A few weeks ago we put out a request on Twitter for participants in the next edition of the Coeliac Spotlight. Out of all the responses there was one who stood out in particular for their fabulously named blog. We were a little unsure as to the reason for the name and our nosiness getting the better of us we decided to invite her for a little chinwag. Please give a warm welcome to the Coeliac Sloth…
Right Georgina, let’s get straight to it…how long since your diagnosis?
I was diagnosed in 2015, at 23 years old, after having various nutritional deficiencies, bowel problems, and the fatigue and low mood. I’d had those symptoms since I was 19, but It took my doctor until January 2015 to test for Coeliac Disease.
Have you noticed much of a change in availability over these past two years?
One thing I have noticed since diagnosis, is that the availability of gluten-free food when you eat out has increased dramatically from things like meal deals, to going to a Coeliac UK accredited restaurant. I don’t have to rely on jacket potatoes and salads! I also feel like Coeliac Awareness week is fantastic for helping people understand. With social media, advertisements, TV shows, and Magazines talking about it, it really helped my mum understand what Coeliac Disease was.
It’s great isn’t it?! Now, every coeliac goes through a nightmare dining experience at some point in their life. Had any awful ones yet?
My worst dining experience as a coeliac was when I was out with my best friend, shopping. We decided to go to a cafe that does pizza and chips and have a look before we decided (I know, bad idea). In my head, I was thinking that the chips would be safe and fried in a separate fryer, as pizza and chips were the only things on the menu. I went up to the counter and asked them if they were fried separately, explained that I had coeliac disease, and I couldn’t eat gluten. They asked the chef to come out, which he did, and he asked me what gluten was. I was there for 10 minutes explaining what gluten was to him, by this time there were 2 chefs, and 3 members of staff, with a lengthy queue behind me. And then they told me they had an allergy sheet, and after reading it, they told me the chips were gluten free. I repeated my first question about the chips being fried in the separate fryer and they told me that they were. I was so tired at this point I just took them and sat down with my friend, then they all stood around the counter watching me, it was so uncomfortable!
Wow. That sounds like an experience. How about a place where you’ve had a particularly good experience? We’re guessing it wont be the restaurant you’ve just mentioned…
My favourite restaurant for Gluten Free Food is Chiquitos. They got their CUK Accreditation this year, and their staff are always so friendly and accommodating, and the atmosphere is always fun. The menu is so varied, especially with desserts, and the chilli and coriander salmon is out of this world.
Jake from the office is always harping on about Chiquitos, we’ll have to give that salmon a go. So what made you get into blogging?
I had Instagram for a while, and uploaded photos of my food on there quite often. I got asked for months, by my friends “When are you going to do a food blog?”, so I decided to start a blog and social media channels dedicated to it. I love the little community with my followers and it’s nice to talk about coeliac disease related things that I can’t necessarily talk about with my friends and family.
Okay, we’ve got to ask. Is there a story behind the name?
YES, The Coeliac Sloth is a name my boyfriend James suggested when I was looking for a name to call my blog. I was so tired all of the time before diagnosis because of my iron deficiency, and he told me that I was a “sloth in a people’s body.” Sloths are also my absolute favourite animal.