Gluten free: My next step, in this journey, is to... - Thyroid UK

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Gluten free

My next step, in this journey, is to try a gluten free diet. I’ve done some reading and am a little overwhelmed. It seems like everything contains gluten. Any suggestions on where to start? Thanks!

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I think it’s incredibly easy to be gluten free but I suspect as you’re feeling pants atm it will feel overwhelming. Just cook from scratch, meat and veg, plenty of gluten free products to make sauces or soy sauce ect. Hubby and I are low carb aswell so we don’t often worry about gluten as we don’t eat those sorts of carbs but again plenty of gluten free breads/pastas ect if that’s what you fancy. My meals this week have been :-

Soup

Salmon and spiralised courgette

Chicken salad

Chilli on a bed of spinach

Mackerel, rice and peas

Pie and mixed veg (small gluten free one for me, normal for kids)

Broccoli, bacon and pine nuts

Scrambled egg and smoked salmon

Lasagna with butternut squash sheets instead of pasta

Spag Bol with spiralised courgette

Salted Aubergines and chicken

Sausages (gluten free) and fried eggs

and plum toms

Cauliflower cheese

Some of these are dinners, some lunch. I only eat twice a day, occasionally I’ll have fruit but I eat huge meals so I’m rarely hungry. So you see only twice I had to think about what could have gluten on it.

I think it’s about changing your eating habits rather than looking for GF products. But I remember all too well being in your state and not having the capacity to think for myself, I’ve been doing the above diet for years. But when I’m unwell I don’t have the energy to cook aswell as rarely being hungry anyway 😔

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Looks like plain old healthy eating. Eliminate breads and pastas that have gluten. Easier than I thought. Thank you!

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I think it all becomes a lot easier if you ditch ready meals and cook for yourself. Anything processed will almost certainly have gluten in there somewhere.

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I love desserts. Any suggestions?

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😬 Sorry can’t help with desserts, I’d rather eat a bowl of veg that desserts. I used to have the sweetest tooth until I went low carb. Now even milk taste sweet to me. If I do get a sweet craving once a month I’d eat strawberries with cream or strawberries dipped in chocolate 😋 Or a bar of chocolate. Gluten free desserts can be a bit rank but my daughter does make a GF cake every once in a while, I tell her off because Once I have one slice I’ll have 3 with a cup of tea and that’s why I just try to avoid cake all together!

It was hubbys birthday today and said 13yr old made him a cake (not GF) I didn’t mind as I was sure I wouldn’t be bothered but noooooo I got suckered in to a cup of tea and cake at 10pm!!! 😱 The sugar has been too much for me, I’m still awake at 2.40am 😬

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😂 I can do strawberries and cream! You’re brilliant!

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Being GF isn’t difficult , I joined Coeliac U.K. and got their wonderful bible of all gluten free foods and ingredients, that also gives you access to their online site with information about all sorts of things but you hit the nail on the head when your u said good old healthy cooking. You have to read all the ingredients in pre prepped food very carefully because it’s amazing where manufacturers put wheat, I once found it in a small tub of M&S mixed nuts - why I can’t even begin to imagine and I hadn’t read the label when I bought it.

Puddings - there’s meringue and cream, berries and cream, I make a family trifle with GF sponge, chocolate mousse, my own has no gluten and most of the shop bought ones are the same, there are lots out there at the moment, panna cotta is GF. No need to give up on puddings or eating out for that matter.

I don’t often eat bread, biscuits or cakes I find the bread too sweet and rolls are often a bit crumbly.

I should add, someone once said ‘junk food is still junk food even if it’s GF junk food’.

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If you like sweet things then polenta cakes are really good. You will have to google a recipe and make it, but they are worth it.

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I really like polenta. Haven’t had it in awhile. Everyone has been so helpful. Thank you!

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Egg custard, rice pudding, fruit topped with yoghurt, sugar and grilled till brown. Crumbles, gluten free. Lots of gluten free cakes available and gf pastry. Ice cream .

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Crumble using nuts and flaxseed for a topping - a quick whizz in the grinder and they're ready to go. Obviously add some sugar or whatever sweetener you're using, and I add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, too. Use with any fruit you want.

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I just made a flax seed muffin and my tongue is burning and swelling. I think I might be allergic to flax seed, ugh! Thank you for the idea!

