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.

Over the course of the past three years, I have had the pleasure of meeting Alice Bast, the Executive Director of the NFCA, and her team at seminars, trade shows and events.

Whenever I run into Alice and her team at these industry functions, I can’t help but notice the enthusiasm they share with me on wanting to educate 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 easy to use 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, and more. My favorite go-to sections of this resource page are the printable guides, that you can download and are great for sharing with family, friends and teachers (plus these guides are free to download too!) and the page that lists all the upcoming webinars hosted by the NFCA – a great way to stay “in the know”, without even leaving your home. 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. A great event worth mentioning is the NFCA Annual Appetite for Awareness taking place on on October 24 in Philadelphia, an event that not only spreads awareness of celiac disease, but also offers a spread of gluten-free foods any celiac would love to explore & devour! Make sure to check out the details on this event.

For the next two week’s WIN-It-Wednesdays, the NFCA has graciously offered a total of six (YES 6!) Goodie Bags full of fun NFCA goodies. The goodie bag are packed with fun items that will let you show your celiac pride! Items in the goodie bag will include logoed NFCA baseball caps, celiac awareness magnets (I have one on the back of my car showing I am a supporter of celiac disease awareness!) and sticky notes – plus some other things like aprons, chip clips and cookie cutters (for gluten-free cookies – of course!). Also included with the fun goodie bag items 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!)

Six randomly picked winners will be chosen as winners. Three winners will be selected from all entries posted before Tuesday, 08/31/10, and three winners will be selected from the entries posted between Wednesday, 09/01/10 and Tuesday, 09/07/10.
Enter EACH WEEK to increase your chances of WINNING!

Good luck, remember to always seek answers, yet help with solutions… and as always…
Be Free!

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

  1. Theresa Watson Says:

    What are some of the hidden ingredients in prepared foods that need to avoided – I get so confused sometimes when I read labels – what ingredients other than the obvious i.e. wheat, need to be avoided? Thank you so much for this website!!

  2. Kathleen Reale Says:


    Check out this blog entry from Shelley Case on BeFreeForMe. It touches upon hidden gluten in foods and may help you discovering hidden gluten in foods:

    Hope this helps!

    Be Free!

  3. Theresa Says:

    My tip to the recently diagnosed is to not allow yourself to get overwhelmed! Take it one meal at a time and it will all become natural / second-nature. It’s actually a great way to get back in touch with the foods we’re eating!

  4. katie Says:

    The tip I’d like to share is that if you have a Celiac child, make sure everyone in his or her life acts and talks positively around them about Celiac and the gluten-free diet. Make sure your child feels fortunate to have received the diagnosis, so that they can live a healthier life from now on.

  5. WENDY KNAPP Says:

    As a mother of a teenage boy who was diagnosed last year with Celiac I can honestly say we thought the worst. We are now living the gluten free life and yes it did take some time to get used to but we have learned so much and my son and I are so much closer because of it.Fortunately for me my son is one of those kids that keeps on keeping on no matter what. He has undergone 14 surgeries in fifteen years but it never slows him down. He was very upset with Celiac at first but now has learned to deal with it and it has brought us much closer as we have tried so many new recepies,(he loves to cook).The only problem we have is with snack foods as he is very active in high school baseball, ROTC,surfing and mixed martial arts.My advice to new Celiacs is to embrace life and learn all you can about celiac and have fun cooking…….

  6. Cindy Says:

    After living with celiac for the past year and a half, my advice to newly diagnosed celiacs is to educate yourself. Read as much as you can about the disease and sign up for the many blogs – such as this (: – that are full of helpful information to make life easier.

  7. Esther Fraser Says:

    Have patience and faith…more and more gluten free products are becoming available as awareness has increased dramatically. Read products reviews and don’t be afraid to try a new brand – some will be misses but others will be hits!

  8. Phyllis Says:

    I would tell someone just diagnosed to keep a positive attitude do not focus on what you can not eat but think about all the good food you still can enjoy , like fresh fruit .

