Hi folks. I am back from my blogging sabbatical! I’d like to say that I’m feeling reborn and revitalized. The truth is I’m still feeling tired and a bit detached. But I’ll power through it and come out on the other side just fine.
The latest “Dear Gluten Dude” comes from someone whose wife was just diagnosed with celiac disease and like all of us were at first, is feeling overwhelmed and has some questions. Any help you can be would be most appreciated.
Dear Gluten Dude,
My wife was just diagnosed yesterday at 5:20 pm with Celiac Disease. By 9:45, our cabinets were cleared, cleaned and organized and the non-gluten free food in boxes ready to be given to neighbors. We have started looking for new toasters and other kitchen utensils to hopefully avoid the cross contamination. While I am obviously new to the gluten-free world, I am trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can…thus why I am typing to you now on my lunch break a day later.
Anyways, I know my wife is the epitome of a planner and is more than organized, having her ducks in a row before they even hatch. Anyways, I wanted to take a different approach to my initial research than the path I believe she will be taking. Our plan is to make our house a gluten-free house…which includes me, my wife and our 2 year-old daughter.
Anyways, this weekend we were planning on getting a number of Gluten-free cookbooks and informational books, however, from my online research, I wasn’t able to find anything that dealt specifically with children s’ cookbooks (you know, the easier recipes that young children could help with and enjoy?). Living in Florida, this really includes summertime treats year-round. Therefore, I was wondering if you could recommend any cookbooks that would allow my wife and my daughter to make fun and easy gluten-free picnic / beach treats together. Anything would be extremely helpful.
Also, when I say we had to empty our cabinets, I mean we really had to clean house. My wife is an avid couponer and we had a bit of a stockpile building up. So we are donating a lot. I know she is worried what this will do to her food shopping and couponing abilities. I was wondering if you knew of any good blogs or resources dedicated to gluten-free couponing.
Any help is certainly appreciated and I look forward to reading your blog from here on out and I imagine I will have more questions for Mrs. Dude than you in the future.
44 thoughts on “Dear Gluten Dude: My Wife Just Got Diagnosed With Celiac Disease and I Have Questions.”
Hello there… and welcome to the family.
There are a couple of things I personally recommend. Number one: a subscription to Living Without. Living Without covers a whole host of dietary issues but centers on gluten free dairy-free living. That’s a particularly good resource, I find.
There are a few other books that I highly recommend. When I was diagnosed three years ago the first cookbook I discovered was Kelli and Peter Bronski’s “Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking.” The nice part about this cookbook is that it’s not just about gluten free substitutes but it also shows you what is already naturally gluten free, which is encouraging when you feel overwhelmed. Kelli is a grad of the Statler School of Hospitality at Cornell so you are guaranteed to get high-quality recipes (the Statler School doesn’t graduate people who aren’t high quality!). Two other books that are helpful are Danna Korn’s book on “Gluten-Free for Dummies” and the cookbook “Cooking for Isaiah” which is aimed at cooking GF dairy free food that helps children feel as if they belong and not left out of things.
The biggest thing to get used to in the GF cooking world is that every cookbook has its own flour blend (for example, both of the “cookbooks” mentioned above have their own blends that aren’t much alike). I have one that I prefer to use (the Bronski blend) and I keep enough of the other flours and starches around (in sealed containers in the fridge!) to mix others as needed. Also, if you are near a Whole Foods, they occasionally offer gluten free cooking classes and nutrition programs (I know the ones here in Ann Arbor do).
I love to help people figure this stuff out, and the Dude knows how to get a hold of me. I’m more than willing to help out.
I have to second the Living Without subscription. It has been a real lifesaver for me. I kept flipping through it in the store and putting it back on the self until last Christmas, which was my first Christmas gluten free. I picked it up and right on the cover was pictures of cookies, one of which may as well have been the “brown cookies” that were an every day staple in my Grammy’s house growing up. Every issue is has recipes I use and articles that I find to be actually interesting and useful. Especially around the holidays it has cookie recipes, which will be great to make together. By the time I was 2 I was a fixture in my Grammy’s kitchen and was “helping” to bake.
