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Goody Goody Gluten Free

Goody Goody Gluten Free. Whats It all about?

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What is gluten?! Is a question so, so many of my friends and peers used to fire at me. It’s a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, but I’m sure you already know that? These days it is one of the most commonly known allergens, with 1% of the UK and Ireland population being officially diagnosed with celiac disease, and a further 4% following a gluten free diet due to non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, wheat intolerance, or other intolerance reasons. Being diagnosed with CD for 26 years myself, I have watched the market bloom through the years, and now I can get GF croissants in Tesco!! Oh happy days!
I was diagnosed as a baby when no one knew what CD was. For months the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, being put on a dairy-free diet, and a banana only diet (still don’t like bananas now to this day), but eventually a doctor who had spent some time in The States saw me, this little girl with a big swollen belly and stick thin limbs, and suggested they try a biopsy to search for symptoms of CD in my small intestine. Bingo. Instead of healthy finger-like villi on the walls of my gut, there was only shortened, swollen villi, not doing a very good job of absorbing any nutrients I was trying to get into my body.
If you don’t know – CD is an autoimmune disease, that makes the body recognise the protein Gluten as a poison, and thus the body reacts to ensure this poison is not absorbed by the blood and is removed from the body ASAP. Antibodies are also released to attack the poison, and end up attacking the body instead. It’s not much fun.
Fast forward a couple months, I’ve been on a GF diet during this time, and tadaaa! I’m beginning to look like a normal healthy 1 year old child! My bread came from the chemist, it crumbled so easily and needed to be toasted in order to stay as one slice, but when you’re little you just do as you’re told, I barely noticed a difference. As I got a bit older, I became an absolute whizz at making rice-crispie buns and I just took it in my stride. Healthy and gluten free.
There were a few years as a teenager that I slipped up quite a bit. For some reason I wasn’t showing any symptoms despite eating regular gluten products. I’ve spoken to a nutritionist about this and her theory was because my body was dealing with all the hormonal changes etc during that time, it was essentially focussing on dealing with that, and the gluten went unnoticed. Regardless, it came back with a passion. Straight back to the GF aisle I went!

The products on the shelves today are a godsend in comparison to how it used to be. Newly diagnosed coeliacs will sometimes have a bit of a whinge about the quality of these products, and the price, and I totally understand where they are coming from. It can’t be easy having to switch from one to the other. But me, I am thrilled with the choice we now have, driven by the increasing demand for gluten free goods. Doughnuts!!!!!!

(just a few of my fave GF things are – Made without wheat Quiche Lorraine from M&S, Tesco Finest Free From Chocolate And Cranberry Cookies & Ta dah Onion Rings – yes – Tesco Free From Battered Onion Rings!)

So, the increasing demand, and increasing knowledge of gluten free diets has made my life get easier and easier. There’s even a couple dedicated gluten free restaurants in London now, which I drag my gluten-eating other half along to, and even he admits the food is delicious. Thank god for all you entrepreneurial gluten free faddies out there who have put in the blood sweat and tears into creating the foods we now have. Cheers to you! 

Goody Goody Gluten Free!!!!

Comments

Hannah says:
Great info thankyou!