WIN-It-Wednesday: National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Goodie Bags!

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for celiac disease that will advance research, education and screening amongst medical professionals, children, and adults on a gluten free diet.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alice Bast, the Executive Director of the NFCA, and her team last fall at a seminar that educated pharmacists about gluten; specifically, what gluten is and how it can be hidden in different OTC and prescription medicines.

When I first met Alice and her team I couldn’t help but notice they shared my enthusiasm on educating everybody (and anybody!) about celiac disease and making sure celiacs everywhere have the tools to live a happy and healthy life… gluten-free.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, or you haven’t visited in some time, visit the NFCA website. It’s new design is user friendly, and full of information for those just starting out on a gluten-free diet, as well as the seasoned gluten-free’er.

My favorite sections of the NFCA website? The Resource section which has support for patients and their families, food & recipes, plus more. Another section to explorer is the News section which showcases a “recipe of the week”, videos and current news and articles on celiac disease. And last, while you’re at it, check out the Events section of the NFCA website to see if there are any support meetings or fundraisers in your area that may be of interest to you – after all sharing with each other is crucial in learning more about the celiac lifestyle and supporting each other.

For this weeks WIN-It-Wednesday, the NFCA has graciously offered five (YES 5!) Goodie Bags full of fun NFCA goodies! Contents of the goodie bag may include such items as celiac logoed coffee mugs, sticky notes, and celiac awareness ribbon magnets (I have one on the back of my car showing I am a supporter of celiac disease awareness!). Also included with the fun little goodies will be a book, either a gluten-free cookbook OR an educational resource book on celiac disease, the winners can pick which type of book they would like.

How can you win?


Reply to this blog and ask one questions about celiac disease / the gluten free diet that you need to know OR share one pointer/tip you would give someone who just got diagnosed with celiac disease today. (Mine? Try to “embrace” the gluten-free lifestyle… really wrap your arms around it and learn as much as you can, and make sure you have fantastic fun trying new foods you never knew existed!)

Five randomly picked winners will be chosen as winners. All entries must be posted by Sunday, 09/19/09 at 12:00 Midnight EST.

Good luck! And as always…

Be Free!

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104 Responses to “WIN-It-Wednesday: National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Goodie Bags!”

  1. string Says:

    What I would be interested is how Non-celiac’s who still are made ill from gluten explain their condition and how their doctor’s etc. decide to deal with their symptoms.

    I was tested in every known way for Celiac disease over the summer and all the tests returned negative but when I gave up gluten in spite of this my health improved ten-fold. I have more control over my bowels, my emotional state, I’m not in continual pain from my intestines and my joints have improved to the point where I no longer have to walk with a cane. I’m 22 years old and I finally feel like it.

  2. gillian Says:

    Many asian-style recipes are easily adapted to a gluten-free diet. tip: get a rice cooker! Also, there are lots of Indian cakey desserts made with chickpeas that are absolutely scrumptious. Eating GF is easy if you know where to look, and how to experiment.

  3. Shelly! Says:


    I heart NFCA as they provided such good information and guidance when our son was first diagnosed.

    My biggest advice – rather than try and recreate things that you think you’ll miss (and spend lots of money doing so) start by discovering new foods and new recipes! Then, once you’ve become accustomed to gluten-free cooking (and baking in particular) move back into trying gluten-free versions of the gluteny things you loved before! This will save you time – money – and will help cutdown on the homesickness you might feel for some foods!

  4. Mandy Says:

    My best tip for the newly diagnosed — Go into your local Whole Foods Market and ask at the customer service desk for their Gluten-Free List. It was a life-saver for me when I was first diagnosed… being able to peruse it at home and figure out what I could eat. Also, invest in the Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide. It makes eating out so much easier.

    Thanks for all you do with this blog!


  5. Melissa Conrad Says:

    My question would be: How do you cope with gluten eating relatives when you have to stay at someones house you’ve never been to before and they have NO idea about Celiac?

  6. Myrical Barton Says:

    For those just learning of celiac today, stay encouraged. The first few weeks are the hardest. But, you can live a normal life with the celiac. More and more products are becoming available all the time!

  7. Cindy Winther Says:

    My advice to newly diagnosed celiacs would be to be patient. It is overwhelming at first, but eventually you adapt to the many changes. I have even found my taste buds are adapting to these new, strange tastes!

