New video: Advice for going gluten free

I see a lot of newly diagnosed coeliacs, or newly gluten free, asking the same sorts of questions on facebook support groups. There’s so much conflicting information everywhere and I imagine it must be hard to sift through or even know where to start.

So I thought I would do a video, with some of the FAQ’s useful to people new to gluten free. I hope it’s useful for you.

 

 

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Isle of Wight

I’ve just spent a lovely week on the Isle of Wight with three friends. We got a groupon deal that meant we paid £21 each for 4 nights in a caravan and the return ferry crossing! Not bad. It rained a fair bit but we had sun too, and I ate a lot of lovely gluten free vegetarian food, I didn’t think it’d be so easy! There are some photos from the week on my other blog Josie Makes.

Pretty much all the places we ate at I found on the Isle of Wight Coeliac facebook page– such a great help!!!!

I think I was so hungry on the first day I couldn’t even wait to take photos before eating! When we arrived we went to Godshill, and visited the Old Smithy Tea Rooms, I ordered a vegetarian breakfast (fried eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans) with brown gluten free toast. I knew the bread was gluten free because it was so small! But thats the way I like it, I don’t like to feel unsure about whether what I’m eating is gluten free. In the evening we decided to eat in the caravan, we went to the Co-op next to where we stayed in Shanklin, and I bought a mushroom risotto ready meal and some gluten free ciabatta. Easy peasy!

For breakfasts I bought some yoghurts and had some Udi’s cinnamon and raisin bagels that I had brought with me.

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The next day we went to the Garlic Farm in the morning, which was amazing! I bought from the shop some smoked garlic butter and some garlic barbeque sauce which stated gluten free on the back. On our way to the Needles in the afternoon we stopped in Freshwater to go to The Apple Farm, but this is apparently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays! So we headed to Chessell Pottery instead and I ordered this gluten free cream ‘tea’ (with coffee). Very sweet and filling but that’s what you expect! Yum.

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In the evening we went to the Crab Inn at Shanklin which have a menu showing what is gluten free. Unfortunately I was planning to have a jacket potato but when we got there I found they only served them until 5pm. Luckily they had a smoky bean chilli too so I went for that and it was lovely. There was a large group in front of us in the queue and only one person taking orders, and they had also run out of scampi, so we felt a little underwhelmed, but we all agreed the food was actually very nice.

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We decided the next day to go on an easy 12 mile bike ride… well it said it was easy, but none of us cycle so we found it pretty difficult and hurt for a few days but I’m glad I did it, and after we took the bikes back to the hire place in Sandown we went to Flanagan’s restaurant by the esplanade. They didn’t say on their menu what was gluten free, but I went for the omelette and chips. I didn’t check about the chips (lazy coeliac) but they seemed fine and I ate them because I was so hungry and haven’t felt any ill effects. You may think you spot a bit of ham there in the omelette… yes they added ham which I didn’t ask for, but I was again too hungry to send it back so I picked it all out!

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Our trip to Ventnor after a morning thunder storm, and the sun came out just while we were on the beach- perfect! Went in to Tilly’s cafe who served gluten free rolls, which turned out to be these ones by dietary specials I believe. I went for cheese and egg. It was quite small but this was OK as we were going for an early dinner at Pizza Hut before going to see an encore of the National Theatre Live ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’, which was very good by the way! At Pizza Hut I went for the veggie pizza with bbq sauce instead of tomato!

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On our last day we went to Ryde, and ate at the King Lud. This was my favourite place of the trip, and maybe even ever just for it’s interesting gluten free options, it even advertised it on the board and all the staff were very helpful, even telling me how they could adapt the specials, such as the battered halloumi (I need this in my life but just wanted a quiche!) I had a stilton and asparagus quiche made by Twins, which was lovely, but full of tomato which wasn’t written in the description so maybe not great for someone who doesn’t like tomatoes. My food came out with different chips to my friends, which were thicker, but I really liked mine and it was reassuring to see that they think of everything when it comes to their free from menu.
IMG_0157 IMG_0164All in all, I feel very well fed, the list from facebook was a godsend, and it has given me faith that holidaying as a gluten free vegetarian isn’t so hopeless!

Meat Free March

Meat free march is going well, I’m enjoying it! Here’s some photos of what I’ve been eating.

