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New to Gluten Free?

Beginning a gluten free life can be daunting, but it's incredibly do-able and the health benefits far outweigh the sickness of gluten intolerance. After I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I found a few books to be incredibly inspiring and informative. I didn't have a nutritionist to help me and I didn't know anyone else who ate gluten-free so these books put my life into perspective and I felt less nervous about my new adventure. If you are new to gluten-free, my best advice is read, read, read.

Celiac Disease, a Hidden Epidemic. Peter Green

Gluten Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...and How You Can Too. Shauna James Ahern

The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. Jules E. Dowler Shepard

Quick Start Guide to Gluten Free (from Living Without magazine)

Grains allowed

Rice, Corn (Maize), Soy, Potato, Tapioca, Beans, Garfava, Sorghum, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, Arrowroot, Amaranth, Teff, Montina, Flax and Nut Flours.
Grains not allowed in any form
Wheat (Einkorn, Durum, Faro, Graham, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt), Rye, Barley and Triticale.
Foods/products that may contain gluten
Beers, Ales, Lager, Breading & Coating Mixes, Brown Rice Syrup, Communion Wafers, Croutons, Dressings, Drugs & Over-the-Counter Medications, Energy Bars, Flour & Cereal Products, Herbal Supplements, Imitation Bacon, Imitation Seafood, Marinades, Nutritional Supplements, Pastas, Processed Luncheon Meats, Sauces & Gravies, Self-basting Poultry, Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids, Soup Bases, Stuffings, Dressings, Thickeners (Roux), Vitamins & Mineral Supplements

How about alcohol?
Distilled alcoholic beverages and vinegars are gluten free. Distilled products do not contain any harmful gluten peptides. Research indicates that the gluten-peptide is too large to carry over in the distillation process. This process leaves the resultant liquid gluten free. Wine and hard liquor beverages are gluten free. Beers, ales, lagers and malt vinegars are NOT gluten free. Gluten-free beers are now available in the United States.
Always read the label
The key to understanding the gluten-free diet is to become a good label reader. Don’t eat foods with labels that list questionable ingredients unless you can verify they do not contain or are not derived from prohibited grains. Labels must be read every time foods are purchased. Manufacturers can change ingredients at any time. As of 2006, wheat used in products is identified on the label.
Be a food detective
Call First. You can verify ingredients by calling or writing a food manufacturer and specifying the ingredient and the lot number of the food in question. State your needs clearly – be patient, persistent and polite.
If In Doubt, Go Without
Don’t eat a food if you are unable to verify the ingredients or if the ingredient list is unavailable. Regardless of the amount eaten, if you have celiac disease, damage to the small intestine occurs every time gluten is consumed, whether symptoms are present or not.
Add One New Food At A Time
When adding a food item to your diet, introduce only one new food at a time. Listen to your body for adverse reactions before trying a second new food item.
Wheat Free Is Not Gluten Free
Products labeled wheat free are not necessarily gluten free. They may still contain spelt, rye or barley-based ingredients that are not gluten free. Spelt is a form of wheat.
Keep in mind
Starting the gluten-free diet before being tested for celiac disease makes an accurate diagnosis difficult.