Nomad's advice is the best, but if this is any help at all, here is a "guide" that I sent to a relative I was planning to visit after we had not seen each other in several years. She had asked "what can you eat?"
Gluten Free (GF) Foods:
Generally, I have to read food labels carefully…it’s really the only way to ensure that something is safe. The primary ingredients to look for that are “unsafe” are any form of wheat, rye, barley, malt, or oats, “Modified Food Starch,” and “Monosodium Glutamate.” (MSG) These occur in all sorts of places that you wouldn't expect them to be, such as canned soups and broths and veggies, canned meats like tuna and chicken, packaged seasonings, and gravy and dip mixes, and meats like sausage and bacon and lunch meats. It can be a headache. It completely "rewrites" your life! One “You might have Celiac Disease if…” joke puts it this way… “if you can locate gluten in any form on a label in 1 second flat, and your family couldn't find it with a magnifying glass and a Ph. D!”
Foods that are fairly well guaranteed to be safe include:
Fresh (and most frozen) fruits and vegetables
Nuts and Dried fruits (unless marked with a warning that they have been “processed in a plant that also processes wheat”)
Any type meat (unless the ingredients label includes one of the “warning” ingredients from the first paragraph) I can't have any “breaded” or battered meat. Bacon is sometimes o.k., but sausage almost never is. Water packed tuna is safe, but frequently, broth packed tuna or chicken is not…sigh…I suspect that you begin to get the picture!
Anything specifically marked “Gluten Free” (This is not necessarily true anymore, as I keep finding things marked Gluten Free which contain Monosodium Glutamate! It is infuriating!)
Rice and Potatoes (but not pre-seasoned “mixes” which are seldom safe)
Milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, butter, and most ice creams and other dairy products (if they do not contain any of the unsafe ingredients like modified food starch.)
Modified Corn, potato,or tapioca starches are safe.
Rice Chex Cereal that is marked Gluten Free. (Most of the supply currently on grocery shelves is safe.)Corn Chex are not safe.
I obviously can't eat regular breads, pastas, cereals, cakes and pastries, gravies, and sauces…no Pizza! I've learned to bake all these things, but they must be made with specialty flours generally purchased in health food stores, though some larger, better grocery stores now carry them. They aren't "cheap". I've formulated my own flour mix that makes some pretty decent rolls, gravies, etc., and I've found a commercial bread mix that is easy to whip up. GF Pastas made from Rice and Quinoa flours work pretty much like the real thing.
Edited by: OUTOFIDEAS at: 3/18/2010 (16:27)
"Truth, and therefore, success, is generally found at the balance point between two opposing tensions." (D. L Veach, writer and artist)
Sign up for the newsletter at www.celiaccentral.org. They also have firstname.lastname@example.org. I am sure that others on this thread and on this journey with you have some other tips. I actually got a great listing from my acupuncturist-chiropractor, who is herself gluten intolerant, and recommended some excellent books.
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