Welcome to another edition of Coeliac Spotlight! This week we want everyone to give a very warm welcome to Carrie, who’s currently studying to be a nurse. In her spare time she like to paint, play tennis and walk her adorable little pug, Benny. Carrie…Come on down!
(Sorry for the weird game show-esque dialogue. We’re hoping to get spotted for the new series of The Price Is Right.)
Let’s start with an easy one. How old were you when you were first diagnosed?
I was aged 8/9 I think. I can remember feeling a strange kind of sense of relief. I had school dinners when I was little and I can always remember feeling really bloated, like my tummy would just go all hard and I would feel really lethargic. Mum started making sandwiches for me thinking I was just being fussy or it wasn’t great cooking (let’s be fair Turkey Twizzlers were pretty grim!) but it still didn’t go away and it would be really painful. It was then she took me to the doctors and they did some tests and I was diagnosed with it.
So you were very young! How have you found things have changed since?
In the 90s there didn’t seem to be as much food readily available and now the selection is great, I’ve got to say. It was such a hassle to find a good alternative back then that I just wouldn’t bother. This was really hard, I remember my friend had a birthday party at pizza hut and I couldn’t go. Now, there is much more awareness of the disease, and along with the popularity of the GF diet, we’re seeing almost a golden age in GF availability!
There must still be something out there that you miss…
Okay. So I have yet to find a good gluten free pretzel. My mum is from New York originally and I can remember visiting as a child and being obsessed with the giant pretzels – particularly the cinnamon ones! They tasted soooo good. The free samples they hand out in shopping centres really test my self control…
We feel your pain…So how are the Welsh doing in terms of Gluten Free restaurants?
The Cosy Club in Cardiff is VERY good. Their GF breakfast has become something of a tradition on the weekend and their gluten free “Avocado Brunch” is incredible.
Okay, so you have one last chance to spout some pearls of wisdom. Go!
Whether it’s a dietary requirement or a personal choice, don’t be worried because there are so many supermarkets and restaurants that cater to this now, you just need to know where to look. Follow a load of Coeliac brands/blogs on Twitter and you’ll always get great little recipes or tips popping up on your timeline!