  8. Cara Says:

    This is an awesome giveaway! Thanks so much for these. My one tip is to join a support group, especially when diagnosed. You will not feel so alone and feel comfortable asking those new questions and help finding the right information. Plus you get to learn new things and try new products. 🙂

  9. Betty Benton Says:

    Am I allergic to gluten or do I have an intolerance to gluten? I have had this discussion with my doctor and he does not know the answer.

  10. Jean Says:

    Don’t be afraid to share with your friends/hosts/ restaurant servers your need for a gluten free diet. You will be amazed to find out how many people are gluten free or have close relatives/friends who are also gluten free. You will be surprised to see how knowledgable many in the food industry have become – not infrequently you will be served gluten free bread while others at your table are served traditional rolls before dinner. It is better to share your needs because you may be surprised that chefs sometimes coat meats with flour prior to grilling just to give them a nice “crust”. You wouldn’t have even noticed it when eating, but they will gladly skip this step for you if you let them know.

  11. Melissa Brown Says:

    How do I cook gluten free but still child friendly? My daughter was diagnosed at 2 and a half and already has strong feelings about what she likes and dislikes and now all of a sudden she can’t eat half of what she used to…bread in particular is a struggle.

  12. Janet LaRue Says:

    My pointer/tip for the newly diagnosed-seek out a support group-check your local hospitals, ask your doctors, friends, or any other resource to learn as much as you can regarding your new diagnosis. Attending the National Celiac Conference for CSA can also be a huge help to those that are newly diagnosed. They are a wealth of information and you will meet and network with so many people that can be a great support to you in the future. Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake with your diet when you are new, chalk it up to experience and remember what made you sick and pay attention to label reading and food prep. Make sure your kitchen area is always a safe area to prepare food-cross contamination can make you just as sick as eating the gluten containing item alone. Keep your own toasters, condiments, butter, peanut butter, jelly, etc. all separate from everyone elses items so that you can eliminate cross contamination. And also educate your family and friends so that they understand your needs and concerns regarding your diet. Most of all-relax…enjoy your new lease on life and work on feeling better and being the person you remember being before you were sick! You will achieve it one step at a time with the knowledge and education that you gain from the internet, support group meetings, and everywhere else you find support and information!

  13. Gwendolyn Says:

    My tip to a person who is newly diagnosed is to know that gluten-free breads and pastas are not always the same as the gluten-full versions in taste and texture. Some are very close, but just don’t expect everything to be similar.

    Keep an open mind when trying a product for the first time. I found that if I didn’t like it right away, to try it again after being gluten-free for a while. Tastes change (probably from not eating all those processed gluten-filled junk foods) and some of the products I hated three years ago when diagnosed are the same products I can’t go without today.

    Research and reviews of products online can be helpful when making decisions on purchases as well.

  14. Rachel Says:

    My comment I would give to a newly diagnosed patient (and I always give this pointer). Celiac Disease isn’t a diet, it is a life style.

  15. Michele Ambrogio Says:

    I am loving this website….you have been such a help to me in finding gluten free foods for my daughter, who was diagnosed in December 08. One question I have is, are Kellogs Rice Krispie Treats gluten free? In the ingredients it states “malt flavoring.” I was under the impression that as long as it doesn’t say “barley malt flavoring” that it was okay for my daughter to eat. However, in talking to others who have celiac I was told those treats were not gluten free. Please help!!

  16. Francine Says:

    I am catholic and have purchased gluten free hosts that I use each week at mass. My host is in a separate “container”. My question is: Usually my priest gives me the closed container when I go up for communion, sometimes though a priest who is unfamiliar and filling in for my priest will open the container and hand me my host. Is this cross-contamination since he has been handling the hosts containing wheat or should I not worry? Thanks.

  17. debra taylor Says:

    Remember almost all whole foods are gluten free – meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, potatoes, and rice. Think of how much healthier you will be eating if you just eliminate the processed foods. We’ve switched to buying local, in season, from farmers’ markets. It has dramatically expanded our possibilities – I’m now cooking vegetables I would never have considered before. It’s so different to be able to talk to the growers and have them explain what the vegetable is and how to cook it. We’re now eating collard greens, swiss chard, kale, and fresh beets. My slow cooker has become my best friend!!

  18. Margaret Riddell Says:

    Keep a copy of the Canadian Celiac Association’s pocket dictionary readily available in your purse when you’re grocery shopping. It lists ingredients and whether they’re allowed or not. This little resource is also handy for relatives/friends who want to host a celiac friendly dinner.

