WIN-It-Wednesday: “Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free”

Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet that you need quick and easy to understand answers? Do you wish that for once a doctor and dietitian were partners in helping you solve problems and issues concerning the gluten-free lifestyle?

Well fret no more my gluten-free friends! Dr. Daniel Leffler, MD, MS and Melinda Dennis, MS, RD and LDN have teamed up and co-authored a new book published by the (AGA). American Gastroenterological Association“Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free” is packed with usable and must-know information about living and thriving on a gluten-free diet.

In their book, Dr. Leffler and Ms. Dennis, both from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, have teamed up with over 50 international experts on celiac disease that share stories of patients who have questions or problems related to celiac and gluten-related disorders.

Even though I read this book while laying on the Rhode Island beachside, the wealth of knowledge and useful information included in this book made me feel as if I were attending an international celiac conference, where each contributor on the agenda speaks about engaging and important information about celiac disease in easy-to-understand terminology.

If you want to get a sneak-peak and listen to Dr. Leffler speak about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet click on this link to hear an audio-post of the webinar featuring Dr. Leffler that was hosted by riceworks Brown Rice Crisps.

Also, to get a copy of the book “Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free” click here to order your copy. It really is a great addition to any gluten-free or celiac personal library.

Good information from fantastic contributors all compiled into one fabulous book are all reasons why I am so happy to have the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and “Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free” be this weeks WIN-It-Wednesday sponsor on

Two (Yes, 2!) LUCKY BeFreeForMe members will receive a free copy of the book, “Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free”.

How can you win?


Reply to this blog and tell us a little pointer, piece of advice or inspirational tidbit you would pass along to someone just diagnosed with celiac disease to help them troubleshoot and thrive with their new lifestyle (or if you are just diagnosed, something you would love to learn about). My tidbit? Don’t worry… trips to the supermarket WILL get shorter as you learn your gluten-free way around supermarkets!

All entries must be received by Tuesday, July 27th at 12:00 midnight.

Good luck, Keep thrivin’… and as always,

Be Free!

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43 Responses to “WIN-It-Wednesday: “Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting & Thriving Gluten Free””

  1. Julie R Says:

    I have said … remember that it takes at least a year for it to become second nature. And everything gets much easier – remember you are on a huge learning curve & have grace for yourself.

  2. Jennifer C Says:

    My tip is to take it one day at a time. Focusing on a “lifetime” of something can be overwhelming, but taking it day-by day can help.

  3. Kathleen Reale Says:

    Julie and Jennifer-

    So very well said! Have grace and patience with yourself – so very important!

    Be Free!

  4. fatlazyceliac Says:

    Don’t do it all at once! Just take it slow – the first week just replace the gluten-full stuff with gluten-free, (rice instead of pasta), the second week cut out stuff with obvious ingredients, the third week you can get down to the nitty-gritty. Everything does not have to go out in the trash the first day! And you will accidentally screw things up…just aim to do it less frequently and you’ll get there.

  5. Cindy Says:

    My tip for newly diagnosed celiacs is to educate yourself by reading books on celiac disease and I also have found it helpful to be a subscriber to blogs (such as this (: ) that give great tips, recipes and the latest medical updates on celiac.

  6. Kathleen Reale Says:


    Thank you!

    I am a big believer of learning as much as you can, and then sharing with others all the good stuff worth passing on!

    Be Free!

  7. Francine Says:

    Always carry something in your purse as a snack, maybe a larabar or a pure bar. You never know where you will be when hunger strikes and what will be available.

  8. cindyt Says:

    Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store will help you find naturally gluten free foods.

  9. Rita Whirls Says:

    I love recipes and trying new taste.

  10. Virginia DelGaldo Says:

    Don’t beat yourself about your mistakes. Going gluten-free is a tough journey and you’ll likely make some wrong turns, but you will ultimately find the path to better health. Then celebrate!!

