We get lots of calls from people who are newly diagnosed who feel a bit daunted by changing their whole diet and trying to understand what is ‘gluten-free’. I do think when you are first diagnosed with the coeliac condition, you can feel a little bit overwhelmed! Whilst with a lot of medical conditions, there is a tablet to hopefully “put things right”, with coeliac disease, there is no tablet or ‘quick fix’, the only treatment is a gluten free diet for life. For many people, the thought of sticking to a gluten free diet fully with no deviation can be quite daunting. Suddenly you have to think about everything that you eat!
BUT the key thing is not to panic! There is so much support and advice out there! Coeliac UK (the charity that support people with the coeliac condition) are a fantastic source of information. Their Food & Drink Directory is inspirational. I love having a browse through, especially the confectionary section to see all the goodies that I am still able to enjoy!
The Juvela Team are always happy to try and offer support or to point you in the right direction so make sure you make use of their Freephone line – 0800 783 1992!
Ideally after diagnosis you should be seen by a dietitian, who can help advise you on managing your gluten free diet. If you have not been referred we suggest that you contact your GP and request to see a dietitian.
When you first start following a gluten free diet many people are not aware that so many foods that they have previously enjoyed are still “safe” for them to eat! Many people immediately think they are confined to only eat the gluten free products from the “free from” section. This is where I hope I can offer some advice as I think it is sometimes a matter of confidence and reassurance! The majority of the food in my basket will not be labelled ‘free from’ but by using Coeliac UK’s Food & Drink Directory and checking labels (allergens are so much better listed now!) I’ve learnt that I can still have a lot of choice. It’s completely worth spending the time to check a product is suitable to allow you as much variety as possible within your diet.
Although I do sometimes pop down the ‘free from’ aisle to see what’s new and pick up the occasional treat (such as gluten free biscuits and beer)! I am aware of the higher cost of many of these products, so personally I spend that bit more time checking ingredients of foods that aren’t labelled as ‘gluten-free’ and alongside getting my monthly staple prescription products such as bread, rolls, flour mix and cereal from the pharmacy, I find I can manage not only my gluten free diet, but also our shopping budget too!
In my basket pictured below I have popped a few things I would typically pick up within my supermarket shop… highlighting products that are naturally gluten free and allowing me to keep my shopping bill within budget!
The staple gluten free products I obtain on prescription slot perfectly into my diet. Offering the guarantee, no matter what, I can always have great tasting gluten free products I can rely on within my diet. A simple box of Juvela gluten free mix can conjure up thousands of different recipes by simply adding the required ingredients and as mentioned in last month’s post I love my gluten free bread!
Happy, healthy eating on your gluten free diet!