  19. Deb Koltis Says:

    My sister-in-law has celiacs. I can remember when she was diagnosed the panic and how she reacted to the news especially after they handed her a manual 12 inches thick and told her to read it. There wasn’t anyone she could talk to on how to learn to live with and embrace this disease. Over the years we have learned as a family how to embrace her disease and even enjoy many of her foods. One of the first things we tell newly diagnosed people is to not panic. There are so many foods that you can eat now compared to several years ago. So take a deep breath and lets starting making a list of things you can have and can’t have. In addition there are websites out there and you are not alone. Because we live in a rural area, where the nearest major city is 60 miles away, we have started making a list of resources to give to people who are newly diagnosed as well. Even in rural America people need to know they’re not alone in living with celiac sprue.

  20. Annette Says:

    Eat naturally! Stick to the food pyramid omitting wheat, barley and rye. Real, organic, whole foods are Gluten Free and better for you anyway!

  21. Sharon Burt Says:

    I am diagnosed with Celiac, however, if I am “contaminated” I do not have any obvious symptoms/reaction. My “Celiac” symptoms were the obscure variety – not obviously digestion related – acute joint and muscle pain, fatigue, mental fog, neurological symptoms, etc. All the literature I’ve read tells me that I need to be extremely careful to avoid cross-contamination (and I am), but can you explain what harm occasional cross-contamination is likely to have if it doesn’t cause an immediate reaction?

  22. carrie miller Says:

    For the newly diagnosed, I would find a good support group. Learn from those who have already been where you are. They will also be a great way to start collecting recipes, ideas, and tips as you learn to live and cope with your new life challenge. Best of all, they will be there to laugh and cry with you through your successes and failures.

  23. Sandy Bright Says:

    We have so much more awareness now and so many choices for our GF food that we are no longer deprived. I am so thankful I finally found what was wrong with me and can correct with what I eat!

  24. Karen Says:

    Educate yourself as much as you can and learn about different kinds of food!

  25. Teri Hart Says:

    I was just diagnosed with celic disease and am a little overwhelmed with all the information. Is there a book or website that I can refer to for information. I have searched different websites and alot of them have some good information but it is scattered. Grocery shopping is harder than I thought. I have been to the health food stores and found items there. My biggest find was a section in WalMart, they have a section that is just gluten free. I have found that it is kinda expensive. I am glad that I found this website it may help with expenses. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much

  26. Tam Says:

    Read, research and learn all you can. I feel confident after 3 years being gluten free that I can help others going through the same feelings and struggles that I did. I am always informing people about celiac and most people know of someone suffering some of the symptoms. Awareness certainly does help the public.

  27. Beri Schwitzer Says:

    My tip for the newly diagnosed celiac is to make friends with the internet. I was amazed at how many resources there were on-line and how we can use it as a tool too. I now use my cell phone to search restaurant’s websites prior to going in to see what menu options there are available or depend on other sites to guide me when I’m out of town.

  28. Caroline Leithiser Says:

    At 63 I am newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease! My husband and I are now retired and used to enjoy going out to eat; now it is such a hassel….where we live not many resturants off er G-F menus. How do I approach this without putting off friends and wait-staff!

  29. Carol Asher Says:

    I would get a bread maker and work toward a good recipe for bread. It sure is nice to eat it fresh!

    Also, rather than use a toaster (we used to have 2 on the counter), take your piece of bread (from the fridge or freezer) and warm it up in a fry pan for a short time. It toasts better and prevents crumbling. My daughter uses a little butter. I usually spray the pan with olive oil, but sometimes don’t use anything and it is still very tasty.

  30. Tiffany Says:

    Most Celiacs have probably figured this out, but buying your gf bread/flour mixes on saves money. Get a subscription and you get a discount plus free shipping. You can always change the frequency of the deliveries and you don’t have to leave your house to get it. Especially helpful if you don’t live close to a health food store.

  31. Kimberly Maneval Says:

    Don’t be afraid to try new things! You might just find out you like it!! When my mother was first diagnosed, I thought it was the end of the world. Since she is disabled, I’m her primary caregiver, which includes cook!!! But we jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back. She’s feeling better and that’s what really matters!!!

  32. Susan Gorospe Says:

    Tupperware sells a single serve soup cup, for the microwave, that I keep in my desk at work. I also keep packages of Thai instant rice noddle soup stored with it. On busy days i can bring left over chicken/veggies/other meat(even drop an egg in it) and have lunch ready in no time.

