[BLOG] THE POSITIVES ABOUT BEING COELIAC AND GLUTEN FREE

When people discover they’ve got Coeliac Disease, they’re usually filled with upset and despair. I know I did and I cried buckets when I was diagnosed!

When I tell people I have Coeliac Disease I’m usually met with a sympathetic look, a hug or silly questions like “can you eat potatoes”, “will you get over it” and my personal favourite; “is it contagious?”

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 So for Coeliac UK  Awareness Week 2015, I thought I’d try something different. Instead of listing all the sad and frustrating things about being coeliac and sticking to a strict gluten free diet, I thought I’d add a little positive spin and list 5 things about being a sassy coeliac and a gorgeous gluten free!

1. TRYING NEW FOODS

Before my diagnosis I was a right fussy bugger! I wouldn’t try anything new and stuck to stuff I liked! I was every parents nightmare but now I’m more inspired to try things that are gluten free which has really broadened by culinary tastes!

2. LEARNING TO COOK AND BAKE

In the past, I could not cook to save my life, it was a running joke within my family. I could just about pour the correct quantity of water into a pot noodle let along cook a dinner for myself! However, having coeliac disease has meant that in order for me to enjoy the foods I loved, I would have to cook or bake them myself… from scratch! I’m no chef and have made some terrible disasters in the past but it’s because of this that I was inspired to start blogging on The Gluten Free Student Cookbook! The more I cook and bake the more my confidence grows!

3. THE ONLINE GLUTEN FREE COMMUNITY

First off, you guys are simply and truly amazing. We are so lucky to have such an incredible, caring and kind online gluten free community. The amount of support I have been given has helped me get through some very tough times and for that I’ll be forever greatful. They’re there to lift your spirits, spread awareness, inform you of new gluten free products on the market and alert you of restaurants that cater for us gluten free peeps!

If you’ve just been diagnosed with coeliac disease or you could do with some support, I recommend joining Twitter and getting in touch with these amazing people. I would list all those incredible people but I’m afraid I’d be here forever listing name after name. If you do want to know who those fabulous people are, take a look at those who I follow.

4. DISCOVERING THE GLUTEN FREE BLOGS

Just like the gluten free online community, the blogosphere is an amazing hive full of recipes, reviews, advice and guidance. I can spend hours upon hours reading all the fantastic blogs out there and they’ve inspired me and taught me so much. If I hadn’t got coeliac disease I wouldn’t have come across these amazing blogs and been inspired to try receipes that I normally wouldn’t have been bothered with! My favourite blogs that I believe you should look at are:

(If you know of any other amazing gluten free blogs that I don’t know about, please send me a tweet or an email! I’m always on the look out to find more blogs that will inspire me!)

5.BEING CONFIDENT AND STRONG

We know it’s not easy having coeliac disease and sticking to a very strict gluten free diet. The transition is bordering on torturous but getting through it and coming out of the other side is proof how strong and confidant you truly are. Not only do you have to overcome barriers such as; eating out, dining at friends houses, spending a small fortune on gluten free foods you also have to overcome that overbearing desire not to grab that Krispy Kreme doughnut and shove it in your mouth!

Coeliacs are the strongest people I know and you all should give yourself the biggest pat on your back! As cheesy as it sounds, if you can stick to a gluten free diet you can pretty much overcome a lot of things!

 

[REVIEW] GLUTEN FREE WRAP BATTLES

Since it’s Coeliac Awareness Week, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start blogging again – my last blog post was in December!

To be perfectly honest, I’ve not been very well. I’ve blogged about it on a few occasions, and don’t really want to go in great detail in this particular blog post, but I will explain all in another post really soon. To cut the long story very short. I have been diagnosed with Endometriosis. It’s a debilitating disease which affects women and causes me unbearable chronic pain which at times leaves me so exhausted that I don’t have the energy to do anything, let alone blog!

Like I said, I’ll go into more details at a later date. I feel talking about it may help other women who suffer as well as help spread awareness. If you’re reading this and you too have endometriosis, please feel free to contact me. I’m more than happy to offer advice and support!

So back to the blog post….

Gluten Free Wraps!

This week I have been so excited to come across so many places offering us pre packed gluten free wrap sandwiches, that I thought I would review them! Bear in mind that there are plenty more wraps out there – I just haven’t had the chance to find them all! You’ll find most of them in places like Tesco, Sainsburys, Costa, Starbucks, Boots and WH Smiths!

