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Newly Diagnosed Celiac - Vegetarian

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I have had symptoms for 10+ years, and after researching information about inflammatory diseases, which run in my family, I came across Celiac Disease. After self-diagnosing, I had a positive blood test for Celiac, and the small bowel biopsy, which confirmed my diagnosis. I am a vegetarian, and am wondering if anyone has any recommendations of books or websites where I can obtain information about getting started on going gluten-free. Now that I have a confirmed diagnosis, I want to get myself organized, and set up my kitchen as soon as possible. Unfortunately, my GI doctor was not overly helpful with recommendations, other than "go strictly gluten-free." Any resource information or recommendations, would be extremely appreciated.

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First of all, welcome! I know how good it feels to have figured out how to help yourself get better, and to begin the journey. I'm also vegetarian and I'll tell you that veggie-gluten-free isn't very hard, especially if you've been veggie for awhile and are used to that.

I cannot recommend this blog enough: www.glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com.

Her recipes are fantastic, and she's also vegetarian with several other food allergies and intolerances, so her recipes always have suggestions for substitutions.

There's a link at the top of her blog to extra help on going gluten-free for new celiacs (http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/p/how-to-go-gluten-free.html). It's got a lot of excellent tips and recommendations when you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the can't-haves.

Also, make sure that if you're sharing a kitchen with gluten-eaters, don't use their wooden spoons, cutting boards, or old/scratched pots and pans or skillets. You'll also need your own toaster and certain condiments that can be contaminated by gluten (butter, peanut butter, jam, etc.). Make sure you have a safe space for your food and keep the kitchen very clean to avoid contamination.

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I see people like you guys and I am shocked and so suprised. I just don't know where I would get my nutrients if I didn't eat meat or gluten.

More power to you though. Stick with it and it will become second nature. The thing that really suprises me is celiac and vegan. What would I eat then? Milk and Eggs are my primary life source.

I live in a place where meat and potatoes are served for every meal. Usually fried. Several people I know wear T-Shirts that say "Save a plant, eat a cow." I suppose that probably wouldn't fly in places like california or new york, but here in utah it's all good. I know one kid at school who is doesn't eat meat and he is the littlest kid in high school, oddly enough he is in my cooking class (where we are currently learning to de-skin a chicken). He's nice though.

Anyway, good luck and hopefully you start feeling better gluten free! B) It can be such a relief at first, you might want to look into cutting out dairy as so many have problems with it until their stomaches heal. Just a thought!

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Thank you for the recommendation on the website. Most helpful. In regards to the kitchen set up, my husband is open to having the entire family eat gluten free to make it an easier transition for me. I have a large cutting board that I absolutely adore. Can I wash everything down, and continue to use this, if I am only going to use it with gluten free items, or do I have to go out and buy new equipment?

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If it is wood, there is almost no way to get it clean of gluten unless you want to sand it down to a new layer of wood. If it is plastic and has cut scars on it, gluten can hide in there. I kept my frypan because I thought heck I can clean that thing. But weeks of reactions later I decided all the expert folks here were right. If you have Celiac, you need to be clean of gluten at all costs. Unless it's going to break you I would get a new cutting board exactly like the one you love. It will be worth it to you in the end. If you ever cut a loaf of bread on it you will always be in doubt. And here is another lesson I learned the hard way. Toaster oven. I couldn't afford a new one. So I cleaned the rack and kept using it. One day the toast fell on the glass front as it lay open and I tried to remove the toast. I was sick the next day with gluten symptoms. I am sure it was from the gluten crumbs or particles that stuck on the bottom and got to the glass. That day I threw it out (gave it to a non-Celiac actually) It may seem that these are ridiculous extremes to go to when you first learn about cross-contamination...but if you take the appropriate steps that are recommended you will save yourself hours and days of feeling ill and having reactions. I wish I hadn't been so cavalier about it at first. I thought OK, I have Celiac, but surely THAT won't bother me will it? OMG...hindsight it 20/20 :o

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Looks like new equipment for the kitchen is the way to go. I've gone this long feeling unhealthy, and I don't want to take any chances. I feel like this is my new lease on life, and heck, I'm worth it! Thanks for the responses.