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If you like cookies and cakes for dessert, you can make your own using almond flour, coconut flour and others. Pretty much it is wheat flour that contains gluten. You can even search online for recipes: recipe for gluten-free muffins

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Thank you. I tried flax meal yes do swelled up. Almond and coconut are worth a shot.

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This link is re soy:-

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/165...

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Agree with most of this as I'm a coeliac but please be aware that Soy Sauce is made with wheat and Tamari the Japanese version is gluten free they do taste same.

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I was curious about soy. Thanks for the tip!

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You can buy Coconut Aminos to replace soy sauce.

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Yes, that’s why I mentioned it, although I don’t use it much but worth noting if one is to be completely gluten free. Although I have now eased of looking at every ingredient as I don’t use processed items Much and I don’t have coeliacs (although I do have a small genetic predisposition for coeliacs) and so I can tolerate some gluten. But I needed soy sauce to make a delicious teriyaki sauce for my salmon 😋

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Salmon is one of my favorites.

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Can also use leak leaves instead of pasta for meals such as lasagne. We use gluten free products now, although more expensive.

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I use aubergine slices to replace pasta. Very tasty.

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Good idea, will have to try, thank you!

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And I can’t believe I forgot the old cauliflower rice!! Although it’s a PITA to make and I actually prefer chunks of cauli. But still there are alternatives to everything 🤗

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I love cauliflower rice, too. Husband, not so much. I also mash it like potatoes.

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They sell riced cauliflower in our local grocery stores in the US.

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Yeah here too but it goes off quick, gets that vinegar smell about it so I prefer doing my own but hate the mess! Lol

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I learned a trick to greatly reduce the cauliflower odor: Splash a tablespoon or so of heavy whipping cream over it before you microwave it. Don't add any more liquid.

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You are good at this!

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Had no choice. I have Crohn's and now adrenal issues and Hashi's - all auto-immune. I used the Specific Carb Diet to great effect on my Crohn's a few years back. Problems started (not straight away, so it gave me a false sense of confidence) when I went back on carbs/gluten. As soon as major stress hit, it was back to spending half the day on the loo, fatigue, feeling awful, and so many symptoms with the Hashi's and adrenals I couldn't keep track.

Went vegan early this year and felt great... for a while. Then I crashed and began relying on carbs to get me through.

Finally had enough and went carb-free. The best thing was being migraine-free. They were bloody awful and hugely debilitating.

Still, you live and learn. No more carbs for me.

But I have had prior experience of using weird food substitutes, so going carb-free wasn't that difficult. Like most people I was scared of the amount of fat i was eating. But the excess weight just fell off and stayed off. I've learned my lesson this time - no more carbs ever (I have slipped up and get digestive grumbles the next day every time).

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No carbs?

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Nope. Nada.

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Maybe low carb but we can’t go ‘no carb’ because even veg have a carb content 😬 Sorry for being pedantic but I think the language we use is useful going forward so that everyone is on the same page. For instance my MIL didn’t know that sweets or a glass of wine was a carb, I asked her what she thought it was and she said sugar 😬

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I'm comfortable with low carb, not sure I could ever do no carb. G

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🙈 my point was that only those that eat only meat would be ‘no carb’ so essential those that say they have a ‘no carb’ diet actually are on ‘low carb’ because veg and fruits have a carb content too 😬

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I'm using no carb in the sense that my diet has no obvious carbs - the breads, pastas, rice, etc. Even my fruit and veg intake is selected to be very low in carbs, though. That's why I only eat berries - a cup and a half each day - and veg that grows above ground. Carrots are high in carbs, for example.

That said, I haven't gone keto yet. That is extreme. I think I may go that far at some stage, though. Baby steps.

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I’m not sure I have the willpower or the inclination for Keto. Although I probably have a piece of fruit twice a year! Lol I think it’s delicious but if I’m going to eat carbs I’d rather save it for a glass of wine! 🙈

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Yeah, I'm not ready to face it yet. Not sure I need to, really, as LCHF seems to have done what I wanted. Mind you, I'm almost keto already - just not disciplined enough every day.

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Hi Coachgeorge,

I’ve been gluten free for about 4 months and like Paula6 think it’s easier to cook from scratch than buy substitute products, as when you look at the ingredients of many convenience items in the gluten- free area of supermarkets they often contain lots of additives, which are not going to help reduce inflammation. It is worth trying different varieties of GF pasta- eg made from pea flour or chickpeas, as they taste quite different. I have some GF bread in the freezer and just try to eat a couple of slices as needed, rather than have a whole fresh loaf to get through. I do eat fruit everyday- blueberries and strawberries have beneficial properties. I eat GF oats- if you soak them overnight in milk/ almond milk with a grated apple or sultanas this is a great breakfast (you can add nuts too for extra protein). Hope this helps!