  33. Kathy Bunn Says:

    My question is if you get crosscontaminated after being GF for several months, how much damage is done and how long does the damage last? How fast does villa repair itself? my tip to new celiacs is Speak up! politely but firmly. Do not risk your health.
    Kathy Bunn Diagnosed May of 2009 with Celiac desease.

  34. Giovanna Says:

    Goodmorning All,

    I am 6 months plus into cooking for a my husband who was diagnosed with Celiac’s in January and it does get easier. My question would be “How do you control the weight gain that comes with this diet?” My husband has gained 25 lbs, the breads are heavier any pointers in making the bread, etc… lighter??
    May anyone newly diagnosed know that the world of Gluten Free is getting a little easier, products are popping out with each day, don’t worry it is worth it. I love Buckwheat Flour it is great, and I use Gluten Free Rice Chex, mix with my Italian Herbs, grind and used for cutlets, meatloaf, meatballs it is delicious. You will feel so much better. Good luck and Good health to all,


  35. Paula Says:

    Keeping & making Gluten-Free foods for only one or two people is harder than it sounds. We’ve found that it’s much easier for the whole family to go Gluten-Free.

  36. Marina Says:

    Living gluten free is much easier when you give up the processed junk foods and eat a plant-based diet with whole foods made from scratch. You can make fantastic meals at home even if you’re really busy. (I like to do a lot of prep work on Sundays so that I have most stuff ready for cooking throughout the week.) I rely heavily on ethnic foods, like Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Indian, since there are so many gluten free and vegetarian options.

  37. Jeannie Lavender Says:

    How long does it usually take the small intestine to heal once you stop eating gluten?

  38. Michie Page Says:

    You do not have to be afraid to eat out. You do need to be willing to ask questions and it never hurts to plan ahead. I like to look up the restaurant’s menu before going so I can know ahead of time what the 3 things I want are: I pick out my 2 favorites, and in case those can not be prepared gluten free, I pick out something that I know will be easy to keep gluten free.

  39. Kristine Says:

    Find things you like that fit in your diet and make them your new “staples” as it’s always nice to have stuff on hand that is convenient and travels well as taking food with you is more often than not a better alternative.

  40. Sue Meyers Says:

    Thank you for this website. My kids and I and my good friend took a nerve test (it was explained to us as a ly detector test for the nervous system) about a year and a half ago. This test showed all of us on different levels having problems with Gluten. To make a long story short, we all cut back on Gluten or cut it totally out, we all feel much better. Have you found this with other people? It is as if some of us have a high sinsitivity to it and others a low tolerance. It was explained that our bodies just wouldn’t process it correctly or as much as we were eating, our bodies couldn’t process that much. The Dr. said that there are a hugh amount of the population with this sinsitivity and they don’t even know it. Can we go on a campaign to make americans aware of these sinsitivities?

  41. Samantha McCormick Says:

    I’ve found that adding expandex to my bread recipe made it soft and wheat bread like.

  42. Julie Gillis Says:

    Thanks for all that you do

  43. Martha Russell Says:

    My tip would be, especially in the beginning, to concentrate on just eating foods that are naturally gluten free until your body has had a chance to heal. I found that after 6 months my tastes had really changed and the gluten free foods that I liked in the beginning didn’t taste as good as I thought. The foods I thought didn’t taste so good in the beginning then tasted better.

  44. Denise Says:

    Actually, attending one of my first meetings of this support group Sunday in Rhode Island. Cannot wait to be a part of such a great celiac network. I have heard wonderful things about the support they offer. I am still overwhelmed with the gluten free world even after a year. Especially eating out!

  45. Ruth Kellner Says:

    When can children be tested for celiac disease? Are their symptoms different?

  46. Shari Hazelbaker Says:

    Do many of you have just skin rash and joint pain as your primary symptom of celiac disease or do you typically have the bowel symptoms too? Just curious.

  47. Christy Michael Says:

    I am newly diagnosed and in addition to the Celiac Disease, I also found out that I have gastroparesis, which basically means “stomach paralysis.” My food digests a lot slower than it should. Then, I found out the other day that the celiac has caused me to be lactose intolerant. Right now, the doctors put me on a liquid diet for a few days to get my stomach a rest, but as I ease in to food again on the gluten-free diet, is there any yogurts or cheeses that I can start w/ that are lactose free and gluten-free? I am having the hardest time trying to find some. Thanks!

  48. Leena Says:

    A tip I would give someone is to not be afraid to ever ask questions. If you’re unsure about something at a restaurant or about a product, don’t be afraid to ask about the ingredients, even if it’s something that may not seem that harmful such as BBQ sauce or even seasoning on grilled veggies. You’d be surprised what gluten is hiding in these days, so if you have any sort of doubt about anything – don’t be shy, speak up!

