You have been diagnosed and you do not know what to do next.
First, do not panic! and Welcome to the Forum!
I have posted this information in pieces and parts on this site during the past year so many times and some newbies suggested it would have been helpful if they had seen it ALL --right away after they were DXed.... so, I thought, why not paste it all together in one spot?
Don't think about what you cannot eat--think about what you can eat: Fresh meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, eggs, fish, etc.
Some celiacs are lucky and can tolerate dairy right now, but many of us had to give it up for a few months. Why? Because lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose, is produced in the tips 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.
Learn how to read Labels.
Dietary concerns –LISTS OF safe and unsafe gluten free foods
The following suggestions ---are just that: suggestions.
I have no affiliation with any of these websites, organizations, authors, or companies and I am not a paid spokesperson and I am not endorsing any specific products. They just worked for me or other members.
I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.
I am not a nutritionist.
I am just a fellow Celiac who learned the ropes from months of research and from the generous and compassionate contributing members of Celiac.com
And, as my wise friend, KarenG pointed out, I should say this info applies to those of us in the US. I cannot say what companies in other countries do.
Some resources for negotiating a gluten-free life:
Living Gluten Free for Dummies--Danna Korn
Celiac Disease: the First Year by Jules Dowler Shepard
Cecelia's Marketplace Gluten-free GROCERY SHOPPING GUIDE
A quick “get-started” menu for gluten-free eating follows, but it is by no means "inclusive", just some ideas. Consult the many on-line gluten-free recipes available and the many wonderful contributions from our members in the cooking and baking sections of the Forum:
FLUIDS: Drink a lot of water. Celiacs are dehydrated from malabsorption. Plus, it helps cleanse toxins from body tissues and organs and keep the bowels running smoothly.
But, yes, (because I know you are going to ask )
unflavored coffees and tea are okay. Check teabags for "malt" --sometimes they use it.
DIGESTIVE ENZYMES help if you have pancreatic issues that cause trouble when digesting fats and proteins. A good one is Digest Gold, but others may have suggestions as well.
Probiotics are very beneficial to restoring healthy gut balance. Choose a multi-strain variety like Florajen3.
All the digestive issues like acid reflux (GERD) and heartburn, excess gas, camping, diarrhea and constipation should disappear or diminish on a gluten free diet.
VITAMINS: Most doctors (and fellow celiacs) recommend a good, gluten-free multivitamin. Some of you will have vitamin/mineral deficiencies or B-12 or Folate anemia--and you should have blood work done to see where you stand. Malabsorption creates all sorts of problems.
FOLLOW UP CARE: I suggest follow-up care from a celiac-savvy doctor to everyone post-DX. Lab work ( including CBC, CMP, SED RATE, IRON/FERRITIN levels, B-12, Folate levels and THYROID panels) and barium studies of the GI tract, if warranted. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor.(IMHO)
A whole foods diet is suggested to many of us as the best way to speed healing of your gut lining, but many people succesfully incorporate Certified gluten-free products into their diets right away! As with all things regarding Celiac, everyone is different.
Earth Balance (soy-free) is a good choice if you cannot have butter. You need some good essential fatty acids: Safflower oil, sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil.
Some Breakfast ideas:
Erewhon crispy brown rice cereal or gluten-free Kellogg's RICE KRISPIES, gluten-free CHEX corn or gluten-free CHEX Rice cereal, gluten-free CHEX honey-nut or gluten-free CHEX Cinnamon
Add: rice milk, almond milk or coconut milk (The So Delicious brand is excellent) and add berries or sliced banana.
CERTIFIED gluten -free oatmeal w/cinnamon (glutenfreeda brand, Bob's Red Mill are a few examples) NOTE: It is my understanding that Quaker Oats are cross-contaminated! Some celiacs cannot DIGEST oats. Only you can decide.
Gluten-free muffins made from a mix or purchased.
Eggs and bacon or sausage with gluten-free toast or bagel (Kinnikinnick, Udi's, Glutino or homemade bread)
Pocono Cream of buckwheat --it's good!! (no worries--Buckwheat is not from the wheat family)
Amaranth pancakes w/pure maple syrup (bottled syrups can contain gluten)
gluten-free packaged pancake/waffle mixes (Pamela's brand is very good as is Bob's Red Mill –we use BRM on the site, for short)
Van's frozen waffles.
FRUITS and VEGGIES—eat plenty of these daily in your diet.
LUNCH and DINNER ideas:
Leftovers from last night's dinner make an easy lunch
Some Progresso soups are gluten-free. Check the label!
Some Pacific and Imagine brand soups. Read the label!
A sandwich with gluten free bread or rolls—UDIs, Rudi's, Glutino Genius, Scharr's and Canyon Bakehouse --all have decent packaged breads, rolls and bagels, but homemade is the way to go.
(I have a simple recipe for white sandwich bread that is delicious if you want it.)
A big salad or an antipasta with tons of veggies and grilled chicken or shrimp and Hard-boiled eggs/ with gluten-free or homemade vinegrette dressing.
A list of gluten free salad dressings is available online. Marzettis, and most of WishBone and Ken's are okay. Homemade is best!
Homemade vegetable minestrone ,chicken soup, stews, black bean or White bean chili (use gluten-free stock--pacific, imagine or make your own from scratch--even better!)
