New to a gluten free diet? Whether you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or if you are gluten intolerant, I am here to help.
Moving forward with a positive mindset is the best way to tackle this.
For all the foods you are no longer able to eat, there is an alternative or a replacement. Try to look at these strange new foods as a challenge, not a punishment.
Will some of those alternative ingredients taste different? Yes, they may do, but that is not something to fret over. After all, they may taste better!
You will also start to FEEL better, once the gluten is out of your system.
It won't happen immediately. It will take time for your body to recover after starting the diet for celiac disease. Everyone's body reacts to the elimination of gluten differently so we can't tell you it will take a certain number of days or weeks, but gradually you will notice an improvement.
It will also take time to learn the foods to avoid. You will make mistakes, that is inevitable, but you will learn from each one.
Reading food labels will gradually become second nature, and you will soon learn what the safe foods are and how to prepare them.
Those first few weeks will be the most difficult, and eating the wrong things may not always be accidental! But don't beat yourself up over genuine mistakes. It takes time to get used to a whole new way of eating.
"A little bit won't hurt, will it?"
Sorry, but yes, it will. You need to remove all traces of gluten from your diet in order to recover your health if you have celiac.
If, on the other hand, you are trying the diet to see if it helps with symptoms you are experiencing, they you have the option of going back to the standard way of eating. But if you find that you feel better, why would you want to?
You need to give it a fair trial in this case. Cutting out wholewheat bread, but continuing to eat sauces thickened with flour is not a gluten free diet!
For a number of years after Celiac was first discovered, many doctors thought it only affected young children and that they could "grow out of it". Sadly, this is not the case. In fact, I experienced this myself, as you can read in my story.
One thing you will notice after starting a gluten free diet is that even the tiniest morsel of the forbidden stuff will cause your symptoms to return with a vengeance! Your body will react violently to the "poison" in the food and you will know pretty quickly if you have made a mistake!
After such a reaction, you may struggle to understand what you did wrong. The sandwich you ate was made with gluten free bread and the filling was also safe to eat, so why did you feel so bad after eating it?
There are many ways in which your food can be cross contaminated.
For example, did you lay your bread on the same bread board that is used by the rest of the family? Did someone else put the knife back in the butter after spreading their toast? Yes, even a crumb can cause problems!
If you live in the USA I would recommend you get hold of the gluten free shopping guide below...
...as soon as possible! It will make shopping for gluten free foods a lot easier.
You may also wish to take out a subscription to a gluten free magazine or two. They will help keep you up to date on the products available and any new research into celiac disease and the gf diet. You can do this online, by using the links below, or watch out for each issue in your local store.
It is possible to adapt recipes from your existing cookbooks, by using alternative gluten free flour, however you are more likely to have good results if you invest in a few gluten free cookbooks.
The recipes in these will have been tested using alternative flours and may use different methods from your old recipes.
Over the years though, I have developed a large number of recipes that I know work and you will find many of them listed on my gluten free recipes page.