  9. karen benson Says:

    I am having a difficult time giving my daughter a nutrutious gluten free / egg free breakfast, any suggestions?

  10. jen depeano Says:

    i have a difficult time finding food items that are gluten free our things needed to bake gluten free foods, why is it that the food stores do not have a better selection of gluten free food items? there are alot of people who have celiac disease and i feel there is not enough awareness out there



  12. Mary McClay Says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with celiacs 3 years ago and it hard to find foods she will actually eat. Can someone give me a recipe that children like?

  13. Amy Gray Says:

    I would tell people new to celiac that when you first start it seems overwhelming but the basic rule is that if the food is natural and whole you can most likely eat it, fruits, veggies, meat. Then you need to start to look at what you can add in and the internet has been a wonderful resource.

  14. Michelle Says:

    For newly diagnosed Celiac’s, one thing to always remember is – it is a little tough and sometimes overwhelming in the beginning, but just like anything else that needs to be learned, you go slow learning all you can, you will stumble and fall a few times but once you get it, you will realize that it is not so hard and becomes second nature!

  15. cindy T. Says:

    Start by shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store for fresh veggies, fruits, and meats for naturally gluten free food until you become more comfortable with the GF diet.

  16. Erin Says:

    I am currently traveling in Mexico for work after being diagnosed with celiac only 2 weeks before. The challenge of going out to eat three times a day for 14 days straight to different restaruants in differenet towns is compounded by the langauage and cultural barriers as well as the limited menus and the need for me to remain professional at all times (these are working meals). The stress of it all has had me breaking into tears 3 times (once when I actually ingested gluten). But honestly this isn’t so bad. My co workers are amazing supportive. They understand the seriousness of it all but also can laugh with me at my errors in Spanish and the time it takes me to order what I need. We laugh a lot. Also, the waiters take the time to listen. They are careful and willing to make up whatever I ask for, even if it isn’t on the menu or the way they normally make it. Actually in Mexico, it is pretty easy to eat gluten free because who doesn’t love shrimp tacos on corn tortillas? Plus everything is fresh. I know as I live and travel more with this handicap I’ll begin to understand how to deal with it even better.

  17. Toni Nelson Says:

    I would like to know more about caramel color and gluten, I’ve heard mixed things about caramel color having gluten or not having gluten and it’s confusing!

  18. Danielle D'Aries Says:

    My suggestion for others is to attend Celiac Awareness events–I went to the NFCA Appetite for Awareness event last year and learned about so many wonderful products that I order online. I was able to sample products and learn which ones I preferred before purchasing them. I think the event actually saved me money in the long run, and I had a wonderful time while there.

  19. What Pale Blue Dot Says:

    I recommend thinking more about what you can eat than what you can’t and try to learn ways to make it interesting. Try new cuisines; get a friend to guide you around your local Asian market; learn to make good sauces. I also recommend Tinkyada. Finally, potato starch makes a great bechamel. Be careful not to burn it.

  20. Sandra Lajoie Says:

    Always read ingredient listings….even if you have read them on a product before. Companies change the ingredients and warnings frequently so be diligant. When in doubt call the company to be sure. If they can’t give you a positve answer about a product being GF then dont take a chance with it.

  21. Amanda Barcus Says:

    I have Celiac and my son has Juvenile Rhuematoid Arthritis. I know that when you have one autoimmune disease the likelihood of having another increases. My question being is there a correlation between family members having autoimmune diseases? When one person has one, do the chances for an immediate family having one increase?

  22. Karin Schei Says:

    If you’ve been recently diagnosed with celiac – there are two great resources that I consider must haves: 1. Buy the Book – Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Guide
    2. Visit – there is a very helpful Celiac Disease & Gluten Free Forum with an abundance of information!

