Safety with celiac disease goes beyond gluten-free food. It’s easy to get caught up in the gluten-free side of things and as a result, neglect other areas that play into safety with celiac.
Gluten is in what feels like everything! Overhauling your lifestyle and living a completely new one overnight is bound to have an impact on mental health. And that’s what happens when you’re diagnosed with celiac disease. You get the diagnosis and are expected to live …
If you're newly diagnosed with celiac disease, read this.
Being newly diagnosed with celiac disease can be super overwhelming. You’ve lived your entire life up until this point not thinking twice about gluten and now suddenly you’re supposed to completely remove it from your life?!
And your doctor gave you a handout or just told you to go gluten-free but you’re quickly finding out it’s not that easy…
You start googling what to do when diagnosed with celiac and you don’t even know where to start with all of the info.
You’re frustrated because despite your best efforts, you’re still getting exposed to gluten or you’re not feeling any better.
It’s hard. I get it and that’s why I’m writing this post. If you’re newly diagnosed with celiac disease, know that it is going to be okay. It’s a lot to take in right now and there’s a lot to process, take your time as you adjust to gluten-free living for celiac.
Reminders for a Newly Diagnosed Celiac
While there’s a lot to a gluten-free diet for celiac, I have some tips to keep you on the right track.
Don't Give up
It can be so easy to feel overwhelmed and like it’s not worth it when newly diagnosed with celiac. Remember that you aren’t going to perfect a gluten-free lifestyle overnight.
Keep trying your best and learning from your mistakes and things will slowly start to become routine.
Don’t give up, your body needs you to stick with it!
It Will Become More Routine
It’s hard and overwhelming right now, I get it. Know that with every day you try and stay gluten-free, the more routine it gets.
I won’t say easy because I think it’s not fair to put celiac disease and easy in the same sentence, but it does become more routine.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, angry, upset, sad, anxious, and whatever else you feel.
Celiac disease and grief is real. It is natural to grieve a life without celiac disease and don’t get stuck here. If you feel stuck reach out for help.
Action steps for A Newly diagnosed Celiac
- Decide if you’re going to live in a shared home or a dedicated gluten-free home. There are pros and cons to both and don’t feel pressure to live in a dedicated gluten-free home if it’s not feasible. Living gluten-free in a shared household safely is possible.
- Prepare your kitchen accordingly.
- Replace kitchenware that is hard to clean to prevent cross-contact. Preventing cross-contact with celiac disease is important. You don’t want gluten to contaminate your gluten-free food.
- Stock up on gluten-free delicious foods.
- Find a home for your gluten-free food if living a shared kitchen.
- Learn how to check food labels for gluten. The best tool in your gluten-free living tool-kit is being able to read a food label for safety. If you can’t identify if a food item is going to be safe, living gluten-free can be especially paralyzing.
- Find gluten-free lifestyle support. Living gluten-free for celiac is hard, and research shows support can improve your quality of life.
- Prioritize self-care. Self-care is important when you have celiac disease and having a solid self-care plan is vital to your success. If you’re running low on energy or mental space, it gets really hard to be kind and gentle with yourself as you try to navigate a gluten-free life.
Explore other avenues of celiac disease and safety. Staying safe with celiac isn’t just about avoiding gluten. Your mental, emotional, social and spiritual health are all impacted by celiac and need attention too. Make sure you’re not neglecting these other categories of health and safety.
Newly Diagnosed? Have A lot of Questions?
Check out my Celiac Crash Course which I designed to walk you through the basics of staying safe with celiac.
From dining out, reading a food label, to educating others, this course walks you through all of the things you need to know when you’re first starting off living gluten-free.
Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of google and facebook groups, there’s a lot of misinformation and fear-mongering out there. I keep it simple in my course so you know exactly what you have to do to stay safe with out being afraid of everything.
Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance: What’s the Difference People often don’t know the differences between celiac disease and gluten intolerance is. I’m frequently asked “I have the symptoms of both celiac and gluten intolerance. How do I know which one I have”. First, I want …
Gluten Exposure Recovery Kit
Gluten Exposure Recovery Kits are incredibly helpful for managing being glutened. Being exposed to gluten (or being “glutened”) happens. Gluten exposure is a part of life when you are living gluten-free. Even the best of us get exposed. Rather than beat yourself up about it, give yourself grace, learn from your mistakes, and focus on recovery.
How do you recover from gluten exposure?
Gluten exposure relief really depends on the individual, their needs, and their reaction to gluten exposure. What to do when you’re exposed to gluten will thus, largely be different from celiac to celiac.
My general tips on relief from gluten include: being kind to yourself, giving yourself permission to be uncomfortable, and having a plan in place to help soothe specific symptoms you struggle with.
Specifically, having a Gluten Exposure Recovery Kit can be incredibly helpful. Having a place to keep everything that you need to help stay comfortable and heal really changes the game.
What to put in your Gluten Exposure Recovery Kit
A great way to start planning your gluten exposure recovery kit is by first listing the symptoms you struggle with when you’re glutened. Make note of the symptoms that are particularly tough for you to deal with and then brainstorm ways you can comfort yourself.
My Gluten Exposure Recovery Kit Recommendations
Now that you’ve identified the symptoms you struggle with and how you might cope. Now it’s time to decide what to put in your Gluten Exposure Recovery Kit that supports your findings.
Sometimes your response to gluten exposure involves long trips to the bathroom. A squatty potty can help make those trips easier and more comfortable. A don’t just take my word for it, scientists agree that the squatty potty really does help you poop better.
When you’ve been glutened, baby wipe can make the clean up a lot easier… if you know what I mean.
Electrolytes are a must for Gluten Exposure Recovery Kits because often symptoms of gluten exposure involve water-loss. Think of diarrhea and vomiting. Electrolytes are good to have on hand to help make sure you’re staying hydrated.
Certain teas are known for their carminative effects, or their gas reducing effect. Basically, they help calm the stomach. I personally keep the following teas on hand for gluten exposure recovery:
– Ginger Tea
– Peppermint Tea
– Green Tea
Note that if you also struggle with acid reflux, mint might not be a good idea.
L-Glutamine has been thought to help repair the gut. In a time where your body has been attacking the lining of your gut, taking L-Glutamine is thought to help improve repairs.
(always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement to make sure it’s right for you!)
Often times gluten can cause cramps and aches when you have celiac. A heating pad can help these pains if they occur.
For maximum comfort, comfy clothes are a must! I like walking around in loose clothes that don’t put pressure on my stomach after gluten exposure. So naturally, robes are a go-to pick.
Getting Glutened too Often?
If you are getting glutened too often, working with a celiac specialized dietitian might help reduce your gluten exposures. Celiac dietitians are specialized in helping people avoid gluten in the least restrictive yet safest way possible.
Tools to Master Celiac Disease I always say living with Celiac Disease never gets easy but it definitely does get easier. With the right tools in your toolkit, mastering celiac disease can be possible. Here are some tools to master celiac disease that I think …
Whether you’re following a vegan diet and have to go gluten-free, or you’re living gluten-free and are considering a vegan diet, this post is for you. Concerns and considerations are discussed in this post to help people have a better understanding of what following a gluten-free vegan diet might look like.
Defining a Vegan Diet
A vegan diet is considered to be a diet that excludes all animal products, not to be confused with a plant-based diet. Some people often take it even further and refuse to use any product sourced from animals. This means that those following a vegan diet only eat food from plants and nothing from animals. Meaning, no dairy, no meat, lard, and more.
Some reasons why people follow a vegan diet:
There are many reasons why people follow a vegan diet or live a vegan lifestyle.
A Vegan Diet for Health
Some consider a plant-based or vegan diet as a way to better support their health. There is a lot of research out there supporting a plant-focused diet as a way to support multiple health conditions. For instance, plant-based diets have been suggested to help metabolic syndrome, glycemic control, heart health, blood pressure, lipid health (think cholesterol and triglycerides) and more.
