Gluten sensitivity is real and it is serious. If you suspect that you may have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, please see a doctor to confirm that you actually suffer from eating it. Once you have been diagnosed, you must follow the ground rules of dealing with the disease when it comes to meal planning and avoiding gluten-based foods. After being diagnosed with celiac, you face a dilemma of not being able to eat a variety of foods you once loved. Naturally available gluten-free foods include:
Although some processed foods are gluten-free, carefully read the labels before you eat them. There may be a warning that gluten could have touched the food. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic gluten-free drinks include fizzy drinks, flavored water, cordials, fruit juices, wines, spirits, cherry, cider, port, and liqueurs. Unsuitable alcoholic drinks for the celiac condition are ales, stout, beer, and anything barley-based.
Gluten and grains
Gluten is a naturally occurring protein found in certain types of grains. It helps the grain maintain its shape and is also responsible for the elastic texture of the dough. It can be found in wheat, einkorn, pearl barley, spelt, durum wheat, khorasan wheat, triticale, rye, semolina, and barley.
Maize, tapioca, millet, soya, sesame, corn, pulses (beans, peas, lentils), chestnuts, potato, mustard, almond, amaranth, gram flour, sorghum, polenta, hemp, hops, and flax seed are gluten-free.
In planning celiac meals, a good breakfast is key because it prevents you from craving later in the day. You can have homemade bread using bananas and an arrangement of toppings such as margarine, avocado, and oats which are a good source of soluble fiber.
Celiac Condition Meal Planning
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with veggies and potatoes, pair with fresh fruit.
Lunch: Chicken salad, a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil and a handful of almonds or cashew nuts.
Dinner: Lean ground beef stir fry with mixed veggies. Pair with brown rice and fresh fruit on the side.
Breakfast: Nutty blueberry oatmeal (gluten-free oats) with whole milk and raisins.
Lunch: A smoothie with blueberries, raspberries and a banana, frozen spinach or peas. For a quick and nutritious lunch, alter flavor and texture.
Dinner: Salmon, fried in butter, with green salad and potatoes.
Breakfast: Omelet with avocado, and a piece of fruit.
Lunch: Tuna salad with green salad and carrots.
Dinner: Burgers with no bun with potatoes and mixed veggies on the side.
Breakfast: Yogurt parfait with quinoa (gluten-free) granola and sliced fruits.
Lunch: Avocado tuna salad, dressed in olive oil.
Dinner: Turkey meatballs with vegetables and brown rice.
Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in canola or sunflower oil, with a piece of fruit.
Lunch: Turkey meatballs (Use leftover to get rid of the previous night meatballs) with steamed veggies.
Dinner: Steak with steamed vegetables and mashed sweet potatoes.
Breakfast: Cereal (oatmeal – certified gluten-free), with a piece of fruit.
Lunch: Steak, veggies and sweet potatoes (use to get rid of the previous steak the previous night).
Dinner: Baked salmon with butter and summer vegetables.
Breakfast: Uncured bacon (without salt and sugars) eggs, with some fruit.
Lunch: Plain Greek yogurt with berries, sliced fruit, and macadamia nuts.
Dinner: Grilled hot chicken wings, with veggies, salsa, and rice.
Here is a closer look at some of the recipes for our planned celiac meal
Grilled hot chicken wings, with veggies, salsa and rice: Rinse the wings and wipe them dry. Oil the grill grate to prevent the chicken from sticking to it. Grill the chicken on medium high about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the wings for 20-25 minutes. Flip and brush with (explicitly verified gluten-free) BBQ sauce.
Turkey meatballs with steamed veggies: Meatballs are danger zones in restaurants, however you can make them homemade and gluten-free. You need 1lb ground beef and 2 egg yolks, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of chopped onions. The 1lb ground beef will make roughly 28 balls. Take all of the ingredients and place them in a bowl. Mix with your own hands. Roll the mixture to make the balls. Bake for 30 minutes.
Smoked salmon with green salad: Put 6 ounces of smoked salmon in a bowl. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper and whisk with the extra virgin oil. Put the salad on plates and serve.
Chicken salad, a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil and a handful of almonds or cashew nuts: Put the chicken in a large cooking pot. Cover and simmer. Slice the onion and cover with a tablespoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt. You can pull the chicken from the bones and place in the mixing bowl. Add the following; ¼ cup olive oil, sliced 1large onion, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, and cracked pepper to taste. Toss everything and season until the taste is right for you.
Plain Greek yogurt with berries, sliced fruit and nuts: Use 5 ounces of plain Greek yogurt. Take ¾ cup of Greek yogurt and ½ cup of blueberries. Wash all the berries and put in the yogurt.
A smoothie with blueberries, raspberries and a banana, frozen spinach or peas: This is an anti-inflammatory smoothie. Take ½ of a banana, 1 cup of frozen berries or raspberries, and 1/3 cup frozen peas or spinach. Add water as required. Put all the ingredients into the blender. Next, add water to meet your ideal smoothie thickness.
What you eat is extremely important to your health. If a celiac patient continues taking gluten-based foods, it will eventually impact them severely. Pay attention not only to gluten-free food but also a healthy heart. Your diet should have fiber, omega 3 from nuts and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. Diets rich in omega 3 lowers cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
You can start to feel better just after few days of embarking on a gluten free diet. However, your age and the severity of the damage caused to your gut determine how fast you will heal. You need the support of your family to be able to eat a gluten-free diet. It is important to get a quick and accurate celiac disease diagnosis. In some people, it may take between 6 months to 5 years for the damage inflicted on the gut to heal completely. If symptoms refuse to go away even after changing to a gluten-free diet, consult your dietitian or gastroenterologist who can determine why you don’t respond to gluten-free diet.