It’s a choctravesty

Stop the press!! I have some terrible news for chocolate loving coeliacs out there… Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate is no longer considered gluten free.

This devastating piece of news hit my inbox via the Coeliac Society’s e-newsletter, and as my eyes rolled over the email I read the line Members should note that Cadbury has recently included a “may contain” statement on new packaging.” My reaction, I was a blubbering mess!  There were tears, swear words and an angry outburst that went something like “first I can’t eat Lindt chocolate, now Cadbury! What the F am I going to eat!”

I know, I know, it sounds a bit dramatic, but as a chocolate-a-day kind of girl, this news was a lot to take on. I pondered why Cadbury, a longstanding favourite, would go and change their ingredients on me. I wanted to know more, because I sure as hell am not eating that gluten free chocolate crap – People can say what they like, it does not stack up to the real stuff – so I called Cadbury.

The new Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate blcok with peel and re-seal packaging. Not suitable for coeliacs. Source:

The new Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate block with peel and re-seal packaging. Not suitable for coeliacs. Source:

The bubbly Cadbury lady on the other end of the phone told me that Dairy Milk chocolate is still made exactly the same way, however Cadbury have updated their packaging (they’ve ditched the cardboard wrapping) and have decided to include the precautionary “may contain” statement, because Dairy Milk is produced on the same production line as chocolates containing gluten.

Still not sure if you're eating the old or the new Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate? Check the shape of the choc pieces. Source:

Still not sure if you’re eating the old or the new Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate? Check the shape of the choc pieces. Source:

This was a massive let down, some would say it is a choctravesty, but the Cadbury lady gave me some hope that they are looking into putting on another machine purely for their gluten free products in the near future. Here’s hoping!

The news that Dairy Milk is no longer gluten free got me thinking about other brands that have changed their allergen statements along with their packaging. What if I haven’t noticed new packaging and what if I’ve not read the new ingredients because I have the brand / product all the time? If it wasn’t for the email from the Coeliac Society, I may have gone ahead and eaten a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk without giving the new packaging a second glance! I’ve definitely learnt a valuable lesson here, always read the labels!

Now all I have to do is find a new chocolate to eat! Reeces Peanut Butter Cups and Baci Chocolates are close contenders but not the same as the simple, melt in your mouth flavour of a piece of Cadbury. I’m on the hunt and will let you know what the next best option is as soon as I find one!


No GF dice for Ace

Ace Pizza is the newest kid on the Mt Lawley block and in the name of research we tried it out on Friday night. Yes I know, alarm bells should have been ringing when I read the name, however I bought into the idea that this potential new local would be coeliac friendly just like it’s sister restaurant El Publico up the road.

The new fit out – of what was formerly Barolo – was oh so edgy and had a great atmosphere. We sat at the bar, which was perfect because we just wanted to grab a quick bite to eat and head home to watch Suits (we’re hooked on this show!).

The service at Ace was well, ace! The waitress took our drink order, a wine for me and for my date, a Peroni beer in a can imported from Italy. This of course was not GF, but it was a nice touch and left the avid beer drinker with a smile on his dial. The waitress also ran me through the five GF menu items, chop chop beef ($14), occy with potatoes and olive ($18), mussels with lemon and dill ($17), beets and ricotta ($16) and rib chop with bone marrow and potato ($79), but there was no GF pizza on the menu at all. This is something I assumed Ace, with the owner’s great GF track record, would have but I should have called to check first!

I ordered the occy which came out first and was more a jack than an Ace with only four pieces of “occy” on the plate mixed with a lot of potato. It was then on to the mussels, which the waitress had said were quite large but when they arrived they were really only another starter dish, a precursor to the hero dish, the pizzas!

After these two dishes I watched delicious looking pizzas being gobbled up around me and encountered a lot of gluten envy (apparently the pizzas are as tasty as they look). So, I  spent a while trying to get the waitress’ attention to order more food and fill my still rumbling belly. I began to get hangry (the emotion you feel when you’re really hungry, a cross between angry and hungry) so we folded and headed out to San Churros for strawberries dipped in chocolate and macaroons! All gluten free and they filled me right up.

All in all, I think Ace is great for others (read another review here if you’re not on a GF diet), but a bad bet for us coeliacs. I’m eagerly awaiting the day that they get on the GF train so I can eat the equivelant to my body weight in those Ace pizzas!



