Sunday, 7 March 2010

Gluten free living

I promised to talk about gluten free living, and haven't done much of that, so I thought I'd share some tips and advice on gluten free meals and products. The problem with my diet is that I also suffer with Rosacea, a skin disorder, which is triggered by both foods and environmental factors (like heat). It can be really painful, irritating and soul destroying. I'm managing my Rosacea at the moment with prescribed antibiotics and gel treatment from the doctor. They're working well together, so I'm a happy bunny.

So as well as being wheat and gluten intolerant, I am trying to work out my Rosacea triggers. So far I know they're wine, chocolate, pepper and heat. So my diet is pretty restricted. Here's an insight into my daily routine:

Breakfast: Whole Earth Organic Cornflakes topped with a chopped banana and skimmed milk (I'm slightly dairy intolerant too, so only skimmed milk passes my lips; definately no cream). Earthwhile Organic Cornflakes are cheap compared to other gluten free cereals, at around £1.30 for a good sized box that last me about 10 days and I have a big bowlful everyday. I have a large glass of 'not from concentrate orange juice' (juices made from concentrate make my face itchy - I think it's the sulphite preservatives that they add but I'm not sure). That pretty much lasts me until lunch time.

Lunch: I have Dietry Specials crispbreads with butter and tuna, ham or left over cooked meat from our previous evening meal. I love these crackers, and they're cheap for a box at about 90p. They're also yummy with jam (must be homemade for me to avoid the dreaded sulphites). I also have a couple of pieces of fruit and a gluten free biscuit (I try to avoid ones with potato starch in as these also contains sulphites which make my face go red and itchy). Trufree bourbons are my favouites, but they're a bit pricey at around £1.80 for a box of 10.

Tea: Fish or meat (chicken/turkey/steak/pork or omlette or bacon although I have to choose bacon with nitrate preservatives) with potatoes - either wedges, roast, mash or sliced, or rice or pasta (I have Dove's gluten free organic pasta) and a couple of veggies - carrots, green beans, courgettes, brocolli, swede, leeks etc; whatever's in the fridge. The rest of the family have sauces on their meals or gravy, but I just eat mine without. You get used to it and you can taste the flavour of the food much better.

Pudding: Vanilla ice cream (swedish glace is great at £1.80 a tub and it's free from everything being soya based) with fruit or another gluten free biscuit of some description. Sometimes I have a soya yoghurt or soya dessert.

If I get hungry before bed I have another bowl of cornflakes. I don't drink tea or coffee - tea aggrevates my rosacea and coffee hurts my stomach - it's not recommended for people with wheat and gluten intolerances or allergies, so I just drink hot water which I leave to cool to a nice temperature before drinking. I'm always nipping to the loo, I drink so much water.

Sticking to this diet, I feel a lot more healthy. Before I was diagnosed with a wheat and gluten intolerance I was tired all the time with headaches, bloating, severe stomach pains and lots of other problems. Now I just feel great although I really miss the wine and chocolate.

People often wonder how I cope with no wine, chocolate, cream cakes - basically anything nice!! It's funny really because I don't think of it like that. Instead I see them almost as a poison - if I eat them I have a reaction that ranges from mild to severe depending on how much I eat or drink. So I prefer not to have them at all, rather than have to deal with the consequences.

I will share some recipes asap and would love to hear from anyone who suffers too.


Annie xx TheFeltFairy said...

Hi, as one of my favourite bloggers, I have nominated you for a SUNSHINE AWARD! Pop to my blog if you need further details! xxx

periwinkle said...

my mam is coeliac so follows a gluten free diet - she is an amazing cook and makes gorgeous cakes , including eclairs and her yorkshire puddings are better than normal ones . It's amazing what you can cook :-)