Omelette Veg and Cheese Omelette from Frankie and Bennys new Gluten Free Menu

20140302_200231Vegetable Paella from La Tasca with Gluten Free Flat Bread

20140227_132942Scrambled egg with courgette and mange tout

20140304_182547Mushroom and Spinach burger with halloumi

20140305_121608Gluten Free Veggie Lasagna

20140306_182739 Mushroom and Pea Masala

20140311_072624 Gluten Free cereal that I am in love with! I have it with almond milk.

20140311_18283620140311_182839Quorn ‘Chicken’ Fajitas   

20140315_183935Tomato, Onion and Cheese Omelette with potato rosti

IMG-20140316-WA0009Sweet Chili and Garlic Stir Fry veg with rice noodles

And lots more I forgot to take photos of!

Maxwell’s Covent Garden

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I went for lunch on Sunday at Maxwell’s in Covent Garden, London.

On their Sunday menu you can get two courses for about £14.50, there is a three course option but none of the deserts on that menu are gluten free.

I emailed them before I went and received a quick reply about being able to eat most things apart from the obvious (breads) and no relish or bbq sauce. They also provide a gluten free bun for burgers or sandwiches and tortillas for fajitas. When we were seated I mentioned it to my waitress too who immediately told me the same information without having to go and ask anyone!

I went for the potato skins with cheese and bacon to start, and a cajun chicken sandwich for my main, with the gluten free bun. She was very helpful and reiterated it was gluten free when she bought it over. Two others at my table had made the same choice, and they were given it as ‘cajun chicken with regular bun’ and I could see that it was different as mine had sesame seeds.

Overall it was a really good meal and I was too full for desert anyway! If I went to have the regular menu I might try the vegetable fajitas.

Also I recommend going on a Sunday as their cocktails are £4.50 all day (may not seem that cheap but they are usually £7!) I had a Cosmopolitan and it was very nice, quite strong!

Gluten Free Cornwall! Day four: Padstow

SteinsfishnchipsThe plan for our last day was to visit Padstow where we planned to visit Rick Stein’s Fish and Chip shop as I found online that they did gluten free batter. I had never eaten fish and chips before, in fact apart from some tinned tuna about 10 years ago I had never eaten fish before! I went for the Cod Bites in gluten free batter with chips. They knew what I was asking for and when they brought the food over they held it out and said ‘the Gluten Free cod bites’. I very much appreciate it when they do this in restaurants it increases my confidence in them! I quite enjoyed the fish, and it was great to be able to enjoy the fish and chips experience!

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Continue reading “Gluten Free Cornwall! Day four: Padstow”

Gluten Free Cornwall! Day three: Eden Project

Visiting the Eden project I had seen online that they offered gluten free options in ‘The Bakery’, which is the main large canteen area. However when we got there everything was labelled ‘Low Gluten’ after asking what this meant they explained there was no gluten ingredients but it was all made in the same area so they couldn’t guarantee gluten free. There was a vegetable frittata, for £6, and also a soup that said low gluten which was a vegetable and pearl barley. I’m no expert but I know normal barley is not gluten free so this lowered my confidence in them. They also offered a ‘low gluten’ chocolate cherry and bean cake. We decided to visit the paella restaurant in the Mediterranean biome to ask there but apparently this isn’t open yet! In the end we decided just to go somewhere locally to get lunch, and ended up in a Wetherspoons in nearby St Austell!

Slightly disappointing for food, but at least they tried! A really lovely place to visit though!

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Gluten Free Cornwall! Day two: St. Ives

We visited St Michaels Mount in the morning but didn’t get any food there, for lunch we went to St Ives.

I found online a nice looking cafe that did gluten free sandwiches called Café Mundo, but when we got to the address it was no longer there 😦 Instead we found another cafe that said they did gluten free scones, but when we went in they said they had no scones left but had chocolate or lemon and polenta cake. I went for the lemon, but after forgetting to bring it out to me for quite a while, I wished I’d gone for the chocolate! It was quite dry and not very flavourful. Luckily my friend had some clotted cream left from her cream tea so I spread that on the top! Slightly disappointing compared to the Cream Tea I had the day before but still nice to be able to get something. It was called Madeleines.

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My Coeliac Diagnosis Story

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This week is Coeliac UK Awareness Week, raising awareness of the condition to try and get more people diagnosed as left untreated Coeliac Disease can have serious effects. The symptoms are many and varied and can be tested with a blood test. To find out more visit the Coeliac UK website.

I am going to do my part by sharing my diagnosis story, as it has been really interesting to read others.

Click below to read more…

Continue reading “My Coeliac Diagnosis Story”