Vegan With Celiac Disease

First, a little clarification on these terms:

Vegan

A vegan diet/lifestyle uses no animal products at all, so that means no dairy, eggs, wool, honey, leather or silk. It goes for food as well as all other items. People are vegan for a variety of reasons, but generally it’s because we do not want to support the suffering and exploitation of animals. Another big factor is that livestock farming uses a lot more natural resources than plant farming does, and that is one of the driving factors behind so much pollution and ecosystem destruction in the world.

Celiac Disease

This is now becoming a fairly well-known condition, even though most people hadn’t heard of it 5 to 10 years ago. It’s an intolerance to gluten, the main protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Eating even small traces of gluten can make someone with Celiac sick with a number of digestive problems, as well as other symptoms like joint pain, fatigue and more.

The Problems of Both

So what about living with both? It just makes food choices even tougher. You’re already very limited when you have to avoid wheat (if you didn’t realize, it’s in a lot of foods), and then you add on further restrictions for eggs, dairy and animal products. It can mean slim pickings in some areas.

Specifically, the biggest problems are meat-replacement products like burger patties, hot dogs and sandwich “meat”. The majority of them use wheat gluten as their core ingredient. Brands like Yves and Gardein are easy-to-find for vegan meat alternatives, but they are not an option if you have Celiac’s too. You tend to do a lot more cooking at home, when you can find good vegan and gluten-free recipes. Look for products and recipes that rely on soy or rice rather than wheat, and you can find some gems.