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Saying Goodbye to Gluten:
The Emotional Journey
Y
ou’ve just gone through a diffi- The initial emotion is often one of
first choices that can be adapted to more
cult discussion about a diagnosis grief; a sense of a loss of power and
familiar foods like cereal, pasta and piz-
of Celiac disease. You’ve learned indeed a loss of the actual foods that
za crust. Additionally, gluten free flours,
that it’s an autoimmune disorder dam- were once so enjoyed. “No bread? No
baking mixes, rice and corn pastas, ce-
aging the small intestines, prompted by pasta? No pizza? What on earth will I
reals, and crackers are now available in
an inability to digest gluten, a protein eat?!” Although it initially may sound
a lot of supermarkets and of course in
found in many grains. You’ve been in- overwhelming, once the panic subsides,
health food and Whole Foods stores.
formed that the treatment is a gluten free you’ll soon realize that you will be able
The next emotional wave is fear that
diet and have arrived at this place after to eat many foods including fruits, veg-
comes from external reactions. By this
testing, an important step to confirm the etables, meat, eggs, real cheese, and
time, since food choices have been ad-
diagnosis prior to undertaking the struc- rice. You’ll learn how easy it is to flavor
dressed, a host of other concerns may
ture of a gluten free food program. food with herbs for tasty meals, and to
present themselves like, “What will my
Perhaps you’re now at the place where quickly dispel worries of bland, boring,
family and friends think? Will I now be
many newly diagnosed patients begin: and unappealing choices.
considered ‘high maintenance’? How
“Oh, no, if I can’t eat gluten, what can I As your journey progresses, you’ll
and where will we enjoy meals together?”
eat?” Upon hearing the gluten free pro- begin to recognize and enjoy the many
nouncement, and that this will be a life- healthy options that are available to you.
Approach them individually:
time commitment, people go through a Whole foods and tasty menus are plen-
gamut of emotions. tiful today and you will find that many
• As regards to what people think about
of your favorites (yes, even bread, pas-
your new eating habits, if someone
tas, and pizza, just not those made with
presses you to eat something that will
grains or flours that contain gluten) are
cause you distress, an explanation of the
still available in different ways.
reason for your refusal generally takes
To begin, it’s simpler to start with
care of things. If not, remember that
a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and pro-
nothing is more important than feeling
teins, something anyone who is inter-
good. Ultimately, it’s up to each of us in-
ested in improving their health would
dividually to be responsible for our own
embrace. You’ll be relieved to realize
health.
that stir frying and steaming are easily
• Becoming high maintenance is not an
accomplished and can produce very de-
issue because the acceptable choices
licious results. Whole grains are also al-
are readily available in almost any eat-
lowed, but are likely different from what
ing establishment. If you communicate
you’re used to. Rice and quinoa are good
with friends, family and restaurant serv-
28 NaturalNutmeg
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