I am suspicious that I have Celiac Disease. What is an affordable diet to avoid gluten foods?

Question by Eccentric Dad: I am suspicious that I have Celiac Disease. What is an affordable diet to avoid gluten foods?
Give me a breakdown of each meal. I am also lactose intolerant and my wife has shellfish and iodine allergies.

Best answer:

Answer by Shauna

A couple things you should know – if you think you have celiac disease, if you can, I would highly recommend getting tested before you try the gluten free diet. The test only tests for damage, so if you have healed up, it becomes negative unless you eat gluten again, get all messed up again, and THEN it tests positive.

Now, you may not need this test for yourself, but if you ever need medication, many insurance companies won’t be willing to pay for the brand of medication that is gluten free unless you have a diagnosis. So, it’s something to think about.

Also, many celiacs find that if they DO try to eat gluten again to get the tests, their reactions are much, much worse. So, something to consider.

Okay, that said:
An affordable diet to avoid gluten is pretty simple, but challenging.

1. Make everything from scratch. Everything. Condiments, broth, salad dressings, everything – because otherwise, you will have to hunt down gluten free versions of this, and finding something that is lactose free and gluten free is extremely challenging – frequently, companies add extra dairy to make up for the lack of gluten.

2. Drop any semblance of your diet before you went gluten free. You simply cannot re-create your diet when you had gluten without a fairly significant cost increase. The easiest way I’ve seen to go gluten free without massive cost increase is to start looking at ethnic foods, from places where they were naturally gluten free. Many places in Asia and Africa have a lot of naturally gluten free foods that you can approximate with local ingredients. But, again, it’s going to take work.

3. If you think it is celiac disease, the idet has to be as strict as that for a severe allergy. Gluten cannot touch your food, it cannot come into contact with your utensils that are touching your food (unless you wash them in between. Some cooking utensils, like a collander, cannot be washed thoroughly enough to prevent contamination from gluten, so you should purchase a new one or don’t use.

As an example of a day’s menu:
breakfast – fried potatoes, homemade orange juice (yes, you even have to check your juice), ground meat wraps with lettuce.

lunch – Thai spring roll with rice wraps and chicken, cucumber, cilantro, and GF soy sauce to dip it in (this I usually purchase as it’s rarely more expensive that regular soy sauce, or not much).

Dinner – spaghetti squash and homemade pasta sauce. green beans with lemon.

Snacks – apples with homemade peanut butter to dip it in, carrot sticks, cucumber and tomatoes with salt and pepper.

It can be much more elaborate, but basically, it’s either time or money that you will have to spend to eat truly gluten free.

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