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I just found out that I may have celiac disease and may need to try a gluten-free diet. Anyone else out there with this, and how goes the diet? Can you survive on no breads except gluten-free (carbs being my very favorite food!) Secrets?

THANKS!!

Jana

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Don't fret, there's plenty of bread and pasta out there that taste good and are g/f. You can buy stuff in bulk online, or if you have speciality markets nearby, I can give you suggestions for items that taste like the real deal. Places that I use are Wegman's, Trader Joe's, and then order online from Mr. Ritts.

Pasta brand to look for:

Tinkyada

Bread to look for:

any of the Glutino breads, Bagels, rolls.

personally, I like the flax, as well as the fiber bread. They also have white, corn, etc. All of them taste their best when toasted.

Cereal:

Barbara's Puffins cereals are really tasty

Pizza...well this is a tough one, but Mr. Ritts sells pizza blanks that are pretty good. A second option I get at Wegman's is by Scharr, and the pizzas are just big enough for 4 slices, so maybe 2 meals or one meal and a snack for later ;)

You can do this. There are tons of foods you probably didn't realize are safe to eat (and tons that have hidden gluten--if anything says modified food starch, texturized vegetable protein, etc. it's all gluten--ex: veggie burgers, twizzlers).

Most corn chips are completely safe; commercial cereals that are safe: corn pops, honey combs, and captain crunch. Not all that healthy but if you want to feel like you're cheating without really cheating, they are nice for snacks or dessert.

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PS, do a search of the forums for old posts on this topic--there are many, and in those lots of people included links, including me

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Thanks for all of the great suggestions! I know there have been posts in the past, too, so I do need to look those up, as you suggest.

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When I'm carb craving, I like to eat Fritos...which are g/f... so are nearly all brands of tortilla chips, except for the whole grain stuff b/c they use whole wheat in a few of them. Just read the ingredients. Also, absolutely you MUST look at the safe foods list here

http://www.celiac.com/articles/181/1/Safe-...ents/Page1.html

and the unsafe foods list

http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsaf...ents/Page1.html

You absolutely also must consider even what you drink. For example, all beer and malt beverages are OUT. Most distilled spirits are okay--so vodka, tequila, etc. are generally okay--although there is argument about vodka based on grain. The issue is gluten protein, which by the time it becomes alcohol and is distilled multiple times, in my opinion, the protein is so negligible that I don't consider vodka unsafe. I've never gotten the distended belly or nausea from vodka. I cannot say the same thing, though, about scotch, bourbon, etc... they make me sick.

Some surprise things you have to be careful about:

soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, dextrin sweetener

I also have trouble with sake, which I found out they use some barley based ingredients with the rice to promote the fermentation process. I love the delicate flavor of good sake, but unfortunately, within an hour, I feel terrible.

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I don't know if you live by yourself or not, but you have to get rid of all condiments or anything that someone may have used a knife or spoon to spread on wheat bread (jelly, relish, ketchups, mustards etc). It sounds crazy, but even that tiny amount of exposure will keep you from seeing the benefits of a GF diet. You will also have to get a new toaster, cutting board, pasta strainer etc. Basically you need to treat gluten like it's the plague.

I can't say that it is easy. Basically going out to restaurants is out for us, but we live in a relatively small town so there are NO options. Just ordering something you think is GF is not good enough. Family gatherings and social outings are always very awkward too. I have found that you can't trust other people to make food for you, so you'll either have to stop eating at those places or bring your own food.

We don't replace what we've given up except for pasta. If you try to eat GF pizzas, cookies, cakes and bread at every meal it's going to be very expensive.

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Actually, I've not found the g/f bread to be all that expensive. It's frozen and keeps a super long time. Also, I don't keep cookies in the house b/c, well, I'll eat them! Some other safe g/f inexpensive items are rice crackers. Kame makes a few really tasty choices. I like the sesame ones, plain, etc.

Also, you may have been told you can't have dairy, but usually if you go g/f for a while, dairy intolerance disappears. That's the case for me. As long as I don't overdo it, I can have dairy... I just don't eat it that much so it can be tough on my guts if I really go for a lot of cheese.

Speaking of cheese, if you liked blue cheese or roquefort, you're going to be out of luck. They use bread as a starter for the mold that's in those cheeses. Sad for me as I LOVE the stuff on a burger.

You can try to bake your own pizza dough--that is certainly the least expensive option, but it's a trial and error thing and I've not been able to master it. Also, some sites say yeast is out, but you may be able to find some that's g/f if you search on the celiac site I linked to above. I've tried making my own bread too, but nearly all my efforts were a waste.

As for replacing cookware, I have not needed to do that, but then again, I wash almost everything, including pots, pans, strainers, bakeware, in the dishwasher, which does a tremendous job of cleaning off everything.

Nina

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Baking GF stuff is awful because of the other food allergies/intolerances I have along with the gluten problems. Since I can't eat eggs, dairy OR yeast there really isn't anything out there that's feasible. Milk still makes me ill unfortunately about 2-4 hours later and the next morning I'll have diarrhea multiple times. Same goes for yeast. I haven't had any eggs, so I can't say what sort of reaction I'd have with them.

