I grew up in the countryside dreaming of the big city and now I’m lucky enough to have both, splitting my time between London and the east coast of Scotland where I’m from. For many years I worked in radio in Scotland as a producer and co-host which I loved and have many happy and exciting stories from, but after too many early mornings I needed a change. I decided to follow another passion before it was too late, which was fashion. As a stylist I’ve worked with various different brands and designers.
Being coeliac has become a big part of my life as I feel strongly about the fact we shouldn’t need to feel different or feel like we can’t eat ‘normally’. I became really interested in food, nutrition and what we eat, so decided to do more about it. I have recently gained a diploma in Diet And Nutrition focusing on gluten free living plus I have also trained as a life coach. I love writing and I love helping others so this blog is now my real passion.
Coeliac And Me
I’ve read so many things about coeliac disease, it can be genetic, you can of course have it from birth, that it’s common for females to develop an intolerance as they go from their 20’s into their 30’s and you could also develop an intolerance of some sort due to stress or a traumatic event. To be honest for me it could be any of the above however when I think back to being a child I believe I did have it then as I’ve always felt this really off feeling and lethargic after eating but I do think it got considerably worse the second half of my 20’s which in turn could have been made by a very stressful time I went through. These are only my own thoughts and there is no evidence to prove this but I believe we know ourselves how our bodies change and how we feel.
When I really started to feel unwell I constantly felt so tired, not sleepy as such but my body felt exhausted and my limbs ached and I had to force myself to get up sometimes. I went to the doctor several times over the course of a few years and was told ‘do you a carbon monoxide test in your house’, ‘do you know how many people tell me this in the winter’ and ‘you get up early for work and do long hours’. I was made to feel stupid. Yeah I was up early each day, I worked as a radio breakfast show producer and yes the hours could be long but I knew it was a different feeling to just being tired.
On top of this I was constantly anaemic and had low calcium levels (which I discovered after finally getting a blood test!) plus I started shedding a lot more hair than usual. As you can imagine these symptoms put together were worrying but they were dismissed by the doctor and I carried on. Something else I’ve suffered with all my life is sinus problems and severe headaches (I know I sound like a walking disaster!) so while all these other symptoms were coming to the forefront my headaches were getting worse than ever, I could have a headache that would last for days and nothing helped. I was starting to get paranoid and googling all sorts, as you do. During this time I had read about cutting out wheat and suggested it to my doctor, I was told it would be ‘too much hassle’ to have the test done but if I felt I wanted to try it then just do it. The problem is that without the proper information you just cut out the basics like bread not realising what else all contains the G word. Two months later of Christmas and New Year I was so ill and felt rotten, by chance I picked up my mums magazine and read an article on Coeliac disease, every symptom they listed I’d had. Immediately I went and read up about it, cut out all wheat and gluten which was quite an eye opener when you realize how much stuff contains it!
Within 2 weeks I already knew the difference and within 2 months I finally knew what it was like to feel ‘normal’ after I ate a meal, to still feel like I had energy to do things and to realise I didn’t have a weight problem I just had a wheat problem! Most of all I just felt happy about eating again.
The Reason I Started Cooking
The reason I started cooking was because I turned 30! yep that was the main reason! At this point I was unaware I was coeliac but cooking was the new rock n roll, everyone could cook it seemed, people always wanted to know what your speciality dish was like it was a thing although most people I met seemed to be able to make ‘the best spaghetti ball you’ll ever taste’…. no thanks.
I’d never really had an interest in it even though I’d grown up with my mum making everything from scratch always using fresh produce. However when I turned that magical grown up age I started to think about things as a single female who couldn’t really cook or at least had never bothered about cooking, like when I meet the man of my dreams at what point do I break the news that I don’t really know how to cook! Ridiculous I know, it became a laughable issue between me and my friends. So basically that’s why I started, my mum says some people find God but I found Jamie Oliver! He might not know it but if it wasn’t for Jamie and his app to follow along to I would be here now making my own creations and mixing flavours to try new dishes. Before long thats what I had the confidence to do, I like to look at what I have in the fridge and cupboards and create something from nothing, a meal that’s easy and fairly quick.
Discovering I was celiac made me more determined to cook everything from scratch. When you’re forced into reading the back of every product you want to eat to make sure you won’t be glutened you soon realise all the ‘extra’s’ that are added which made me think I can make this and it will be gluten free, healthier and I know what I’m actually eating.