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I agree with Cindy. The first week is definitely the hardest. I am trying to avoid wheat and peanuts. Instead of trying to eliminate both because they are both in everything! So I am focusing on just getting rid of wheat. Once I have conquered that, I will try to avoid peanuts, too. This is my second week of no wheat and it was much easier than the first. I'll start doing peanut-free April 1 I have decided.
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The initial shock and withdrawl period was the worst for me. Hang in there! It is really overwhelming at first. You will find things to eat if you start listing things you CAN have...I have decided that I don't need all those specialty products at all. I use spaghetti squash, brown rice, potatoes, quinoa, rice cakes, and popcorn as my carbs. Oh and some Mary's Gone Crackers crackers. Also if you can find a healthfood or natural food store they have great things in the bulk section...even GF pasta. I eat a lot of lentils and beans and have been making at least one soup every week to have for lunches. Lettuce wraps (with Bibb lettuce) are super tasty (I ate them before I was GF).
Where do you live in MN? Because there are a few Trader Joes in the Twin Cities, even if you only make a trip once in a while it is well worth it.
I find they have the best prices and selection around.
The good side of all this mess is that you can gradually add on the GF things--and w/ only one person a lot of them will last a good while. And, if you were accustomed to eating out at all, the cost of a GF flour (or whatever) is about the price of a fast-food meal.
I got a bunch of GF foods a couple of months ago, but most of them are made from rice, soy and/or corn--things that I have a low allergy to as well.
Right now, I've simply decided to do Atkins Induction and get rid of all of them--let it double as an elimination period, until I can figure it all out.
"Food is essential to life; Therefore, make it good."
--S. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A)
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I echo what Dots, TK, and Nomad wrote. This GF way of eating is far more expensive on the front end than it is to maintain over the long haul...and once you begin to gear your kitchen for gluten free cooking with fresh fruits and veggies, rice, quinoa, Gf pastas, and lean meats if you need them, it's so much easier to whip up meals on the spur of the moment so that you don't feel under the constant stress of "feeling deprived." Do you have any health food stores near you? Check out Pamela's Gluten Free Bread and Baking Mix. (contains sorghum flour if you are not sensitive to corn) It makes a nice loaf of yeast bread. (My sister and I add sunflower seeds for a nice crunch...it slices nicely for toast or sandwiches.) Check the sticky topics and message boards for this team for recipes for flour blends, baking mixes, breads, and pizzas. Check out some of the Celiac and Gluten Free web sites on line...there is so much information out there now...living gluten free is no longer about feeling deprived and looking at good food "from the outside." I am no longer even remotely tempted by foods with gluten in them. The cost is not worth it in any degree! You may have to change your thinking in order to make room for discipline and planning in your grocery shopping and meal preparation, but like other "new habits" on sparkpeople, this one can be learned by taking small steps, practicing consistency, and building on anything you have mastered...anything at all! It can be done! So many of us are living proof.
Do you have a favorite "type" of cuisine? My sister, who is not a gourmet cook loves Mexican food. (So do I!) So she started off with corn tortillas, cheese, beans, and homemade sauces...until her health improved to the extent that she had the energy to branch out and try other forms of gluten free cooking. Heck...try salads with grilled chicken or fish in them and homemade oil and vinegar dressings if that is all you can manage at the moment. The point is to give your body a rest from the toxic and damaging effects of gluten for long enough that you begin to feel a bit healthier. Then you shouldn't feel quite so overwhelmed by the prospect of an "entirely new" way of shopping, cooking, and eating.
I would literally be dead by now if I had not learned to eat without gluten...and I am now learning to eat a more vegetarian...even "raw" diet due to health concerns. No, it isn't easy. But is the option of destroyed health any easier to live with??
Edited by: OUTOFIDEAS at: 3/19/2010 (18:54)
"Truth, and therefore, success, is generally found at the balance point between two opposing tensions." (D. L Veach, writer and artist)
Ditto what TKDEAL76 and Dots said. I was never a big bread eater anyway, but I liked cookies and some angel food cake now and then. I just really focused on what I COULD have. I love peanut butter (or cream cheese) on apples, and I've learned to love salads because I can finally digest them. As far as cost of gf foods, since I'm the only one in my family who has to eat gf, I figure $7 for a loaf of bread isn't that bad. I wrap two slices together and freeze it for when I want a sandwich or toast so that I don't feel like I have to eat the entire loaf before it goes bad. We have a wonderful gf bakery close by and I go there once or twice a month as a treat. I'll buy one (large) piece of carrot cake for $3.50 or a big cookie for $1.50 and make it last for 3-4 days. It really takes care of my feelings of deprivation. I don't even WANT regular cookies or cake now because I know how sick it makes me. I accidently ate barley in some soup a couple of weeks ago and I NEVER want to go through that pain and suffering again!!!
It's not an easy diet, by any means, but I am eating so much healthier now and feeling so much better that it is definitely worth it! Hang in there! (And when all else fails, have a square of dark chocolate!)
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Also check out ordering GF food online there are plenty of places some with free shipping. Amazon, GF Mall and more just can't think of names right now.
If you're craving protein - eat some. Usually what you're craving is what your body needs. After eating balanced meals for a few days you should start feeling better.
Walmart Superstores carry groceries, and ours here has a GF section. Admittedly they are a bit pricey. I have found though, that many 'regular' food items are now starting to say Gluten Free. Ask the store manager, if yours doesn't carry them. More and more people are discovering the benefits of going GF. My wife and I are in the thinking stages of trying it, ourselves. Not an easy journey, for sure, but the benefits are no doubt worth it.