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Definitely helpful. I tried gluten free bread. Gave me tremendous stomach cramps. Was thinking about ordering on line. Thoughts?

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The best I’ve had is Tesco GF seeded. I do have a bread machine, but haven’t made a GF loaf yet.

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I had a bread machine. May consider another one. Thanks!

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It's easy and you'll feel so much better for it, just the gluten free stuff in the shops is awful, better to make your own.

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Not much of a cook. Chris Kessler endorses a store for different diets where you can buy online. Ever heard of it?

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It'd be too expensive for people in the UK. I think it is Thrive Market that he endorses.

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You’re correct, that is the name. I didn’t really check it out. Probably beyond my budget. Thanks!

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It's easy just google, try 1 minute flax seed bread, very simple.

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It does look easy. Thank you

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I tried the 2 minute muffin. My tongue feels funny. Could be the flax. I didn’t add enough honey but not bad. Thank you

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You'll get use to it, I make 3 ingredient flaxseed bread, just 250g ground flaxseed, 270ml water and pinch of salt, takes 5 minutes to put together and 1hour to cook at 200.

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I am 4 weeks and so far so good. Less bloated and a bit brighter. I have used buckwheat for savoury pancakes, if you like coconut try Mrs.Crimbles coconut treats (but they are high in calories) most of the supermarkets stock them, the Co-op has corn tortillas which are good with cheese, soups etc. For pudding Nigella does a nectarine and almond cake which is easy and you can do it with Granny Smiths as well. It freezes well. Oh and Ikea do a Dime Bar cake from the freezer section .. but oddly ... it doesn’t last long in my my freezer! As others have said, cooking from scratch is best. Good luck!

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Thank you’ will print off your suggestions.

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Hi, I am also gluten (and sugar) free, and like the others, I would say it works best if you move more towards just simple, whole foods cooked from scratch than trying to find substitutes for everything you had before. I have a very sweet tooth but realised that sugar was as much of a source of potential inflammation and ill-health as gluten - so I learned to love fruit instead. I now find it so sweet and intensely delicious I don't really miss 'desserts' at all. The more 100% you go for it, the more easily your tastes will adjust to appreciating simple, whole foods. In the summer I do sometimes treat myself to a frozen 'ice-cream' I make from blitzing half a frozen banana (in chunks) with e.g. 4oz frozen cherries (or mango, or any other frozen fruit) and half a cup of oat milk. A high-speed blender like a Vitamix or a good food processor will do the job. I like to firm up the resulting ice-cream for a bit in the freezer before eating but you can also dive in straight away. The mix will also make good ice-lollies by the way!

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Great suggestion! I have a sweet tooth. I’ll give it a try.

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If you google gluten free - then put in whatever you fancy: dinners, desserts, breakfast idea, snacks, you'll get loads of ideas and recipes to print off. That's what I did, then looked through them, found substitutes for things I could no longer have (I have no carbs at all or dairy), bought them, then off I went trying the recipes, ditching what I didn't like and hanging onto to stuff I did like.

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Can members say how going.gluten free has helped.their hypothyroid condition? Thanks

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Sometimes it’s hard to say exactly how GF helps because a lot of what is going on is unseen but I think it would help with absorption, conversion, how productive the mechanics of the body are some of this we can notice and maybe only some detected in blood tests for Thyriod function and vitamin and minerals.

For me not eating gluten carbs means that I do not fart as much! 😂 If I have pasta or cake or crackers the rest of the family will suffer all night! Lol

Also I get very bloated and feel stodgy. But I’ve rarely eaten carbs routinely for a few years now but just didn’t go completely gluten free. I’ve tried some GF products and for me I think it’s the grain that I don’t tolerate as much GF or not so I mostly avoid.

Also I have had quite severe KP (Keratosis Pilaris) on my upper arms. This has almost cleared up now over the years.

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The gas/constipation is a real problem for me😢

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Then for the sake of your family you should really give it 100%. 😉🙈😂Constipation is just another sign of being under medicated. Mine cleared up 😀

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My constipation mostly disappeared as soon as I had T3 added to my Levothyroxine. When things slow down a little, I make sure to eat a lot of fiber.

