So you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac, though it can be scary and frustrating, don’t be afraid! Having been down this road for over 6 years, I’m here to tell you how easy this can be and hopefully alleviate some of your fears.
First, learn to read labels – All labels are required to list allergen’s which makes eating Gluten Free much easier!
Fear #1 – What can I eat?
Go Fresh! All fresh fruits and vegetables are gluten free, I’ve learned to eat many more vegetables and found a new passion for fruits. You become a bit more creative in preparing foods but this can be fun! Salads can be made in hundred’s of ways, use your imagination! Many salad dressings are gluten free including Olive Garden’s, Hidden Valley, Newman’s and Annie’s Organic.
All meats, i.e. chicken, beef, lab, pork (not lunch meat) are gluten free.
Boar’s Head and Dietz & Watson both have great lunch meats that are gluten free as are most of the Kraft lunch meats.
Hot Dogs – Boar’s Head, Dietz & Watson, Kunslar, Bar S are a few of the gluten free brands.
Heinz, Koops, and French’s Ketchup are gluten free to 20 parts per million – the vinegar used in their ketchup are made from corn not wheat. Annie’s, Koops, and Heinz Mustard are gluten free to 20 parts per million. Heinz, Kraft, and Trader Joe Mayonnaise brands are all gluten free.
Many cereals are now creating gluten free options, General Mills is one of them making their various varieties of Cheerios gluten free.
Fear # 2 Where to shop? More and More stores are offering large gluten free options. In the eastern part of the US, we have Aldi’s – which in my opinion have the best options with the best prices but you can also shop at Trader Joe’s, Weigmans, Giant Eagle, Kuhn’s, and Shop and Save. Many of these stores have specific gluten free areas in the store but others mix their gluten free items in with similar items, i.e. the cereal aisle will offer both gluten free and non-gluten free items.
Fear #3 – Where can I Eat? The good thing now is that many people are starting to eat Gluten Free as a healthier way of life. Because of this, more and more restaurants are offering a better gluten free menu. Here are a few options that have restaurants around the eastern part of the country:
P. F. Chang’s
Here are some great Pittsburgh Pizza places to try:
Pastoli’s in Squirrel Hill – my number 1 favorite
Mandy’s in West View
Sir Pizza (one of my favorite) in North Hills
Murcurio’s – Shadyside
Many Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, and Italian restaurants have delicious gluten free options if you just ask.
My suggestion to you is to ask everywhere you go, most restaurants are open to fixing gluten free meals if you ask.
What are your favorite gluten free Restaurants?
Instead of being Gluten Free and afraid, be Gluten Free and adventurous! Try new places and try new foods, just imagine how wonderful you will feel! Embrace, enjoy, and experience this new Gluten Free you!
Gluten Free and Feeling Great