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Going to try gluten free, need help


geneva
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Yesterday, I spoke with a nutritionist who I hope over the next few months is going to be able to help me sort out what TO eat. Over the last year I have eliminated so many foods that appear to cause problems for me (milk, dairy, most meats and most sugar) that I am left with a difficult time trying to eat a healthy well balanced diet. I am sure others here experience the same thing but I have reached a frustration level. If I could just drink Ensure every day I would! (too much sugar)

She suggested over the phone that I also give up wheat. I don't eat pasta but I do have whole wheat bread with peanut butter every morning and my afternoon favorite snack is crackers with peanut butter. I canNOT give up my peanut butter!! so what do I put it on??? This morning I ended up with an Ensure and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Not very satisfatying.

I live in a small town and the nearest health food grocery is an hour away (I don't drive that far) so is there an on line store with gluten free products??? Also, any brands of bread or crackers anyone can recommend that taste good?

I would really appreciate any input you can give me.

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Hi, I have celiac/sprue and have been Gluten Free for many years. You do not need to go to a health food store to get the basics. First, gluten is a protein, which is found in Wheat, Barley and Rye, as well as any products derived from them, such as wheat starch or vegetable protein (TVP), malt or barley malt. This includes beer.

Safe foods from the regular grocery:

oats, oatmeal

rice, rice cakes, rice noodles, rice cereals like rice based farina.

corn, corn chips, corn pops cereal, honeycombs cereal, cheetos, fritos

All fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, meats are okay.

For more info, see the safe and forbidden foods list as the following celiac site:

http://www.celiac.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_...html?p_catid=12

Nina

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Oh, one more thing. If you're going to stick with the diet for the long haul, rather than go to a health food store, buy in bulk through the site I gave you above. I can recommend specific items that I've found to be tasty...and others that were...well...yucky.

Off the top of my head: all the Pastariso products have been awfully close to the taste of the real deal (like mac & cheese, spaghetti, shells, etc.). I have my cabinets full of their stuff. Food for Life breads are good--freeze them, they'll keep for a very long time. Toast first, they taste better that way. The baking mixes by "gluten-free gourmet" are really good, especially the chocolate brownies. Yum. Pamela's cookies are also very good, but I don't like the soft ones--maybe that's just me...I don't like soft cookies in general. The flavor is great though. The premade pizza things are pretty good too--kind of like a "boboli" pizza. Coat it with olive oil and toast in the oven a bit before putting the sauce and stuff on--yum!

I really didn't like any of the Amaranth or Quinoa products by any company. Don't buy the corn pastas...yuck flavor and mushy too.

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Thanks for all the information Nina. I will look at the link you provided and now I feel like I at least have a starting place. These food issues are a bit overwhelming! I especially appreciate the information on what's good and what's not. I must have somewhere to place my peanut butter. If the nutritionist says I have to give up pb, she's FIRED!!

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Thank you Nina for that information, you've answered some of my questions about different gluten free products as well. It will be very helpful for my daughter.

Geneva I don't envy you for going through the diet changes. I hope that is food I never have to eliminate from my diet or I will be anorexic. It's hard for my daughter but she's been a trooper. Good luck and keep us posted on how your doing.

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I put my PB on rice crackers. I get them in the Aisan food section of the grocery store. They're made by two different companies, Kame being one of them. The other is Asia or Asian something. Both brands taste GREAT. In fact, my neighbors are all now hooked on them for cheese and crackers.

Another bread substitute at the grocery would be 100% soft corn tortillas.

If you really want THE BEST breads, cookies, cakes, etc., you can order from a bakery in Philly that is 100% gluten free. Their challah bread is fabulous, as are their pizza blanks. Also, they make amazing cookies and cakes. My very favorite is a succertorte--a rich chocolate cake that is a favorite even when competing against regular flour cakes. I brought one to my parents for a holiday dinner last year and there wasn't a bite of it left. Even the kids loved it! The bakery is called Mr. Ritts. http://www.mrritts.com/

For those in the Philly metro area, his shop is at 7th and Passyunk, only about a block or two south of South Street.

Nina :)

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Welcome to the wonderful world of new adventures with food. I've posted my web site before that has lots of gluten free recipies:

http://www.coolkarma.com/Foods/index.html

Turns out I am not gluten sensitive, so I can have rye flour and barley etc. I even seem to be able to handle SPELT (it's an ancient wheat grain that is non-hybrid and non GMO) But I only have it once or twice a week.

For more on SPELT:

http://www.purityfoods.com/

I buy in bulk at various places on the web including:

http://www.glutenfree.com/

http://www.authenticfoods.com/

http://www.edenfoods.com/flash/index_flash.html

I also found places that delivered goat cheese, electrolyte water and other "strange" items I couldn't find in my neighborhood. The web was my best shopping source.

As for peanutbutter .... I now alternate between a variety of nutbutters including soynut butter and sunflowernutbutter. We have a local chain called Trader Joes that carries a wonderful brand for each.

For me I realized it wasn't so much "what I ate" but how often I ate it. Now I keep a rotation diet and can eat most foods just not twice in 4 days. So for instance, today I am eating Corn and Cheese (lots of veggies, fruit etc. but I focus on the cheese as my protein for the day.) So I make quessadillas or corn bread (with corn meal no wheat flour). Then tomorrow I'll have soy and rice, the next day SPELT, then the next lentils or other beans. It takes some work at the beginning of the week to plan meals, but I've been doing this for 3-4 years now and my family looks forward to the variation.

Good luck in your adventure.

EM

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EM, thanks for all the useful information. My eyes are bothering me a lot these days so I have to limit my PC time but will make my way through the sites you suggested. Ordering on line will really be a big help for me. I did go to your site and look forward to trying some of the recipes. Sound delicious!

