So you’ve been diagnosed a coeliac, you’ve had your last gluteny meal (well intentionally gluteny) and you’ve got a appointment booked with a dietician. So the hell do you do now?
We’ll sit down and have a cup of tea. Breath. And relax.
Everyone reacts differently, I was gutted but my sister is a Coeliac so I wasn’t completely on the dark. So here is a set of guidelines of what I think you should do now you have your ‘diagnosis’, you don’t have to follow them in order…
Right now you’re probably thinking about all the things you can’t have…
Pizza, cake, pasta, biscuits, bread, crumpets, muffins, cous cous, crackers…blah blah blah…
To be honest you can actually eat most of these things (gluten free ones of course) and you will learn to love them.
So when you meet your dietician…don’t be afraid…they will probably scare you into thinking you will never eat again…but you will-don’t panic.
So now it’s time for dinner, I’d recommend you eat something you usually would that is already gluten free, like chicken and potatoes, curry, something that you know and is familiar.
1. Firstly think about all your favourite things that you can have….
Learn what is naturally gluten free, read my page about common gluten free myths.
2. Think about all the restaurants and cafes you can eat at. You’re social life is not over! Granted, you may send like an hour walking up and down the high street looking for somewhere (anywhere) to eat but you will eat!
3. Join Coeliac UK. This is the most important one, they will send you a food and drink directory, which will be a god send when you try to go shopping and they provide a help line and wonderful help pages.
4. Sign up with Juvela and Gluatfin and receive a free sample pack of their products. You’ll get a great big box that will save your life… bread, crackers and pizza bases, it will make the first few weeks so much easier. Also register with DS and Livwell where you can receive some free samples
5. Have a read of my page on Gluten Free Prescriptions, and try and get your head around them. It doesn’t make much sense.
6. Join the online community: Facebook, twitter, tumblr, pintrest and of course here in wordpress. You’ll find so much information, advice and support from your fellow gluten free friends. Honestly, blogging has made this whole thing bearable, writing down my thoughts, sharing my recipes and reviews, talking to other gluten free people on twitter is a great way to find support and advice.
7. Pop on some music and clear out the cupboards, throw away (or give them to a poor housemate) all the things that ‘Contain Gluten’ ‘May Contain Gluten’ or ‘Produced in a factory that handles Gluten’. Staring at that packet of biscuits isn’t going to make things any easier.
Things to try in the near future…
Face it, you will not instantly become a brilliant gluten free baker. In fact, you will probably be really bad. I was, I actually stopped baking all together for a while as I couldn’t face the sadness of failed bakes. However, gluten free baking is different science and you need to keep practising. Try something simple like cupcakes or cookies!