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redhead184

Intro And Need Your Expertise/experience

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Hello, everyone.

I am new to the board. I have "suffered" (don't care for the connotations of that word, sorry for the quotes) debilitating effects of fibromyalgia for over 10 yrs. It cost me my job, my marriage, and most days what seems to be my sanity. ;-) An acquaintance and I were talking some weeks back, and she mentioned that she'd also recently been diagnosed with fibro, but heard thru the grapevine that it could be mis-diagnosed gluten intolerance. So, she and her friend both tried going gluten-free, and they felt 100% better.

I have tried everything over the years. EVERYTHING. Except this.

Add to the level of complexity, I am a breast cancer survivor, and the type of breast cancer I had requires that I avoid the intake of too much soy -- so many of the soy-based substitutes recommended for dairy- and gluten-free eating are off limits for me. I LOVE ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. What do I DO? I have been in a "food funk" trying to satisfy my hunger, while avoiding the potentially offending foods, and finding nutrition that assists my body in its optimum health.

I found a local store that specializes in gluten- and dairy-free products -- that's all they carry -- and I am trying this to see if I feel any better. I went cold turkey. I have found a number of references and cookbooks. I have been on disability pay for the past 10 yrs, and it has been a challenge making ends meet, so cost has been an issue.

Bottom line, I need:

- Some information about cooking and purchasing options that can accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free, AND soy-free products, that are affordable alternatives.

- Somewhere to go for support (I hope I have found that here).

- Ideas about finding ready-made, or preparing my own nutritious, and sensitivity-free "convenience" foods. I find it difficult physically to continually prepare foods...it's the fatigue and pain level of the "fibromyalgia." I have hope that if the gluten and dairy are the offenders, once I get on top of this,it will be less of an issue, but currently I need to be able to grab some things out of the freezer so I can feed my hunger and nutrition needs quickly, easily, effectively, affordably, and PALATABLY. :D

I appreciate any help, advice, or sharing your own stories that you can provide.

Thanks in advance.

Becky

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My DS is allergic to much more but everything you have listed. He's been eating fine for years on that diet, though it doesn't change much, I blame that on being a kid ;) Your options are MUCH better!!

Stick with whole foods! That's the #1 advice. Processed crap is just that, crap. Finding gluten-free options for some things you CAN NOT live without is helpful but really, whole food are going to be gluten-free, SF and DF as long as you star away from the dairy isle ;)

-Fish

-Roasts

-Chicken

-veggies

-fruits

For a dairy alternative, I would try coconut! The drink, creamer and BEST of all ICECREAM are all really good and we had those a lot before we found out DS has a coconut allergy :( Also, coconut oil for baking is pretty yum. On popcorn? OH I could die! LOVE it!

We do rice milk. I make mine. It's easy but you have to make it every few days. My kids don't drink it so I make it in large batches when I am making something (ie pancakes or cake).

King Arthur's flour mixes are wonderful! The pizza crust, we would all eat if it weren't so expensive! I hear Udi's bread is great, again we can't use it because it has egg but is dairy free (I think soy too. Again, some of this stuff is just want I hear and have not researched because we have a long list of allergens and once I see one I move onto the next brand.)

There is a cheese, Diyia, that is suppose to be great! Soy free and everything (it also has coconut so is out for us).

I bread things in a mixture of rice crackers or chex i grind up and add seasonings to.

So that's where I would start. It DOES get easier! I chose to switch my son onto a gluten-free diet gradually. I said by XYZ date we would be all switched over so I worked on figuring out 1-2 subs a week till we had a basic menu and we have added from there as we drop allergies (and add them as well :( )

Good luck! You can do this!

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A crockpot can be a great friend of a celiac. You can make foods easily in quantities for freezing, so that you can just pull a frozen bag out of the freezer, microwave the contents and dinner is ready. And you have total control over what goes in there. You can make wonderful soups and run them through a blender (or use a blending wand) and these make fabulous lunches (again, freeze the extras so you always have some on hand). See if you can find a cracker that you like (I know, it's hard, I was just in the US and they break and crumble :( ). Udi's bread is great if you can find it cheaply. Larabars often go on sale at Krogers for $1 and I always carry one in my purse for emergency food (they are mainly dates and nuts), no sugar or soy. Kind bars are good also. But really, an apple or banana is healthier than a cookie, and readily available all year. You really just have to change your mindset and your eating style, and you will end up much healthier. :)

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I'm gluten-free and soy free. I don't like to cook much. When I do cook I put extras in small containers and freeze them for other days.

