Quick evening meal- paella

Since going gluten free I’ve struggled with connivence food. Being self employed with a cafe especially at this time of year we lived on tesco finest meals and take always or pasta- fast quick food.
So I’ve searched for tasty meals that are quick and this evenings paella was just that!
Recipe-
2 onions, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peele and crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
250g paella rice
500ml hot chicken stock (made from half a stock cube)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
150g chorizo cut into small rounds or chunks
1 pepper cut into pieces
Parsley
Black pepper

Method-
1- in a large frying pan soften the onion, garlic and chorizo in the olive oil.
2- stir in the turmeric and rice, cook for 1 minute. Add the joke stock and tomatoes, cover, simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peppers replace the lid and simmer until the rice has puffed up and become tender.
3- take the lid off stir in black pepper and fresh or dried parsley. Serve 🙂
Done in about 20-25 mins!

Really tasty (convenient with a shop full of chorizo 👍) really quick!

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In it for the long run… Cycle!

I can not recall a time when I had this much energy. I’m sure maybe I did once… My tenth birthday running round the mountain in the middle of a water fight I’m sure was an energetic me, but with the 27th birthday quickly approaching those memories are becoming a distant past.
Even working 12 hour days in the height of the season I still seem to be full of beans!
Don’t get me wrong when I go to bed I sleep, in fact I’ve haven’t slept so well in years either! I used to wake 8, 10 times a night but since going gf I have slept through most nights.
Since discovering the coeliac disease and the lack of knowledge I knew that I wanted to do something to raise awareness, not only nationally but locally. It’s pretty impossible for me to eat out these days and I’m craving a greasy chow mien… It doesn’t fill you with confidence when a restaurant have no idea about gluten and insist you’ll be fine. Without sounding like a preacher people need to be educated.
Around the time of diagnosis the London marathon was on… So this week the fabulous husband and I sent off our applications in the hope we’ll get in!

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We’ve started training… In case we get in! I’ve never run a serious race of any distance and as a recovering coeliac it’s important to start slowly… By slowly I mean I’ve got up to a mile! That’s pretty good going for a lady that couldn’t run. I’ve gone into it pretty seriously, by this I mean I bought Lycra and a running watch! It’s pretty nifty the garmin forerunner 15, it tells me how many miles I walk a day which can be a little disturbing when all you’ve done is walk between the sink and pizza oven at work but clocked up 5 miles! !
It also times my run, fastest sections, maps it all. It’s very geeky!
It’s also great on the new… Bike! Yes I know! I did say I’ve gone all in! The fabulous husband bought me a pretty swanky bike for my birthday… And Christmas… For possibly the next 12 years! Whys bike? Because in a off the cuff conversation I noted we’d spent 4 summers in the shop, missed out on birthday days out, weddings, we’r basically friendless due to work commitments and it was time to live life. Go back to the simple things. See the country. See the world. Do stuff we once enjoyed but then forgot. The fabulous husband was is a cyclist but somewhere along the way lost in a world of cappuccino making he all but gave it up. We’r on it, ‘let’s start the season with a marathon an end it cycling lands end to john o groats?!’
The bike arrived from Thorn bicycles, I asked a friend about touring bikes he suggested a few, I saw the pink one, and that was it, it had to be pink!
She arrived pretty quickly.
It’s been sometime since I rode a bike… Like 10 years! So her maiden voyage was to the cycle track and I rode an impressive 7 miles (impressive to me!) the husband puttle’d along beside me. Obviously he wants to charge off, he’s the same whilst we’r running but he’s very good and supportive and always encourages me along. One day I’ll charge off! Maybe!
To think at school I was the kid who avoided P.E at all costs and was nicknamed ‘lazy’ by the teacher. To set the record straight it wasn’t lazy… It was self conscious in a room full of pretty rough cruel girls! The kid that once cowered at an awkward 6ft is long since gone! One can’t be self conscious in a sweaty date running on the beach!
I’ve been a further 14 miles on the bike and so it feels apt to name her. I named my first car Sophie, my second was smokey but she came with that name.
This bike in all it’s crazy pink glory needed a name that said ‘I’m freedom, I’m that cycling away from work, I’m that adventure to see the world’ and so she’s named nothing less than Dolly! Because? Well… my favourite tune of all time is Dolly Parton 9-5
‘There’s a better life, and you dream about it don’t you?’

So the long run/ cycle begins!

