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Nova Scotian Celiac

How To Face The First Year...

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Hi everyone,

I am a newly diagnosed Celiac (1 week!) from Nova Scotia, Canada and I cannot express how grateful I am for this forum site!

Admittedly, I'm quite green on where to start but have read through countless postings here to get an idea.

However, I'm wondering if anyone can detail what foods you stuck to in the beginning - before getting more technical with gluten free baking, etc (figuring out all of the flour equivalents I've read about) - staple foods and snacks!

Thanks :)

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Hi! Welcome to the forum (I love it here, too!)

Most of us will tend to stay away from dairy for the first few months to give our bodies a chance to heal. Raw vegetables can also be difficult to digest. Stick with whole foods, and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Here are my staples:

Pumpkinseed and almond butter

Chicken, fish, shrimp

Nuts

Dove dark chocolate (saved my life when I was going through withdrawals!)

Brown rice

Any steamed vegetables

Sweet potatoes

Fruit

Lara bars

Quinoa (although I went off of it because I was getting stomach aches afterwards)

Almond milk

I've also been using a gluten/lactose free rice protein powder to get more protein into my system because I think I was severely lacking it before going gluten-free.

Also remember check the label and make sure that anything you buy is not processed on the same equipment/at the same facility as wheat. Better safe than sorry.

And definitely stick around this site. It's such a wonderful support group, I'm so very proud to be a member of this community :)

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Quinoa (although I went off of it because I was getting stomach aches afterwards)

How well did you rinse the quinoa? If you don't rinse it really, really well, you'll give yourself a stomach ache and/or other digestive problems. :/

My list is similar, but also:

corn tortillas

flax seed crackers <-a little harder to digest but tasty and super high in good-for-you nutrients and fiber

canned tuna and frozen fish fillets <-(Google the brand of tuna to ensure the broth used in packaging is gluten-free)

brown rice noodles

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My dd was diagnosed in March. We have used some of the packaged/processed gluten free products, but now find ourselves moving away from them...mostly because she doesn't like them as well, and has totally accepted the gluten-free diet. She really loves fresh fruits and vegetables (always has...what 4 year old says her favorite food is broccoli? :blink: ). We stick pretty much to fresh fruits and veggies, fresh meat, and the occasional processed item such as Udi's gluten-free sandwich bread and Larabars.

I always packed B's snack for school. We usually sent applesauce cups, grape tomatoes and cheese cubes, Larabars, grapes, apple slices, fruit cups, SunButter and rice crackers, etc.

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I would start by making a list of your favourite meals, the things you cook or go out for the most.

Then divide that list into 2 lists. The first list is meals that are naturally gluten free or easily altered with a minor substitutions. The second list is things that will be harder and you can learn to cook them later... no reason to go without your favourites forever! You have a lifetime to learn how to remake your favourite gluten-filled foods, first you just need to be happy with a basic, delicious diet that will make you feel great.

Your first list will probably be things like grilled or roasted meats/seafoods, vegetables, rice, yams, potatoes. That's easy, right? Are you feeding a family or just yourself?

Some simple substitutions are things like gluten-free soy sauce, BBQ sauce, rice/corn pasta, rice crackers, gluten-free bread.

If you do like to bake you will wind up doing some experimenting. Everyone has their preferences but my favourite all purpose gluten-free flour mix is the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, I like it better than Pamela's which seems to be the common favourite. For simple things like a sheet cake, cookies, muffins and banana bread I have been able to substitute it straight across for the flour with no other changes.

Also, since you are in Canada I would go to the Kinnikinnick website and consider putting in an order for hamburger buns, hot dog buns, pizza crusts (they are really good, Boston Pizza uses them), cookies, donuts, cake mixes, gluten-free panko crumbs, graham crackers crumbs... whatever fills those likes/cravings/needs and makes you feel less deprived. I do a monthly Kinnikinnick order for $100 and keep myself stocked up on all those things.

The Gluten free pantry chocolate truffle brownies are amazing! I keep a box on hand all the time in case we have company on short notice. Fresh brownies and ice cream make everyone happy, right?

Lara bars are nice to have in your bag or car for a quick snack if you get stuck while you're out. I don't love them but the chocolate varieties are okay and they are reasonably filling.

