Sorry for the silence between posts. We have had a pleasure and challenge of starting our own company and it has been hectic to say the least, but thoroughly rewarding too. The company started at the beginning of the new financial year, which coincidently you might notice was around the last time we posted a blog post or article!
We have managed to keep posting some gluten free recipes along the way, thanks to Sue (Alice’s mum) who couldn’t bear to leave you all hanging and took it upon herself to cook for us, leaving us to photograph and write the recipes up, which made it much more achievable. It must be said though that you are in for a treat as Sue is a trained chef and was once a restauranteur, this passion of her’s is the reason Alice have such a love of food. So once again we say many thanks Sue and look forward to seeing some of her delicious gluten free fare coming your way soon.
So the business we started is a digital marketing agency of sorts, looking after ecommerce websites, building apps and consulting with other businesses to improve their online presence. It might be jargon to some but together we have over 15 years experience in the field so it made sense to combine our powers and create something we were passionate about and goals we could work toward together. It has been a thrill and it is only just starting, we are super excited about what the future holds. Don’t stress though, we will still be publishing recipes, research and general musings of interest to the gluten free world as often as we can, now we are a bit more settled.
I wasn’t sure what to write in my first post back but then I got to thinking, there is an awful lot of learnings in going gluten free and some are not what you think! After over two years on a strict gluten free diet to treat coeliac disease here are some of the things we have learnt…
The gluten free community is super supportive
It is a great thing to have such an open and sharing community. The amount of information available on the internet helped us immensely but the breadth of it was what caused us to create deglutenous, so that all this information could be found in once place. Needless to say, if you have a question there are numerous communities out there who can answer them and because coeliac disease and the gluten free diet are still relatively new there is plenty to learn.
You will rarely ever be able to eat out and feel safe
With the rare exception of finding a 100% gluten free restaurant, cafe or bakery we will always live in fear. We can’t count how many times we have sent back dishes because they have come out with deep fried garnishes. Now we have a rule, if any of the dish looks suspicious it is best to ask and ask again until you are confident you can eat it. Sometimes it will mean the staff get a little put off but at the end of the day, will you never see them again and even if you do, wouldn’t you rather enjoy the rest of your evening rather than going home to curl into the foetal position and feel sorry for yourself?!
But you can still find a lovely surprise when eating out
Recently we were visiting a friend in Rockhampton after presenting at a conference in Cairns. We were lucky enough to be introduced to a rare gluten free gem (which is also known as just a great place to eat), in Rockhampton of all places. Now, we spent many days in Cairns, a night in Townsville and a night in Airlie Beach on the way down and had the usual experiences, explaining, questioning and questioning again every time we ate out but in Rockhampton we were introduced to Blue Truffle, a gourmet store and cafe with the best attention to detail when it came to tongs (they were kept in a separate and clearly marked bucket), all the gluten free food was on the top shelf etc. Now if we were honest, we expected Rockhampton to be the hardest of the lot to eat out in but weren’t we pleasantly surprised. The food was so good we managed a lunch and breakfast there!
As a coeliac I have struggled to overcome gut issues
It is over two years since I was diagnosed and I still haven’t managed to get my gut under control. As I write this I am undertaking an elimination diet and low FODMAP diet at the same time, and this is the second time I have used this method to work out what causes my stomach aches and other digestive issues. It is rigorous and the most boring food you can imagine but I seek relief, so I will keep going until we work out what, other than gluten, ails me.
People will always associate being gluten free with being thin
‘Oh, you can’t eat gluten, that must be why you are slim’. Well, I eat well and I exercise, that is probably more to the point. A gluten free diet will not make you thin, not through substitution anyway. Especially now you can get every type of junk food in a gluten free variety (those gluten free cheese rings are addictive too!).
The fad of gluten free makes our lives hard
I am thankful there are so many alternative gluten free products on the market now. There are horror stories of what it was like to be gluten free 30 years ago, so I am not bashing the people who chose to live gluten free, rather than having a medical requirement, but I will say that their existence has made my life harder. For example when I go to a restaurant I have to state my dietary requirements, as you picked up before I am slim, I am also blonde and in my mid (to late, dammit!) 20s. Now, I really struggle to get people to take me seriously sometimes. I want to pull my hair out and say look, I am not a Gwenyth Paltrow fan, I am not doing this by choice, just serve some good and definitely gluten free food, without any deep fried garnishes and we can all move on with our lives. I could be wrong but I bet 70 year old men don’t have the same judgements bestowed upon them, just as no one would question a diabetic asking for the sugar laden dressing to be left on the side!
Gluten free food isn’t all that bad
People often give you a look of pity as they pass the gluten filled snacks around but in all honesty it doesn’t worry me to miss out. I have my own snacks and meals that I look forward too and can treat myself in other ways. Home cooked gluten free food is just as delicious as any home cooked meal and it means we don’t eat as much crap either. Plus the excitement of finding a really delicious gluten free treat when out is he best! So… it isn’t all bad!
Gluten free is a lifestyle
I will never eat gluten again. It often surprises me when I think about the fact I will never eat a crusty loaf of delicious fresh bread (because no matter how far gluten free bread comes, it will never be the same) or drink a normal beer ever again. This is life now but I am okay with it, as long as I can make it a healthy and happy one.
We would love to hear your thoughts about being gluten free and what you have learnt as a result! Leave us a comment below. Also, stay tuned for more of Sue's delectable gluten free recipes.