I was an avid couponer before my diagnosis as well. I have found that out of sheer laziness I am not now, although it isn’t because I can’t. I don’t know of any gluten free coupon sites, but I use this to check what is Sunday’s paper so I can choose if I want to buy it or not. It is under coupons and preview insert. I can choose to either save $2 or go spend $10 on newspapers.
One of the things I do if I know I am after a particular product is check the manufacturer’s website for coupons. If I don’t find anything there, or on facebook, I’ll simply google for coupons for the product. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t, but with the price of some gluten free products sometimes you just have to shoot in the dark.
Something I did for a while until I got the hang of label reading was to have a list of what to watch for on labels and keep it in the front of my coupon binder. This was a huge help to me.
Look at Beth O’Brien’s Gluten Free Vegan Comfort Food, Kim Lutz Welcoming Kitchen (gluten-free and vegan family food), and Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies,
The reason I’d recommend vegan cookbooks to a new celiac is that they are dairy-free–and lots of people with celiac are also lactose-intolerant at first. Also, these two cookbooks have good basic food recipes.
(The gluten-free Baking for Dummies is pretty self-explanatory.)
As far as gluten-free couponing goes, as you’re finding out, there is a lot of gluten-free stuff that is just expensive. I’ve even looked at couponing books, tried their methods, and found it not to be worth the time.
What is worth your time, however, is looking at weekly circulars for your local not-Whole-Foods grocery stores, and buying items that are naturally gluten-free. Also, amazon has great discounts, sometimes. (I’m a top amazon reviewer, partially because of gluten-free food: look under Lisa M. Mims.)
Also, there is a list of how to eat gluten-free, cheaply, on my blog at http://www.glutenfreedirtcheap.com.
In fact, the only thing I’d change on that list is to caution that if you’re eating beans, they need to be marked gluten-free or from the Bush’s beans company (because they say their products are all gluten-free!!) * Not affiliated with the company, just grateful.
I have several gluten-free allergy-free and paleo cookbooks that can involve kids. Remember that gluten-free is not just about replacing gluten in baked goods, pasta and the hidden places like sauces. It’s also about returning to whole food living, and remembering that anything that is not a grain is always going to be gluten-free. I also suggest contacting your Celiac Association to become members and to request/buy resources. Our Canadian Celiac Association gives new members a book called Celiac Disease for Dummies and many other resources. They have available a great book called Growing up Celiac that has some rexipes for kids to make. I also wrote to Pulse Canada, 1212-220 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 0A5 to reuqest a recipe booklet called Pulses and the Guten-Free Diet. You need to be aware that simply replacing wheat, for example, with rice flour (tapioca flour, potato starch, corn flour…) will not give you the nutrition you need. The more you can incorporate nutrient rich foods like pulses (beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas) into your baking (and your diet in general) and pseudo-grains like quinoa and amaranth, the more satisfied and nourished you will all be. Okay, some books: “Allergy-Free Recipes for Kids” and “Recipes for Gluten-free Kids”(Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, IL), “Allergy-Proof Recipes for Kids” by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger, “Special Diets for Special Kids” Volumes 1 & 2 (combined) by Lisa Lewis, “Eat Like a Dinosaur, Recipe and guidebook for gluten-free kids” by The Paleo Parents (paleoparents.com). I think it’s great thatyouwant to involve your daughter early. Best wishes for a healthy and tasty future!
Yea for gluten-free couponing! A couple suggestions.
1. Mashup Mom (http://www.mashupmom.com) does Crunchy Friday every week and highlights the best deals in stores, Amazon, and other online sources. She also does recipes and highlights other deals throughout the week, so even if you aren’t in the MW, her blog is still worth a read a couple times a week. I’ve participated in her post on saving gluten free items for the last couple years (http://www.mashupmom.com/saving-on-gluten-free-items/).