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I was vegetarian when first diagnosed, but encountered too many situations soon after where the only option was eat meat or eat nothing. But as a caveat, I was travelling at the time and not in full control of choosing my own food. So I started eating meat again and really like it, but I only eat it once or twice a week. The rest of the time I eat things like eggs, beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, cheese, yorgurt. All good sources of vegetarian protein and gluten free (for the most part - check the labels). So while I choose to eat meat again, I think staying vegetarian is do-able (it just didn't work for me).

One book I like is "The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen: Delicious and Nutritious Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Dishes" by Donna Klein. I admit I don't use all the recipes as written, but like them for inspiration to create my own dishes. But the book does contain the most amazing chocolate brownies that even the gluten-eaters like!

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I think a lot of manufactured, processed vegetarian foods will have wheat in them, (veggie burgers and the like) but whole vegetables and fruits have always been naturally gluten free.

you can find vegetarian and gluten free protein sources, if you're lacto-ovo, your options are more than if you're vegan of course.

this blog here http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/ has a lot of recipes that are vegetarian/vegan, as well as gluten free.

And, believe it or not, the "New Atkins For a New You" book has a section on a low carb vegetarian diet :)

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Ah wow! Great thread!
I wonder how many others have shifted their omni-veg eatings after diagnosis?

I was basically vegan with occasional fish when I was diagnosed (vegetarian for sustainability reasons and lactose-intolerant!) and have recently embraced dairy again as my body has healed. I thought I'd feel weird relying on animals as much as I do now but I'm a lot healthier for it and it makes things easier. I've also started eating ethical red meat or chicken a few times a week but still struggle with justifying that. We do what we can and if I 'have' to eat meat I will. But I just don't know if I really have to. I think dairy, eggs and good foods are probably enough. But don't know yet...

Good points about wood, too! Walking the line between being careful and not being ridiculous, in our house. For a while I was scared to even share plates in case they weren't washed. Now I've been sharing chopping boards. Some of which are wood. I might... not.

Thankyou thankyou wise forum!

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When I first set up my kitchen after being diagnosed, I color coded things. I didn't have any red in my kitchen, so I bought red spoons, red pans, red spatulas, red mixing bowls. My family knew if they were cooking something with gluten to never use anything red. I haven't had trouble (as far as I know) using my wooden cutting board (I just flipped it over), or using my wooden spoons. I still use those, and I know my family has used them for gluten-y things.  I'm just obsessive about cleaning and scrubbing them.  If you have a cast iron skillet, give it away and buy a new one. There are so many pits in it that it's impossible to get the gluten out. I also had to replace all my pyrex; it kept making me sick. My pyrex I now keep gluten free (my family has to use metal pans if they are making brownies etc.). I have my own pizza cutter (red handle) and pizza pan. I have a separate place in my mud room where I keep all my gluten free foods and my pans and baking things. I had to buy new containers for my gluten free flours etc. Be anal about it -- it will save you a lot of trouble in the future. Kudos to your family for supporting you so well. Mine was not willing to go gluten free.

I like the website allrecipes.com; you can type in things like "gluten free vegetarian" and it will give you a bunch of recipes. You can also put in items you have in your pantry, and it will give you a bunch of recipes that use those items. I got very good at converting recipes. Once you get used to eating gluten free, you'll find it pretty easy to take your old favorite recipes and figure out a way to make them gluten free. I only have a couple I haven't been able to figure out a good gluten free version for.

If you are vegetarian, you might have used a lot of soy sauce in your cooking.  I've been told a good substitute for that is Braggs Amino Acids. (I didn't cook with soy sauce, so I haven't tried it myself).  I eventually had to give up dairy as well, but I've been using coconut oil, coconut milk and Ghee as substitutes when cooking with pretty good results.

Good luck!

 

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