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Gluten Free Dining Advice For Newly Diagnosed Celiacs

Eating at a restaurant

Eating out is the most difficult part of living with celiac disease. Once you have been diagnosed with this chronic illness, eating out is forever changed. It will never be the same as it once was. This is an, unfortunate, stark reality check for those living with celiac. It sounds harsh, I know. But, it is true. There is no spontaneity with eating out anymore.

But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out. You just need to change your expectations and learn a new way to dine out. It can still be enjoyable (if you let it) but it will take effort to ensure it’s as safe as it can be.

The question to ask yourself is this “Are you going to let this bring you down or are you going to rise to the challenge?”

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The Canadian Food Guide and Celiac Disease

Smoothie bowl with strawberries

The new Canadian Food Guide was released and it is quite a drastic change from the old 2007 edition. Overall, it’s a very welcomed step in the right direction.

The first thing to emphasize is that this a population health guide. It’s a guide that states a general pattern of healthy eating that is consistent with a reduced risk of chronic disease. It is not meant to provide specific nutrition advice for individual circumstances. More on that below.

One of my favorite reasons I like this guide is it promotes HOW to eat vs WHAT to eat. Many people have the knowledge of what is healthy, but have a hard time putting that knowledge into action. And the “how to eat,” outlines some very actionable and important steps to consider when eating food.

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3 Things to Do When First Diagnosed with Celiac Disease

group of people

Being diagnosed with celiac disease can be very overwhelming. Firstly, as unfortunate as it is, there is not much support out there when your doctor hands you the diagnosis of celiac disease. Many of my clients have told me that they were informed to ‘google’ the diet and were then shown the door.

I remember when I was diagnosed, my doctor said “well you’re a dietitian so this should be easy for you.”

Yes, that was it.

I definitely feel I had a leg up than others, for sure. But, it was still very difficult for me. The first year I learned so much more than the basic gluten free diet. From reading labels correctly, to correcting nutrient deficiencies, to navigating social situations, the learning curve is steep. And, of course, when you live a disease everyday, you see things through a different lens.

It is not as simple as ‘googling’ the gluten free diet. And, in fact, I would say it is much more dangerous to google the information as there is a lot of inaccurate information on the internet, especially when it comes to gluten free and celiac disease.

So, if you have just been diagnosed, take these 3 steps to get your health back on track:

1. Seek out accurate information from dietitian experts in the area of gluten free and celiac disease

Just as there are doctors that specialize in gastrointestinal disorders (gastroenterologists), there are dietitians that specialize in certain areas as well. And, when it comes to celiac disease, it’s very important that you use a dietitian with this expertise.

Registered Dietitians with expertise in the gluten free diet are the nutrition professionals you want to turn to in the case of celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy. Not only have they taken a 5 year degree program to become registered as a dietitian in their particular province, they also have additional expertise in the gluten free diet helping to get you on the right track right away.

Avoid spending unnecessary dollars on a bunch of supplements, unnecessary and inaccurate ‘food intolerance’ tests, unnecessary microbiome assessments and wisely invest your health dollars, simply, in a dietitian.

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Gluten Free Halloween Candy List For Canada (2018)

Gluten Free Halloween Candy Canada 2018

Ok, so we know that we should never rely on lists on the internet when it comes to gluten free….right?  YES, you should NOT rely on internet lists for gluten free halloween candy!  ALWAYS rely on your label reading skills as taught by your Dietitian or from the free glutenfree 101 series from the Canadian Celiac Association.

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Gluten Free Lunchbox Ideas for Kids

Bento box lunch

Young kids like variety in their lunches.  Little bit of this, little bit of that, bite here, nibble there…you get the picture.  A little creativity with simple, whole foods can sometimes be all that is needed to jazz up the old lunchbox routine and encourage little ones to eat a little bit more.

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