Monday, February 9, 2015

How To Eat Gluten Free From A Diagnosed Celiac Disease

Receiving a diagnosis is usually going to change your life for the better! With a doctor's diagnosis and enough research around the journey to this diagnosis, should shed light on what's the new chapter in your life to recover and sustain your health. If you haven't felt that you've done ample studies, testing, and your doctor doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy about a life gluten-free without medication then you may want to get a second or third opinion.

Going gluten-free for those with Celiac Disease can in a few months or longer regain your nutrition absorption, gain weight, reduce common symptoms and you should get your blood checked and even a follow up endoscopy or colonoscopy to be sure you're healing. However, the only way you can get on the road to recovery is a 100% gluten-free lifestyle and that includes cross contamination risks that we face everyday, everywhere we go. Reducing your gluten intake will only help a little because if you keep 'poisoning' yourself by taking risks at restaurants, friends homes, purchasing packaged goods, or in your own home then you're going to be sick forever.

These changes should not scare you, but embrace them as you have a second chance on living healthy and smart. You can gain an education on where food comes from, manufacturing, labeling laws, and how to prepare you down food to stay in control with reduce risks. When I was diagnosed in 1997 as a young 14 year old, I was scared and needed help, but the first thing I learned was hot to say 'No" and where to find my comfort foods which was salads and unfortunately chips! Having the ability to go somewhere and have fun while being able to say "NO" to risks changed my life to continue to be a functioning athlete at a high level and find joy throughout my entire life because I was healthy and in control of life :)

How To Live 100% Gluten-Free by A Celiac 

  • Stop eating out 99% - The truth is that a restaurant can't be gluten-free when the risk of contamination is everywhere (chef hands, aprons, surfaces, pots, pans, and human mistake.  If you choose to go out you should eat at the same few places because you can trust them. This is always a risk, but hopefully it can become a low, more trusted risk. Most gluten-free apps showcasing gluten-free menus are not gluten-free and you need to be very careful where you trust. 
  • Learn how to cook/bake - It's vital to your recovery and your life as a human being to diversify your skill-set and understand how to cook and bake. In doing so you'll walk into the grocery store, farmers market and succeed in a whole new way in life and effect others in doing so. Prepare your own foods, explore new ingredients, and realize that there are so many new options out there and plan your day/week accordingly. I'd even suggest taking a cooking class, but those rarely have gluten-free facilities and the aprons are covered in gluten :( so be wary. 
  • Learn about food sources - When you find out where food comes from and how animals are treated, you likely will be disappointed. Truth. A box of packaged food is far removed from fresh unless it's a certain raw product. Learn about food through the supply chain and make smart decisions. 
  • Read labels - When in doubt don't eat it. Many products are verified gluten-free if not, call them up and if they have done 3rd party testing and can PROVE it, otherwise then skip it, and go buy something fresh not in a box/pack :) like fruit and vegetables and live without a bad risk that day. 
  • If someone glutens you, never ever go back - Whether it's family, friends or a restaurant. Do not allow yourself to be a victim so bring your own food and stay in control. You can still hang out and socialize, but do not eat the food there again and confront them privately and say that it's best that you prepare your own food ahead of time. Don't let it get awkward and just move on while having fun. If they can't handle the confrontation then have mediator who can help. 
  • Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) - There is not enough research to showcase that GMO are safe at all and on the contrary research shows health risks. Plan to eat organic or at least hybrid food and wash them well. Google "GMO Facts" and you'll never eat a GMO again. GMOs are scary and I do not eat them by asking questions and shopping organic smartly and thrifty. 
  • Lear to say "No"99% of the time - Seriously, this is a big challenge, but you can do this kindly, and prepare ahead of time with fresh snacks, raw foods, and prepare meals because most places do not have gluten-free options. Don't trust strangers who can't prove their foods or beverages are not contaminated. So look around and trust your instincts to say NO before YES. Most friends and family will learn how to properly shop and care for your gluten-free needs, but they need to learn the right way, the hard way. 

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