2. If you have Whole Foods near you, Healthy Life Deals (http://healthylifedeals.com/) spotlights all of the national Whole Foods deals, divided up by region.
3. Hip2Save (http://www.hip2save.com) used to post gf deals, but I think she’s stopped as she was a “fad dieter” with the gluten-free. However, she does post the Wal-Mart deals, and often you can find gf deals mixed into her posts.
4. Surviving the Stores (http://www.survivingthestores.com/tag/gluten-free-coupons-3) highlights gluten-free coupons once a week.
5. If you’ve got an Android or iPhone, get the Ibotta app. It will save you tons of money on stuff! Ibotta often runs cash back deals on buying gf products at Whole Foods, for example. And it will help you save on non-gf stuff, too (like lemonade, sugar, etc. that I buy all the time!)
6. Get yourself to Gluten-Free Saver (http://www.glutenfreesaver.com/)! Its a great way to try different products out for usually a generous savings over MSRP. Its kind of like Groupon, but only for gluten free stuff.
7. If you haven’t couponed at the drug store before, I recommend it. CVS rewards, for example, have saved me thousands of dollars on beauty and personal care products (they aren’t certified gf, but they are all items that are listed as not having gluten-based ingredients).
Lastly, cookbook wise, if you’ve got an Amazon account, gluten free, paleo, and grain-free cookbooks often go on the “free” or “hot deal” list for the Kindle. You can read on the Kindle app even if you don’t have one – I read on my Android and put the cookbooks up on my laptop, for example.
And if you or your wife are knitters/crocheters/spinners, there is an active group on Ravelry that regularly points out new recipes, different ways to save, travel, etc.
I love couponing in general – was a big couponer before going gluten free, so please, feel free to ask me anything and I’m happy to answer.
Welcome! I think your wife is very lucky to have your support – if you keep reading this blog you’ll notice that not all families are supportive of the switch to gluten free (I am so thankful for my family!). I got a plethora of books when I was first diagnosed, and really haven’t looked at most of them since I first got them. The trouble is that many are based on wierd flour blends that requires stocking your shelves with so many different starches and flours. My suggestion is to look at Gluten Free on a Shoestring or Gluten is my Bitch. Both are huge bloggers so you can check out a sample of their writing if you google them. Gluten Free on a Shoestring has so many different recipe options and tends to keep the wierd flours to a minimum. In fact, she often uses store bought blends and outlines the differences between many of them. I loved April’s Gluten is my Bitch. Honestly the best gluten free book I’ve come across. While the title is crass, she’s the first person to really make me laugh at the daily debacles that being gluten free entails. She is also the mother to two youngsters,and lives in the South so many of her recipes are geared towards that cuisine. Her recipes are probably the simplest ones I have come across.
Good luck on your new adventure!
Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts by Collette Martin is awesome. I’m not even a parent and I bought this book because it teaches you things you need to know when you first start out. Cooking with applesauce is a little hard and I haven’t perfected it yet but it’s a good book!
You may want to check out Jules Shepard’s books.
I also suggest searching bookstores online and look for books and information. You can see what books are coming out etc. the reviews are the best part. That’s how I found out about Collette Martin’s book.
All the above suggestions are great too!
Just make sure that you feel comfortable with the materials you are reading. They may not be for you but during this time it’s going to be a lot of trial and error as you find your way. Don’t take anyone’s word for it, read reviews, do your research and come to your own conclusion.
Hope this helps!
I loved the Glorious Gluten Free Cookbook has great Asian, Mexican and Italian recipes that are not wierd, or never heard of ingredients that are eay to follow.