COSTA COFFEE: British Chicken & Basil Salad (4/5)

Roast chicken breast and basil mayonnaise with tomato and wild rocket 

Costa Coffee: British Chicken and Basil Salad

This was very, very tasty! Usually I’m not a huge fan of rocket but this wasn’t overbearing and I found it really complimented the chicken and the basil mayo! You had a good, decent amount of chicken which wasn’t swamped by the dressing. What’ s more, you can also buy their gluten free brownie to go with it which is amazing!

URBAN EAT BETTER: Lemon Chicken Wrap / Egg and Slow Roast Tomato Wrap (5/5) 

WRAPS

I found these wraps in WH Smiths and Sainsburys! They’re my absolute favourites, especially the Egg and Slow Roast Tomato wrap! The Egg wrap is like a posh ‘egg mayo’ sandwich and tastes amazing with the tomato and rocket. The Chicken wrap is also delicious and comes with a delicious lemon mayo dressing!

On another note, I’m so glad WH Smiths are now selling gluten free wraps in their shops! I couldn’t believe it when I went in to buy my Eat Natural Breakfast Bar to eat on the train journey home that I actually, and rather embarrassingly, squealed with delight! – much to Mikes embarrassment

STARBUCKS: Gluten Free Falafel (5/5) 

Sweet potato falafel, houmous, carrot, spinach, harrisa chickpeas, pomegranate kernels and yoghurt and mint dressing 

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This was another favourite of mine! I absolutely adore falafel and because of the other ingredients in the wrap, this seemed like the healthiest of the wraps! Unlike the other wraps, this wrap was a fully packed wrap! Plus I would never think to add pomegranate kernels in anything but a fruit salad, but it tasted amazing when you got a burst of pomegranate! It’s inspired me to add it to other things like salads and rice dishes!

But the one thing that all these wraps had in common was that they all used the same seeded wrap which in my opinion stole the show. And what wrap did they use I hear you say? *cue drum roll*

WARBURTONS SEEDED GLUTEN FREE WRAPS!

WRAPS GF

 

They are simply the greatest things ever! Unlike some gluten free bread, these wraps don’t go soggy if you pre roll them which is perfect if you fancy making some wraps for lunch to take to school, college, uni or work! They aren’t ‘stale’ tasting and taste just like a ‘normal’ wraps! They don’t have to be ‘refreshed’ either and can be eaten straight out of the pack. What’s more, not only are they gluten free they’re also egg free too!

[REVIEW] Pizza Express Gluten Free Pizzas

If someone had told me when I was first diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2007 that I’d be able to get gluten free pizza from many established restaurants I’d have told them to get on their bike!

But now, we can literally order gluten free pizzas pretty much anywhere now and one of those places is the amazing Pizza Express!

PIZZA EXPRESS LOGO Before my diagnosis, I loved going to Pizza Express! I loved their thin, crispy pizza bases and their unique pizza toppings which is no surprise that I was a little deflated when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, knowing that I would no longer be able to enjoy their pizzas.

However all this changed when Pizza Express made it available for us Coeliacs and Gluten/Wheat Intolerants to enjoy their pizza again – by bringing out their own gluten free pizza bases! Now I go as much as I can!

My favourite pizza base is their gluten free Romana pizza base – a thinner, crisper base inspired from Rome –  with the Padana toppings (goats cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes, caramelised onion, red onion, spinach and garlic oil) Trust me, it’s absolutely delicious and because of the spinach and goats cheese, it seems somewhat healthier then your usual pizza topping! Alternatively, if the Romana Pizza Base isn’t your thing, their Classic and Piccolo pizza bases can be made gluten free too!

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The pizza arrives uncut – giving you the confidence knowing that your pizza hasn’t been cut with the same pizza cutter used to cut a wheat/gluten base.

If you don’t fancy trying their Pizzas and want to try something different, Pizza Express also offer gluten free pasta dishes!

My only complaint (and this is such a minor complaint) is that I wish Pizza Express had a wider selection of starters. Usually I opt for their Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (which I may add – is amazing!) but sometimes I want their famous Pizza Express Dough Balls! However, you never know! Maybe one day Pizza Express will surprise us!

But if Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad isn’t quite your thing, they are also offering other gluten free starters such as their Melanzanine – layered marinated Italian aubergine, passata, mozzarella, basil and Gran Milano cheese – Or their Risotto Fresco

ALSO – For Coeliac Awareness Week 2015 (May 11th – 17th) Pizza Express are offering 2 Gluten Free courses for £11.95. Simply download this [VOUCHER]  (courtesy of Coeliac UK ) and with your Coeliac Membership, present it to your waiter before booking. (Terms and Conditions apply)