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I’m hoping t3 is my answer. Im on a low dose but I’m sure she’ll increase me. We are taking it slow. Appreciate the help.

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I went a bit more full on with the LCHF diet, and my IBS went, migraines went the first day I went carb-free, afternoon slump was no more. I was shocked.

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Sorry for my ignorance. What is LCHF?

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Low Carbohydrate High Fat. I only get carbs from berries and veg that grows above ground (not the starchy stuff like potatoes and carrots). I eat a LOT of fat.

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I've had so many responses. Did you send information on recipe books?

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No - I get most of my recipes online - dietdoctor.com is good, and Pinterest. There are thousands of sites, TBH.

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So no sweet potatoes? Ugh

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Sadly no. I could do it now and again, though, without issues. Chinese is my downfall - crispy chilli beef and Singapore noodles; my Achilles heel:-)

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There is a sister site called 'Gluten Free Gorillas' here on health unlocked, check them out they are great for giving advice much like this community.

I would also add, as others have, that coeliac UK are great , their website has a multitude of recipes and information for going GF,you don't need to be coeliac to join them. :)

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Thank you. Will check it out

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Yes yes to home cooking!

I’m vegan and (mainly) gf and would like to suggest (didn’t see it above) pastas that are made from lentils or brown rice. As someone above said gf junk food is still junk food - You get pastas with loads of weird ingredients but if you keep your eye out for simple 1 or 2 ingredient lentil or rice stuff it’s much better for you!

I’d like to vouch for Panya ’s banana ‘nice cream. Honestly it’s like soft serve! If you’re feeling especially sweet chuck some maple syrup and nuts on! Maybe some cacao nibs.

Deliciously Ella cook books are fab! As is gwyneth paltrows!

There’s loads of different flour options available in most supermarkets so cakes, pancakes, muffins etc are a breeze!!

Good luck!! One day at a time - the first few are difficult but I find after you get over that it’s plain sailing!

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Thank you. Did you ever have any side effects from stopping gluten?

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A huge thing I noticed - whether it was the lack of gluten or just me stopping eating a bunch of rubbish was my face became less puffy. After a few weeks I noticed my body was a bit leaner too.

I made sure not to just sub my usual bread and biscuits etc with gf varieties so it could have been the no gluten or the fact I was eating less sugar which is also inflammatory.

I think a focus on whole real foods is so key in any healing journey!

I bet even a switch to sourdough and whole grain wheat would have someone feel much better if their usual staples were white bread and choco cake.

But that said... There is so much evidence and testimonials to say GF is the way!

Another interesting thing to note I’ve learned along the way is that a lot of gf subs actually mimic gluten in the body and have the same effect. So if you’re not feeling much better try switch out any gf breads etc and add in more veg and things like that.

Oh! And I’ve just had a quick scan of those cook books so more easy desserts are - baked apples, Fruit crumbles made w gf oats, brownies.

I have made choco avocado tart before (sounds weird but it’s amaaazing) and used to make banana oat cookies - literally 2 ingredients and put in the oven.

To your health! 🙌🙌🙌

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My main side effect was that I stopped having asthma

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That’s HUGE!! Oh my gosh. Def all worth it then!

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Absolutely!

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I have asthma, too. Hope it works for me. Thanks

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Oh! Buddy195 suggested the pastas before me!! Def worth trying the diff ones. Brown rice is my fav.

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Hi I'm am also trying to cut out gluten am on 75mcg Levothyroxine Marks and Spencer do a good range of gluten free not to expensive I bought a nice seeded loaf I'm doing a bit at at time bread 1st then see how it goes I eat lots of Greek yogurt for breakfast with blueberries but don't forget we need fibre! Hope this helps

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I heard dairy needs to go, too. Thoughts?

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Dont know about that one I use A2 milk before that was on goats milk at the moment just trying to cut out the bread as that does make me bloated ect I need to do more research into it !

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Something like 80% of Hashi's sufferers will struggle with gluten, for dairy it's more like 20%. It's definitely worth trying out both in the long term, but gluten is more likely to make a difference.

Ideally try giving each one up for 2+ months, if you don't see an improvement slowly reintroduce. If there isn't any difference you are probably one of the people it doesn't affect.

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Appreciate the help. Thank you!