Good luck! You can do it. One day at a time, one meal at a time. Rejoice when you come across something that's wonderful and when you come across something awful try not to let it get to you.

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I would start by making a list of your favourite meals, the things you cook or go out for the most.

Then divide that list into 2 lists. The first list is meals that are naturally gluten free or easily altered with a minor substitutions. The second list is things that will be harder and you can learn to cook them later... no reason to go without your favourites forever! You have a lifetime to learn how to remake your favourite gluten-filled foods, first you just need to be happy with a basic, delicious diet that will make you feel great.

Your first list will probably be things like grilled or roasted meats/seafoods, vegetables, rice, yams, potatoes. That's easy, right? Are you feeding a family or just yourself?

Some simple substitutions are things like gluten-free soy sauce, BBQ sauce, rice/corn pasta, rice crackers, gluten-free bread.

If you do like to bake you will wind up doing some experimenting. Everyone has their preferences but my favourite all purpose gluten-free flour mix is the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, I like it better than Pamela's which seems to be the common favourite. For simple things like a sheet cake, cookies, muffins and banana bread I have been able to substitute it straight across for the flour with no other changes.

Also, since you are in Canada I would go to the Kinnikinnick website and consider putting in an order for hamburger buns, hot dog buns, pizza crusts (they are really good, Boston Pizza uses them), cookies, donuts, cake mixes, gluten-free panko crumbs, graham crackers crumbs... whatever fills those likes/cravings/needs and makes you feel less deprived. I do a monthly Kinnikinnick order for $100 and keep myself stocked up on all those things.

The Gluten free pantry chocolate truffle brownies are amazing! I keep a box on hand all the time in case we have company on short notice. Fresh brownies and ice cream make everyone happy, right?

Lara bars are nice to have in your bag or car for a quick snack if you get stuck while you're out. I don't love them but the chocolate varieties are okay and they are reasonably filling.

Good luck! You can do it. One day at a time, one meal at a time. Rejoice when you come across something that's wonderful and when you come across something awful try not to let it get to you.

Hi Sara (and everyone else!),

Thank you all so much for your advice! Certainly sounds managable...with a few treats along the way to help with cravings!! Speaking of which, is the withdrawal process bad? Or does it just depend on the person's system?

I'm just looking forward to starting onto the road of recovery! Unlike the clinical norm - weight loss symptom, I've definitely struggled with the opposite over the past 6 months....so I can't wait to NO LONGER feel like an inflated balloon!!! haha

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I didn't find the withdrawl bad at all and I have been baking (and eating) breads, cookies, muffins and cakes with wheat flour every day for many years.

I had a headache for a few days and I was super cranky but I was also quiting coffee at the same time.

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I did not experience the withdrawal a lot of folks have so while it's common, I don't think it's a given. I think I was just so happy to know what was wrong with me. And I didn't load up on gluten-free "junk" food...my diet today is much the same as it was before I went gluten-free (sans gluten, of course).

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Hi! Welcome to the forum (I love it here, too!)

Most of us will tend to stay away from dairy for the first few months to give our bodies a chance to heal. Raw vegetables can also be difficult to digest. Stick with whole foods, and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Here are my staples:

Pumpkinseed and almond butter

Chicken, fish, shrimp

Nuts

Dove dark chocolate (saved my life when I was going through withdrawals!)

Brown rice

Any steamed vegetables

Sweet potatoes

Fruit

Lara bars

Quinoa (although I went off of it because I was getting stomach aches afterwards)

Almond milk

I've also been using a gluten/lactose free rice protein powder to get more protein into my system because I think I was severely lacking it before going gluten-free.

Also remember check the label and make sure that anything you buy is not processed on the same equipment/at the same facility as wheat. Better safe than sorry.

And definitely stick around this site. It's such a wonderful support group, I'm so very proud to be a member of this community :)

thank you so much for your advice and list of staples! i've known about my celiac problem for a month and a half or so and can't seem to get as much of a handle on it as i'd like. this seems to coincide with my issues though! ah clarity! thanks again.