Sounds like you have a good start, but there will be times that she will probably be emotional. Like when the family wants to go out to dinner and relatives just don’t get it. Your lives have just been changed, in every way, forever. God Bless, and welcome to the otherside. 🙂
i agree w Sharla. As a girl with a boyfriend who doenst have celiac here’s my advice although i know this isn’t exactly what you asked for i hope it helps. My BF kept trying to “help” at first in the ways i didn’t need him too. Partially my fault because i wasn’t great at communicating exactly what i wanted him to do. make sure you keep checking in with your wife on what she NEEDS from you. and know that will change. one day she migth need you to find a GF restaurant the next day only she will be comfortable calling ahead and making the selection. also have conversations ahead of time on certain things. for example, you can eat gluten so why not eat pasta if you are out to dinner (you don’t want to resent her for selecting your diet for you….but that’s a whole other topic). i would say check with her first and see what type of day she’s having. there are days when i’m perfectly fine sitting across from people eating gluten and i dont even think about it. there are other days it enrages me for some reason. i guess what i’m saying is know that there is a big emotional component to changing lifestyles for your wife mostly, but for you and your kids too. you will all have different types of feelings about it and those will evolve over time. just be flexible, know you really can’t understand exactly what she is going through, be patient, and communicate to be sure all the effort you are lovingly putting into helping your wife is spent on what she really needs. best of luck. you can do it !
First of all, it is awesome that you are so supportive of your wife by giving up gluten! My household is split. (We have two toasters, separate shelving for gluten filled and gluten free foods). It works for us, but not everyone.
As far as cookbooks, I have had the best luck with the Artisinal Gluten Free by Peter and Kelli Bronkski. They have their own flour blend, but a lot of their recipes are based on whole foods that are easy to prepare and taste great! I also like that the cookbook has a lot of variety and has opened our palate to new kinds of foods.
I have also found that the cheapest way to eat gluten free is to avoid the gluten free isle. You will feel better by avoiding it, and your food will taste better as well. Stick to the produce and you won’t feel like you are constantly substituting to make them taste “gluten free.” It already is.
My go-to for baking is:
Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America: 150 Flavorful Recipes from the World’s Premier Culinary College [Paperback] http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Baking-Culinary-Institute-America/dp/1598696130
It was a little intimidating at first, but I’ve never had a flop with this book. And people don’t know they are eating gluten free.
As for coupons – I don’t know much about couponing in the US, but in Canada they do have some, just not many. Also, brands that are gluten free but not a gluten free brand, will have “normal” pricing and sometimes, coupons. (The first example I think of is Chex cereal)
Go slowly and don’t expect things to be perfect at first. It’s a big learning curve. Make sure the cross contaminated items are disposed of. I was glutened by some old cocoa once because I probably used a contaminated measuring spoon in it before dx.
Eating out is also complicated now. Expect some major moods when you go somewhere that promises gluten free menus and offer 1 or 2 options. But there will also be elation when you find that wonderful place that’s all gluten free.
You are now on a rollercoaster of eating. It’s very much like learning to eat all over again. Sometimes there will be fantastic finds and other time huge flops, but in the end, she will be healthy.
CouponSuzy has coupons for products like Chex or Rice Krispies, which have gluten free options. Also, mambosprouts.com has coupons for natural/health items, many of which are gluten free.
I used to do a lot of couponing before I was diagnosed with celiac. For a while I kind of quit using them because I got depressed about the whole shopping experience and how expensive everything I could eat was. But then I realized that only half of what I bring home is food related. So, I went back to couponing. Now aside from the occasional chex or almond milk coupon I mostly coupon for health and beauty items and household cleaners and such. I still save a ton of money just using coupons for those items… money I end up investing in expensive items I can eat.
Your wife is lucky. It was hard for me to read this because I had no support from family. My husband just now (1 year after diagnoses) takes it seriously. Keep up the enthusiasm, that will make all the difference in the world. You’ve come to the right place.
I am a college student who ended up going gluten free and vegan after a myriad of health issues. When I’m home, I’ve found that my mother can provide for me (complete with dietary restrictions) and my sisters without much difference to the food budget.
First, I recommend looking at recipes that you currently enjoy that are already gluten free. A lot of Mexican and Thai recipes for example, are gluten free or can be made gluten free with relatively few changes.
