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It seems like I can't find a single forum on the entire internet dedicated to vegans with gluten sensitivity (except for one that requires your account to be authorized but its taking FOREVER!).
Anyway, I just want some insight from other vegans who have celiac or gluten sensitivity? I've been cleared of celiac, but I've had a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, and a barium enema to try to figure out what's wrong with me. I haven't seen my doctor yet, but according to the doctors who did the procedures it doesn't look like there's anything of concern other than some inflammation. Given that they may not find anything else wrong with me, I'd like to discuss a gluten-free diet with my doctor. I'm just looking for people who understand what it's like, particularly people who have gluten sensitivity and had to be the one to bring it up to your doctors. I've heard a lot about doctors not being on board with the whole gluten-free thing, so I want to be prepared.
Also, any tips to make the transition easier. I don't eat much grain aside from rice, so I should be okay, but I do like to have the occasional sandwich and I haven't exactly heard good things about gluten free bread.
Any good products (cheap!) or suggestions of things I may not have thought about?
I am not sure if you had tried a gluten free diet yet,but I just started a trial on adding gluten free to my vegan diet. I have had issues with stomach bloat after eating regardless of what I eat. After speaking with a relative who is a fitness trainer and competitor she suggested trying to eliminate gluten from my diet temporarily to see if it makes a difference. I am on day 2. Yesterday my stomach didn't bloat at all. I spent a couple hours at the grocery store picking out gluten/vegan friendly items. There was only 1 bread I could find in the refrigerated section. It's Ener G Brown Rice. It seems to be vegan too, but didn't seem to be very appealing so I am going to search further at other health food stores. Lots of the meat alternatives like Tofurky have wheat gluten, but there are gluten free items available. Mostly everything else seemed pretty easy to get.
Oh Man, Nikki, the same thing happened to me! I finally ended up in the hospital because they thought I had appendicitis. I knew I had a food allergy to barley but I didn't think it could cause symptoms that mimic celiacs, and what's worse, when I asked doctors if allergies could cause the pain and inflammation they just shrugged and said, "Yeah, that might be it..."
So on my own, I decided to try giving up anything made with wheat flour (barley flour is always almost mixed in with it) and beer, and guess what? 100% better after years of pain. I've found that I can eat things made out of gluten, and grains like spelt are ok as well, so I know it was definitely not a gluten issue I was having. There is always the possibility that you might be reacting to a grain allergy that is not necessarily a gluten allergy, but in any case, it's worth some eliminations to see how you feel.
As for gluten-free breads and pastas, the best I've found are the ones imported from Italy, but they usually have egg whites... you might be best off getting a breadmaker if you want fresh, vegan, gluten-free bread.
I have to say that I am always sad when someone has to go through the stress of becoming GF on top of being vegan, but I am also overjoyed that life still goes on! Food still is delicious! And enjoyable! Sorry for the enthusiasm but I am excited because overall the objective is to be healthy and happy. A little history about myself... I am a chef, a baker to be more specific, who has become GF (because of an undiagnosed allergy for years) and vegan in the past 3 years. I remember tears of sorrow and frustration thinking that I could never have some of my most anticipated baked goods and foods ever again and it pained me, but all that has since faded because the honest truth is, it is so much better eating foods that dont have the negative outcome that the ones that make us sick do.
On to your concerns. Be careful with not having a full diagnosis. The truth is, there are doctors who dont pay this "gluten epidemic" any mind, but the reality is, if it is a reality to you, then it is real! :) They dont know your body and they dont know how it makes you feel, so just be aware when you are taking foods in and out of your diet that you pay special attention to how your body is reacting. Also, give it time. Though some changes are instantaneous, most are not. Just like with any diet change --perhaps similar to when you became vegan-- your body needs time to adjust. In addition to that, pay close attention to ingredients. When I was initially going though this weeding out process, I only ate whole foods. It makes it so much easier because you know exactly what is in "that apple" or salad. There is no guess work.
A few things to keep in mind also. Like what starfishbysea was saying, a lot of the substitutes have gluten ingredients. Check out a book on some of the hidden ones, but the most common are: soy sauce, some tofus, some products with modified food starch and also MSG. Every body is different so just be careful. Wild rice is sometimes controversial so maybe stay away from that. The best breads hands down are the ones you make in your home. Bob's Red Mill has a great starting lineup for gluten free mixes! Rudi's is also good (mostly when toasted), but is also not vegan. Just try a few things out and see how they fare. I love sandwiches made with large iceberg lettuce leaves. Also Trader Joe's has some good brown rice tortillas... always warm them so they dont break on you.
There's a whole GFV world out there to explore! Bon Appetit!
Ashes summed it up well. Che-be is my go-to bread. Use an egg substitute & add chopped herbs/ garlic to the mix for more flavor. Quinoa & millet are other grains to try. Any celiac support groups in your area? They could offer support to gluten-sensitivity, as well. Whether Celiac or a sensitivity, you still feel bad after eating gluten, so read about both. As for doctors, I switched over to a homeopath and its been a successful journey. The nutritionist in the office always says, "Nothing tastes as good as feeling healthy".
Everyone is talking about a gluten free diet. However, for those who are unaware of what gluten is, it is basically a protein composite that is found in food items that are processed using wheat and other related grains.
Although many of us are not gluten intolerant,it is important to know that it is known to be the main cause of celiac disease, which could affect us severely. Therefore, it is advisable to consume less gluten based food products. An example of a great company creating these types of product is http://www.sheffafoods.com/blog/sheffalife/gluten-free-and-tasty/- their products are natural, gluten free and nutritious too!
Going GF after being a vegan was a bit of a challenge to say the least. Finding GF bread that does not have eggs/egg whites in it was a challenge! GF bread is not necessarily that appealing anyway, but I have found that toasting it (even if you are making a sandwich for work, for example) makes it taste SO much better and not crumble apart. If you are not going to eat it right away, toast the bread and let it cool on a cooling rack or in the toaster, and the make and pack sandwich as usual once it is back to room temperature...I know that it sounds weird, but it really works!
My favorite GF bread is made by Schar. The multigrain bread. Accidently bought the white once and it is not nearly as good!
As far as meat alternatives go, Sol Cuisine makes some great products.
Also, check out Amy's brand. Lots of GF, vegan stuff
The good pastas are imported from Italy, they sell them at Cub and Whole Foods though, and if you can get them on sale, then stock up and it's not so bad...
Also check out the following links :
The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook - if you like to bake, some good stuff in here!
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ -not everything here is GF, but there are some things...
GFV here!!! I went gluten-free when I went vegan. I only went GF because my DH was told by his doctor to give it a try. My DH's health didn't change from it-- in fact, he feels BETTER when he eats it-- but mine did! I thought I just had a poor digestive system my whole life, but then a few days after going GF I realized that for the first time in my life, I didn't have stomach pain. I've felt great for the last year-- until I slip and have gluten. Then the pain is worse than ever and I'm sick for a week. I haven't gone through a doctor; my case probably isn't severe enough to be celiac, and I've talked to lots of people who have a sensitivity, not celiac, but are told by their docs that there's nothing wrong. Well, I don't need a doctor to tell me how I feel on gluten. I know. The only way you'll know is by doing an elimination diet. The great part is that doing it this way is free. :)
BTW, I haven't found a good GF bread, but Ancient Grain (or Ancient Harvest? the package is blue) makes a really yummy pasta. I've tried the rotini and penne. They taste and feel just like regular pasta! All others I've tried have been unbearable.