol. There is a website about gluten free alcohol, forgot the name but look it up. I use it on my phone if I"m out and unsure of a drink. I use my droid all the time actually. I type in whatever food or restaurant and add the words gluten free and I get my info right there.

The grieving process is intense for lots of people. It was for me. And the first time I went grocery shopping after diagnosis I freaked out, had a panic attack and ran from the store after like 2 hours shopping and filling my cart. I was hyperventilating and barely made it home.

And..... there ARE gluten free OREOS!! I buy them for my kids at Sprouts. They aren't Oreos brand. I can't remember if it's Glutino who makes them but they do exist and they're really good. I can't eat them because they have soy flour and it really gets me, but if you're okay with soy try them.

It gets SO much easier. Do your research. Read old threads on here. I read for days and days and used the search function a lot. This board is better than any book you can buy.

And come here as much as you need for pity parties or whatever. We all get it, been there done that. I was sick for SIX long months after diagnosis and it's been nearly 9 months for me so you can imagine my rough time.

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I know what your going through. I've never been officially diagnosed but many members of my mother's family have died due to stomach issues and when I first went gluten free I discovered the discomfort went away. I had to quit my job because they pissed me off by NOT believing that I actually had something wrong with my stomach, so I guess that kind of goes along with the "friends not sympathizing" thing. As a 22 year old, also in college, I know that easy foods are a staple not only for men in college, but men in general (sorry guys that cook). There are lots of options with a handy "G" on the label at Trader Joe's, but the best option has already been said: explore! I found a Ralph's by my college that has gluten free things that the Ralph's in my hometown never had. Not all stores of the same name are equal - and for God's sake, take your time. College is defined by a limited budget so don't buy something only to take it back because you didn't read it carefully :) Oh, and next time someone tells you to move your ass, get loud and embarrassing about the fact they're A) using foul language at someone who clearly is younger than they are (I'm a young looking 5'6", this one REALLY works for me) and B) simply make fun of them (laugh loud and obnoxiously) for not reading ingredients: they eat food and yet have no idea what it is they're actually eating? They probably laughed at you, talking about you in the checkout isle to themselves, as they reach for some Hershey's candy, thinking they're buying chocolate, when in fact Hershey's products say "chocolaty" due to the fact they can no longer be defined as chocolate (When you read ingredients more and more, you'll learn to hate Hershey's). You might also want to try pointing out the fact that rats and other simple minded animals eat without knowing what it is they're eating either :) Hope I don't sound mad or anything, just a few arguments to throw at the naysayers in case the need arises.

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hard cider.

snickers bars.

ancient harvest corn quinoa pasta. (buy online in bulk, much cheaper)

convert your friends to indian food and mexican (corn tortillas, nothing fried).

And remember to eat! you'll never gain weight if you go take a nap instead.

Yay for crazy diagnosis that do not require medications and quietly drive you crazy for the first couple of weeks/months!

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Yes to what everyone else said.

Snickers bars.

Utz's potato chips. (and probably other brands too)

Snickers bars.

Doritos.

Snickers bars.

Salsa, other dips.

Snickers bars.

Fritos.

Oh, did I mention Snickers bars? B)

Also, not sure if anyone mentioned the Dinty Moore (I think that's the brand) of canned beef stew. And there's one more flavor -- the chicken and rice I think -- that's gluten-free. If you have access to a microwave that might be a good quick snack.

Canned beans are yummy and filling. I eat Bush's, but I'm sure other brands are probably okay also. Chocolate Chex... yummmm..... Fruit. Add whipped cream for a dessert-type thing.

I'm glad the university is being helpful with the dining hall services. :)

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Wow! I wasn't expecting so many helpful, encouraging and thoughtful posts! Really, thank you all so much. Most of these posts even made me smile, which was a much-needed bonus.

Yesterday evening was much better. My friend, Amanda, is in culinary school and she has a pretty debilitating dairy allergy, so she's been cooking for her own dietary restriction for some times. She was thrilled at the opportunity to "expand her culinary repertoire" with some gluten-free options, so we loaded up in her Envoy and headed to Whole Foods.

