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  • Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

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    Old 12-30-2003, 07:13 AM   #1
    cricketchicket
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    Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    Hi there...

    I am starting to go vegetarian. I don't eat a lot of meat to begin with, and since I am trying to eat healthier, thought I would go full-force. Now, my problem is that I have Celiac Disease, which means that I cannot digest any type of food that contains wheat, oats, barley, rye, or spelt. A lot of the high-protein, meat substitutes contain these ingredients, and it is pretty hard to find gluten-free varieties. Does anyone know of a way around this? I can only eat bread products made from corn, rice, potato, bean and soy flour (I believe...and I usually stick with the corn/rice/potato type since they are the "easiet" to find in stores).

    In any case, I am not restricted when it comes to unprocessed vegetables, fruits, and dairy, although I don't drink a lot of milk...so that helps out a lot.

    Does anyone have any experience with going vegetarian, gluten-free style? Any input appreciated!

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    Old 12-30-2003, 08:48 AM   #2
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    Re: Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    Looks like your head has gone in a different direction than your genetics is trying to lead you. Good luck.

    You appear to be knowledgeable regarding your disease and what you need to do to avoid the consequences of it. Gluten-free is definitely the way to go.

    I didn't see you mention eggs. Eggs are an excellent and inexpensive source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids (and some of those Omega 3 eggs are even better with higher levels of this essential fatty acid). And they are easy to digest.

    I also didn't see you mention fish (I guess it depends on what type of vegetarian you want to be). Fish can be a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA (the Omega 3s). But I will also advise you to learn more about the issues of mercury in fish if you are going to eat more than several servings per week and in particular if you are a female that could become pregnant. I would recommend you learn which types of fish are higher in mercury content and limit or avoid those. A google search here would yield significant amounts of information.

    Since dairy is ok with you, I would try to add more cheese to your diet and experiment with different types. Cheese is another excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals (especially calcium which is so important to a young females bone health), and fatty acids.

    I don't advocate this as a general rule, but a good quality whey protein powder might benefit your situation. A scoop of vanilla flavor with a half glass of milk and some strawberries in a blender makes for a pretty good breakfast. Easy to digest and loaded with nutrients. EAS is one brand that I recommend and it is available at Wal-Mart. The chocolate is pretty good also.
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    Old 12-30-2003, 04:03 PM   #3
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    Re: Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    fish, last time i checked?-- not a vegetable. though many people who are otherwise veg eat it... beats me!!

    anyhow, there are soy based meat substitutes and i hope some of them would be appropriate for you...also tofu and tempeh are gluten free and don't contain any of the other things you mentioned that you can't have. you can make your own veggie burgers with brown rice, mushrooms, other veggies, beans, chickpeas, etc in various combos.

    also, portobella mushrooms have lots of protein, and can be marinaded and baked for a rich almost "meaty" dinner or sandwich

    you can make nut loaves (like meatloaf, kind of) without gluten, etc.

    i've got a friend who is vegan and avoids gluten and also soy because of allergies, and does very well. she says it was tough at first, but once she got used to it, it was a piece of (uh, gluten and dairy-free) cake. so it can definitely be done!!

     
    Old 12-30-2003, 09:20 PM   #4
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    Re: Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    Thanks for the advice, both of you. Eggs and fish are an interesting option, but since I highly dislike eggs and fish (besides the fact that I want to phase out all meat products), it isn't one of mine. Seafood is going to be tough to give up, though . You're right...my genetics have a different idea of what I should be eating! However, I feel much healthier with a vegetarian lifestyle. I have gone in spurts, eating this way, and in the short amounts of time spent not eating meat I have felt great. This time, I am going to stick with it for an indefinite period of time.

    As for making my own meat substitutes, I like the idea. I'll have to play chef a lot more than usual, but it should be fun. I like the idea of knowing *exactly* where my food is coming from. Interesting that one of you mentioned a vegan friend who also avoided gluten. I have grappled with the idea of going vegan, but always thought that with the food restrictions I already have, it would be too confining. I'll see how eating vegetarian goes for me.


     
    Old 12-31-2003, 07:37 AM   #5
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    Re: Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    i'm vegan myself and it's easy for me, but it sounds like you've got a lot to figure out already with the food restrictions you have, so a gradual switch to full time vegetarian like you have planned sounds like a good (manageable) way to do it. you can always try the vegan thing sometime later if you want to once you're comfortable with being vegetarian.
    good luck!

     
    Old 01-01-2004, 08:42 AM   #6
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    Re: Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    That's exactly along the lines of what I've been thinking. Gradually phasing out all meat products, and then (perhaps) dairy. Going vegetarian won't be a huge adjustment for me, as I already don't eat much meat at this time and I dislike most of it to begin with. However, I am extremely iron deficient and have great difficulty absorbing many vitamins and minerals from foods, from being Celiac. Therefore, cutting out all meat products means I'm going to have to do a lot of research and be smarter with my food choices. Going vegan might be a bit trickier, but time will tell.

     
    Old 01-02-2004, 08:20 AM   #7
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    Re: Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    Best of luck to you. I hope this switch improves your health and quality of life!

    Here's some REALLY basic information on vegetarian iron that I got from PCRM that I thought might help or at least give you an idea of some things to investigate... (you might already know all of this, if so sorry!!)

    "Diets consisting of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts provide adequate iron.Consuming foods rich in vitamin C, such as orange juice, with iron-rich foods enhances the absorption of iron. Some foods are naturally rich in both
    iron and vitamin C, such as broccoli, Swiss chard, and other dark green leafy vegetables. Other good iron sources include iron-fortified cereals, enriched bread, pasta, rice, soybeans, chickpeas, and blackstrap molasses. Dairy products are extremely low in iron and may interfere with iron balance, especially in very small children. "

    the best (veg) iron sources listed there are: beans of all kinds (especially soy), seeds (especially pumpkin and sesame seeds), tomatoes, green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, etc.), potatoes, flax, etc. if you search 'soystache', i think you'll find a more comprehensive list.

     
    Old 01-03-2004, 08:18 AM   #8
    cricketchicket
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    Re: Going vegetarian but I have Celiac Disease...any good meat-substitute options?

    Thank-you for the info. It is comforting to know that I can get sufficient nutrients for my new lifestyle. I will update as to how things are going and how I am feeling!

    Cheerio,
    cricketchicket

     
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