3 Steps To Take When Diagnosed with Celiac Disease

I received a note today from a high school friend which spurred this post today.

“So I was diagnosed with celiac disease and I’m absolutely clueless about gluten free foods!! Can you offer any suggestions?”

Step 1: Breathe. Accept. Plan.

Being diagnosed with Celiac is a game changer, not a life ender. No need to panic or to throw pasta against the wall. It just means you will be paying a lot more attention to what and where you eat. If it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, try the below steps for 21 days to reset your mindset.

Step 2: Remove all packaged foods from your diet, for now

Does celiac mean you cannot enjoy the deliciousness of sugary cookies or pasta? Absolutely not. But in an effort to start from scratch, get back to whole foods, and get accustomed to reading labels, I like to start clients from a clean slate. Learn about food all over again. For about a week or two, eliminate all packed foods from your diet.

Don’t jump on the gfree products bandwagon yet as sometimes they compensate with too much sugar. It’s better to do research and see what will work for you. Plus they can be pricey and there are great coupons on sites like mambosprouts.com.

Learn the code words for gluten. Whenever you see these famous ingredients in foods, avoid them:

Additives (until you find out exactly, steer clear)
Artificial color
Brewer’s Yeast (other yeast is safe)
Caramel color (made from barley malt)
Coloring
Dextrin (can be made of safe grains, but can also be wheat so don’t eat unless you call the manufacturer)
Dextrimaltose (made from barley)
Emulsifier
Filler
Flavors
Germ
Glucose Syrup
Groats (unless you know specifically it’s buckwheat or gluten-free oats)
Hydrogenated Oils (with the exception of Hydrogenated Soybean oil)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Hydrolyzed Plan Protein (HPP)
Malt (made from barley)
Malt Vinegar (most other vinegars are ok)
Modified Food Starch
Natural Flavor
Softener
Smoke Flavoring1

Also avoid for now the heirlooom wheats such at kamut, spelt, etc.

Step 3: Stop eating Out

The same principle from above applies to eating out. You now have to learn where you can eat out and know how to speak to waiters/waitresses when eating out. You have a real situation, not a fly by night fad to lose weight. Get accustomed to informing whomever is serving you that you have Celiac and that you cannot have any wheat because you are severely allergic. Otherwise, there are instances in which you will be treated with “oh a little wheat won’t hurt her”. For about a week or two, eliminate take out food.

Have your own questions? Just fill out the below form and it will come straight to me!

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