  11. Tina Borchardt Says:

    Remember all the healthy things you CAN eat, instead of dwelling on foods you need to stay away from.

  12. Kathleen Reale Says:

    Virginia and Tina-

    You both have it right…. STAY POSITIVE! YeAh! =)

    Be Free!

  13. Sarah Says:

    My tidbit would be RESEARCH!!! The more I read, the better I understand. The more I understand, the more motivated I am.

    The first thing I bought after I was diagnosed was a product listing guide. I could make my shopping list of what I needed at home and cut my shopping time considerably. You still have to read labels to be sure but it sure helped. They come out with an updated guide every year. Something else that helped was reading Gluten Free Girl. It showed me that you can have Celiac’s Disease and still live life to the fullest.

  14. Tracey Eidleman Says:

    My 2 year old daughter’s biopsy just came back positive on Monday showing that she indeed has Celiac Disease, I am somewhat relieved to have an answer so I can get her healthy again, however it is very intimidating to read everything about Celiac Disease and going Gluten Free! I truly believe this will be a better/healthier way of eating for her once we figure everything out but getting to this point is going to be a struggle. We are also waiting for blood test results to come back for my 3 yr. old son who we think has Celiac as well, if this is the case we will then have my other two boys tested. What are the best websites on Celiac Disease for Children.

  15. Lorrie Macdonald Says:

    If I can do this diet, anyone can. Before I was diagonised I was a junk food junkie my world came crashing down thinking about the all the foods I can no longer eat. Before long I found my cravings were satisfied with gluten free junk. I havent cheated yet. Dont give up it will get easier!

  16. Kathleen Reale Says:

    Tracey –

    I promise you that things will get so much easier, and less overwhelming as things move on. Do not be intimidated… you will be so amazed of all the support you will receive from the celiac community. So ask away all of your questions… you will get answers, help and ideas back ten-fold!

    Anyone else out there have any advise or resources for Tracey?

    More to come soon… Tracey, please check back in the next few days!

    Be Free!

  17. Chere Housefield Says:

    Become a member of the Celiac Disease Foundation…
    Stumbling across that and becoming a member was one of the single most helpful things that I did in the early days after my diagnosis 5 years ago. Be Free For Me has also been a huge help! So far the best cookbooks that I have found have been from Bette Hagman, the Gluten Free Gourmet series, but watch out there are some steps left out of some of the directions.

  18. Bev Says:

    My advise for new celiac’s is to go to a certified holistic health counselor. They will help you with the transition in a very healthy way so you know how to eat and shop healthy. You will not have to depend on the very expensive gluten free products, they will just be a once in awhile splurge, such as pizza or cookies.

  19. Toby Says:

    It doesn’t mean your food won’t have taste!! There’s fantastc products out there! 😀

  20. Lisa Durene Says:

    So many people think when they are diagnosed that its the end of the world. Well, myself, I would much rather change my diet than have to take medications or surgery. To me, its pretty easy to change the way I eat, most of which is healthier anyway.

  21. Kathy Bunn Says:

    In the beginning concentrate on Whole Natural Foods before you start looking for manufactured/packaged GF items. It gives your body a chance to heal and you an oppourtunity to realize “you will be okay” .

  22. Vickie Says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with Celiacs diseas when she was only 15 months old. I was devastated! How was my daughter going to fit in in class when her friends would bring in cool birthday treats that she could never have? I could never just pull out a regular ice cream cone from the cubbard in the summer and give her a scoop of ice cream, just like her brothers. I was so upset for her and was upset about her future. But the piece that I have learned is that . . . she’s never going to miss what she’s never had! If you do your own cooking, a lot of it is gluten-free cooking anyway and the little tips and tricks that you can do when you do have to cook with flour really do work. Just don’t give up!

  23. Lindy Says:

    Just diagnosed with Celaic Disease and would really appreciate any advice you can give me on how live with this ie. what are the best foods to eat, type of exercise and how much is good, etc.

