Speaking to other coeliacs, and from my own experience, eating away from home can be one of the main worries when it comes to successfully managing a gluten free diet. At home you have everything covered, your separate toaster, preparation area, equipment, butter pot, etc. – and you are confident, knowing whatever you prepare is completely gluten free. But eating out you are handing over this responsibility to somebody else, and understandably this can be a concern.
It’s fabulous that so many places are now able to cater safely for coeliacs. Here are a couple of my current favourite places in Cheshire that just hit the ‘gluten free spot’!!
The malt vinegar debate is a bit of a grey area – and it hurts my head a little I have to say. And it’s simply because, as a coeliac you must avoid barley, and malt vinegar comes from barley??
So, is malt vinegar safe for coeliacs? For the first few years after I was diagnosed I avoided malt vinegar and any product that included it as an ingredient. Then I spotted that Coeliac UK consistently listed malt vinegar as being a safe product within their food and drink directory each year. It’s classed as gluten free, as the gluten level is less than 20 parts per million. This information was good enough for me and I started to include it within my diet.
Although NICE guidelines (The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) now advise that gluten free oats can be introduced by a coeliac into their diet at any stage – it should still be done via the guidance of your dietician or healthcare specialist to ensure they are suitable for you. As a small number of coeliacs are unable to tolerate oats (1 in 20), as they contain avenin, a protein which is similar to gluten.
I like running. I’m not good at it, but I like it. In fact, I use the word running quite loosely as I’m certainly more of a ‘jogger’ than a ‘runner’ – but it makes me feel good, and I’m glad it’s a part of my life! I’ve never yet got home from a run and wished I hadn’t been out.
A little bit about Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease)
• Coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to ingesting gluten. If you have coeliac disease, eating gluten will cause damage to the small intestine, making it difficult for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs.
• It’s estimated that 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease, but only 30% who are living with this autoimmune condition have been diagnosed.
Should there be a lifetime achiever award for a recipe, I reckon the ‘basic sponge cake’ should win hands down. As this simple recipe, can be used in literally hundreds of ways – and it’s so quick to pop together with fabulous results!
I’m a huge fan of Juvela gluten free mix, which is currently only available from pharmacies. But for a change I thought I would try out Doves farm gluten free self-raising flour to have a go at a gluten free Victoria sponge cake.
With any medical condition, there is always a common interest as to when and how it was first discovered and in particular the symptoms that may accompany the condition. Coeliac disease is no exception, so thought it would be good to share with you my diagnosis story!
In 2003 I went to see my GP as I had this annoying crack on the side of my mouth that wouldn’t heal. On bad days my lips also shed their skin (attractive!!) and no amount of lip balm/Vaseline solved the problem.