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to not know where to start (Coeliac diagnosis)

(38 Posts)
MummaV Wed 17-Jun-15 16:36:07

My DH has been diagnosed with Coeliac disease today, following years of tests and illness (symptoms initially atypical so GP was never looking in the right places).

I do all the shopping and cooking in the house and after some Google searches etc I am feeling really overwhelmed with the changes we will need to make as it would appear gluten is hidden in almost everything and most of our meals are served with pasta or bread.

Has anyone got any advice on where the hell to start and what I can do to make this less of a chore and an overwhelming task and more of a happy lifestyle change for both of us?

Things to avoid, replacement foods, easy meals, best way to impliement changes etc....

TeenAndTween Wed 17-Jun-15 16:38:49

Waitrose do a 'free from' range which includes foods free from gluton.
I expect that other supermarkets do similar.

More rice and potatoes, less pasta?

CMOTDibbler Wed 17-Jun-15 16:59:13

Start with simple meals - all the big supermarkets have a freefrom range, so cereal or toast for breakfast, salad/ jacket pot for lunch, and something and potatoes/ rice/ gf pasta for dinner.

Easy dishes to make gf - curry, bolognaise, stew, sausages (black farmer , M&S, lots of other gf brands), roast, chops, chicken tray bake

Its overwhelming at first, but the good news is that all products have to declare the major allergens now, so take everything out of the cupboard, and start looking at the ingredients list and bin all the offending items.
Common places - stock cubes, gravy, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sauce, beans, oven chips, frozen roasties, crisps, tortilla chips.

Then go shopping with an online supermarket where you can spend plenty of time looking at the ingredients - I like Ocado as their specialist gf choice is really good and they list all ingredients generally.

Some gf pastas and breads are vile, some are OK. You have to experiment.

Start eating out with chains - most have menus online so you can think about the choice before you go, though all restaurants are now required to provide allergy info. Pizza hut, Dominos and Pizza Express all do gf pizza now.

Feel free to ask! I've been gf for 17 years now, and I still remember spending 4 hours on my first shop..

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Wed 17-Jun-15 17:01:55

I think it depends a bit on how you cook. If you are used to cooking from scratch then it is easier, but ready made stuff you have to be constantly checking.

In general though, rather than pasta and bread, have rice and potatoes. Gluten free pasta isn't too bad either. (Gluten free bread isn't brilliant, some people are OK with it, some not). Cornflour rather than wheat flour for thickening sauces.

RooibosTeaAgain Wed 17-Jun-15 17:06:18

Breakfast can be a tricky meal as many cereals have gluten in. You can buy gluten free bread, rolls and cereals from major supermarkets. Also all available on prescription. Coeliac UK have a useful website and produce a little book with all suitable foods if you are a member.

If you contact the major gluten free producers - eg Glutafin and Juvela they may send out free samples if you tell them it is a new diagnosis. Certainly I had a massive free box of goodies from Glutafin a few years ago.

Gluten free pasta comes in different shapes - I find rinsing it in hot water helps.

Rice, potatoes, veg, fruit, meat ( not processed) all GF.

It took ages to start with and yes we seem to use lots of pans as cook 2 types of pasta etc.

Gluten free flour is useful for making sauces. Doves farm for eg make it.

SolasEile Wed 17-Jun-15 17:08:00

Join the Coeliac Society. They offer great support, have a monthly magazine with recipes, restaurant recommendations, local meet-ups etc. They used to have an annual book of gf products that they sent out for members. It was a great help to me when shopping in the UK for the first time as a coeliac.

Good luck! Coeliac is much easier to manage these days, a lot more awareness and support. Your husband will be feeling so much better soon on the gf diet.

Silvercatowner Wed 17-Jun-15 17:08:14

I was diagnosed 2 years ago and agree that if you cook from scratch then it is much easier. Gluten free pasta is in all the big supermarkets and is fine - it doesn't keep well and doesn't freeze well, but with a sauce I struggle to tell the difference. Bread is fine if you toast it. I miss proper naan and crusty bread. Biscuits - I am still struggling with the fact that I will never again eat a McVities chocolate digestive but actually some of the gluten free stuff is just as nice, of not nicer.

