I get several emails a day from people who are just starting the gluten free diet. Some are relieved to finally know what is wrong and to have an answer, while others are in sheer panic mode.
Below is a list of things to you can eat the day after diagnosis. Nothing fancy here - maybe you are not ready for the Teff Bread recipe but just need some simple things that can be purchased at the grocery store to eat while sorting things out.
If you have been living GF, then this will seem pretty basic to you, but don't you remember that feeling when you first found out you had to go GF? It was seven years ago for us and a lot has changed in those seven years - there wasn't GF pizza, bread and muffins like now.
We had a pop up camper back then and we went camping at our favorite spot in the Hoh Rain Forest a few days after diagnosis.
The Hoh Rain Forest is a beautiful camp ground on the Olympic Peninsula where you are often treated to visits by herds of elk.
I was not even sure what condiments were safe back then - that was when it was still unclear if vinegar was gluten free or not. We ate hamburger minus the buns and pickles, corn thins with peanut butter, yogurt and fresh fruit for a week.
We practically starved the first few days and we all lost weight the first month while I tried to figure out what to eat and HOW to cook.
The rain on the beach that day matched my feelings. I was not a very happy camper on that trip as I tried to come to terms with the new diagnosis.
Almost seven years later there are so many tasty gluten free options that you actually can find some satisfying gluten free substitutions in most grocery store aisles.
Start with some of the simple, good gluten free food mentioned in our Gluten Free Pantry and give yourself time to feel better and time for your taste buds to adjust.
Food You Can Eat Now:
Here are some simple foods you can eat now while you are sorting things out:
Remember that all vegetables, fruits, unprocessed or un-marinated meats, rice and beans are naturally gluten free and good for you. In addition to these:
- Yogurt and Smoothies - My gluten free kid lived on smoothies the first week on her new diet. They were cold, soothing and familiar. Plain yogurt is gluten free as is most flavored yogurt. Yoplait labels it's yogurts as being gluten free and has a policy of listing all sources of gluten on the label. Chobani and Stonyfield have been certified GF by the Gluten Intolerant Group. Click here for some of our favorite Smoothie Recipes. The Chocolate Strawberry Soy Smoothie is dairy free.
- Fried or scrambled eggs.
- Envirokidz Organic Koala Crisp(my very picky eaters never turned their noises up at this cereal).
- Nature's Path Organic Honey'd Corn Flakes Cereal
- Pocono Cream of Buckwheat - We absolutely love this! Buckwheat is good for you and naturally sweet so it is a winner all of the way around. We make a double serving, and refrigerate half for the next morning. Top with milk, sugar and cinnamon!
- General Mills Chex Cereal- General Mills reformulated the ingredients for many of their Chex cereals to make them gluten free. Our favorites are Honey Nut Chex and Cinnamon Chex.
- Gifts of Nature Certified Gluten Free Oats - Another favorite!
Lunch and Dinner Ideas
- A sandwich on Udi Bread - you can go gluten free and still eat your favorite GF sandwich toppings on Udi bread. It is so good that you do not even have to toast it.
- Lunch meat - Our family enjoys the Hormel Natural Choice lunch meats. For an easy lunch, roll some lunch meat and cheese together and stick a fancy toothpick in it.
- Lundberg Farms gluten free rice and risotto.
- Hot dogs - We prefer Boars Head. All of Boar's Head meat, cheese and condiments are GF. Serve plain or wrap them in a warmed gluten free corn tortilla.
- Thai Kitchen Rice Noodles - just add water and microwave. Look for the flavors marked gluten free or click on the link above.
- Baked Potatoes
- Nachos - Tostitos tortilla chips with melted cheese on top. Click on the Tositos link to see a list of Frito Lay products that are gluten free!
- Peanut butter on some toasted Udi's bread or with some Snyders of Hanover GF Pretzels.
- Corn Thins - These served as our initial replacement for bread (before Udi started making GF bread). Real Foods corn thins are sold just about everywhere. Make sure you buy the ones labeled gluten free. You can also order Suzie's Whole Grain Thin Cakes, Puffed Ricefrom Amazon.com.
- Fruit and veggies: Do not underestimate the value of fruit and veggies. We eat more of these than anything else. Bananas and apples can be very filling. We love trying all of the fruits as they come out with the seasons, blueberries and raspberries in summer, apples and pears in the fall. I often just leave a bowl of carrots on my kitchen bar - they seem to disappear amazingly fast.
- Cheese: Assuming you can tolerate dairy, real cheese is a great option for anyone on a gluten free diet. Gluten is not included in the standard ingredients in cheese which includes milk, enzymes and sometimes salt. Most processed cheese is also likely though not guaranteed to be gluten free. You might find wheat in the seasoning used for some shredded cheeses, but anytime wheat is used it must be clearly labeled. Frigo cheese chicks are great for kids. Our family also loves Gouda and sharp cheddar.
- Chips: Not necessarily healthy but many chips are gluten free. Click this link for Frito Lay Gluten Free List. Even better, try Food Should Taste Good chips which are certified Gluten Free and processed on equipment that does not process any gluten ingredients, and they taste wonderful. Really a cross between a cracker and a chip. We love the the Sweet Potato chip dipped in hummus.
- Real popcorn: Most microwave popcorn is gluten free but save yourself the worry and time and make your own popcorn. We bought our own popper and make our own popcorn. Of course this is how we grew up, but you'd be surprised what a treat this is for kids of the microwave popcorn generation.
- Hard boiled eggs
- Kozy Shack pudding
Recommended Books about Living Gluten Free:
The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosedby Jules Shepard
Living Gluten-Free For Dummies by Danna Korn
I am working on updating my website with new information to make the transition to the GF diet easier. I really believe that we are stronger in community than we are alone. I know what my family likes to eat for breakfast, but wonder what other people living in other regions might like. If you have any additional comments or suggestions, you can email me or leave them in the comment section.
For more information on Starting a Gluten Free Diet, visit my Website at Gluten Free Mom.com.