  23. Jenny Says:

    What an awesome giveaway! I have recently been on the search for a new gluten free bread recipe – not for a bread machine because sadly I don’t own one. The one I was using called for xanthan gum and recently I have been seeing some that call for guar gum. Are these two gums interchangeable? I looked online and got some mixed answers so I was hoping that someone could clarify it for me.

    Other than that I was diagnosed a little over two years ago with celiac disease and I’m loving it. Yes it has its ups and downs – for example I miss bread products like crazy but have found great alternatives. You just have to keep an open mind and enjoy experimenting with different products, flours and recipes. It’s an adventure so embrace every step – the good and the bad.


  24. Amanda Slabaugh Says:

    As someone recently being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I have a lot of questions. I do wonder if there is certain cookware that needs to be used when cooking gluten free food? I have heard that I should use cast iron because then I won’t get an aluminum build up. What is your take on this?

  25. J Harp Says:

    I see there are restaurants starting to add gluten free menus. My concern is that the employees are not trained properly in the kitchen. I love to eat out but I am skeptical. What are other peoples thoughts?

  26. Sue Marranconi Says:

    I have jnown I have celiac for three years now. I am still confused about vinegar. Is there a certain type that is gluten free, or not? Thank you! Sue

  27. Marilyn Kelly Says:

    My tip for being happy living gluten free is to keep it as simple as possible. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, simple seasonings and dressings. Try all the different rice selections and my favorite-quinoa. Who knew.

  28. allison l Says:

    The first time I went to a restaurant after being diagnosed, I ordered my meal to meet my needs. I found myself getting teary and had to run to the bathroom crying after ordering. Does anyone have any tips for ordering with confidence? I embraced being gf quite well when shopping for myself, but I need to venture out into the world without fear of starving!

  29. Jennica Says:

    I was diagnosed with Celiac about a year and a half ago. What are the chances that my 7 year old will also have the disease? Should I have her tested now so she doesn’t have to suffer like I did for so many years, although she has no symptoms now?

  30. Lisa Durene Says:

    My advise to a newly diagnosed individual would be to not be terrified. If feels very restrictive at first but as you learn more about the disease you learn there is sooo much you can eat. Don’t be afraid to try new things!

  31. Paula Says:

    Other than heredity, is there a known cause or factor for the development of celiac disease?

  32. Christine S. Says:

    My advice: Never give up on a gluten-free lifestyle. The longer you do it, the easier it becomes, and the better you will feel.

  33. Judy Alu Says:

    My son asked me yesterday if Andy Capp’s “Hot Fries” were gluten free and they look okay but I cannot find out for sure. So that’s my gluten-free question for the day 🙂

  34. allison l Says:

    Another question: to anyone who was/is lactose intolerant, how long after eating gluten free were you able to eat dairy products again?

  35. Kathy Says:

    The best tip I have right now, because it happened to me is, check all of your bottles and jars of spices and herbs. Including salt and pepper. I kept getting glutend until I figured out it was a spice, I wrote to the company and they told me they did not put gluten in the product but it was present on the line. After further investigation, almost all my seasonings were given away and replaced with GF brands. The same goes for coffee and tea. Thanks!

  36. Mama Laura Says:

    Having a recently diagnosed teenage daughter, I am always asking questions. Standing in front of the Gluten Free section at Whole Foods, I have been able to talk with many other GF shoppers and gain WONDERFUL and HELPFUL advise on great tasting GF items she otherwise would have never tried.

  37. Brenda Says:

    I have been GF for 20+ years, however my DD has just started a GF diet. She is 12 and wants food that tastes good and is easy to grab and go. I find that keeping yogurt (sticks or cups), nuts, cheese sticks and Nut Thins around for snacking or eating on the run really helps. I try to make GF muffins on Sun nights so we have them for breakfasts. I just sub in Chickpea flour or Bob’s Red Mill GF mix to regular recipes.

