November 13, 2019

"We're only having a small do"

As many of you may know, planning a wedding isn’t always the most straightforward or stress-free journey. Combine this with a bride and groom with particular dietary needs, and want to keep their guests blissfully happy during the festivities, and it has potential for disaster. It is a long day after all, and as a coeliac, I am very aware of the general lack of appeal gluten free dining can bring to a non-sufferer. 

Imagine our delight when we were able to combine our love of relaxed dining, the desire to manage waste, and respect the environment with incredible tasting food. The Real Junk Food Project based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire were more than happy to help, and even more interestingly, the head chef and director at the time was also coeliac. So began a completely pain-free exchange of ideas, tasting sessions at their cafe Bear Kitchen, and the eventual acceptance for us of having no id...

March 3, 2019

Lately, I have been thinking a great deal about what health is to us all, and the times when it is challenged. It made me reflect on a time when I witnessed an uphill struggle for someone I truly care about, and how this in turn, changed my outlook with stress. I'm no stranger to it, having a disease that can present even when I haven't consumed any gluten. But seeing something so significant happening to someone who has no health conditions made me think again. 

In 2017, I was summoned to help someone dear pack for their soul-searching trip to the other side of the world. Amongst the debris of all-weather retro clothing and the array of 'good luck' and 'congratulations' cards, it got me thinking about how far they had come since June of the previous year.

As we all have experienced from time to time, their previous year had been a particularly challenging one, and their body and mind had to weather a perfect storm of physical and mental hardsh...

May 30, 2018

I hope to continue the story of my so-called coeliac life with this entry; starting with the moment everything changed. The period where I fell off the radar where medical professionals were concerned, and the everyday adjustments to be made in life, felt positively off the scale.

 The liquid diet - synonymous with university life, and the slightly easier option in coeliac life

So, I was now a coeliac. On discharge from hospital, I was left with a referral to dietetics, some advice for my GP, and copious leaflets about prescription bread. Trying to be proactive and gain control over what I had been told only moments ago, I quickly Googled the diagnosis. To my horror but certainly not surprise, I found umpteen stories of the most extreme symptoms and associated diagnoses; leaving me believing that my bones would completely crumble, I may not have a family, and no-one would ever want to hang out with me. Choosing the eatery le...

May 14, 2018

Its May 14th 2018, and so begins 5 days of marketing, promotion and social media exchanges on the subject of everything gluten free. It is the week I have decided to launch my blog, and it happens to coincide with mental health awareness week. The latter is a subject I back hugely, given personal experience and my career caring for those with lived experience. The former is something I continue to instil; I haven't yet mastered it, but I have come a long way. For me, the two are intrinsically connected.

These national awareness events highlighting all things health got me thinking of the journey I took in order to regain control over my body and mind; starting 32 years ago. Many dismiss going gluten free as a fad, a phase; a fussy inconvenience for willing hosts and proprietors in the food industry alike. I see it very differently, as do many other coeliacs I have met. We continue to weather the apparent scepticism, and question the concerning...

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