You can make batches of:

stews

veggie soup

chicken and rice soup

bean soup

pork fried rice

stuffed peppers with ground beef, rice, tomatoes

meatloaf (use Rice Chex as the bread crumbs)

ground turkey meatballs(use the Rice Chex) with Progresso cream of mushroom soup-(it's gluten free)

OR look for Herb Ox boullion cubes gluten-free version to make gravy with any meats

mashed potatoes-left overs can be made into fried potato patties

Quick easy meal:

eggs, fried potatoes, hash or bacon

salads

refried beans and corn tortilla chips

snacks:

fresh fruits in season

veggies with hummus dip

pop corn

Shop the sales at the grocery store and plan meals around whatever they have on special.

You can do this! :D

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Whole foods, whole foods and whole foods. Make big batches on the weekend and freeze portions for later heating. If you make a different one every weekend you have a nice variety to choose from quickly. I did this at first using rice and veggies and meat. Later I used quinoa, or just veggies. Fruit is great and even canned fruit is good for a snack.

A pressure cooker is another way to make cooking go fast. You can cook up a meal in 1/3 the time of conventional cooking.

Eating gluten-free is not more expensive if you stick with whole foods and avoid the gluten-free prepared foods. Processed gluten-free foods should be a minor part of your diet IMHO.

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Okay, let's see.

- Some information about cooking and purchasing options that can accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free, AND soy-free products, that are affordable alternatives.

There's a grocery shopping guide put out by cecelia's marketplace - online - that lists tons of regular products that are gluten-free. She, too, is soy, dairy, and gluten free, however, so she has also made a gluten, soy, and dairy free product guide too. Might be worth checking out.

- Ideas about finding ready-made, or preparing my own nutritious, and sensitivity-free "convenience" foods.

This is, honestly, the hardest part. Affordable convenience gluten-free food doesn't seem to exist, and so much gluten-free food either has dairy or soy, as you've already seen. Something that's gluten-free, cheap, easy to make AND tastes good?

Yeah...I'm still looking for that one, too. ;)

But, a few ideas that might tide you over, at least.

- popcorn - this is just the best all around snack, if you can tolerate it. Some toppings: olive oil and salt. Or microwave a little light olive oil and honey, stir and drizzle over popcorn. Add a pinch of salt - tastes a little like kettle corn. Olive oil and chili powder/oregano/cumin/spices of choice.

crockpot- best friend of celiacs. One recipe I just came across was taking chicken breasts, pouring salsa over them, and letting them cook that way, with maybe a little water added. No chopping needed, just pop them in. When my hands were giving me trouble, I would tend to put everything in a pot with water, washed but not chopped. meat, onions, whatever (okay, maybe quarter the onions). Then when it's all cooked, I spear out the meat and put the rest in the blender for a thick soup. The meat is usually soft enough to tear easily, so not so much effort and pain as cutting, and I can add it back in, OR I can eat it separately and have soup and meat, both. If I did it with ground beef, didn't have to worry about chopping at all, but then I couldn't puree easily, either.

fish - thin fillets can be broiled in the oven in minutes, and with a little lemon or salt, the taste is usually quite nice.

stir-fries - using a gluten-free soy sauce (San-J), you can stir fry a little chopped garlic and a veggies for a quick stir fry. Eat over rice. But, usually this requires chopping again, so energy and pain level might be an issue, I'd imagine.

- beans added to a soup is good too. Also, look up 'roasted chickpeas' online - lots of recipes. Chickpeas are boiled, then roasted, and they end up kind of like corn-nuts, snack-wise. But you can make a big batch, not much effort, and carry them around in your purse.

- veggies and fruits that you don't need to chop much would probably be best, yeah? Apples, bananas, and fruits you can eat whole. We've chopped bananas - at least it's easy! - put a toothpick in each section, and pop them in the freezer for a quick frozen snck. Not too bad. Things like zucchini you could chop into fourths, lengthwise, and just end up with a big stick o' zucchini to dip into veggies dips, like gluten-free italian dressing or something, maybe?

- baked potatoes, with chili, mushrooms, beans, roasted veggies - whatever works. Not too much effort to microwave bake it - usually takes 8 minutes. Can microwave the mushrooms and veggies too, with a few spices, and that should do the trick. Not the best texture, but quick, and filling.

- You'll note, I'm not really mentioning grains. Aside from rice and corn, they're pretty expensive, so might not be worth it, yet. Oh, speaking of corn - Mission corn tortillas are made on gluten-free lines, so most people do okay with them, too. Use them to make wraps, or just toast them in a toaster oven and use them like a big chip, with beans poured over them.

And...that's all I've got, for the moment!

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Wow. I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to respond. Surely enough info to help bridge the transition, and for that, I am grateful.

Shauna, I just read yours, and I appreciate the detailed suggestions.

Honestly, all of you had great ideas. I thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Blessings to you all, this day and every day.

Becky

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