Learn from the mistakes of others. Life is too short to make them all yourself.
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I really feel for you. I was at a loss and turned to dairy and nuts, myself. Dairy didn't bother me GI wise and compared to eating gluten, it couldn't touch me w/symptoms (that I knew of at the time anyway).
If you really think you want pasta, consider shifting your thoughts and paradigm. Even if you think it's expensive, you want and need it, please forego something else in your budget to feed yourself. The feelings of deprivation might change, esp since you're still staying gf and getting WELL. And that's the whole point: to get well. It's a "pay now, or pay later" deal. If you listen to your hunger for protein, it will help keep you satiated, so will healthy fats, so will a loaded salad (your body is craving nutrients!). For me, too, my satiety totally changed, so maybe you're adjusting to that.
I don't know where in MN you are, but there's a "GF Roundup" on Saturday w/gf food vendors you might be interested in going. If not only for food, to be around others in your same situation. Also, look for a celiac support group (google search 'celiac support 'city name') to meet others. You are not the only one :).
(check the comments section where there's mention of the GF Roundup).
Keep eating gf and muddling through til you get comfortable, and you will be rewarded.
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Intrnly - I just wanted you to know you are not alone in your struggle. I too LOVED, LOVED gluten foods!! I can't quite come to grips even after 2 years that I am intolerant. I test the waters every now and again and eat it only to be miserable and once again prove to myself that I cannot eat it. As a matter of fact today,for the 3rd time in a year I am starting my GF streak....again!!!! I am thankful that I love veggies because they are my saving grace. If you stick with them and learn to cook them 100 different ways (recipes, recipes, recipes!) I think you will become pleasantly surprised that you aren't missing gluten foods so much. I wish you the best. (I don't eat any GF processed food except a piece of toast every now and then, it just makes me crave gluten even more).
So far, I find that missing my fresh baked bread is the only thing I truly have an issue with, that and pizza. Let's face it pizza is so full of fat and grease I don't need it anyway. When I want pasta I will do a brown rice gf pasta which I think is outstanding , or spaghetti squash has been recommended though I have not yet had it myself. I did find a mix for gf french bread last night, I am going to try it out this weekend. I have tried the different gf loaves of bread and have not like a single one yet, not worth the money for me. I have found that my lunch time sandwiches are awesome with a big green leaf of lettuce either two as a bun or one and a wrap. I genuinely love that. I am so happy to have popcorn as a snack instead of crackers. Apples and peanut butter is a lot tastier than a pbj sandwich which would later cause turmoil to my body. I know that it is hard, I am still learning daily as well, only just over a month of trying this, however the things I have discovered as alternatives just help you feel so good about what you are putting in your body as well as physically, it is just plain worth it. Change you mindset a tad, which is hard and I struggle with daily, change it from looking at the breads and such with desire and think of how crappy you would feel if you ate it, it helps me. Then I look at the quinoa which I am so in love with it's crazy, the rice, potatoes, produce, corn and you see you are not only feeling better from going with out gluten but your choices are now so much better for you, even if you weren't having to do gf. You will get there. Try to be easy on yourself mentally and physically. You can do it!
We have long posts of lots of ideas in our sticky topics. Take some time to read them.
You're adjusting to a new lifestyle as well as going through withdrawl. I seldom eat pastas, preferring potato, rice and quinoa dishes. There are so many different types of rice.
If you're craving protein, buy a package of chicken thighs or breasts, bake them and freeze the extra. It doesn't take much time. It sounds like you need the protein.
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Recognizing Celiac Disease www.recognizingceliacdisease.
10 Tests that could save your life www.50plus.com/health/10-tests-that-
Dr. Alejandro Junger - 'Healing the gut' (from Dr. Oz) www.doctoroz.com/videos/3-day-jumpst
I live in MN and we do not have a Trader Joe's. We have Super One. They have few and far between GF foods. I have tried the GF pasta, and it is good, but it is $3.00 for an 8oz. box. Very expensive. I love chili, but I think the beans are making my stomach upset. I get so tired of the same old things. Lunch always consists of Salad w/chicken. Dinner usually the same or just crap. I'm not exercising either so that is making me feel bad too.
I have found some pastas that are gluten free and are cheaper and actually taste better than the more expensive ones. I have found them in my regular grocery store. My breakfasts are either gluten free waffles, or half cup of cottage cheese and banana.
lunch is harder.. salad, chili, left overs from the night before.. I am tired of salads and don't make them at home. Dinner is a meat, vegetable and rice or gluten free pasta or potato. I have been off gluten for about a 2 months on and off. I do feel better when I am off. I have also given up sugar not 100 percent yet..
its hard and its a struggle. I found gluten free ginger snaps at trader joes and 5 of them is the serving and I love them with a cup of tea..
gf-foods for three days straight, I feel really awful. I am having a hard time coming to grips w/the fact that there are foods I cannot eat. I am craving protein now mainly meat. Why do I do this to myself? I feel like a drug addict or alcoholic would feel coming off a three day binge. I don't know how to incorrupt this gf eating and what to eat for meals. It is only me, so what do I cook just for myself? All the gf foods like pasta, cereals, flours, & etc. are so expensive. I love breads, but the loafs of bread here are $6.00/$7.00 a loaf. Plus I crave dairy, but my stomach doesn't appreciate any dairy I put into it. So what do I do? I need help with this. Any suggestions out there?
Edited by: INTRNLYSTRONG at: 3/19/2010 (10:15)