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30May

For some people, finally being diagnosed with coeliac disease can be a relief! They’ve finally got an answer as to why they’ve been suffering for so long. For others [and myself], being diagnosed with coeliac disease can turn your world upside down and can be quite a challenging and distressing time.

Which is why I’ve compiled a check-list to help the newly diagnosed coeliacs to gain a little control in their new gluten free life.

I’d also like to point out that it’s great that you’re reading this on the Safemusic community! It’s a great step forward, as this is a great place for you to gain control, have ‘your say’ and speak to people in a similar situation as yourself!

1) Sit Down & Have a Brew –  Great things have been discussed over a brew and a brew shared amongst a friend or family member is a guarantee way of helping you get your head around the diagnosis and get things off your chest.

2) Register with – When you register with Coeliac UK you are given 6 months free membership where you will receive a huge package of helpful guides and booklets, including their Food & Drink Directory – which lists every food product in all the UKs major supermarkets and mentions whether or not they’re safe for coeliacs!

3) Clean Out Your Food Cupboards – This can be the hardest part for any newly diagnosed coeliac. Try and have a friend or family member with you when you do it, to help read labels and look out for the horrible culprits that have been making you so poorly – wheat, barley, rye, oats, gluten.

4) Buy Some Gluten Free Essentials – Although I’ve found that gluten free pasta and gluten free biscuits [especially the one’s from  -which you can find from most supermarkets as well as the ] do taste just like the ‘real thing’, I did find that the gluten free bread does take some getting use to! I found most brands of gluten free bread taste better once ‘refreshed’ in the microwave or toasted but the  [which you can buy from their ], the and the  taste just like the real thing, so you can still enjoy your sandwiches! You also need to think about foods that you’ve shared with non-coeliacs, such as butter. As just one wheat laden crumb left in your butter, can still gluten you and make you poorly!

5) Buy New Kitchen Equipment – You may have to buy new cutlery, especially if you’re house sharing, to avoid cross contamination. One of the things you really need to consider  is a new toaster. A toaster is a hot box of toasted bread crumbs, you only have to knock it ever so slightly to have a shower of crumbs all over your surface! Also think of your chopping boards, especially if you share a wooden chopping board and sieves.

6) Register with Gluten Free Food Companies – If you register with the following gluten free companies [which is FREE] you receive either money off vouchers or huge gluten free food hampers full of full sized and sample sized goodies!

  • – You receive a huge hamper full of full and sample sized goodies!
  • – Same as Glutafin; a huge hamper full of gluten free goodies!
  • – You receive money off vouchers!
  • – Will send out free samples to newly diagnosed coeliacs!

7) Join the Online Gluten Free Community – You can find the gluten free community on , in the ‘blogosphere’ or in this very talkhealth community! I’ve included a great list of my favourite gluten free bloggers on my ! You never know, you might find your favourite blogger on there!

8 ) Try an Easy Gluten Free Recipe –  It may take some getting used to when baking or cooking gluten free food from scratch [for example, you’re using different flour which results in a different texture] Which is why I suggest anyone to start with the basics – such as, making or . They’re easy and taste delicious! If you want to bake, I highly recommend – they’re the best and is available from most supermarkets!

For more information please check my website:

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Saara

My name is Saara [pronounced ‘Sarah’]. I hail from West Yorkshire, but have lived in Manchester since 2006. I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease back in 2007 when I was studying to become a social worker at Manchester Metropolitan University. I started The Gluten Free Student Cookbook in April 2011.

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