Sunday, May 12, 2013

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: "Tips for Those Who Are Celiacs or Gluten Intolerant" by Lorna Foreman

Lorna Forman, Author

In the following article, Lorna Foreman offers tips for those who are gluten intolerant or celiacs.  Her book WHEAT WATCHERS: A RECIPE BOOK FOR GLUTEN INTOLERANT APPETITES originated when she learned she was, at best, gluten intolerant.  

Lorna has been a journalist for ten years, writing on the arts, and also writing and producing a local community TV show. For more information on her and WHEAT WATCHERS, check out the information following her article. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to enter a giveaway at the end of this post.

            Tips for Those Who are Celiacs or Gluten Intolerant
                                      Lorna Foreman 

Of course it would be much simpler if one chose going gluten free, but there are many who have been informed that they are either Gluten Intolerant or Celiac. Being diagnosed as having Celiac disease doesn’t give one a choice and that can be daunting.
It was back in 1996 that I started noticing symptoms that my doctor thought could be related to Celiac Disease. There was not a lot of information around at the time. I refused to have the biopsy to determine if I were a Celiac but decided to go gluten free and see what happened. The symptoms went away. Years later (I had first started this adventure in 1996) I had a blood test which showed me as being just intolerant. Just - well it still means no gluten as far as I am concerned.
The first tip I can offer? I ruthlessly went through all my cupboards and got rid of all products that contained any trace of wheat. Since 1996 it has become easier as now more products like vitamin supplements are not using wheat but back then I had to get rid of sauces, some vitamins, soups and many more items. Once I got a couple of cardboard boxes filled with the offending products I gave them to my friends. What to do next?
Tip #2 - Off I went to a nutritionist...well two actually. If you can, that is a really important tip as we still need to find other sources of the nutrients we are giving up in not eating wheat and other products containing gluten.
The first one really didn’t do much as she just eliminated the offending products from our Canada Food Guide. I was not told what to replace them with. The second nutritionist was wonderful. I lucked out because she had just finished a holistic nutrition course and was really eager to use me as an experiment in a way. Actually I then took a correspondence course myself in holistic nutrition. I wanted to be able to control my diet as I went along.
Tip #3 - Refuse to feel that you are deprived. It is a matter of attitude. I decided that if this were the way it was, then I would treat it as a great adventure. That is how I put together my cookbook WHEAT WATCHERS. And it certainly was an adventure.

Tip #4 - If you have a family it is a little more difficult (or fun depending on your attitude). At first I used to apologize to the friends I had over for meals..... “sorry, this is gluten free pasta," or whatever else I was serving. Then it struck me that everything I was making was not meant to be exactly what I had been used to, so decided that I would just treat it as giving them something new or at least variations on tried and true meals. It worked. My husband had been the cook in our family (we had no children) and he did have to learn new ways of doing what he loved cooking. In fact he gave up when he discovered he was diabetic and so I ended up learning to cook not only for gluten intolerant me, but a diabetic. What a lesson and that was where the nutrition course helped. Just don’t tell anyone. Just say you are trying something different. Nobody knew the spaghetti was brown rice and gluten free...nobody knew my dishes were mostly made from scratch which is the best way to void hidden gluten and except for bread, it was just all good food.

Tip #5 - This may seem pretty obvious but DON”T CHEAT. Celiacs don’t have the choice but when you cheat once, it is soooo easy to do it again.

            Tip #6 - Enjoy the adventure. Look at the fact that your body is smart and 
eliminating the offending gluten has numerous health benefits.

About Lorna Foreman
Writer and artist, Lorna Foreman, has been a journalist for over ten years, writing on the arts.  As well, she is a regular contributor to Fifty-Five Plus magazine, having written her column, The Rest is Best since 1998.  Lorna wrote, produced and hosted 30 half hour programs entitled Welcome to My Studio for the local community television channel.  She is also a contributor to the online newspaper, Cornwall Free News and is currently working on two children’s books.

WHEAT WATCHERS is primarily for Celiacs and Gluten Intolerant people and it is her first cookbook. She has also written When Life Becomes Real, a compilation of 11 years of her columns. Lorna lives in Cornwall, Ontario with her two cats who are not gluten intolerant but like watching her cook just in case she has something for them. She works with a business partner giving workshops that deal with making changes in your life, something people resist and need to understand how to make into an adventure.
by Lorna Foreman
On the practical side, WHEAT WATCHERS came about when I was told I was possibly a Celiac-or at best-gluten intolerant. That was in 1996 and it was a shock. I did wonder if I would ever enjoy eating again. Besides the problem with wheat, I am mildly lactose intolerant which presented a double whammy. Little did I know what an adventure I was undertaking-and adventure it was-and still is.
In 1996 trying to stay away from gluten, especially in a small city, was a real challenge. But I am always open to new directions and I set off to assemble a new library of cookbooks. I was dismayed at the dearth of cookbooks dealing with gluten free diets so the obvious thing was to write my own. That is how this cookbook was born. 

I spent most of a year translating ordinary recipes into “Lorna Approved” ones. I also invented some of my own. They are a result of much trial and error since it is not always possible to just exchange gluten free flour for wheat flour. Textures had to be taken into consideration as well as what keeps batters together.
My late husband was the cook in our family as I professed to ‘hate cooking.' He helped considerably with some of the dishes, but the baking was strictly my responsibility. After all it is the desserts that give the Gluten Intolerant and Celiacs the most grief.
After vowing to my mother how I would never bake, she must be dancing and laughing “up there” when she sees me having such a good time in the kitchen. I had a lot of fun over that year and still challenge myself to discover or translate a new recipe.

Giveaway First prize, second and third prize: Autographed Copy of WHEAT WATCHERS
CLICK HERE for information about giveaway


  1. Hello Joyce, Many thanks for hosting Lorna today on Strand’s Simply Tips. She is delighted to be here to share her tips with your readers. If anyone has any questions, comments or other tips they would like to share with Lorna, please leave them in the comment box. Lorna will be by later in the day to respond to any questions and/or comments you or your readers may have.
    Please follow Lorna on her virtual book blog tour for Wheat Watchers. Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 14th, she will be Kathleen Valentine’s guest at Stop by to see her post.
    To all readers, please take a moment to enter the giveaway to win an autographed copy of Wheat Watchers, A Recipe Book for Gluten Intolerant Appetites.
    Have a great day!

  2. Wheat watchers is such a perfect title! I'm celiac and my family aren't. We eat mostly gluten free, with "real bread" for the "real men." And you're right; it's so much easier to feed them gluten free pasta if I don't apologise. It's also much easier now there are such good gluten-free pastas out there, as opposed to the ones that used to dissolve into a gelatinous mess.

  3. Hi Sheila
    I tried different gluten free pastas and prefer the rice ones. The corn pastas are too heavy for my taste. Thanks for commenting.

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