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I went through some pretty intense withdrawals (stomach aches and migraines mostly), so I guess it depends on the person. But you seem to have a really great attitude about it, which is very important. Be prepared that you may not feel better right away. I'm 2 1/2 months into the diet myself and still have ups and downs. You may find out that you have other intolerances, as well. It's a process, but it's such a wonderful thing that we know what's wrong, how we can get on that road to recovery, and that things will get better. :)

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it has been a year for me. i have casein (protein in dairy) intolerance. i am still working on getting rid of my food allergies so that impacts my diet. my doctor told me not to eat corn and soy. i think there is cross reactivity with corn and both are often genetically modified. i was tested for cross reactivity and found out i should not eat yeast or buckwheat.

i wish my initial diet had been different. i bought a lot of gluten free products and i still ate a lot of grains mostly rice. my body does not need or want so much processed food and so much grain based diet. i also ate a lot of buckwheat because at the time i did not know i cannot eat it. i also went gluten free before my labs came back but i did not want to be casein intolerant so i still had cheese and yogurt. therefore while i felt better in some ways since i got rid of gluten i still had other offending foods in my diet.

if i could do it again. i would eat the diet i felt best on. mostly fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. with meat or fish usually for dinner. and some grains usually rice. at first, i would avoid nightshades, soy, corn, eggs, and dairy. limit grains. i eat

fruit - almost any - apples, pears, plums, peaches, mangos, berries, etc

veggies - most of them - cauliflower, brocholi, brussell sprouts, celery, cucumbers, mushrooms, etc

seeds - sunflower, pumpkin

nuts - almonds mostly, some cashew, walnuts

meat - mostly chicken and turkey some grass fed beef

fish - mostly salmon some orange roughy

grain - mostly rice

i recommend cross reactivity testing from cyrex labs because i had no idea foods were causing me problems and i think even with doing a food dairy

it can be challenging to tell what foods cause which symptoms and what if it causes no symptoms just internal damage.

i do not like to cook and bake. therefore i would rather buy gluten-free treats. i found some great muffins. i like the kinnerick donuts (well i did they have yeast). enjoy life products are my favorite. i have been hesitant of bob's red mill because of soy contamination issues and on the forum other people seem to have had some problems too. i avoid some gluten-free stuff because they are not naturally gluten-free and still have small levels of gluten and i do not want to chance it. ener-g has great products but there are some contamination issues for me so i have not eaten much of them but i hope to at some point. i like lara bars.

i do not think i went through withdrawal. i would feel off when i made drastic diet switches but nothing awful as some people went through.

best wishes.

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I would really, really recommend getting some cookbooks for Mexican/Indian/Thai cuisine, all of which have a ton of naturally gluten-free recipes.

My list...

- Corn tortillas (I eat these almost everyday)

- Beans/lentils of all types (be careful on packaging. I got glutened this week by dry beans that 'may contain wheat' - my fiancee forgot to check the package before cooking them - canned beans can also be suspect)

- Asian rice noodles (good sub for pasta, and cheaper than 'gluten free' pasta)

- Spaghetti squash (also a good pasta substitute)

- Fruits and vegetables of all types

- Hard boiled eggs

- Beef and pork

- Nuts

- Peanut butter and/or Almond butter

- Polenta

Convenience foods are harder. Trader Joe's has frozen tamales that are good, and Whole foods also has quite a lot of gluten free convenience foods, including frozen stuff and canned/boxed soups. I don't eat a lot of these things, but they're nice to have around in a pinch or when traveling. Same thing with the lara bars, kind bars, etc.

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In addition to these good thoughts here, I would add:

1)Avoid too many gluten-free packaged foods at first. Eat whole foods, ones that are easy for you to digest---your gut is healing.

2)No dairy the first few months.Lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose, is produced in the tip of the villi.

When the villi get blunted in celiac disease, sometimes the ability to digest lactose is decreased and you can become lactose intolerant. This may cause bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc. After you go gluten-free, the villi will heal and most people are able to tolerate dairy foods again.

3)A good book (aptly named!)The First Year Celiac Disease an Essential Guide by Jules E. Dowler Shepard is helpful!!

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:o Wow! There really are books out there for everything! haha That's wonderful!! Thanks so much!

3)A good book (aptly named!)The First Year Celiac Disease an Essential Guide by Jules E. Dowler Shepard is helpful!!

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:o Wow! There really are books out there for everything! haha That's wonderful!! Thanks so much!

You betcha, hon! ;)

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