  49. Betsy Says:

    My advice would be the network, network, network! Go to your library and check out books on living gluten free and gluten free cookbooks. Research online and find events to attend that specialize in gluten free. Start following gluten free blogs. Talking to others in the same situation really helps when you’re first starting off. For me, with going to gluten free cooking classes and fairs I met so many people with GREAT advice and tips. Even talking with speciality food store owners helps. I’ve gotten great advice from the owner of a small shop.

  50. Deb Papaioanu Says:

    Gluten-free foods can be expensive, but my favorite outlets are Henry’s, Trader Joe’s, Sprout’s. For a fast meal on the road I choose In-N-Out because they make a protein-style burger (lettuce wrapped, no bun) that is all natural and their fries are natural. Delicious! Or some Asian restaurants will steam your chicken then put it in a rice bowl of plain white rice.

  51. Emily Reifel Says:

    My question is-how do you explain to people what celiac’s is? People just look at me really confused and say-what? Your son can’t eat bread? Bread wont hurt you!

  52. Susan C - AZ Says:

    I like to go gluten-free naturally and stick to the 5 food groups that God created: lean meats/fish/poultry, fruits/vegetables, grains (e.g. brown rice, millet, buckwheat, and quinoa. Brown rice is my favorite), eggs, and nuts. In my local area, I collect the gluten-free product lists from the grocery stores so I know what is safe to eat. The stores in the metro Phoenix, AZ area with GF product lists are Sunflower Market, Sprouts, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Fresh and Easy, and Whole Foods. To save money on gluten-free ingredients, go to your local Asian market for such staples as rice flour and tapioca starch. My favorite place for Gluten-Free and Delicious food products is Trader Joe’s. I avoid all processed and packaged foods except for a special treat. If you are missing delicious breads, bagels, cookies, doughnuts, and other fresh baked goods, then check out Gluten-Free Creations Bakery in Phoenix, AZ. To order nationwide (for delivery), go to

  53. Marge Estrada Says:

    I am a “newbie” when it comes to celiac disease. The change in how I feel after only 1 1/2 months of a gluten free diet is amazing. My guts are not killing me any more and my joint pain is gone! I like to cook, so this has brought out the creativity in me. I am eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and have lost 20 lbs. Just because the food you eat is gluten free does not mean it has to be flavor free. It’s fun to experiment with different ingredients, you have so many options and a lot of healthier choices.

  54. Lisa Says:

    The tip I have is to not stop trying and learning. Trying new foods, new recipes and also to continue to learn more about gluten free living from others and the internet(which is such an awesome resource!).

  55. Cathy S Says:

    Wow! Another great give-away! My advise is to find a local Gluten Free Meet-up group or start one of your own! Our group meets monthly at a restaurant that will feed us a wonderful gluten free meal. We have met new people, tried new food, and learned a lot from one another. What a blessing celiac disease can be when you embrace it!

  56. Michelle Says:

    Why do you gain weight after going gluten free ? I have gain 20 pouns in 9 months.

  57. Jennifer Hellendrung Says:

    My advise is to embrace the intolerance! The more I talk about being gluten free, the more I am learning. So many people will be out and about and see something that is gluten free and tell me about it. I have learned so much more about Celiac and gluten free living because I share my story with others.

  58. Eileen Sanders Says:

    Educate yourself and your family on the gluten free diet. Learn to bake your own pastrys and cakes.

    They taste a lot better than store bought.

  59. michelle N Says:

    My tip: Get a good cookbook. That way you can see all of the foods you CAN enjoy!

  60. Mary Says:

    My advice is to not be afraid to look for help. I live in an area without the benefit of great supermarkets that have those print-outs listing gluten free foods, and there are no support groups in my area. When I was first diagnosed (with Microscopic Colitis – not Celiac), I found an on-line support group. They were a wonderful help! In the past 7 years since my diagnosis, I have found blogs, web-sites, listings such as this and many other internet based helpful areas! I see this as a “challenge” rather than a “problem” – changing our thinking often changes our feelings!

  61. Sharon Bonner Says:

    Best advice to a newly diagnosed Celiac is to purchase a good gluten free multi vitamin,.Many of us have lower levels than normal due to absorption problems. My first doctor recommended Centrum which when I called them they could not confirm it was gluten free. Purchase from a reputable manufacturer and make sure it is certified gluten free.