It’s important to note that when considering making big changes to your diet, like eliminating all or limiting most animal products, you should always consult your doctor or a dietitian if possible. Just like there is no one size fits all for clothes, there is no one diet that fits all in nutrition.
A Vegan Diet for Sustainability
A vegan diet is often touted for its environmental friendliness. Research suggests that a vegan diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, it’s also suggested that a flexitarian diet or a vegetarian diet can have similar impacts with less nutrient deficiency concerns. So if you’re considering a vegan diet to support the environment, you might consider other plant-focused eating habits as well. Again, a dietitian can help you figure out what’s right for you!
A Vegan Diet to Prevent Animal Cruelty
A lot of people go vegan to prevent the exploitation of animals. A lot of people take the route of veganism to stand against animal cruelty.
Is a vegan diet gluten-free?
Is a vegan diet gluten-free? No! If someone says that they are vegan, that does not mean they are gluten-free. The same goes for the opposite, if someone says they are gluten-free, that does not mean they are vegan. I can’t tell you how often people get the two confused.
Again, people who are vegan don’t eat animal products, gluten is not an animal product, thus it’s not restricted in a vegan diet. The same goes for those who need to eat gluten-free, gluten is a plant, and thus vegan food does not automatically equal gluten-free food.
Nutrient Deficiencies and a Vegan Diet
When removing any food group or most of any food group, nutrient deficiencies can always be a concern. In this case, when you remove all animal produts there are some nutrients people should be aware of that might not be as abundant as they’d be in a normal diet.
Some of the nutrients of concern include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
Again, this is a reason why working with a dietitian is important. A dietitian can help you determine what diet is best for you and how to balance is appropriately so you’re not missing any key nutrients.
Defining a Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten-free diet means just that, a diet free from gluten.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found some grains (remember the acronym BROWS, barley, rye, sometimes oats, wheat, and spelt).
Some reasons why people follow a gluten-free diet:
Just like there are a variety of reasons as to why someone might consider a vegan diet, there are a lot of reasons why someone might need a gluten-free diet.
The main reasons would be because of health conditions. Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease often can be managed with a gluten-free diet. On top of that, conditions like non-celiac gluten-sensitivity and celiac disease might require a gluten-free diet as well.
Make sure you ALWAYS consult your doctor and dietitian before removing gluten from your diet. Going gluten-free before testing for certain conditions can impair your ability to be diagnosed for things like Celiac, in the future.
Nutrient Deficiencies and a Gluten-Free Diet
There are several nutrient deficiencies to watch out for when following a gluten-free diet. Here are some common nutrients of concern when following a gluten-free diet that I see:
- Vitamin D
- B Vitamins (including B12)
You can check out my post all about 5 Common Gluten-Free Diet Nutrient Deficiencies if you want to learn more about these nutrients and why there’s a risk of deficiency.
Tips on following a balanced gluten-free and vegan diet
Above I explored both a vegan and gluten-free diet. Hopefully, now you have a solid understanding of both. So if we compare the nutrients of concerns of both we can gain some insight on nutrients that someone considering a gluten-free and vegan diet might want to focus on.
Nutrients to be mindful of on a Gluten-Free and Vegan Diet:
- Calcium (click here for an awesome list of plant-based calcium sources)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12 (and other B Vitamins)
Vegan foods that aren’t gluten-free to watch out for:
- Tofu or Tempeh (can be seasoned, flavored, or marinated with products that have wheat)
Seitan (it’s always made from wheat)
- Other Meat substitutes (can contain gluten ingredients)
- Dairy Alternatives (some dairy-free milk can have unsafe additives like malt extract)
- Miso (can be made with or from wheat)
Naturally gluten-free and vegan foods:
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Canned Fruits and Vegetables (if they are in just water and salt, watch out for unsafe additives)
- Beans, lentils, and legumes (canned or dried without seasoning, watch out for cross-contact)
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butter (watch out for seasoning and cross-contact)
- Gluten-free grains (rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff)
Hopefully, by the end of this post, you feel like you have a better understanding of a gluten-free and vegan diet. If you have any questions, go ahead and comment below or contact me!