For some people, finally being diagnosed with coeliac disease can be a relief! They’ve finally got an answer as to why they’ve been suffering for so long. For others [and myself], being diagnosed with coeliac disease can turn your world upside down and can be quite a challenging and distressing time.
Which is why I’ve compiled a check-list to help the newly diagnosed coeliacs to gain a little control in their new gluten free life.
I’d also like to point out that it’s great that you’re reading this on the Talkhealth community! It’s a great step forward, as this is a great place for you to gain control, have ‘your say’ and speak to people in a similar situation as yourself!
1) Sit Down & Have a Brew – Great things have been discussed over a brew and a brew shared amongst a friend or family member is a guarantee way of helping you get your head around the diagnosis and get things off your chest.
2) Register with Coeliac UK – When you register with Coeliac UK you are given 6 months free membership where you will receive a huge package of helpful guides and booklets, including their Food & Drink Directory – which lists every food product in all the UKs major supermarkets and mentions whether or not they’re safe for coeliacs!
3) Clean Out Your Food Cupboards – This can be the hardest part for any newly diagnosed coeliac. Try and have a friend or family member with you when you do it, to help read labels and look out for the horrible culprits that have been making you so poorly – wheat, barley, rye, oats, gluten.
4) Buy Some Gluten Free Essentials – Although I’ve found that gluten free pasta and gluten free biscuits [especially the one’s from TruFree -which you can find from most supermarkets as well as the Dietary Specials online shop] do taste just like the ‘real thing’, I did find that the gluten free bread does take some getting use to! I found most brands of gluten free bread taste better once ‘refreshed’ in the microwave or toasted but the Genius Bread [which you can buy from their online shop], the Warbutons gluten free bread and the Dietary Specials Ciabatta taste just like the real thing, so you can still enjoy your sandwiches! You also need to think about foods that you’ve shared with non-coeliacs, such as butter. As just one wheat laden crumb left in your butter, can still gluten you and make you poorly!
5) Buy New Kitchen Equipment – You may have to buy new cutlery, especially if you’re house sharing, to avoid cross contamination. One of the things you really need to consider is a new toaster. A toaster is a hot box of toasted bread crumbs, you only have to knock it ever so slightly to have a shower of crumbs all over your surface! Also think of your chopping boards, especially if you share a wooden chopping board and sieves.
6) Register with Gluten Free Food Companies – If you register with the following gluten free companies [which is FREE] you receive either money off vouchers or huge gluten free food hampers full of full sized and sample sized goodies!
- Glutafin – You receive a huge hamper full of full and sample sized goodies!
- Juvela – Same as Glutafin; a huge hamper full of gluten free goodies!
- Dietary Specials – You receive money off vouchers!
- Livwell – Will send out free samples to newly diagnosed coeliacs!
7) Join the Online Gluten Free Community – You can find the gluten free community on twitter, in the ‘blogosphere’ or in this very talkhealth community! I’ve included a great list of my favourite gluten free bloggers on my blog page! You never know, you might find your favourite blogger on there!
8 ) Try an Easy Gluten Free Recipe – It may take some getting used to when baking or cooking gluten free food from scratch [for example, you’re using different flour which results in a different texture] Which is why I suggest anyone to start with the basics – such as, making basic gluten free cupcakes or basic gluten free chocolate cupcakes. They’re easy and taste delicious! If you want to bake, I highly recommend Doves gluten free flours – they’re the best and is available from most supermarkets!
For more information please check my website: The Gluten Free Student Cookbook
Facebook: The Gluten Free Student Cookbook