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Healing with vitamins

Since going gluten free I’ve read loads of books by other coeliacs and their journey to recovery. From Jennifer Esposito who opened a gluten free bakery in New York, her book Jennifer’s Way is a must read for any new coeliac! To Gluten- free girl by Shauna James Ahern who also writes a blog of the same name.
I’m currently reading ‘Gluten is my Bitch’ by April Peveteaux, a great funny read.
A lot of the books mention all the same things including vitamins.
It’s safe to say my body hasn’t absorbed enough vitamins for quiet some time. So after reading up on it all I know have a morning routine that starts like this-

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An actamel is a probiotic yogurt for healing the gut, creates healthy gut bacteria and some research proves to heal a coeliac gut faster. To this I add 5ml of vitamin D. Liquid vitamins are great and absorb faster if your gut is too damaged to absorb. My body lacks vitamin d currently and so any sun I see my skin is immediately burning.
Next-

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Vitamin B12 often lacking in coeliacs is responsible for energy levels I also use this for an extra boost-

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Great for when I’m feeling a little more tired. Tastes like peaches too!
Then I take a good all round multivitamin and vitamin c tablet too.
It’s vital to top up on these currently and also eating lots of homegrown veg and fruit.

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In October I’ll be having blood tests to test my vitamin levels, anything I’m lacking in I’ll be given injections or a course of stronger tablets.
I feel this routine is working for me currently and working 7 days a week at the moment I don’t feel tired and seem to have loads of energy so something must be right. I’ve even taken up running and cycling both major steps for me.
More about that another time 💛

More rice noodles!

One of my coeliac fears is eating out. Those times when you don’t think ahead and find yourself out for hours and unable to find anything to eat. I searched for something to eat at those times your on a day out and want to take something with you to eat but something you could easily not eat if you found an alternative.

I came across Kabuto noodles! To be honest I’m not entirely sure how I first came across them, someone tweeted something about their new gf noodles and my search for them started there.
I ended up contacting them to see where they stocked. Nowhere in North Wales obviously 😔 So I suggested a shop in town that might stock them, but said shop wasn’t interested.

Then whilst discussing it with the fabulous husband he suggested we get them in our cafe so other gf people could buy them incase they didn’t find other gf places to eat. Excellent plan!

Sophie the kind lady at Kabuto Noodles sent me some sample packs of their miso and chicken gf noodles. Both are delicious!

Essentially Kabuto noodles are the same principle as the original pot noodles, just add boil hot water. But I can tell you they taste nothing like them! Their amazing!

I never go out without one now. So quick and convenient there’s no need to worry about finding something to eat. I can’t wait to take these to a festival incase there’s nothing there or on days out to shows.
Kabuto noodles you are life savers! Thank you! 👍
Check them out here-

http://www.kabutonoodles.com
http://twitter.com/#!/KabutoNoodles

Stocked at Pethau Melys of course!
http://www.pethaumelys.co.uk

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Tasty rice noodle stir fry

I was not a fan of rice before going gf. In fact if make every effort to avoid it! Now I’ve made a pact to myself that I should re try any foods I disliked and always try new food to expand my options.
So rice noodles for a stir fry… Something I wasn’t sure about having always had eg noodles. For a super quick meal the Sherwood’s ready in a packet are okay but not very tasty.
The best I’ve found so far are these ‘Thai Taste’ noodles that I got from Asda. Really simple to prepare, pour boiling water over them in a bowl and leave for ten minutes, rinse and add to your stir fry veg!
A lot of the stir fry sauces also contain gluten which is annoying! Stir fry is always a quick favourite of ours. I have discovered some in the supermarkets but I have also discovered http://www.ilumiworld.com who do some very handy ready meals for busy days and these lovely stir in sauces. We used the sweet soy and ginger.
My local health good shop is also ultra helpful and and stocks gluten free soy sauce! Win!!

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Talking of noodles I’ve just received some lovely noodle pots I’ll have to tell you about next time 👍

BBQ beers and lagers

Now summer is in full swing it time for those late evening beach bbq’s.
I’ve always been a cider girl myself which is of course safe for coeliacs (handy!) but I feel like if a company has made an effort to make a gluten free product then I should make the effort to give it a go even if I wasn’t keen on them before.
So I tweeted about not being able to have beer or lager. First my sister in law replied (a wealth of knowledge about beers, and works for our local brewery!) a relatively local brewery has started making a beer called masquerade (a gluten free beer masquerading as a beer…)
She got me a bottle, to be fair I don’t like beer but it was a really good drink. If your a beer fan I can imagine this is the one for you.

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This is their website
http://www.montysbrewery.co.uk

Then also replying to my tweet was our very helpful wine shop man 🙂
He’s very helpful when ever you visit and was really helpful in letting me know about two lager’s he sold both gluten free!
. I’ve given both a go and both seem lovely.
So a special thanks to Dean for letting me know! As he says ‘beer for everyone!’

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So if your having a BBQ and you like that cold lager or a pint of beer with it these are what I’ve found so far 🙂
Enjoy! Happy bbq’ing!