Another way that my mother saves money is realizing that a. sometimes there are just foods that I have to go without. I’ve realized that there can’t always be gluten free cookies and regular cookies in the house (my family is not committed to being gluten free since most of the time I’m at college). I’ve learned to deal with it. Her second method is b. we make a lot of our products. Making gluten free vegan bread is cheaper than buying it. Especially if you buy gluten free flours in bulk, it costs about as much to make a gluten free bread as it does a regular one. You could even buy a bread machine so all you have to do is pop the ingredients in and leave it.
Some of my favorite places to go are http://www.manifestvegan.com , http://www.glutenfreecookingschool.com (which has a great all purpose flour recipe http://www.glutenfreecookingschool.com/archives/gluten-free-all-purpose-flour-mix/) and http://www.theglutenfreevegan.com/. If you don’t want to go vegan too, http://glutenfreegirl.com/recipes/ is pretty good I hear.
I just have to say… I thought I knew a lot and I’ve learned so much from all of you today about the resources you all use to make the GF lifestyle work for you. This is so incredibly awesome! (And now I have to go find a copy of Gluten is My Bitch… I guess if breast cancer can be my bitch, so can gluten…)
Amazon have good prices on gluten free items, especially compared to other online sites. Delivery is really fast.
I think everyone has given you some great advice. Your wife is so lucky! I was diagnosed in March of last year and I still have problems with my husband not getting it. We have two toasters, I have my side of the kitchen, however, there are times when he forgets and uses my pot or pan. Or makes his sandwich in a shared area.
When first diagnosed I went to the health food store and bought all sorts of GF food. Well, I can’t say it was food. It was GF so I bought it. Fast forward, and it is all about whole foods. Not processed. Fresh veggies, (I don’t eat anything canned), chicken, fish, shell fish for protein. I use a lot of garlic, ginger and onions for flavoring. I have a smoothie for breakfast. Blue berries, banana’s, almond butter, kale, add some coconut water. Sounds weird, but it is really good, esp. if you use frozen fruit. And it does not hurt my gut.
Your wife will find that food other than what contains gluten may bother her too. It will take some time for her to figure it out, but eventually it will all come together.
As far as cooking and involving your child, the both of you can make bread with your child, bread machines are not that expensive. Quite frankly, I think you will find you can do all the same things, just that the food will be made from scratch. I buy a flour blend from Kinnickinnick, (sp?). It works fine for everything I would use with flour.
You are going to find that eating out is a challenge. But on the positive side, there are restaurants that are starting to really get what GF means.
You did the right thing by contacting GD. Lots of good info here. Once again, you rock for jumping in on the GF bandwagon with your wife. Good luck.
Glad you discovered the cause of your health issues.
Keep it simple. Eat real food the way it was meant to
be eaten and depending on your sensitivity level, meats
can also be an issue. Many like myself react to eggs and
meats. I can eat wild caught fish and deer meat that is locally
harvested and processed with no microbial washes but that seems to be it.A journal could help you determine foods you react
Watch out for the “gluten free marketing”. If you get lured in by that,
you are likely to stay ill.
Best of luck to you on your journey!
Everyone has given you great advice on couponing and cooking/baking resources….and I second the suggestions about Peter and Kelli Bronski and suggest glutenfreegoddess.com, Jules Shepherd and Living Without Magazine.
I order bulk baking supplies, kitchenware, Country Life certified GF vitamins, Bob’s Red Mill certified GF oats and flaxseed meal, King Arthur GF baking supplies, etc from Amazon.com.
Join prime and get free shipping,. Totally worth it.
I want to applaud you for having the whole family go GF. Having my hubs go GF with me (his decision) has been life-saving and made my transition to well-ness easier. I was too sick upon DX to think straight.
and keep things “separate”. Like you, he’s a gem. 🙂 Now, we just view this as “normal”.
I highly recommend reading:
Real Life with Celiac Disease
by Melinda Dennis and Daniel Leffler
–both of you–so you can understand all aspects of this diagnosis and how to deal. It’s a fantastic resource that covers all bases, with articles by over 50 celiac specialists, nutritionists and researchers.