Mind you, it took us nearly four hours to shop, but it was great. There weren't a ton of people shopping while we were there (as we went after the "dinnertime rush") so we were able to quite literally pull things off the shelf and sit on the ground to scour over the labels. The people at Whole Foods were much kinder than those at the Central Market at which I had attempted to shop earlier (in fact, I met a very lovely gluten-free couple!), and my friend and I shared some great laughs.

Together, for dinner, we made these sweet potato enchiladas and drank more than our fair share of a good-quality Riesling wine. The enchiladas were surprisingly amazing! -- and Amanda, being the aspiring pastry chef that she is, attempted to make a few different kinds of chocolate cookies, but they didn't exactly turn out. Another learning experience, nonetheless.

At either rate, thank you all so much (again) for all the kind words. This weekend, I plan to settle in and pour through a slew of old threads, so you'll probably see me pop in (often!) with questions.

CHRISTOPHER

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I found what helped me was to think about all the "normal" meals I like and then google them + "gluten free" ("Gluten free Mongolian Beef" for example). Usually there are at least a few that will pop up. Baking is a bit trickier than cooking because the flours behave a bit differently. Tell your friend to go check out the "Gluten Free Goddess" (google it for the link). The author of that site is gluten-free & dairy free so most of her recipes are as well.

Welcome and glad things are looking up!

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Sorry you had to end up here with all of us but Welcome!! This is a great forum full of supportive and incredibly knowledgeable people.

Everything you're experiencing is totally normal. It's a huge life change and a difficult one at that. Scour this board to find out all the foods you can eat. All the info you need is right here! If you don't know something, post a question. Someone (if not 15) will answer!

You will eventually get into a groove, learn the products you can eat and the food you can make. It just takes time. You will start to feel better and better and trust me, it will all be worth it.

As a little tip, I just discovered Udi's products and they are absolutely FABULOUS! My son who's 6 (and also Celiac) is the pickiest eater ever and he just loves everything Udi's. Their products will make your life a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Good luck. Just give it time, you'll adapt :D:D:D

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Another vote for Udi's bread here. It makes fabulous grilled cheese. And you can eat said grilled cheese with Pacific Naturals tomato soup.

It really does get easier. I think we've all had a grocery store meltdown at first. Kind Bars are a nice change-up from Larabars. Fage, Brown Cow, Stonyfield, and Yoplait yogurts are safe. I'm not sure I trust the pizzas from Amy's Organic, but I've never had a problem with their frozen rice bowls (make sure they're labeled Gluten-Free on the box). Lundberg rice cakes are good with peanut butter. I finally gave in and ordered a case of the apple-cinnamon flavor. I used to love peanut butter toast for breakfast and these are a good substitute. Blue Diamond makes a very yummy line of crackers (Nut Thins) that are good with cheese. The above-mentioned Progresso makes good lentil and black bean soups that I sometimes bring to work and heat up in the microwave for lunch. Oh, and Pamela's Pancake and Baking mix makes awesome pancakes.

(Edited to remove the suggestion about Progresso tomato soup- I checked the back of a "Hearty Tomato" can in the store this morning and it has wheat flour in the ingredient list. Pacific Naturals creamy tomato is still safe, though. I just had some with a grilled cheese.)

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Happy you can be healthy, and I'm sure you'll get many virtual hugs and sympathy from the group here. The grieving over what's lost can be really hard. Sometimes you'll think you'll be over it and something will happen and it'll hit you all over again. Totally normal, really.

Sucks, but still normal.

Two things that might be of use, since you're right at the beginning. (I'm just a year into this, myself)

- The Gluten Free Grocery Shopping Guide - it's about $30 bucks, shipping included. They have an ad for it here on the site on one of the side panels, usually. It's made going to the store SO much easier.

- This site: http://collegeceliac.blogspot.com/ This is by another college-aged Celiac. He has many recipes that are good, easy, and affordable for a college budget. And he might be someone to chat with about the frustration of celiac disease, honestly. :)

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If you can afford a Palm PDA (the Z22 may be the cheapest), you can go to Clan Thompson online and get a subscription to a gluten-free database that includes all kinds of brand-name groceries and foods from specific restaurant chains. Maybe by now they have it for smartphones. It does cost some $, but when you're just getting started it really helps, especially when you suddenly have to go out to eat and need to find something safe. I used it for my first year or two of being gluten-free until I got the hang of it.