Chicken or bean nachos (can use corn tortillas)
Red beans and rice
grilled burgers and beans (Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and Bush's Baked Beans are gluten-free)on a bun (Udi's makes hamburger rolls now or you can make your own. CHEBE bread mix makes killer rolls)
almost all mexican food is safe (just no flour tortillas!)
Pasta and sauce w/meatballs (brown rice or corn pasta)
TINKYADA BRAND penne pasta is delicious! Cook 13 minutes exactly. Trust me!) and use gluten-free breadcrumbs (purchase or just grind some gluten-free bread and season)in your meatballs
Another good pasta is CORN pasta. BiAglut or Sam's Hill are a couple. Cook as directed.
meatloaf (beef or ground turkey) baked potato or yams, green veggie of some kind
Other proteins: roasted or grilled chicken, turkey, pork, beef, salmon, talapia, scallops, lamb, some sausages are safe, bacon (Check labels)
I eat a variety of veggies.....whatever looks fresh at the super market or farmer's market or stands...steamed, grilled--- or roasted root veggies in stock.
Sweet potatoes—baked at 350 degrees in a pan for 45-50 mins.--are yummy
Potatoes—roasted, grilled, in a gratin or whipped with milk
Fritattas with veggies and salad
Stuffed peppers—with ground turkey, beef or lamb and rice
ANY recipe you already use can probably be altered--just use gluten-free breadcrumbs or rice/corn pasta ---use any flour made from amaranth, corn, bean, etc...just NO WHEAT, RYE OR BARLEY or cross -contaminated OATS.
Snack ideas that are safe and handy
Cozy Shack Rice Pudding or Tapioca cups (in the dairy section)
All natural applesauce cups
Gluten-free cookies or muffins (Bake them or buy them.)
Pamela's Baking Mix is versatile and good for cookies, baked goods. There are many options (check the recipe and baking section on the forum)
Bagel with cream cheese and jam or nut butters. Udi's and Glutino bagels are pretty good (frozen section)
Pamela's and King Arthur gluten-free--makes a very good brownie mix too!
Chobani Yogurt or So Delicious coconut milk Yogurts- if you cannot have dairy
Scharr cookies (chocolate-dipped shortbread or the mocha layers--are VERY tasty!)
Lundberg rice cakes or sliced apples and celery sticks with natural peanut butter or almond butter or hummus smeared on
Mary's Gone Crackers, Crunchmaster's or Glutino crackers with cheese or peanut butter
BOAR's Head or Applegate Farms deli--ham, turkey, pepperoni, salami, proscuitto--most all cold cuts and cheeses
Slices of cantaloupe wrapped in proscuitto
Watermelon with crumbled feta cheese
Peanuts, almonds, cashews. (I like Blue Diamond or
Nutsonline.com has a HUGE gluten-free selection of nuts and flours)
SUNMAID raisins, prunes. Craisins by Ocean Spray. (**some raisins and dried fruits are dusted with flour to keep them from sticking but these brands are safe.)
Smoothies- made with coconut milk, various fruits, yogurt, etc.
Potato chips----like Cape Cod, Kettle Brand, Utz
Indiana Popcorn--comes in all flavors--the kettle corn is delicious
Glutino brand pretzels—they come in all flavors even chocolate -coated
Coconut milk, creamer and ice cream ( So Delicious brand is very good)
Ice Cream, if dairy is not a problem for you. Most Haagen Das flavors are good, for example. READ LABELS!!!
Organic Corn chips w/salsa, hummus, or Guacamole
Sunflower , pumpkin or flaxseeds
Candy—Hershey's kisses or regular size bars, regular size Reese's cups, Snickers, York peppermint patty, Health Bars, Butterfinger and M &Ms plain and peanut. Ghirardelli squares. These were safe--last I read online--but READ LABELS!
Enjoy Life chocolate chips, chunks and Boom Choco Boom bars (free of ALL top 8 allergens)
Make some Chex mix with gluten-free chex cereals
gluten-free Rice Krispies treats (recipes are online)
CHEBE pizza and breadstick mixes—are very good.
Against the Grain and Glutino make some good frozen pizzas.
Check the labels of all packaged products-- if they were made with wheat or gluten, they will state so on the package.
Cross-contamination is the bane of our existence. Learn how to make your home safe.
Hidden sources of gluten:
A package stating a product is “Gluten-free “ does not always guarantee it was processed and manufactured and packaged in a dedicated facility. It may just mean they did not knowingly put gluten ingredients in the product.
I, personally, look for the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) circle stamped on the package –it is a big G F in a circle. That's just me.
I also use common sense. I know that foods that are inherently gluten-free will not carry a gluten-free label on them (oranges, broccoli, plain cheddar cheese, etc.)
Some DEDICATED gluten-free facilities are listed below. There are others. Google away! :
Bob's Red Mill gluten-free
1-2-3 Meredith's Marvelous
Authentic Foods gluten-free
Cause You're Special
The Cravings Place
Foods by George
Gluten-free FULL FLAVOR Gravy Packets
Against the Grain
Many other companies will provide a list of gluten-free foods. The members on here can tell you which ones are good about this.
They make all kinds of ready made mixes and flours to make it easy to start baking.
The cooking and baking section on the forum has thousands of great ideas—these guys are amazingly creative!
That should get you started--- until you can create your own diet and menus and feel less "dazed and confused" by your new life.
You're going to be okay!