  24. Tomi Says:

    Don’t get discouraged. There really are a lot of new options. I totally lived on carbs; pizza, pasta, and the such, really have never liked potatoes and didn’t eat a lot of rice. I’m having fun finding all the new things out there that I CAN eat and yes, I still eat pizza and pasta but with a new flair. I’ve also invested in a good rice cooker, (now eating more rice) and have several resources I use such as,

  25. PATSY G Says:


  26. Cassandra Says:

    To eat healthy and take care of themselves.

  27. Sue Castor Says:

    My daughter was diagnosed about 1 1/2 years ago. She is now 20 years old. I make gluten free dinners and it is becoming easier. I have also done some substituting gf flours in baking and have been quite successful lateley. THis is very different then when I first tried gf baking. The inspirational tidbit I would offer to someone would be to always check labels on packaged food and that it will get easier as you become more accustomed to eating gf

  28. Terri Peters Says:

    Always check out any food product that contains natural flavorings. They could contain gluten.

  29. Kathie Says:

    After 18 years of being sick, I was finally diagnosed at age 51 with CD. Instead of being scared, I was relieved that what was wrong with me had a name & I had the control to make myself better. I was told by a co-worker, “you’ll never really be able to go gluten free”; little did she know she’d thrown the gauntlet down, or that I was a person who when challenged pushed full steam ahead. I been told by my doctors that life would change drastically for me, and if I couldn’t commit to the change in healthy eating then I would fight a loosing battle. They provided me with some information, but it wasn’t enough. Immediately I began researching this thing called CD, and what I could/couldn’t eat. Next I took the advice of a young mom who’d been cooking GF for her 6 year old for 4 years; she said to try an all purpose flour she’d found that worked wonders. Not only did I try it, but I attended several cooking demonstrations done by the lady who created the flour – a person with CD. I now am a much better cook/baker than I was before. There’s very little that I can’t make using her flour, and rarely do I buy prepackaged GF mixes or items already made – which usually are outrageously priced and taste horrible. Check out her products and free newsletter (complete with delicious GF recipes) at
    I also subscribe to a magazine called “Living Without” which has great articles and recipes for a variety of health issues.
    A little over a year later, I’ve just been told by my gastro doc that I’m his poster child for how to tackle living GF and sticking to it. I must give credit to my family for being a great support system as I made this change in my lifestyle.
    So…..educate yourself, your family and your friends; check out GF blogs; don’t be embarrassed to ask “what’s in this?” – my friends usually tell me upfront if I can eat something they’ve made, and many now make adjustments if I’m around for events.
    You will live a healthier lifestyle by going GF……and probably live longer too. As I walked by my teacher friends eating doughnuts the other morning (while complaining of the carbs, sugar, fat, etc they didn’t need to be putting in their bodies) I just grinned to myself and remembered the homemade blueberry muffins I’d had for breakfast with my coffee. 🙂

  30. Katie C. Says:

    Kathleen always gives the best advice on this website: STAY POSITIVE! That is the most important thing I can share as well. My daughter and I have Celiac and we found out when she was 4. When we told people about her being on a gluten-free diet, we asked everyone in her life to make sure that they only talk positively about it in front of her, and make sure no one looks or acts like they feel sorry for her. And it has made a huge difference. We focus on all the things we CAN enjoy and all the restaurants we can eat at, and all of the recipes we can make together. Gluten-free life is good! :^)

  31. Phyllis Says:

    Do research and see if a support group exist in your area. A hospitial about 20 miles from me host a group and we meet about once a month. I have learned so much by attending.Call local hosptials and ask if there is a support group in your area.

  32. marsha pitter Says:

    The website for GREAT information

    These ladies are such a GREAT source…
    They are in Denver,Colorado…and very informed,and very helpful..
    thanks for your time…..

