I’m actually closer to two months gluten free than one but you’ll have to forgive me for that. I’m sure these posts about my health in regards to my Coeliac Disease and the life long gluten free diet that comes along with it won’t be interesting to everyone, but it’s something that’s important to me to document and talk about, so if you’re interested in hearing about how I’m getting on with it all then carry on reading…
So far this journey isn’t getting any easier. Sure, I’m beginning to discover some new favourites in terms of food, but I still find myself longingly staring at other peoples plates wishing I could have just one bite. Thankfully, my willpower has been (and I’m sure always will be!) second to none, which has surprised even me! But at the same time, that doesn’t stop me feeling a little sad about it all. I’d always ate fairly healthy before but all of the foods that are now off limits to me were my comfort, and alternatives aren’t always good or have the same effect.
Cooking, baking, making
I was briefly going through a slightly lazy patch when it came to cooking before I was 100% diagnosed as a Coeliac so in terms of that I’ve definitely been more proactive and have loved trying to modify some of my favourite dishes to be gluten free such as shepherds pie, stir frys or a curry paired with some gluten free chapatis which Jordan made for me and were absolutely delicious.
Mastering my own homemade gluten free pizza bases and naan breads are high on the priority list as although many of the pizzas I’ve tried in shops or restaurants so far have been good, they’ve been thin Italian style bases and I’m a huge fan of chunky deep pan styles. As for the naan bread, I’m yet to find anywhere that sells gluten free versions so if you’ve seen any then please give me a heads up before I result in making my own.
Although food shopping still feels a bit overwhelming, I’ve found quite a few favourites whilst browsing the aisles of supermarkets or ordering a weekly food shop online. Newburn Bakehouse bread by Warburtons is the closest I’ve found to the taste and texture of normal bread which for a bread fiend like me is a complete godsend, so their White Mighty Mini Loaf is a staple in my cupboard. I love the Sainsburys Delciously Freefrom Salted Toffee Shortbread which are
incredibly more-ish and decadent and I’m so sad to see that they’re limited edition. With finding out about having Coeliac Disease so close to Christmas I thought I’d miss out on mince pies this year but thankfully all of the supermarkets stock their shelves full of gluten free mince pies and Christmas puds for the festive season so I’ve been particularly enjoying these Tesco Free From Mince Pies with a cup of tea in the evenings. I’ve got quite a few cereal favourites with Nature’s Path Nice & Nobbly Blueberry, Raspberry and Strawberry Granola being top of the bunch. It’s rather pricey but the taste makes up for the price and I like to use it on top of yoghurts to make the bag last longer rather than just having it on its own with milk. I’m also a big fan of the Eat Natural Buckwheat Toasted Muesli which is the same price as the Nature’s Path one but comes in a bigger box and is packed full of a medley of toasted buckwheat, crisped rice, mixed seeds, dried fruit, coconut and cinnamon. And for easy peasy quick and simple days I like the Nestle Go Free Honey Flakes which taste just like an old favourite of mine, Crunchy Nut.
→ If you’ve not read any of my Coeliac Disease/gluten free posts yet then it might be worth giving this one a bit of time so that you’re up to speed.
→ You can also read more about what Coeliac Disease is and following a gluten free diet on Coeliac UK.
Eating out is definitely the most limiting thing I’ve found so far, often crossing entire restaurants off the list or limiting me to choosing literally one item on the menu. It’s the time when despite being in a very social environment surrounded by people, I feel the most isolated. It’s tough. That said, there are definitely some restaurants that have surprised me in terms of gluten free dining. Chef and Brewer pubs for example, have an entire and rather lengthy gluten free menu whilst Prezzo can do everything on their menu as gluten free if asked, including the pizzas and pasta. We also discovered the other night that a local Italian restaurant we’d not tried before also did gluten free pizza and pasta, and were happy to ensure sauces were gluten free. I guess it’s just very hit and miss in terms of eating out, but I’m sure in a few years time more and more restaurants will be able to cater to a gluten free diet.
A whole lot of love
It’s lovely how supportive friends and family have been since I found out I have Coeliac Disease. Making sure they understand what I can and can’t have, giving me little gluten free gifts, making me homemade gluten free bread and cakes and suggesting places to eat or shop. Jordan has been a big superstar too, grasping my whole gluten free diet thing so easily and not only understanding what ingredients I can and can’t have, how important it is for my food to not get contaminated, but also explaining Coeliac Disease to anyone who asks and how it effects me. Not only that, but he’s also continuously making me delicious gluten free food and hasn’t once complained that we can’t try this restaurant or that restaurant when we’re going out for lunch or dinner. It makes me so happy to know that there are people in my life who ‘get it’ and who are so kind and supportive towards my new gluten free lifestyle, a lifelong necessity in order for me to live a healthy life.