  62. Alice Says:

    Always check and read ingredient labels.. even if an item is gluten-free once, doesn’t mean it will be next time. You’ll also end up eating better, as you learn about the common ingredients in prepared foods. In the long run you’ll make healthier choices.

  63. Joshua Says:

    Do anything that you can to educate yourself: websites, books, groups, local grocery stores, restaurants in your area. The more knowledge that you have the easier your life will be.

  64. Katie Albrecht Says:

    So are there any good substitutes for bagels?? I am so going to miss those… Probably a slew of things I don’t even know I cant have yet. =(

  65. Lynnae Says:

    Going gluten-free can be really scary and isolating initially, but it helps to a) find a friend to experiment with new foods with you and b) find a gluten free blogger with similar interests, tastes, or passions – you’ll get all kinds of insight into ‘new’ ways of doing (and eating) what you love, even gluten-free!

  66. Andrea Says:

    My tip to newly diagnosed celiacs: Knowledge is power and the more you know about celiac and the gluten free diet, the more power you have over your condition and the better you will feel. There are lots of great gluten free blogs that provide a wealth of information, practical tips on traveling and eating out and wonderful recipes. And the more you can educate those around you about celiac and the gluten free diet, the easier your life will be, as people will start to listen and begin to accomodate you.

  67. Debra Gowlland Says:

    My tip or suggestion to someone who is newly diagnosed is to reach out to someone you know that has celiac disease or find a support group in your area or even on the internet. This is what truly got me going on the road to recovery!! It is so helpful to talk to someone who has actually been in your shoes and understands exactly what you are going thru.

  68. Brandy Says:

    I have a three year old with celiac disease and I advise parents to make sure you read labels read labels to make sure the products you feed your child are gluten free

  69. Tracy Wright Says:

    After receiving the diagnosis of celiac disease, I had to educate myself and then educate my doctor(s). I found Dr. Peter Green and Rory Jone’s book (Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic) very helpful in this aspect. Also, in the very beginning I relied on Triumph Dining’s restaurant cards to explain the things that I could and could not eat to the restauranteurs. These cards are wonderful because not only are they written in English on one side, but the language for the type of food you are eating (i.e. Greek cuisine was written in Greek and English). This was most helpful while I was traveling through Greece and Italy and could not convey how my food needed to be prepared. Once they read the information in their language they totally understood. And, I had a safe, gluten-free vacation! And, remember, it is a lifestyle change – be adventurous and embrace the new you!

  70. Deb Says:

    My question is about oats………I know they are a no-no with Celiac’s, but what about the Gluten Free Oats that are sold? Can these be trusted as safe for Celiac’s? Thanks:)

  71. Deb Says:

    My tip…
    Gluten free all purpose flour! This made everything so much easier for conversion.Also…alot of grocery stores (such as HyVee’s) have a dietician who is there to help. We contacted one here and she gave us a list of EVERYTHING gf in the store and has helped sooooooooo much with school and parties.

  72. kellytreadway Says:

    i have gained 50 pounds since diagnosed in dec 08

  73. kellytreadway Says:

    I feel confused about certain foods – not sure about ingredients

  74. Christine S. Says:

    My tip…
    Don’t ever let down your guard. It’s too easy to “guess” what is gluten free, especially when eating out, so you don’t disrupt those around you. I’ve never had a negative experience when expressing my needs. And always leave a generous tip when you get that special service.

  75. Debbie Says:

    In response to Melissa- regarding your 2 1/2 year old daughter, Bob’s Red Mill makes a couple of good bread mixes, you might try to let her help you make one, and then eat it yourself so she doesn’t not feel left out or different than you. Good Luck !

  76. Elizabeth Bawden Says:

    As a newly diagnosed Celiac, my question is – What are some good strategies/responses to meal invitations from friends? I’m not sure if its best to respond “Yes, I’d love to come for dinner but will bring my own food” and am guessing those more experienced have better ideas for this. Thanks!

  77. Allyson Says:

    I became sensitive to gluten after being in a car accident. I have no family members with sensitivity or allergic reactions to gluten. I’ve read a lot of information about how celiac runs in families and can be passed from parent to child. My question is, if I don’t have “celiac” but an intolerance, what is the likelihood that I could pass it on to my future children?