I hate food sensitivities! lol

Some nights I just dream of ordering a Papa John's pizza with extra cheese and tomato sauce (can't eat tomatoes either) with some cheese sticks LOL B)

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Dana, at least once a year I do a really bad, bad girl cheat... and I also love Papa John's which has been one of my infamous cheats--extra cheese, hot peppers, pepperoni and pineapple. I know it sounds gross, but the salty and sweet of the pepperoni and pineapple are amazing together. I eat as much as I can stuff into me in one sitting... and relish the toasty crust...

and then hours later, I'm a miserable, whiney wench... and I'm sick and sore for days

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Many people (including me) like gluten-free breads better when they're toasted. But watch out for your toaster: It's impossible to clean out the crumbs, so you'll have to get a new "gluten free" one. If you live with wheat-eaters, they can continue to use the old toaster while you use your gluten-free one. But you may need to put a label on it so they'll remember!

I like the Whole Foods line of gluten-free breads, scones, etc. I've never tried baking my own gluten-free bread (I'm just not much of a cook) but my husband makes me gluten-free belgian waffles. They are terrific!

If you happen to be Catholic, you need to ask for a gluten-free wafer at mass. Some churches were resisting this, but I think the tide has turned.

An increasing number of chain restaurants have gluten-free menus. My all-time favorite is PF Chang's Chinese food. Believe it or not, the Olive Garden has a gluten-free menu! Yes, gluten-free food at an Italian pasta restaurant; odd, but reliable.

Good luck with the diet!

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We have Whole Foods too, but it's farther away than Wegman's, so that's why I get the Glutino brand stuff. And yes, the toasting is a necessity b/c otherwise the breads just don't have the correct texture compared to a full gluten product.

At PF Changs, I like the lettuce wraps, which are just lettuce and a meat mixture. Tasty. We have several Italian restaurants serving g/f pasta and pizza now, but I can not attest to flavor since I've never gone there. Generally, Mexican restaurants have great options--choose the corn tortilla based products. I love tacos and there are a number of small, family run Mexican places that are great by my job--it's awesome for lunch to have an inexpensive and g/f place close by.

If you don't mind the expense, I cannot say enough about Mr Ritts products. Everything he has is amazing with taste and texture; it's the one place I can get bread that I do not need to toast. His cakes are just amazing.

Nina

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Do you know if these restaurants watch out for cross-contamination. If your food is made on the same grill as the gluten food, then it's not safe. I'd think at a Mexican restaurant they are scooping the meat with the same spoon over and over again, so you'd be getting some wheat in that even if they serve it on a corn tortilla for you. I'm pretty strict/paranoid when it comes to the GF stuff. B) There' s a PF Changs about an hour from us so we might have to treat ourselves one of these days!

I've made some of the GF breads before I also took yeast out of my diet. The Bob's Red Mill aren't too bad. If you are looking for a good breakfast bread, I like their cinnamon raisin mix. Some of them don't work with egg replacer though (I use Ener-G). I haven't been able to find a good sandwich bread yet. Most of the ones already prepared have yeast, eggs and or dairy in them. It's depressing!

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http://glutendoctors.blogspot.com/2010/02/...-enough-to.html

This doctor has some great advice on going GF ... I see that she still recommends whole grains though and many of us feel better without any grains whatsoever in our diets. I had to go Paleo in order to feel better. I still have CFS and OI though. I just don't feel like crap 24/7 ...

good luck with this ... Marcia

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These links are TERRIFIC! Thanks so much. I'm printing them out along with my diet restrictions for esophagitis/hiatal hernia. Hopefully there's some food left I can eat! It must take a while to get used to finding products without all these products/dyes/vitamins/minerals in them. I'm expecting quite a learning curve.

Cheers!

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Marcia~

Another great site! Everyone has been terrific with the tips and associated sites/diets. I appreciate it very much! Now I have to gear up to get started....

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Just curious, you say you "might" have celiac disease. What testing have they done? I had a very positive antibody(IgA anit-gliadin), but a negative biopsy. So, I am not sure what my strong antibody actually means.

I have quit eating outright bready-things, but do still get some wheat in small amounts.

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From what I've seen biopsy aren't that accurate if they don't take enough samples or if they take them all from the same place. Let me try to find a link about it....I'll edit my post.

Here's a link to a celiac forum

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/12...6cb02fa813c694c

Here's an article talking about the problems with biopsies.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/25/1/Suppos...u-do/Page1.html

In my opinion since you have a positive blood, I think that's pretty conclusive. You should go GF.

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The testing also cannot be accurate if you're already removing gluten from your diet. In order to have the antibodies present, you need to be in a sustained exposure prior to testing.

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There is a Brown Rice Pasta at Trader Joes that is WONDERFUL. I can't tell the difference between it and a whole wheat pasta.

I've also found that coconut milk easily can take the place to milk. If you want to use it in cereal it is good too. I usually dilute it because it is really rich. I had a nutritionist tell me one time to use flax as an egg replacement. But, I don't do well with flax or soy. You have to be really careful with soups too. They thicken them with wheat. It is hard to go glutten free, but I'm going to do it again. I did for over a year and lost allot of weight, but started back and wham, gained it and some. I felt so much better off of wheat, oats, rye and barley. I know I don't do well with milk products or eggs either.

Oh, there is another good product out there its Pamelas Pancake Mix. You get it at the health store. It has a rice base with other nut flours. It makes really good pancakes.

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Better Crocker now makes GF cake and brownie mix. It is not as expensive as some specialty GF baking items. I haven't tried the cake mix, but the brownies are indistinguishable from normal brownies.

Rice and corn varieties of Chex cereal are both gluten free and less expensive than specialty gluten free cereals.

Corn tortillas can be an adequate bread replacement if you steam them in the microwave to soften them up first. (maybe steaming corn tortillas is obvious to everyone, but it took me months to discover that it improves the texture of corn tortillas).

I think GF dieting is easy except for two things: 1) gluten sneaking into foods where it doesn't belong (like processed chicken), and, 2) eating out.

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