Best wishes to your family!! 🙂 .
“I wasn’t able to find anything that dealt specifically with children s’ cookbooks (you know, the easier recipes that young children could help with and enjoy?).”
Recently reviewed this wonderful book with kid-friendly gluten-free recipes, check it out here: http://celiaccorner.com/celiac-gluten-free-blog/stealth-health-lunches-kids-love-a-new-cookbook-of-kid-friendly-healthy-gluten-free-recipes-review-giveaway/#.UeQ_FY3rxko
I didn’t think of this earlier but my favorite “cookbook” has become a three ring binder. I simply collect recipes I’ve found from a bunch of blogs, mostly ones already mentioned and print them out. If I like them I keep them. If I don’t, I decide if I want to try to play with them or just find a new recipe. I actually have had to recently upgrade the size of my binder because I just didn’t have enough room for all my recipes!
I confess to doing this also! 😉 .
I have my HUGE white binder–with all my recipes pre-GF that are inherently gluten-free or easily adaptable
and the equally HUGE blue binder which has
(more then I’ll ever need ) recipes for baked goods.
“than”, not then…dang it, we need edit buttons, Dude! 🙂
Initially, I went to the library and took out every book available. Being Celiac with several food allergies, gf books weren’t a good fit as I still had to tinker with most recipes but I really like Cybele Pascal’s books. Once you become familiar with gf baking in particular, you’ll be able to adjust. That’s where the “binder” comes in. All of the above info is great. Check out any of the mentioned websites.
One last piece of advice would be to keep it simple. Some of the ingredient lists can be really overwhelming. Try one “flour” mix at a time. I have great results with Cybele’s mix in every recipe I’ve used.
Good health is coming your way!
ooh, I had another thought….Pamela’s mixes are versatile and people tell me they love their recipes. I have made the banana bread and it was very good.
I love that you guys are in this together because it can be hard if you aren’t! Everything everyone else said and posted is great. I agree about eating more whole foods and steering clear of the “gluten free marketing” crap. It can be tough, but eating in a more clean way will definitely benefit all of you. I have a few very kid-friendly recipes on my site (www.notdeprived.com) and YouTube channel that are not only gluten-free, but also healthy. I hope you will check some of them out! The cookies and granola bars don’t stay long in my house of husband and 2 young boys. 🙂 Blessings to your family as you embark on this journey…it DOES get easier!
I live in the uk and there is a book by coeliac society that has great recipes in it ( maybe you could get it ordered from amazon). There is also the glutafin website that has lots of fantastic recipes on it. Gluten free for dummies has a section on children’s foods plus lots of other recipes and information. If your buying anything outside the US the terminology will be different plus laws, restrictions and food labelling are different as well. Good luck x
Your wife is very fortunate to have such a loving and supportive husband! A few thoughts come to mind:
1. Focus on what you CAN eat, rather than what you CAN’T eat. So many foods are naturally gluten free. After you clear out your cupboards and get through the mourning and acceptance process of your new life style, you’ll start to realize that many gluten-filled foods are actually just overly processed junk food. A lot of people who are gluten free eventually learn to love having a healthy life style with natural, clean foods.
2. To save money, I try to eat foods that would be gluten free anyway: fresh and frozen vegetables, fresh and canned fruits, canned beans, rice, quinoa, yogurt, eggs, nuts, dried fruits, etc.. I also stock up on gluten free pastas, cereals (chex and GF Rice Krispies), and broths, when they’re on sale.
3. One annoying (and potentially expensive) aspect of the gluten free diet is that it feels like every gluten free cookbook or recipe calls for a different mix of flours. I recently discovered Jules gluten free flour mix, and it’s truly the best on the market in my opinion. I just substitute it cup for cup in regular recipes, and nearly all of my recipes have turned out well. The best part is that Jules often has sales and offers free shipping, and you don’t need to buy special gluten free cookbooks to use it! Just sub it in your old favorite recipes!