  38. Marion McDonald Says:

    I keep going into cafe’s and going out without eating because they have the GF on the same shelf or plate as non GF food, or on a lower shelf. They don’t seen to care that the crumbs drop on to the GF food. Just how much of a risk is this?

  39. michelle Says:

    I am new to having Celiac Disease and one thing i found out is You can find all kinds of foods at the store that are gluten free and taste good you don’t need to stick to the health section area. (I like to go Meiger or Kogers) Just look at the back of the foods and see that it will say gluten free or it will be written on the front. my husband has found me chips and lunch me etc. So take a day and walk up and down the aisle and see what you can find. I have found some really yummy stuff, even my kids love it I think I might have to hide some of it 🙂

  40. Toby Says:

    Don’t think it’s the end of the world…web sites like this will get you through!!! 😀

  41. CathyS Says:

    My advise for living gluten free is simple “Hey, It’s only food!” When you get discouraged, think about all the others in the world that have things so much worse than we do. At least we can still have ice cream (most) and LOBSTER!

  42. Summer Smith Says:

    what are some tips good gf tips for traveling?

  43. Terri Peters Says:

    I would like to know why companies are not required to list what natural and artificial flavorings are made from? It would make shopping so much easier.

  44. Sonja Says:

    I have an almost 6 year old diagnosed nearly 2 years ago. My advice is to involve your child in all aspects of choosing food and non food itemsThat help him/her. My daughter now even asks me if the things I have given her is gluten free. So cute also is when she asks me to open something for her but reminding me to first was my hands because I may have touched “glu’en”. I know that with her starting kindergarten she is going to do great. We also purchased children’s books about celiacs for her to read with her class. She loved having them read to her class!

  45. Melanie Buschkoetter, RD, CDE Says:

    Think about Celiac Disease in a positive way. It is a disease that can be treated with diet alone. There are so many others less fortunate than us who must endure painful treatments and medications with horrible side effects. Also, don’t focus on what you can’t eat. Focus on all the foods that you can have: fruits, vegetables, potatoes, fresh meat and countless grains such as millet, rice, buckwheat, quinoa (yummy). I have really expanded my knowledge of food through following the gluten free diet. Most people have no idea what they are eating or where the foods come from that they are eating.

  46. Becky Says:

    Being newly diagnosed with celiac, I want to know when the symptoms might stop. Also, why does the insurance company only approve “diabetic education” and a meeting with a dietician for obesity, and not for a disease that will change my eating habits completely, and for the rest of my life?

  47. Jennifer C Says:

    My tip is to take it one day at a time. It can be overwhelming to think about being on a special diet for the rest of your life, but if you take it one day at a time, and feel better every day you are gluten free, it is a lot easier.

  48. Hillary Snow Says:

    I am a teen recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and also have severe dairy,egg, allergies. I don’t digest meat very well. what are good ways to cook quinoa?

  49. Hillary Snow Says:

    what are some good non-dairy and soy free GF milks?

  50. Lisa Thompson Says:

    Does anyone know of a GF substitute for wrappers for making spring rolls or egg rolls?

  51. Kathleen Reale Says:

    Hello Everyone!

    Wow, Wow and WOW! The tips for motivation and the questions that are being asked are all so fantastic! For those of you who are newly diagnosed, I wish I could give you each a hug through my computer =) Believe me (and the others that have shared with their own comments too) it does get easier… (really!). Keep asking questions and sharing your thoughts… we’ve all been there and we do understand the tears and frustration.

    I contacted the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness (NFCA), the sponsor of this WIN-It-Wednesday, on the best way and format on answering all of your questions. Between BeFreeForMe and the NFCA we will answer and get to the bottom of these great questions. Keep posted to this blog post and my comments, as well as the NFCA website it to find out more details on how we’ll share the answers to these great questions…

    Be Free!


  52. Paulette Schirmer Says:

    I am curious – I have heard that it is possible for children to grow out of Celiacs. I am curious if through detox (3-6 month or longer) of the system if anyone has heard of reducing or eliminating the gluten intolerance?