MummaV Wed 17-Jun-15 17:08:48

Thanks for your help. The more I think about it the less daunting it seems. I'm on maternity leave at the moment so have time to shop and cook from scratch as long as DD is asleep. Going to get a bread maker for gluten free bread as he has decided he can't live without bread.
My Nan is coeliac so going to visit her tomorrow for advice and to borrow her books.

Going to figure out a 2 week meal plan and go from there.

WizzardHat Wed 17-Jun-15 17:10:17

He should be able to see a dietician at some point and have some staples (bread, pasta, flour etc) on prescription. I don't usually bother though as I haven't found any subs I like.
Anything like meat, fish and vegetables are gluten free, and rice is good too, and easy to digest. Eggs, herbs and spices are fine too. I found really well cooked things easier to digest in the early days - slow cooked everything!
Watch out for things like soy sauce, Oxo cubes (Knorr are fine), fizzy drinks (some have malted barley in them, wtf?) - as pp said, manufacturers have to highlight common allergens now.
The Coeliac Society is really informative and I had a book called Gluten Free for Dummies or similar.

smileyhappymummy Wed 17-Jun-15 17:14:44

Genius gluten free fresh bread is actually pretty nice though expensive (approx £3 / loaf). Sainsburys gf pasta is ok and not horrendously priced. Don't forget things like seperate toasters and margarine for him - easy to cross contaminate that way.
I have coeliac disease and think it's actually a really good diagnosis - a disease you can completely control just by excluding a fairly easily replaceable part of your diet. And I feel so, so much better. I eventually presented with fairly classical symptoms but remain convinced that the two years of very treatment resistant depression I had leading up to that was strongly related to the coeliac.
Happy to answer any other questions!

canyou Wed 17-Jun-15 17:30:11

Are you on Facebook? if so Stephanie O Dea puts up great gf recipes
Butcher burgers are usually gf I bulk make sauces and freeze in portions for fast meals.

BarbarianMum Wed 17-Jun-15 17:40:01

I'm 4 years in now. It will become second nature, promise.

So practically, it is much easier to avoid gluten if you cook most of your meals from scratch.

Straight substitutes: buy gf bread and pasta; maise cous cous not ordinary; gf cakes and biscuits; gf breakfast cereal

Change your stock cubes to a gf range (I use Knorr but there are many)

Change to Tamari soy sauce (ordinary soy has gluten)

Thicken sauces with cornflour not wheat flour

Watch out for barley malt - its in loads of processed food to give flavour.

Check out sausages and beefburgers carefully. You can get gf but it's tricky (on the plus side they tend to be very nice)

In most recipes (eg cakes) you can just swap ordinary flour for gf flour. Does make things a bit drier and crumblier though so experiment a bit.

Yorkshire puds are a problem sad

Get into the habit of checking food labrHe will need his own toaster and marg. Get used to serving jam with a spoon rather than sticking a knife into the pot (cross contamination)

Keep some gf pizzas and ready meal type things in the freezer for when you make a mistake or need a quick fix.

Eating out: pretty good in quite a lot of places (UK). Indian very good, Italian surprisingly good, Chinese - forget it.

He needs to plan ahead a bit rather than get caught on the hop and be looking for food. It's not easy to just pick up a sandwich if you are gf (I eat a lot of baked potatoes when in a hurry round town)

Good luck!

2madboys Wed 17-Jun-15 17:45:21

DH is coeliac and it runs in his family. You should get your children tested too.

notapizzaeater Wed 17-Jun-15 17:48:50

Not got time to do a big post but if you're missing crusty bread have you tried wheat free bakery direct - they are based jus citland and do tiger bread to die for ( as well as jam doughnuts, iced fingers etc)

I'm doing a BBQ in a couple of weeks and am buying all the burger buns hit dog rolls etc from there, everyone will be having gf and tbh the bread from here tastes "normal"

We are a gf family (da is coeliac) and I don't want any of my family cross contaminating anything

TooMuchRain Wed 17-Jun-15 17:49:17

Just to add that you don't necessarily need to just look at things that advertise as gluten free because lots of things are 'naturally' gluten free and cheaper than stuff in free from ranges. For instance, quite a lot of sausages are gluten free without promoting this, corn flakes for breakfast are usually gluten free etc.

