Celiac Sprue: Who Knew?

After implementing a totally gluten, wheat, malt, oat, barley, rye-free diet, my skin took on a smoother appearance, I was sleeping better, the heartburn was not returning, and my general attitude got better!

Part 1 | Part 2

I am elated that you are joining me for Part 2 of the Celiac Sprue article series! I have had great feedback on article number 1, and I hope that this article will help you with your dietary needs, what to look for in foods, and where to purchase them.

In our world of bodybuilding, fitness, and clean eating, it is common knowledge that people who train, compete, and live healthy lifestyles need to eat a lot of lean protein, nutritonal carbohydrates, and healthy fats. As a Celiac Sprue patient, even that can be challenging as once "good for you foods" can actually be doing more harm than good (like oatmeal or oat bran).

Pain Staking Scrutinization

Everything a Celiac wants to put into their mouth must be pain stakingly scrutinized before consuming it, especially if it is something like a sauce or common carbohydrate. A Celiac must read all labels and then re-read it.

Let's take fresh chicken for an example. Most chicken that I find says that it is minimally processed, BUT it has chicken broth added to it for flavoring!

That chicken broth may contain gluten! It is better to be safe than sorry, so do not eat that chicken! The same also goes for turkey and some fish. Farm raised salmon is not safe as they add coloring to it. I find that organic chicken is the safest bet. Where I live, organic chicken can range from $6.99/lb to $10.99/lb.

Eliminate Waste

Since being diagnosed with Celiac Sprue back in March of 2007, I have come to realize that food is no longer for sheer enjoyment, but for sustaining a healthy body on the inside as well as the outside. Portion control is imperative when on a limited budget (or a contest diet)! There is no more aimless "grazing". Food is fuel and we all know that fuel is expensive.

I would also like to say that I shop for food usually every 2 -3 days. This helps to eliminate wasting and is much more cost effective. It may be more time consuming this way, but think of how much money you can save by getting what you (and your family needs) every few days, instead of buying things that sit around for weeks and then you have to throw them away. Non-perishables are fine to buy in bulk, but most protein and veggies should be purchased every few days.

On A Contest Diet

While on a contest diet, Celiac patients should not have that hard of a time eating since contest diets are super clean and very strict.

Organic Protein Sources

Just try to make sure that all of your protein sources are organic and that seafood is fresh. Canned salmon and tuna must be scrutinized, even when packed in water, as they usually have preservatives.

It is best to buy canned salmon or tuna at a health food store like Whole Foods Market, Mother Earth, or Wild Oats. I find that tilapia (fresh) from Sams Club is awesome for pre-contest as it is low in sodium, high in protein, low in fat, and has no preservatives added to it! Tilapia is also relatively cheap. I can get about 2.5 lbs of tilapia from Sams for about $12.00.

Gluten Free Fats

The best healthy gluten free fats to eat are:

  • Raw nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Smart balance mayo (has flax oil and omega 3's added)
  • Smart balance peanut butter
  • Organic almond butter
  • Fats that naturally occur in fish, like salmon and tuna

I always trim the visible fat off of any chicken, turkey, and red meat that I prepare. Personally I do not eat a lot of red meat, but I may have a big delmonico (ribeye) once a month and I will eat some of the fat! That is not precontest though.

When preparing different meats, I love using extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Lime juice goes great on baked chicken or baked tilapia. A Celiac must avoid pre-made seasonings! It is OK to add your own salt, pepper, rosemary, basil, dill, etc,.

When dining out, you must ask the server to tell the chef not to season your meat, if it is pre-seasoned, you cannot eat it. Meat that is marinated is not safe either unless you marinate it yourself because you know what the ingredients are.

Gluten Free Carbs

The best sources of gluten free carbs that I have found are:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Bob's Red Mill Buckwheat cereal
  • Brown rice
  • Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot GF Cereal
  • Bob's Red Mill Ground Flax Meal
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Rice cakes
  • All sorts of organic canned beans
  • Specialty gluten free breads

These breads can usually be purchased at any health food store or specifically asked for if they do not carry it. I know for a fact that Publix is more than happy to bring in new foods if a customer really wants them!

What To Drink?

So, what does a Celiac drink? I have always loved water, and I hope that you do as well. I cannot get enough of Fiji water, but it is expensive and I try to drink at least a gallon a day, so I reserve Fiji for special occassions. Spring water is great and I try to avoid drinking water out of the tap.

Honestly, I love Iced Coffee and I do not think that I can live without it! It is a must for me in the morning and I always use Coffee Mate Sugar Free Hazelnut to flavor it. Then for extra sweetness, I use liquid stevia leaf. I cannot drink coffee black.


To conclude, I am going to include a sample of my pre-contest diet and a couple of recipes that I have included in my precontest diet plan. I hope that you enjoy them and I look forward to hearing your thoughts regarding article number 2. In part 3 we are going to go in more recipe detail, how Celiac Sprue affects your body, how to handle your family and friends, and many other topics.

Tamar's Sample Pre-Contest Diet

Meal 1
  • Cereal Cereal
    1/2 cup
  • Cottage Cheese Cottage Cheese
    1 cup
  • Flax Ground Flax Meal
    2 tbsp
Meal 2
  • Tilapia Baked Tilapia
  • Mayo Smart Balance Mayo
    1 tbsp
  • Asparagus Steamed Asparagus
Meal 3
  • Chicken Organic Chicken
  • Olive Oil Exra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 tbsp
  • Veggies Mixed Veggies
    1.5 cups
  • Peanut Gluten Free Peanut Sauce
    1 tbsp
Meal 4
  • Tilapia Baked Tilapia
  • Spinach Spinach
    85 grams
  • Lentils Organic Lentils
    1 cup
Meal 5
  • Eggs Hardboiled Eggs
  • Mayo Smart Balance Mayo
    1 tbsp
  • Asparagus Asparagus Spears
    8 spears
Meal 6
  • Chicken Organic Chicken
  • AlmExra Virgin Olive Oilonds Exra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 tbsp
  • Veggies Mixed Veggies
    1.5 cups
  • Peanut Sauce Gluten Free Peanut Sauce
    1 tbsp
Meal 7
  • Cottage Cheese Cottage Cheese
    1 cup

These meals may vary depending on when I exercise so this is just a general guideline. I will be cutting out the cottage cheese and the eggs at the 2 week mark. I happen to like the cottage cheese and egg whites because they are easy for me to digest as I KNOW that they will not bloat me or hurt my intestines! I will also be cutting out the extra virgin olive oil and the Smart Balance mayo at the 3 week mark which is coming up SOON....in 3 days.

Well, I hope that this helps you and gives you some basic guidelines. I do not want to bore anyone and make these articles too long. Your feedback is greatly appreciated! Contact me anytime at: tamar@planettamar.com Please include Celiac Sprue in the subject heading. I get a lot of Spam mail and do not want to pass over your email!