  53. Gris Says:

    First read the labels … you get use to it is not that hard, some are friendlier and post the gluten free right in front of the package, and two there’s a huge bounty out there to choose, food you have not tried it doesn’t mean you don’t like it, take you adventurer out of everyone and have fun with food. I just love food.

  54. tamara Kuriger Says:

    How do you make it easy? I have such a hard time wanting to do the right thing even though it gives me issues.

  55. Sarah Says:

    I feel like I eat contaminated food a lot when I don’t mean to. I need a list of hidden ingredients to avoid. I know of Modified Food Starch, Carmel Coloring, and Hydrolyded Protien. What are the others???? Help! I am doing my best but am still getting sick.

  56. Danielle Says:

    Having been recently diagnosed with a ton of food allergies, going to GF lifestyle has been the hardest change. What has helped most is having family members and friends who have been so supportive. From people referring me to websites and products that they love, to even some people changing their diet to”the Danielle diet” at least temporarily to see what my world is like now, I don’t think I could do this on my own. I was originally so discouraged, but having a community of people supporting me has been the best part of this. Be honest about what you’re having a hard time with, you will find so many people who want to help.

  57. Kara Says:

    I have 2 tips. One is when you are first starting gluten free eat simply as much as you can. Instead of trying to read labels and get confused go for fresh food- meats, potatos, rice, fruits, veggies. Save the pre-made items for when you need something to stash in a bag when you are on the go (there are tons of websites that list ideas and specific products but always re-read the labels before buying or consuming). Read, read, read a lot so you can understand what is in the food(s) you wish to buy. My second tip is to always be prepared. This means bringing some food with you or keeping a stash in your car wherever you go. There are so many times I have been out with my kids thinking we were taking a short trip somewhere and suddenly they are hungry or we have stayed out longer than we planned. Having at least a few things on hand has saved us many times!

  58. Chriss Says:

    My tip for those out there who are newly diagnosed is stay connected while embrassing the lifestyle! It is so easy to feel like you are alone and get caught up in the “what I have to give up”- when you reach out to the GF community you get so much support, are able to learn so much, find great foods, and access great resources! You also gain much needed support that is hard to find from those who are around you and may not understand what you are going through. By embrassing the lifestyle and seeing all you can still have and quickly seeing how great it makes you feel rather than what you have to give up, it is so much easier to stick with! This is not to say you don’t have hard days or weeks and miss those gluten filled foods but in the end by looking at it from a positive angle you learn it is much more worth the sacrifice to feel great!

  59. Hillary Heidi Berndt Says:

    I am a new member of the gluten free community and I often hear from friends, “once you start to feel better you could probably cheat once and awhile.” Until they see me sick with gut wrenching pains and nausea, they seem to think it’s like a weight loss diet – you can cheat on holidays. I learned this first hand when a friend assured me some ice cream was gluten free (actually it said wheat-free) and I didn’t check. She was a first-hand witness to how sick I get. My advice is that it is okay to be rude and ask again or dig in the garbage to read the labels of any and all food offered from friends and family. Being ill is not worth a little garbage diving. By the way, I REALLY love icecream but not enough to get sick.

  60. NFCA Says: readers,

    Hello there and thank you all so much for the wonderful comments and feedback! We’ve been so moved by many of you sharing personal stories and advice, and encouraged by those of you asking questions about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.

    Due to the incredible number of responses, we’ve decided to do a special celiac disease and gluten-free diet Q&A feature after our Win It Wednesday contest giveaway has wrapped. We’re determined to help all of you out there find the information and answered you need and deserve.

    So keep those questions coming – you have until Tuesday 9/7/2010 to post!

    Until then, we encourage you to visit our website, Take our celiac symptoms checklist, download our newly revised ‘Getting Started Guide’, register for our Gluten-Free Lifestyle Webinars (they’re FREE!) or subscribe to our monthly online newsletter. Better yet, TELL A FRIEND OR LOVED ONE to visit us online and find out if they may be suffering from celiac disease – you may just help them Restore their Health and Reclaim their Life!