  78. Denise in California Says:

    It has been almost a year since my daughter was diagnosed, but I have found that all the markets have a “list” of gluten free foods that they will give you. We are learning to cook without guten, substitute if need be (we used gluten free panacake mix to dredge our chicken breasts- because it was handy) and have found so many wonderful recipes on Gluten free websites like this that I have noprobelm cooking for my daugther and the whole family…….we now are all pretty much gluten free and no one has complained!

  79. Kate Says:

    How likely is it that people with Celiac Disease are also allergic to corn or high fructose corn syrup? Is there a connection between the two?

  80. Dawn Says:

    Best tip – tackle the challenge to ge GF head on. Don’t give up anything you enjoy, just find new GF versions or learn to make your own. I’m a much better baker than I was two years ago.

  81. miranda Says:

    Several things. I agree makeing the whole house gluten free works better. for those of you suffering while you make seperate meals keep in mind the Gf diet is actually healthyer. your not hurting your family by makeing them all eat a plate of Gf pasta with you. My husbend gets nonGF treats when he wants them but dose share my diet. Check your local asian markett for some of the best finds yull ever come accross. I do my shoping at one of ours cheaper than any regular gerocery. The potato is my friend. potatos are verry versitile. You can make many meals from them with few ingreadents. Plus forget tv dinners! You can top a baked potato with many things. I like fahita meat. Chek your local library for GF cookbooks. its cheap and you can copy recipes to try. Margaret Riddell has my vote for one of those packages. I have been looking for a gerocery cheat sheet. I am never quite sure if im missing somthing in the product ingreadents that I cant have.

  82. Casey Says:

    Never convince yourself (or let anyone convince you) that eating can’t be an enjoyable, social and fulfilling experience.

  83. Lisa Vance Says:

    I know that Celiac Disease impacts intestinal absorbtion of nutrients. What vitamins and minerals should I be concerned about and at what levels should I supplement?

  84. Kathi French Says:

    I would like to know if Oat Flour is gluten free?

  85. Theresa Brandon Says:

    When first diagnosed, I was so discouraged. A friend sent the following, of which I share with my support group on a regular basis. Now I read it, and wonder why I thought my life would change so much eating gluten free. Well, yes, it did change, but 100% to the better!
    The gf diet goes like this, from Beth:
    Month 1: Go insane and be afraid to eat ANYTHING.
    Month 2: Sob in public at the grocery store.
    Month 3: Calm down a little and start recognizing huge long words.
    Month 4: Think you’re a pro.
    Month 5: Realize you’re not so smart and go back to Month 1.
    Month 6: Finally “get it” right and realize you can eat great.

  86. Anne Rod Says:

    It has been four years since I was diagnosed and the changes in the all areas of Celiac Disease have been tremendous! In both the medical world and at the grocery store. The products today are amazing. Don’t look at Celiac Disease as a “bad” thing but at something that can be handled fairly easily – find a great Support Group and life will be good!

  87. Jessica Says:

    Where can i find gluten free vanilla flavoring?

  88. Christine Says:

    Since there are so many wonderful comments and questions already posted here, I don’t want to repeat. One piece of advice I would have is for family members of the recently-diagnosed (especially the first-generation relatives) is to get tested themselves. My son is the celiac in our family and while my husband and I went out immediately to get tested upon hearing of our son’s diagnosis, I can’t believe that despite our urging, many of my relatives simply don’t want to or care enough to go get a simple blood test for themselves (despite having symptoms!). You never know–this disease does run in families and it’s better to find out than to suffer (and sometimes there are no symptoms but the damage being done is on the inside and you’re not aware).

  89. SARAH Says:

    My question is….How old do you have to be to get tested for Celiac’s Disease? A ton of my family members have been diagnosed with CD in the past year. Once more than one of us had it, others were encouraged to be tested. But for the newest members of my family (5 and under), can they be tested so that no gluten is introduced into thier diet and no damage is done? What do you think?

  90. Martha Taylor Says:

    I developed a horrible rash that wouldn’t go away until I made the connection with gluten. I had IBS and joint pain for years too. At first I spent lots of money on gluten free items but with time I realized that most homecooked meals can be easily adapted to GF. I still buy a few things like Pasta and frozen Pizza crust that are GF. Check your local Wal Mart and Kroger as of this month those chains carry GF basics and some are cheaper than at Whole Foods and Health Food stores. Don’t be surprised if you as a patient have to educate your Dr.

  91. Jean Krack Says:

    Celiac did not cause a weight loss for me before it was diagnosed. Why? I’ve always been overweight but my weight has stayed the same. Now I am trying to lose and pound-wise it is going very slowly, but I see a big change in my clothes. Why?

