It may sound daunting, but once you’re diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s usually good news. Most people with celiac disease have been suffering maddening, unexplained and often painful symptoms for years. These usually disappear miraculously once you’re on the gluten-free diet.
A celiac diagnosis does come with dietary restrictions that have a sizeable learning curve. Be patient as you learn the ropes or have the odd “glutening” once more experienced. You’ll get there.
Avoiding gluten is a lot more work than living without bread and crusty pizza. This protein may turn up in modified food starches, various seasonings, condiments and hydrolyzed vegetable proteins found in many packaged products – but you may not know it from the ingredients listed on the package. See our Tricks to the Gluten-Free Diet article.
But don’t just dwell on deprivation. All fruits and vegetables are gluten-free as are raw meats. Eat them to your heart’s content. For gluten-free grains, look past bland white rice and look for the brown, black and red rices and discover the wonders of quinoa and amaranth.
There are also a growing number of great gluten-free packaged goods on the market from food makers like Bob’s Red Mill, Amy’s Kitchen and available often in regular grocery stores and always in Whole Foods Markets.
If you choose to “get into” gluten-free cooking you will also be amazed by some of the great recipes out there. Why not start at Allergic Living’s own gluten-free recipe centre.
You have been invited to a party. What to do? The first thing is to use your common sense.
Before the event, call to ask what is on the menu. Is there a marinade or sauce for the barbecue? Ask your host to leave it off your portion, and to refrain from adding croutons and dressing to your salad. Find out about fillers for meats such as hamburger patties or whether the main course is to be baked in a crust, à la Beef Wellington.
If attending a barbecue, it is best to ask for your food to be cooked separately on a piece of foil. And do not be afraid to bring your own food; your host should understand your health concerns and even appreciate the effort you are making to join in on the fun!