    Thanks again for the incredible enthusiasm and support. We look forward to your questions!

    Team NFCA

  61. Janet LaRue Says:

    My comment is to the newly diagnosed-seek out a support group. The process can be so overwhelming at times and the support of others that have knowledge and patience is something that everyone needs when starting the new diet. The group is there for them and many have great knowledge for those starting out. Support groups are wonderful even for the “seasoned” celiac who just likes to get together to share information and friendship. Those that are newly diagnosed can check with the CSA Website and find out if there is a group located near them.

  62. Kathy Bunn Says:

    My question is, How can I tell if I am sick from getting glutened or something else? I am having a really hard time figuring this out. Is it the flu or food poisining or am I allergic to something else? I have been diagnosed for 1 year and I feel like i am still getting sick all the time.

  63. kathielee Says:

    I am ok, but my daughter may have celiac dosease. However, she turned 25 and lost her insurance coverage, so she currently does not have a way to rule this out. Our family doctor tested her for cd, but leaglly I have no right to know anything about her treatment. I do know she has nausea and vomiting every morning.

  64. pat johnson Says:

    My advice to someone on a gluten free diet, You cannot ever cheat. In fact, I just spoke to someone this morning about that. The doctor had told them they had to go on the GF diet but, that it really did not help him very much. I asked if he had been real strict with the diet….reply, “no”. You cannot feel better unless you are very strict with the diet. CRUMBS DO MATTER !

  65. Julie Says:

    I have a question, as well as some advice. When my son started eating stage 3 foods and I made homemade baby food is when we started to notice that he was getting runny noses and ear infections. In a 6 month span, he had an ear infectio about every 3 weeks. Finally I sat w/ my dr and insisted that we figure out why. He sent us for blood tests and we found out that he had an allergy to wheat. so from 10 months to now (he will be 2 next month) we have kept him gluten free. My dr said that he may grow out of it at 2 and we can have more blood tests to check. Question: if they he has, how do you reccomend re-introducing wheat w/o shocking his system? Or,if we choose to stay gluten free, would it be ok for him to have wheat products once in a while? My advice: if you notice that your child is sick a lot, INSIST that your dr help you figure out why. Also, if you are new to gluten free, read ingredients on everything, and ask at restaurants – wheat shows up in the most unexpected things (french fries, seasonings, bar-b-que sauce, salad dressing).

  66. Tam Says:

    Read, read, read labels. My daughter & I both have celiac and my daughter has been on the gf diet since third grade. She has done really well and I feel confident when she reads labels at school, she really understands what she is looking for! I am so proud of her and the fact that she has never cheated.

  67. Anne Rod Says:

    My advice to the newly diagnosed Celiac – join a Support Group. These people have been through it before and will gladly give you tons of advice – words of wisdom – and they are always happy to share great recipes. It is nice to know you are not alone! It is scary at first but the diet and lifestyle will soon become second nature.

  68. Erin Says:

    I really think that eating gluten free is an excuse to eat healthier! Think of all the gluten foods and very few of them are considered healthy, except maybe homemade multi-grain bread… and we can just make that one with different grains! I want to get a food mill to try to make my own gluten free whole grain flours.

  69. Kathy Bunn Says:

    My question is ..Where do you feel the most pain after eating gluten? Is it different for everyone?

  70. jennifer Says:

    what i would like to know is why they can put gluten free or wheat free on a product, but on the back of the label it say that it is processed in a plant with wheat. so really it is not gluten free. i have found 2 prouduct so far that have said that big gluten free letter on the front.

  71. Hillary Snow Says:

    What brands of almond/rice milk are Gluten free?

  72. Hillary Snow Says:

    What are some good books to help?

