This is a very sensitive subject for me as my nephew is living with celiac disease. It was not discovered until he was 10 years. Her parents couldn’t understand why he had stomach aches and diarrhea after eating meals. After very encouraging, they took him to their primary care doctor. The doctor has a battery of tests and announced that the cause of his discomfort was celiac disease. This was the first time I had never heard of this disease. Needless to say, I was shocked. I’m a chef and as a chef I faced a lot of requests for the preparation of the meal. Many times patrons tell us precautions due to allergies to seafood, allergic reaction to nuts, etc., but never had a patron alert me gluten free needs.
Now I am very aware that a gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease and living gluten-free life is so very important! When a person with celiac disease consumes any food containing gluten, causes inflammation in the small intestine. Eating gluten free foods helps people with celiac disease control symptoms and prevent complications.
Diet of switching my nephew was a big change and, as something new, took some getting used to. At first my grandson couldn’t understand why there were so many restrictions: no McDonald; No Pizza Hut; no birthday cake? However, we started to get him focused on all foods that you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many grocery stores now sell gluten-free foods. Fortunately, in our area many of our grocery stores sell a wide variety of these items. My nephew really loves the pizza crust without gluten and the donuts. (We have yet to find a “Big Mac” gluten free “at any store). If you can’t find gluten-free products in your area, go online to Katz Gluten-Free Foods, where you’ll find a nice variety of gluten-free foods that are very tasty.
If you’re just starting with a gluten-free diet, it is in your best interest to consult a dietician who can answer your questions and offer advice on how to avoid consuming gluten while still eating a healthy and balanced diet. Once again, I’m a Cook, not a dietician. Can I follow a recipe; tell you if an ingredient that contains gluten, but I can’t answer all your questions as a qualified dietician. We worked with a dietician as we began our diet to switch my grandson and we’re glad we did.
Working to build a variety of meal choices for my nephew brought me to make a list of DOS and Don’ts for planning a gluten-free diet. I hope this list will help you as you work to develop a selection of meal choices for you or who can help.
Things to do:
Eat only foods that are naturally gluten-free as beans, fresh eggs, fresh meat, fish or poultry, fresh fruit and vegetables and most dairy products (read the label of any product from milk to be certain).
It is important to be sure to select foods that are not processed or mixed with cereals containing gluten. Many cereals and starch can be part of a gluten-free diet. Those can include buckwheat, corn, cornmeal, quinoa, rice, tapioca, rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour.
Note: for me, it took me to “educate” my nephew and his parents on the need to accept the fact that you can survive without fast foods. It requires actually prepare and eat meals together at home.
Avoid all foods and drinks containing wheat, rye, barley and malt. Also be careful, avoid other wheat products that you may not be familiar with how bulgar, semolina and flour.
Important advice when shopping for a person with celiac disease is to not buy the object, unless it is labeled GLUTEN-FREE! There are so many elements “tricky” and some that are obvious. For example, beer. Personally, I’m glad that beer is one of “I Dont” then my niece won’t be tempted to attend its festivals of friends where you are serving beer.