  92. Jean K Says:

    I’ve been told celiacs can get a tax deduction for some of our food expenses. Does anyone know how to go about this?

  93. Candace Weaver Says:

    I am wondering how people deal with family meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas? Do you bring your own food? Even if the host has prepared GF foods for you, what about the cross-contamination?

  94. dyana Says:

    Going gluten free has not always been easy. In the beginning I experienced a lot of frustration, but have found that shopping at Wegman’s has made my life soooo much easier!!! their store brand products are wonderful and carry a little w on the label so that you know at a glance if the item is gluten free.

  95. Denise Says:

    Would like to comment on the Gluten Free bread crumbs..In Rhode Island we buy a brand called
    Aleia’s Bakery. They have the best GF Italian bread crumbs around!! Dave’s Market carries them.

    Denise, Smithfield, RI

  96. Timaree Normandin Says:

    What a relief it was in finding a specialist who diagnosed me with Celiac Disease after 40 years of suffering! Eating GF has made a huge difference in my life. I highly recommend a GF diet for everyone. Not only am I a Celiac, but I am also a Vegetarian (Vegiac) so I was used to eating different foods. My best advice is to try different GF foods and keep a list of your likes and dislikes – to me, it’s all trial and error. I also keep a list of Safe and Unsafe Gluten-Free foods on my refrigerator and in my purse (comes in handy when shopping or going out to dinner and you need to check the ingredients).

  97. Kaitlin Banks Says:

    I like baking for my husband, he is gluten intolerant. When it comes to gluten free baking I would like to mix my own flour, (i don’t care for the gluten free flour mixes). What are the differences between tapioca, brown rice, potato, white rice, and other gluten free flours? What do they do for the recipe? Which flour gives a lighter texture, or dense texture? Do any of the flours add flavor? Are some flours better for cookies than for pastries? Which are the best to mix, and to what ratio? Any info would really help, thanks.

  98. Tammie Alves Says:

    I have recently been diagnosed with Celiac…I’m learning from friends and especially Kathleen’s Web site. This is fantastic and the blogs I’ve read are always very POSITIVE. Thank you for that!
    I would say my 2 cents would be…don’t give up and ALWAYS stay positive and focused. You will always feel GREAT and know that your eating better to keep your insides feeling GOOD!! Life is GOOD! :o)

  99. Dakota Sommers Says:

    For someone just being diagnosed, I’d recommend EDUCATING yourself… about celiacs, substitutes for common ingredients, and especially learning what foods have “hidden” gluten. Also, ask around to find out what others’ favorite gluten free foods are. Some can be pretty expensive to just buy and find out they taste rather gross. Find recipes that can be made for the whole family…gluten and non-gluten eaters. It’s a LOT easier than fixing 2 meals each time.

  100. Terry Says:

    I love being a part of a local Celiac support group. We swap recipies and information. We get together for covered dish suppers, pizza cook off, and this week a cookout. I have made some wonderful GF hamburger buns that taste better than store bought.
    It is important to feel as if you aren’t alone in this and to have people to share new finds with.

  101. Melissa Zarini Says:

    Hi have a 10 year old who has been GF since his diagnosis at age 6. He has embraced his diet so much that he has become a real foodie. How he wants to learn to cook and maybe even be a chef. How can I find a gf cook class or school for him. I want to foster his interest, but it is hard,

  102. Esther Says:

    My biggest piece of advice (and one I wish I embraced initially) would be to take one day at a time. At first the GF diet is so overwhelming and you worry about getting it all “right”. You’ll make mistakes but will learn over time how to integrate a GF diet and a majority non GF world. Join excellent sites (like this one) and join a local group (mine is Healthy Villi). Just be reading others thoughts, questions and suggestions you will learn so much. Remember is will get easier over time and as you feel better physicially so too will you mentally!

  103. Suzanne Says:

    It was hard in the beginning for me because I wanted to cheat every once in a while. It’s better to give gluten up cold turkey. If you have it once and a while, its harder to give it up completely.
    Also, I have discovered that sells gluten free foods in bulk way cheaper than I can find in specialty and allergy free food stores! check out the things you normally buy and see what you can find.

  104. Denise Says:

    How do you help a young teen struggling with accepting celiac disease? My daughter does not want anyone at school to know that she has CD. Consequently, she will eat the pizza with everyone else and end up miserably sick just to eat what everyone else is eating. We support her at home – our whole family eats GF. We’ve had many talks about health and being her own person. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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