You'll find that over time you'll find what works for you and what doesn't. You start thinking in terms of what is safe and filling and you'll find out that hard boiled eggs and pepperoni slices might be someone else's weird breakfast but it works great for you because that's what you could find at 7-11 at 8 am. You'll start to stash boxes of raisins and bags of peanuts in your car for emergency food, and keep a mental list of things you can grab for lunch on the fly (foil pack of tuna and box of Nut Thins, or individual bowl of Bush's baked beans and a bag of Pirate Booty for lunch). It has been 6 years for me, and I pretty much don't miss bread-like products at all - no urge for pancakes or sandwiches. Sandwich fillings are just as good eaten out of a bowl (egg or tuna salad) or rolled up plain or with lettuce or a corn tortilla (ham, turkey, cheese). I know it would have been tough if I found this out when I was in college, or if I couldn't cook for myself - everyone else can just go grab a slice or a steak sandwich and there you are with your stupid allergy making everyone else wait or go without you. But you will manage. The more you can avoid processed food the better off you will be. I know people have said that you can have Doritos and chips, but you might want to avoid them for a while because many of them do have cross-contamination and you want to stay as clean as possible to let your insides heal. Stick to whole foods - meat, fruit, veggies, cheese, eggs, nuts. Look into the Paleo diet or the beginning of South Beach, and eat like that. And throw in a Snickers ice cream bar as a treat once in a while just to remind yourself that you can still have some very yummy things.

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Hi Chris,

Lucky you having a friend who is into cooking eh? :-)

About the comments on just a little gluten won't hurt you. Unh-uh, all wrong. The celiac disease reaction is caused by our immune systems. The same immune systems that seek out and destroy microscopic germs in our bodies so we don't die of other diseases. That's actually a very powerful biological system and has to be to keep us alive in a a world full of ugly buggly itty bitty germs that want to invade us and feed on our yummy human flesh. Think of how small them germs are and you will realize that our immune systems do react and destroy even tiny, small amounts of things. They have too. Bad side affect for us is the immune system attacks our intestines due to the gluten invasion. ask them people if they wouldn't mind eating just a little bubonic plague on their salad, or a touch ofa chicken pox in their soup. Or a spot of zombie blood on their burger. Small does not equal safe! Hmmm, I think I got that off my chest...

Oh, food. you can get Mission brand corn tortillas at many grocery stores, very cheap. They are gluten free and made on dedicated lines, and keep a long time in the refrigerator. Warm them so they fold easier and you can make a wrap. Whole Foods sells Enjoy Life brown rice wraps that more like 10 inches. Run water over them from a faucet and then nuke them 15 seconds and they are nice and soft. They are usually in the freezer because they have no nasty preservatives. Preservatives cause zombies! Sorry got no research link that proves that.

Check out the recipe part of the forum here. Or search the forum using the search box on top left side.

Anheuser Busch Redbridge gluten-free beer is fairly easy to find these days. Whole Paycheck probably will have it and Bards Beer also, or New Grist, another gluten-free beer.

Be patient with your body as you are healing. It takes some time to learn the gluten-free diet and how to avoid hidden gluten. Sticking with a whole foods diet is the best way to start, but means cooking most of your food from scratch, not buying processed foods. A nice benefit is you don't have to spend all that time reading ingredients lists. If you do buy processed foods look for things with short ingredient lists, usually 1, 2 or items at most. Like frozen peas and water, or corn and carrots and salt and water. Ok that's four!

Welcome to our world. You are going to learn a lot here and it does get easier after a while. Maybe quite a while but still. :D

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Christopher,

I understand your relief to get any diagnosis at all, and your frustration to have to change your life in this major way. I just graduated college and I find it difficult to eat our very often. I am not sure what the markets in Texas offer, but you can still get your pastas and breakfast bars (like nutrigrain bars) in gluten free versions, though a little more costly. They are still tasty though. There are many other things you can have- though I make them myself to ensure they are safe. There is gluten free breads, pizza, tacos, stir fry with rice (make sure soy sauce is gluten-free), you can still have your meats with vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice or quinoa simmered with chicken stock and herbs. I hope this was at all helpful. Don't feel alone. It hasn't been long for me, but I just have to believe it will get easier. Good luck!

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