4. For picnic and beach snacks, think about creative ways to make natural gluten free foods fun: fresh fruit kabobs, ants on a log (raisins and peanut butter on celery sticks), sandwiches cut out with cookie cutters, or a rainbow made out of fresh vegetables.
5. Honestly, one of my favorite place to find gluten free recipes is Pinterest. It’s free and easy to search for something specific.
6. There are dozens of gluten free products on the market. Many are delicious, but some are definitely not! Because they are so expensive, I suggest starting to read some gluten free blogs to read product reviews. It often saves you from wasting money on trying new products that aren’t very good. Some of my favorites are: gluten dude (of course!), celiac-disease.com, glutenhatesme.com, glutenfreetraveller.com, and simplygluten-free.com.
Good luck to you and your family! Stay positive and know that it will get easier 🙂
Easiest & simplest advice is BREATHE!!! She will cry, mourn her staff & couponing the way she used to will go out the window.
Walmarts price matching, community garden plot & farmers market is where I now save money. Avoiding processed gluten free foods in the beginning will help her heal the fastest. Processed foods you would think were safe like soy sauce & rice krispies ARE NOT SAFE!! Simple is best. A meal of apple pork chops, baked potato, seasonal veggie & salad with vinegrette is simple, easy & all gluten free as is.
Paleo cook books will help cook with the basics from day one. Buying in bulk when in season & cost is low then freezing/canning allow fresh produce year round. Soups, garden produce, even dry mixes can be canned for use later. Pressure canners are better bought new but jars can be found cheap at garage sales, craigslist & especially estate sales. They are reusable & hold value.
I use Gluten Free On A Shoestring, and I like her blog http://www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com . Also check out betterbatter.org , that is the flour blend I use. THAT BEING SAID –> gluten free may eventually not be enough for her. I have found that adopting a Paleo lifestyle has allowed me to finally heal from my celiac disease – from head to toe. Check out Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfillipo. She is a certified nutritionist, and the book really explains the hows and whys of digestive diseases. Eating gluten free food is SO expensive, but eating grain free, legume free, and sugar free is not AS expensive. Meat is very important and I do not recommend excluding it from her diet. BUT the meat she eats should be from grass-fed animals. Good luck!
When I first learned to cook gluten free, Bette Hagman’s and Carol Fenster’s books were the ones primarily available. There are so many more options now and I have quite a collection but I still get back into Carol Fenster’s _1000 Gluten Free Recipes_ quite often. One of the things I found with my little dude (I’m the only GF eater in the house) but things like having a garden or even some potted plants to grow some things to pick and eat were fun. Some only need a small space with some light coming in. _Sophie Safe Cooking_ is another book aimed toward kid friendly recipes but relies heavily on oats, I’m not sure what the consensus is on oats these days. I don’t tolerate it because I’m allergic to oats. Good luck! That’s awesome you are supporting your wife!
I too bought Carol Fensters 1000 Gluten Free Recipes and that is the cookbook I always go back to. I call it the Betty Crocker Bible for Gluten Free cooking in my house. It has some basics as well as some fun new things to try. I love it.
I don’t have anything to really add to the conversation, but agree with those above who point out that “naturally gluten-free foods” can be the cheapest and easiest way to start living gluten-free. Early on (and living alone), I ate a lot of “rice and stuff” dinners, rice or quinoa with veggies, various proteins, etc… I now only buy the expensive gluten-free breads and other specifically gluten-free processed foods when I give myself a treat or when I am dealing with stress, and don’t want to add food cravings to my stress level.
When hosting a dinner with the children in my life (I am a non-parent), I often have a taco-style dinner with corn chips and lots of gluten-free toppings. The children can pick out their own meal, and the leftovers can be used throughout the week in other meals.
I usually bring a vegan rice or potato dish to potlucks that can be enjoyed by both the gluten-free and vegan folks without it becoming an issue (with an eye on cross-contamination).
Thank you and your family for being so supportive, becoming gluten-free can feel isolating at first.