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I have been doing basically gluten free for a few years and while it does force you to eliminate a lot of carbs which alone makes you feel better, I do agree with a lot of the above comments in that you need to read the labels on everything not just for gluten but all the other crap they put in there which will defeat the purpose of going gluten free. It’s a trendy thing right now which is especially why I personally go beyond the superficial packaging. Same goes for all natural or organic when it contains 25 grams of sugar per serving! I say the simpler and fresher you keep things the better. For the most part I have cut out all processed foods. I could go on and on! Lol!

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I’m not a big fan of proceeded food,either. But I do occasionally slip when I’m not prepared for the day. Thank you

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I went dairy-free as well as carb-free. Thank god for Plenish hazelnut milk (creamy and delish) and coconut cream.

I forgot to say before that the weight fell off me - esp the belly fat.

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I do love brown rice. Thank you

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I found it really hard at the start but the thing that was key for me was making sure I had food with me when I’m out and about because grab and go food can be hard to come by. Honestly after a couple of months it’s just a habit and you won’t even think about it! I found that my energy increased after a couple of months as did my vitamin and mineral levels. I’m now moving on to slowly cutting out dairy as it would be too much for me to change everything at once, but it’s much less daunting now that the gluten free is so easy.

Good luck!

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Thank you

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I'm allergic to gluten, egg, dairy, yeast and Brazil nuts. The best two cookery book I've found are "Free From food for family and friends" by Pippa Kendrick, which has loads of fab recipes including a chapter called "proper puddings"! Also "River Cottage gluten free" by Naomi Devlin. I'm British, and find what works for me are British-written & published cookery books, as the food appeals to me. The American ones I've bought in the past have recipes which don't appeal to me as much. Going gluten free, the easiest thing is to do a kitchen clear out of all products which contain gluten and replace with gluten-free products. Check mustards, chutneys etc and establish which brands are GF. READ ALL LABELS!!! Barley and malt vinegar both contain gluten and are added to many products. Commercial GF bread is disgusting, the River Cottage has delicious GF bread recipes (it's not just a case of substituting Doves Farm Gluten Free Flour into a regular gluten recipe). One crumb can gluten you, so remember the toaster must either be reserved for GF bread only or you don't use it, and if family members have regular bread products then they must put a portion of butter on their plate and spread from that, rather than go back to the butter with the knife that's just touched the toast. Or use a butter knife. Once you're set up, it's not that hard, restaurants are clued up properly now, and you will begin to feel way, way better. Good luck!

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Thank you

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You can get gluten-free beer... so not all bad, eh?

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Haven’t had a drink in seven months. Am looking forward to a cold beer. Hopefully, soon!

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The only resource not mentioned so far is 'paleo' and 'auto immune protocol (AIP)' for recipe and info resources. At a super high level, Paleo is gluten free, AIP is more restricted because it takes into account foods that are common triggers for those with auto-immune conditions. Take a look at marksdailyapple.com/ for all things paleo, and paleomom.com for all things AIP. There are many many other good sites and resources, just thought I'd point you in this direction in case it helps. The important point with the AIP diet is elimination then re-introduction so that you're not super restricted for long periods of time.

There are many paleo and/or AIP puddings that cater to the sweet tooth, using ingredients such as bananas, carrots, raisins, maple or honey for the sweetness and have no refined sugar in them. Often they include things like gelatine which is good for gut healing e.g. coconut milk panna cotta.

Personally I am gluten dairy and soy free to help with Hashi's. It was quite a journey getting to this point but diet makes a huge difference to my mental and physical health. My husband has coeliac and follows an AIP diet mostly.

I just had this for breakfast - I make a bulk of the dry mix and prep it the night before.

lauraschoenfeldrd.com/tropi... I usually have some kind of protein for breakfast.

Hope this helps!

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I’ll check it all. Looks interesting. Thank you

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Hi there! Going GF can seem daunting, for sure. I wanted to recommend a good cookbook I found. It's called Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segerston and Tom Malterre. Everything I have tried from the cookbook has been quite yummy! Also, if you're looking for a GF bread that isn't just made from potatoes & rice, check out Happy Campers. You can order it on their website & have it shipped to your house. If you like sweets, King Arthur Flour has the best GF mixes. The yellow cake & the brownies are both delicious.

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Perfect! Thank you!

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I’d start with just by buying all the replacement stuff. Then after that work it out. In UK Garofalo pasta from Italy and M&S gluten free bread is my recommendation. The pasta by far the best.

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Thank you!

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