MM, I called and talked to Mr. Ritts today....very nice. Yesterday I tried rice bread from the local grocery...yuck! but I guess it takes time to adjust my taste to. So, I thought I would order the BEST and then I would know what to shoot for as far as taste goes when I try other brands. I WISH I could order the cake but alas, chocolate is also on my forbidden list.

Last month my doctor and I agree I would take a break from Florinef so I have gone back to gatorade. I notice on one of the forbidden list that flavorings can be a no-no. Does anyone know if the gatorade flavoring/coloring is OK?

Thanks again!

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I'm not a fan of the sugar content in Gatorade. I did it for two years before I developed systemic Candida and still wonder if it was the culpret.

There are other electrolyte waters that do not contain artificial things. Also someone on the board posted this product:

http://mineraloasis.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?

It is a salt spray that has other minerals and can be used in plain water or on food etc. I picked some up and love it!

Good luck on your personal journey in finding what works for you.

EM

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Hi Geneva!

I live in a small town too, and I have to drive an hour to the "local" health food store. I second the info above...the Internet is a great place to shop when you don't have a local health food store. One of my favorite places to buy snacks is www.justtomatoes.com. I'm addicted to the freeze-dried Strawberry 'n Bananas. <_<

Michelle

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I too am on a gluten free diet, and have been playing around with different subsitutes recently, since I can't live without my pasta!! I've found Ener-G foods (www.ener-g.com) to have some really yummy pasta, made with rice flour. Products made with corn flour do tend to be pretty yucky, and I have yet to find a bread that I can eat without toasting and slopping on the mayo...but it's been well worth NOT eating it. If I do slip a sandwich in here or there, I pay for it dearly. The plus side to all this- I lost 80 lbs of post-baby weight pretty quickly!! I also do not eat eggs or drink milk, so my diet is very restricted as well. Good luck finding yummy stuff to eat!!

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Jessica, if you ever want to get some really tasty untoasted bread, try ordering over the phone from Mr. Ritts. YUM. The only bread I've ever gotten that doesn't need toasting.

I don't like most of the Ener-g stuff, except the pretzels. Maybe it's just me. I prefer Tinkayada or Pastariso pastas. They are also rice based and seem to hold a firm texture, most closely to the wheat based stuff. Tinkayada are my absolute favorite for taste, texture AND fiber content. On Weight Watchers, I can have a full cup for only 3 points. ;) because it's based on brown rice.

Nina

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Oh, the challenges. This week I have been trying what my local grocer has in stock for rice bread and crackers (mostly WHITE rice -- my stomach doesn't tolerate brown rice well). 5 days later and I have a major yeast infection and I think the sugar is the trigger. I also feel like my intestines my be affected. I have gone back on Gatorade since stopping Florinef 4 weeks ago so I am a mess! So, yesterday I cut out gatorade and now am very tachy today although I drank lots of water and organic broth which has more salt than gatorade but doesn't appear to have the same effect.

I am SO confused and frustrated beyond words on how to eat other than vegatables. It's not like food issues are new to me just that more and more is going on the need to avoid list: milk and dairy products, red meat, wheat and gluten, chocolate and sugar, and I guess fruits because of sugar -- at least for a while. I just wish I had something to fall back on that I KNOW would work for me. Even my family is getting cocerned.

Just needed to vent my frustration......

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I totally understand, my diet is extremely restricted as well, and I have suffered from recurrent yeast infections for years so I really have to watch the carbs and sugar. I can't eat most dairy products, wheat/gluten, eggs, or sugar...which leaves meat/protein and veggies most of the time, with limited fruits. Here are some samples of what I would typically eat in a day (if I behave):

Breakfast: Banana with soy yogurt OR bowl of rice cereal with soy milk (if you can tolerate soy, then it's a great substitute for everything!). I even cook up tofu in the frying pan sometimes with tons of salt, cheese, hot sauce, and you can add mushrooms or onions as well, just like an omelet.

Lunch: Hot dog with ketchup, bowl of veggies with salt/pepper on them OR a sandwich on gluten free bread with mayo, cheese, ham, whatever you like, with some potato chips on the side.

Snack: gluten free crackers or pretzels, carrot sticks or other raw veggies to munch on, yogurt, or a piece of fruit.

Dinner: gluten free spaghetti with regular tomato sauce, and a salad, OR salmon with teriyaki glaze over white rice (VERY easy to make and the fish oil will help your POTS symptoms). i make lots of meals in the crockpot for easy access.

I also try to limit my "gluten substitutes" to once daily due to the carbs in the rice products. I found a book called "Special Diet Solutions" that is full of recipes for people who can't eat anything- if you can get ahold of the ingredients at a health food store, and you like to cook, then it's great. I hope this gets easier for you as time goes on. I cheat at least once a week, otherwise I would never make it...I wish you the best of luck and feel better soon!!

Jessica

P.S. Have you tried taking acidopholus for the yeast infection? It's great for helping the "gut" stay healthy and I haven't had a yeast infection in 2 years since I've been taking it.

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Oh, two more things- when you do cook a meal for dinner, make extra for yourself for lunch or dinner the next day, this eliminates more "special cooking"- and when you cook for your family or other people, make yours seprately to your liking, so you can eat what they are having as much as possible.

Have you tried ceralyte? It's an electrolyte drink that you can buy sugar free- www.ceralyte.com. Pedialyte makes a flavorless drink as well if you can stand the taste of it plain- or you can water down your gatorade to cut down sugar intake. Good luck!!

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Hi again. Just a note for storage of leftover pasta...My suggestion is to store sauce separate from the noodles. I've found that reheating separately leaves the pasta firm--whereas if you store and reheat with sauce, it gets mushy.

We also make extras at home and then I have something to take for lunch when I leave for work in the morning. ;)

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