To A Newly Diagnosed Celiac, part two

Hey, it's been awhile. Well, for me. You probably just read the letter I wrote four months ago, and it doesn't seem like it's been any time at all.

Well it has for me. I have a couple new things to say to you. First of all, I'm going to be a little more concise this time. Here are my pointers and thoughts for you.
  1. Don't cheat.
  2. Find a good cookbook, or a good blog.
  3. Start with mixes. 
  4. Forget about everything you used to eat.
  5. Consider a cleanse of some sort.
  6. And, most importantly, this really is a good thing.

Don't cheat. Don't do it. Don't eat anything with gluten. Accidents happen, sure, and you'll figure out how much contamination is too much, but do. not. cheat. Whatever you do. Your body needs to heal and recuperate, and once its initial healing is done, you need to stay well, and avoid being sick. Trust me, you will highly appreciate landmarks like "one whole month totally gluten free". You will also see healing a lot faster if you stay clean. Maybe think of yourself as an addict and gluten as your drug. Yes, withdrawals suck, but once you get through it, you're done. If you backslide at any point, you have to start all over again. Okay, I know that's not a perfect analogy, but the point is don't cheat!

Find a good cookbook, or a good gluten free blog. Google and Pinterest are wonderful search engines to come across certain recipes, but it's really good to find one voice and learn from that person. Think of them like your Obi-Wan Kenobi. I really love The Cooking Light Gluten Free Cookbook

I don't know if you have experience baking, or if you can't cook anything more complicated than Kraft Dinner, but you're are currently facing a huge learning experience either way. Gluten free products are really expensive, and much cheaper if you make them yourself. If you are an experienced baker, you're staring down new flours, and xanthum gum, and a whole new way of working with yeast, and learning about textures all over again. If you are not comfortable in the kitchen, well, good luck. Either way, no matter who you are, I'm going to suggest buying boxed mixes. They're cheaper than buying finished products, and turn out better than from-scratch, even if you know what you're doing.

I know you have favorites, and dependable foods. You have certain things that you always have stocked in your cupboard or freezer. Chances are, you can't eat any of those things any more. Just let it go. Pack them all up, get rid of them, and avoid that spot in the grocery store. Just forget about it. They aren't coming back, and you can not risk eating them. In a couple of months, you can try making a gluten free alternative, I promise. You can make almost anything gluten free once you know what you're doing. In the meantime, think about potatoes, rice, corn, and vegetables. Potatoes are super versatile. You can have a ton of different meals with potatoes. 

I considered a lot of cleanses, but haven't actually done anything yet. But right now, your body is clogged with something that harms it. Every part of your digestive system is laden down. A cleanse of any sort will probably help. I know it sounds all "granola" but it's a good idea. I'm not saying give up food for forty days or anything crazy, but a three day juice fast is a great kickstart to your healing process.

Last, but most importantly, remember that you are lucky. If you read my first letter, you know that I know that this sucks, and it does. But it also rocks. You are lucky to start a healing process, you are lucky Celiac didn't kill you first, you are lucky for a million different reasons, but I don't know your specifics. Chin up, sweetheart, this is the beginning of the rest of your life.

All my love,
A six month Celiac.

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