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The Road To Diagnosis- Part 2

So I was ill, I was tired and I was pretty sure this wasnt normal.
I booked an appointment at the GP. As soon as I walked in she wasnt interested in what I had to say, I told her I was tired, I’d wake up a lot at night, id sleep 12 hours but wake tired. My joints ached I had bad back ache, the headaches, the bloating the stabbing belly cramps… I told her the whole shabang.
She told me I was tired because I was over worked, I hadn’t been at work for 4 months by this point. My bad back was my bed, my joints aching my height! And the belly cramps obviously IBS. Okay… so maybe I did have IBS that made sense, so I asked what tests they do for that. Genuinely she turned to me and said ‘What is it you want me to do today? What do you expect?’

WHAT!? I expected was some help, someone to give me advise. I blatantly wasnt going to get it from this lady! It’s a shame my previous doctor had retired she was much friendlier! She told me she’d run blood tests but it was pointless because ‘your bloods in 2012 where fine!’

I had to book another appointment for the blood test the following week. I felt awful, I felt like it was obviously in my head and I was fine and everyone felt like this. I nearly didn’t turn up for those blood tests, The morning of the tests I felt awful, I went in the hope it would prove something was wrong.

Within a week they called me-
‘the doctor would like to see you with regards to your blood tests’

Wow… okay.. they never call you back unless they’ve found something. So I thought this will be her confirming the IBS then. I had to wait another week to see the GP. It was a different GP, the surgery was busy… my appointment ended up being late. Eventually I was called in
“hi what can I do for you?’
‘ummm you called me in… my blood results?’
‘oh….’
So this doctor spent 5 minutes reading my blood results, she asked if my belly cramps where still there, I said yes they’ve got worse, I’m really tired, the cramps are bad in the morning and at night.

‘your blood results came back positive for coeliac’

I had no idea what this was, what the hell is coeliac? She had no idea either! She printed me off 2 pages from google… she read it briefly told me not to worry and that I couldn’t give up gluten for life because what would I live on.
In hindsight what she said is ridiculous! Tell a coeliac to continue to eat gluten for life! I went home, googled the whole thing and immediately bought two books, both extremely helpful and highly recommended for any newly diagnosed coeliac.

Coeliac Books

I also joined http://www.coeliac.org.uk who are a dedicated charity and publish a directory once a year with all the foods in supermarkets that are safe to eat, refered to some as “The Bible”. Mine is well used on shopping trips and handbag sized!

The Coeliac Bible

 

The Gp had told me I would be refered to a gastroenterologist for further tests to confirm the diagnosis. I read online and in books that I needed to continue eating gluten for this time… I was ill and the summer season for our shop was fast approaching. How long was this going to take? I rang the hospital.. 36 weeks! That was january 2015!! People had babies in less time! That was only to see the gastroenterologist it would then need another appointment for the tests! I couldn’t work a season in this state!

After much deliberation… I decided to go private, for the sake of our business I had to get this sorted. I had an appointment within 3 weeks! I saw the gastroenterologist, he was lovely he explained a few things and checked all my symptoms. He booked me in for an endoscopy in 2 weeks. I tought I was fine with this untill I saw an episode of embarrassing bodies the night before and suddenly I was terrified!!

For anyone worried about the endoscopy, don’t be. The nurses and doctors are lovely, someone will hold your hand. It’s not pleasant, they do give you a spray that tastes like fish and banana’s it’s true…. and it’s  best to be sedated but it’s worth it and over within minutes.

I heard the gastroenterologist tell the nurse ‘can you see the villi? awful.. flat as a pancake’ I was relived! I knew that flat villi meant one thing – I had coeliac. He could see it. No more waiting. It was done.

Once I’d come round properly he told me it was evident, they’d send the biopsies away but all could be seen, stop eating gluten immediately.

I have and I’ve not looked back! I went through 2 weeks of massive energy! Then suddenly huge headaches.. I had an appointment with the gastro for the results –

‘defiantly coeliac and one of the worse I’ve seen for quiet sometime’

He thought I’d had it was at least 15 years. He said I’d have never made it to the appointment on a 36 week waiting list, I’d have ended up in hospital way before then. The headaches where my body going cold turkey if you like, I’d eaten pasta 4 times a week and cereals everyday now nothing, I had withdrawal symptoms. they passed.

It angers me that no one had thought to test before, I’m anger at the original doctor you doubted that something was even wrong and felt she had to give me a blood test to shut me up.

I’m proud of all the research I’ve done and the information I’ve discovered myself and things I’m still finding out every day.

I’m currently waiting for my dietician appointment but today I got my first gluten-free foods on prescription. My cupboards are bursting with foods. I’m eating so much more healthy, my husband had been amazing and supportive.

Glutafin Pescription

I’m even toying with the idea of changing the cafe to entirely gluten-free for next season, but first I must master the baking!

Life doesn’t end when you become gluten-free. A new journey begins.

I toast to recover, health and the future! Lets go!

P.S the doctor who said there would be nothing to eat was wrong.. I’ve never eaten so well! This blog will prove it!