AliceInSandwichLand Wed 17-Jun-15 17:50:11

I've been GF for 8 years now and agree with everything BarbarianMum says. It really isn't a problem at home, when you get used to it, or in most restaurants these days - even Pizza Express, which used to have no GF carbs at all, does a GF pizza base now. You have to be very clear with instructions with friends and family at first, especially with things like soy sauce. Bananas, nuts and individually packed GF biscuits are really useful emergency fallbacks. Even GF pastry is feasible - I agree that the only thing I have had to give up for ever is Yorkshire pudding. Our butcher does GF sausages which are so good that the rest of the family all has them by choice too! You have to keep an eye when out on cross-contamination - had a burger recently which was advertised as GF but they used the same bread board and knife to cut the roll. I can cope with a bit of contamination now and then, but for many people it's very bad news.

Crumpledandcreased Wed 17-Jun-15 17:52:04

My 2 year old son was recently diagnosed with coeliac disease.

We've got to the point where I have several gluten free family meals that I cook, such as spag bol, chicken casserole, frittata, etc. I make lots of salads with rice, quinoa or pasta for easy lunches. It just takes a while to get in the habit of checking everything.

I would recommend joining coeliac uk and getting their app and food directory, it's really helpful when out and about.

TooMuchRain Wed 17-Jun-15 17:52:09

Oh, and the best naturally gluten free thing that I have come across is buckwheat pancakes which are amazing!

bikeandrun Wed 17-Jun-15 17:52:40

My husband is coeliac, in the beginning he tried lots of free from foods but he found they were expensive and full of junk.
Focuses on real foods, takes leftovers rather than sandwiches for lunch, rice and potatoes rather than pasta and most importantly cider and wine rather than the rather underwhelming gluten free beer!

LittleMissIntrovert Wed 17-Jun-15 17:57:53

I know M&S are doing more and more gluten free foods. A lot of them are just in with the normal ranges.

For example they have some sausages that are GF, the crisp bakes have some salmon and chicken GF ones, a lot of ranges now have a GF option, and they are getting better with the packaging to make it stand out more.

They even do a GF beer.

There are a lot more options now in shops, and a lot more cafes have GF options.

My mum has a wheat intolerance, which I know is different, but I know it's getting easier now more ranges are available.

BarbarianMum Wed 17-Jun-15 18:08:38

<<corn flakes for breakfast are usually gluten free etc.>>

^^ no they're not, most contain barley malt sad

MummaV Wed 17-Jun-15 18:11:04

Thank you all.
Rather than worry about cross contamination at home I have decided that I'll join him in being GF when at home. Easier than cooking 2 meals etc as well.

I will be cooking from scratch and I'm guessing the next couple of weeks will be trial and error but we'll get there.

My mum and sister are going to be so happy when I offload all the gluten filled treats we had in the cupboard onto them. I can't bare to see good food go to waste. The packets of pasta etc will be off to the food bank in the morning.

BarbarianMum Wed 17-Jun-15 18:11:47

Other things to watch out for:
-malt vineagar
- some baking powder has gluten in it so check your brand.

norksinmywaistband Wed 17-Jun-15 18:12:35

As above have said but want to add that either sainsburys or tesco(cant remember which) do frozen gluten free Yorkshire puds.

JessiePinkman Wed 17-Jun-15 18:19:31

Sainsburys pasta, ginger cookies & rolls are fab
Tesco do a frozen pizza, cornettos
Lidl burgers, sausages, meatballs, curry sauce, tinned tomato soup, tomato sauce
Go on the juvela & glutafin websites, they send out a massive hamper of free food
Coeliac UK is brilliant & send out a little bible of ff supermarket food
There is also an eating out section where you can look up places to eat.
I remember feeling overwhelmed at first but it gets much easier

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