  73. Kate Mathers Says:

    This is a great “WIn-it-Wednesday” Idea. My question is whether or not there are consulting companies in the country devoted to promoting awareness and education within restaurants about food allergies. I think this is extremely important as many restaurants are still not aware of gluten allergies or are poorly educated on the conditions.

  74. Melissa Says:

    for young children with Celiac’s the books “Eating Wheat Free With Emily” and “How I Eat Without Wheat” are very helpful in explaining the disease in words they can understand…also, let them help with the grocery shopping…my daughter at 3 was able to help me look for the gluten free label and she would “read” the ingredient list in the cart and pronounce that it was okay for her to eat 🙂

  75. Amie LeClerc Says:

    Does all maltodextrin contain gluten? If not, how do you know which variations are gluten-free?

  76. Lisa Smith Says:

    Don’t be shy – don’t be afraid to ask the person at church coordinating a church sponsored meal as I recently asked, “Are the hotdogs we are having gluten-free? May I see the package? I will need to bring my own and have them prepared FIRST.” People then start listening and wanting to help when they see YOU are serious about this. You are not going to casually “cheat” just this once.

  77. carrie Says:

    Best advice I could give would be to go back to basics at the beginning. Your first responce is going to be I can’t eat anything. Yes you can. There are many things you already eat that are gluten free and you don’t even realize it. Fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed meats, and dairy. Once you get through being scared of not being able to eat anything you use to, gradually start adding items that might be new to you and try them more than once just to make sure you did not like something. And last, find a support group or two to help you adjust to your new lifestyle. It is challenging, but not as hard as you think when you first find out.

  78. Terri Peters Says:

    Is blue cheese safe? Have seen conflicting statements about this.

  79. patricia Says:

    One of the most helpful things I can suggest to a newly diagnosed celiac is to try to get into a support group. It seems I can learn something new everytime I go.

  80. Eileen Says:

    The best advice is to learn to bake and cook your food. Also join a Support Group.

  81. Debi Says:

    My suggestion is to embrace a more natural diet more fruits and vegetables, less prepackaged foods. If purchasing prepackaged foods watch the labels, some are made in a plant that also manufactures wheat or wheat products causing cross-contamination issues.Always read the label even if you have used product before they can change the ingredients without warning. Also ask about medications.

  82. jazmine antico Says:

    My advice would be to not be shy about it! Your health is the most important and everybody should help you. Start cooking and baking with gluten free products to make substitutes for the real thing and tell every waiter at every restaurant!! You can not only help yourself, but can help spread awareness for everybody else who is gluten free.

  83. Cindy Says:

    I always take the time to thank a store or restaurant that makes an effort to accomodate the needs of celiacs.

  84. Janet LaRue Says:

    Knowledge is EVERYTHING! Try to familiarize yourself with the basics of the diet…get healthy first and keep it simple until you are more versed in reading labels and the issues of cross contamination. But most of all-don’t beat yourself up. Mistakes will be made…you are doing a good job…it is like anything in life until you are used to it you will make mistakes. Brush yourself off and say that you will do better the next day. Do not cheat-take this diet seriously. It is your health and life. Once you are more comfortable with the diet-start experimenting and trying new things. You will find that there are so many options on this diet! Find a support group and enlist your family and friends to help you understand the diet. You can do this!

  85. Paula Says:

    My only advise to a newbie…don’t focus on what you can no longer have…rather focus on what you CAN have.

  86. Hillary Heidi Berndt Says:

    I thought I’d leave another tidbit of information. A really big help for me right now are the books that are published that tell you what is gluten free and what is naturally gluten free. They even have a restaurant guide incase someone invites you to an establishment not specifically known for having a gluten free menu. These guides really help me out. Check out the Triumph books and the Celia’s Marketplace book.

  87. kathielee Says:

    I am a pediatric nurse and am not sure if some of the patients I see with “failure to thriver” might not be celiacs. What medical diagnostic test would rule it out?

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