I like Eat Like a Dinosaur by The Paleo Parents (also check out their blog) for kid-friendly recipes. It’s a paleo cookbook, and it primarily uses almond flour and coconut flour, which I find much easier and cheaper to work with than keeping a huge stash of tiny bags of gluten-free, grain-based flours.
One more: Elana’s Pantry
She graciously shares all her creations, including her paleo almond and coconut flour-based recipes.
I may be banned from the site for suggesting this, but my wife swears by The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide by The View’s own Elizabeth Hasselbeck. We read that when our daughter was first diagnosed about 2 years ago. It goes through a lot of what you have questions about in really easy to understand language. More of a how to book than a cookbook, but a good beginner’s guide to the world you now find yourself in.
The other is to try to find a local email group and get on their list. We live in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area and subscribe to email@example.com. It’s a great wealth of information, some amusing reading at times, and a great place to go with questions like, “I need to take my parents out to dinner with my wife in town X, are there any GF restaurants there?” Hopefully there’s one in your area.
And ditto what some people said about a library, a good place to start. And breathing. Don’t forget to breathe, very important.
Chris…you are officially on double-secret probation 😉
The Gluten google search brought me here, the movie references keep me coming back.
you can never leave now 🙂
Giving credit where credit is due…her book was the first time I learned that my lipstick, makeup, and shampoo could be glutening me. No doctor mentioned that and it had not crossed my mind.
Great advice here. I would like to add one more book suggestion for the toddler. “The Autism Cookbook: 101 Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes” by Susan K. Delaine. It has simple recipes that are both kid- and adult-friendly. It isn’t a new book, but it sure helped me out when I was first navigating the gluten-free world and discovered that dairy wasn’t my friend either.
The recipes are easy to make and contain ingredients that are readily available. Soon you will be a pro at taking any recipe and converting it to GF automatically. Your wife is very lucky to have such a supportive spouse.:)
Here is a link to a review (and you can also find it on Amazon):
Make sure you check out realsustenance.com! Her stuff (lots of tasty desserts) makes me feel like a normal person. =)
I highly suggest going grain-free at the beginning and then testing one grain at a time after they’ve been successfully taken out. I thought I was getting cross-contaminated food all the time until I realized that I react EXACTLY the same to corn, rice, and oats as I do to the common “glutenous” grains. Mind you, these were all certified GF products as well, my body just doesn’t like the grains.
Because I didn’t know this at the beginning, I got to the point where I was severely malnourished even though I was eating very well. Darned grains…
If you don’t plan on removing grains any time soon, (or if you just want lots of good dinner recipes), I recommend the cookbook I just got:
The reason I say “if you don’t plan on removing grains” is because almost all of the dessert recipes are based on multiple gluten-free grain flours.
Take note of inflammatory foods like eggs, sugar, coffee, etc. These things are really helpful to keep at a minimum, and again, to test later as you feel comfortable. Bananas make things stay in your system longer (so that they cause more damage), so don’t eat them when you’ve just gotten sick or when you’re testing out a new food/ingredient.
For me personally, I do raw cow’s milk and cream, and no butter or cheese because I end up wanting to eat the cheese and butter melted, which I then react to. I’ve heard that a lot of people can do goat’s milk and cheese but not cow’s.
Soy is basically always contaminated with wheat, so I find it best to avoid it completely. It’s rotated with wheat crops, so they use the same trucks, storage bins, and all that to transport the soy.
If you want to start researching lots of recipes, using the word “Paleo” is quite helpful since most of the Paleo recipes are grain-free.
Avoid all processed food if you can. Make as few exceptions as possible.
If you’re able, avoid eating out for a little while until you feel comfortable explaining your needs to the waiter/chef.
I haven’t researched or tested this one myself yet, but I’ve heard that peanuts are also nearly always contaminated. Probably a good idea to look into it.
And most of all, NEVER beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Your body is dealing with enough as it is. Like everyone else here says, there will just be times that you get sick from something and you just have to roll with it.
Hopefully you’ll be feeling better soon!