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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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A Year Later; Thanksgiving 2008



I've been away from blogging and went in to check my entries today. I was surprised to see that my last blog was a year ago when I wrote about my first Thanksgiving after diagnosis. My, how time flies! Since this year's Thanksgiving has just ended, it's a good time to compare the experience a year later. It's been a crazy year of ups and downs in my personal life. Having to adapt to a new lifestyle added to the trauma. However, living with celiac has definitely gotten easier over the last year.

Thanksgiving poses special problems for celiacs because so much of the traditional menu has gluten ingredients. This year I felt like a seasoned pro and had no trouble with cooking the meal. I adapted what I could and made myself alternate items where appropriate. I had guests bring those items that I didn't want to deal with (like stuffing.) I didn't lament the loss of traditional foods, as my cravings for them have all but ceased. (I had a few instances over the past year where I accidentally ingested gluten and got very ill. The memory of that is enough to stop any urge to 'cheat' on the diet.)

I'm still sometimes making two versions of items (like gravy,) but have now starting creeping gluten-free foods into the mainstream menu. I didn't make a big deal about it, guests aren't the wiser and they loved the food. I've switched to using fresh turkey from the local butcher instead of frozen to avoid any burst gravy packets. I stuff it with onions and herbs. I've replaced certain baking dishes with new ones to avoid cross contamination. And, I use Whole Foods frozen gluten-free pie crusts for my pumpkin pies which are enjoyed by all. (I'd like to add here that I'm thankful to Whole Foods for operating their gluten-free bake house. I don't know what I'd do without it!) Overall, now that I've been gluten-free for more than a year, it just seems more natural to cook a gluten-free Thanksgiving meal and it's becoming second nature.

This year I'm even looking forward to doing some Christmas baking. Last year I was too distraught to try. Over this past summer I had success with a few gluten-free baked items and that's given me the courage to try to adapt my favorite cookie recipes to gluten-free. I use Authentic Foods featherlite rice flour blend which has a great flavor and comes out flaky. I'm still not an expert at it (it's taking me some time to figure out the right amount of xanthan gum to use,) but I think I know enough now to give full-blown holiday cookie baking a try.

The moral to my story is that learning to be gluten-free takes time. It's a complicated process that poses challenges every day. But, as time goes on, it becomes easier as you find your favorite sources for food and learn new cooking techniques. Even traditional favorites can still be enjoyed with a little creativity and adaptation. This year I'm thankful for my health and for all those businesses that produce gluten-free food!


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