So in case you weren’t aware, this week is Coeliac Awareness Week, and in the midst of all the madness and the vast quantities of pie we’ve been eating we managed to chat with one of our favourite coeliac bloggers, The Coeliac Sanctuary! Here’s how it went…
So, let’s start with the usual! At what age were you diagnosed with Coeliac Disease?
I was diagnosed in June 2014, so I was 25. I had gone through a rough time, falling ill around August 2013 after being made redundant but had suffered with stomach problems since my early teens but I was never checked for Coeliac although I was told I had IBS on multiple occasions.
We seem to be in the middle of a gluten free revolution right now. Have you noticed many changes in the four years since your diagnosis?
4 years may not seem long but I have seen so many changes in that time. I remember when I was first told I needed to eat gluten free and going to Sainsbury’s and there not being a huge amount of choice, mostly basic foods, bread, cereal etc. However, in the last couple of years more and more has become available in supermarkets and the products are improving, it is possible to get bread that tastes like bread now rather than something that resembles cardboard! Eating out can still be a struggle, not everywhere understands the cross contamination issues but more places are becoming more aware, it’s just a case of digging out the ones that truly understand what Coeliac is.
So true, and it’s great for us! Okay, with that in mind, give us your fave spot for a gluten free bite to eat…
I have so many, I can’t choose one! The one I go to time and time again is a local pub, The Elephant in Shavington just outside Crewe, Cheshire. The landlord is Coeliac so they are very Coeliac aware, I can’t pick a favourite dish, I’ve had pretty much everything on their menu and love it all. I also eat at Swan Lake Chinese in Haslington, again just outside Crewe, Cheshire a lot, it’s so hard to find a Chinese that does gluten free but they really understand and do most of their menu gluten free, favourite dish from there is definitely sweet and sour chicken, I love anything sweet and sour.
Wow – good gluten free Chinese food is rare! We’ll have to pay it a visit. So, if you had to cook one GF meal for a friend, what would it be?
Curry. I adore my curries so make them a lot and my favourite one is Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Spinach curry, I could live of that for months without getting bored and is always my go to when I don’t know what to have, plus it’s always a huge hit with my friends.
Well you know where we are if you ever want to drop by with a bowl. We’re big fans of your blog here at Too Good To Be HQ – what made you get in to blogging in the first place?
I was ill for a long time with one thing or another and as I was a web developer I decided to build Coeliac Sanctuary as something to keep me occupied, initially I wanted to just keep track of places I could eat at and have somewhere I could review them more for personal reference and somewhere to keep my recipes. From there I found my love of writing again and people kept visiting the website so it grew into something bigger than I ever imagined.
That’s great! It’s amazing to read a blog with so much passion and an obvious love for the gluten free community. To finish off, have you any advice for budding bloggers out there?
Write about whatever you want to write about. I’ve been asked a few times by bloggers that are starting up what they should write about, as in if it’s got “recipes” in the name should they stick to just recipes or if its about gluten free travel should they stick to just that topic. My answer is always the same though, write about what you what to write about as long as it loosely sticks to topic, at the end of the day you created a blog to write about what you want to write about, it’s just own little universe, so it should be up to you to choose what you write about.
Want to hear more from The Coeliac Sanctuary? Head over to www.coeliacsanctuary.co.uk and show them some love!