  33. Tonia Gray Says:

    I have been gluten free for over 6 years. When I started it was difficult because there were not as many choices as there are today. I learned to eat the staples, meats, vegetables and fruits. I do buy some of the gluten free goodies now and then, but I always crave the healthy choices. My advice is read all labels, always!! Because even seasonings have wheat, barley, malt, or gluten in them. There is so much new information, and it gets easier over time. Just keep your chin up!!!

  34. Donna Says:

    Surround yourself with friends and family that are willing to understand what you are going through. It’s not easy at first to go gluten free, but it will become easier as time goes on.

  35. Kate Mathers Says:

    I still consider myself recently diagnosed even though I have had Celiac Disease for three years now. I feel that people on a gluten free diet can learn something new every single day, whether its the new restaurants with gluten free menus, the companies that are creating new gluten free foods, or the people you meet daily who you educate or who teach you something. One very important tip is to wash your hands, after you touch any food and before you eat any food. Good luck and keep an open mind.

  36. Michie Page Says:

    Remember that you can do multiple things with any of the mixes. You don’t have to follow the directions word for word. And if you like to bake, I recommend using Tofutti Soy Sour Cream in all of your baking mixes. A tablespoon gives your baking that little extra oomph.

  37. Rose Smith Says:

    I would tell someone just diagnosed to learn everything they can about their gluten allergy. Also, check everything for gluten or wheat and know the other names wheat/gluten goes by. I never knew there were so many names for gluten until I learned I had this problem.

  38. Sue Says:

    Sue M.
    About three years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac along with other food intolerances which commonly go along with the disease. I was tested for Celiac with negative results. Although the tests came back negative, I am the carrier, as my mother is also a Celiac, so I have eliminated gluten from my diet with positive results. Educating myself for my personal and family well-being is essential to living a symptom free life. From time to time, I do feel guilty that I did not “see” the signs earlier. As more information and products come to light, as well as just feeling better overall, I find a more sense of peace.

  39. Melanie Buschkoetter, RD, CDE Says:

    I am a dietitian who was also diagnosed with Celiac Disease 3 years ago. I do a large number of diet educations and I find with any special diet including the Gluten Free diet that there is one thing that I always encourage people to do and that is…focus on what you can eat. We have a tendency to look at the negative and all of the things that we can’t have, but if you put a little spin on it and focus on the positive and all of the foods that a person with Celiac disease can have, this makes it not so overwhelming or depressing (fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, fats and oils, etc.)

  40. Debi Says:

    Always beware manufacturers change items they use and that new item may not be gluten free. ALWAYS look to be sure it’s worth the extra second or two for peace of mind. Also be aware that an item may be gluten free but manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat or other gluten containing flours. (That has happened to our family)

  41. Hnybny Says:

    My best bit of advice would be to do research. Books and the internet are a huge resource for information, but be wary of sites pushing GF diets for the non-celiac. If any site or publication pushes a specific product or supplement, be careful Find books and sites with medical references and data. Avoid “for profit” sites that promise you life changing results for a charge. Many are bogus and take advantage of the newly diagnosed.

  42. Janet LaRue Says:

    It WILL get easier and less frustrating as time goes on. You will feel better if you adhere to the diet. Join a support group-there are others feeling the same apprehension and fear that you are feeling. Talking it out and surrounding yourself with others who understand can do alot for your mind! Education is the key to everything! Attend a conference, stay abreast on the latest breakthroughs with the disease! Plan your shopping list before you leave for the store. You will need to have time to read labels and get used to different ingredients you should look to avoid. In time you will be a pro! Most of all-enjoy life! Being a Celiac and finally getting the diagnosis is your new lease on life! You have something to work with and it is a doable disease and with time and patience you will master your diet and enjoy life to the fullest!!!

  43. Amy Says:

    Get someone you enjoy cooking with to explore new recipies together. It makes it easier in the long run if friends and family know how to cook for you safely. Or pass on recipies to relatives that want to cook for family get togethers. Also learn how to read labels carefully for hidden gluten ingredients.

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