Days like this only come around once every now and then – I thought they were an urban myth – so when a sale like this hits your inbox, you know it’s time to stock up! The site has some great gluten free brands on sale, with discounts of up to 66% on these products. Even with the $11 delivery fee you’ll still save on these products!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, this gluten free stuff aint cheap at the supermarket so it’s a great idea to keep a lookout for these types of sales and buy your nonperishable snacks while they’re discounted and in bulk.

Occasionally I feel like a naughty snack (especially after too many drinks the night before) and sometime I need emergency GF nibbles for when my other glutard friends are over, so I stocked up on my two favourite brands of GF chips, Piranha Chicca Chips and Vege Deli Crisps as well as Eskal Deli Crackers, which tend to be a lot more expensive in the shops.

I also purchased Well & Good Muffin Mix. I discovered Well & Good at the Coles Gluten Free Expo and now I am hooked on their gluten free chocolate cake mix and I’m hoping the muffin mix will be just as good. I don’t normally enjoy packet mixes, but with GF cakes so few and far between this is a sufficient quick fix for me.

The site is also selling gluten free pasta, rice noodles, kids snacks  and more! Happy shopping!


I have never been a breakfast person (naughty, I know!) however, after the Coles Gluten Free and Healthy Living Expo, where I purchased Pura Veda, I have been completely converted and have it for breakfast daily.

I was lured into the tiny stall by a hyperactive, overly chatty, hippy looking sales person who offered me a little cup of gluten free Pura Veda bircher and promised me a range of health benefits in a bag. I was skeptical, but he said all the right things and even up-sold me their “expo special, mega pack” – I must have sucker written on my forehead because this happened to me many times that day!

My skepticism wasn’t necessary, Pura Veda, a natural mix of wholegrains, seeds and raisins, is a great gluten free alternative to cereals which typically contain gluten and lots of sugar and it keeps me full for longer (how cliché do I sound!).

The Pura Veda website (and the energetic salesman) claims that Pura Veda is a fantastic source of protein, fibre, Omega 3 and works as a detox and natural weight loss product (personally, the weightloss aspect hasn’t been the biggest benefit for me). Retailing at $20 for a 1kg bag, the mix is free from gluten, additives, dairy, and heaps more. View the other benefits here.

Pura Veda, taken from the Conscious Foods website.

Pura Veda, taken from the Conscious Foods website.

Pura Veda can be eaten on its own as a breakfast cereal (I add water), combined into other breakfast cereals or made into bircher muesli. The website even suggests adding it to dishes such as salads and stir fries “for a natural fiber, vitamin and mineral boost”. I eat mine with my other new found gluten free coup, COYO, coconut milk yoghurt.

The COYO website describes it as “heaven in a mouthful” (I agree!) and says that it is 100% dairy free, gluten free, guilt free vegan yogurt. At around $12.50 a tub, it is expensive but it is also a great alternative for coeliacs, those who are gluten and dairy intolerant and vegans.

It is quite rich, so as well as being a great breakfast option mixed with Pura Veda and blueberries (if I have exercised I throw a scope of protein powder into the mix), it also makes for a great desert with frozen berries. If you haven’t tried COYO, you need to do this right now! Click here to find your local stockist.

COYO comes in four different flavours and COYO ice cream is also available in three flavours…I’ll be trying the chocolate flavoured ice cream next!

Natural flavoured COYO coconut yoghurt.

Natural flavoured COYO coconut yoghurt.


Firstly, I must apologise for not posting in a while, I have been away with work and collecting lots of content on eating gluten free while travelling the Pilbara…let me assure you, this was no simple task. However, today’s blog post is just a quickie to tell you about El Publico, a Mexican restaurant in Mt Lawley aka coeliac paradise.

I have to admit, I had eaten here pre diagnosis and didn’t enjoy it at all, but we thought we’d give it another go last night in a smaller group of just two people and therefore could choose our own dishes. This was definitely the better way to experience the gluten free friendly menu – only four non gluten free foods are listed on the menu and they are marked clearly with an asterix, meaning I didn’t have to feel like a total pain constantly asking the waiter questions!!!

We ordered the street corn and cuttlefish for starters, these were the highlight dishes of the night. We followed with a lamb belly taco, with Aunty G’s sauce and a chicken taco each. The waiter (who was fabulous by the way!) placed some house made hot sauce on the table with the famous last words ‘It’s really hot… in case you want to party!”. How hot could it be I asked myself, well, with only three drops of the hot sauce on my taco I was sweating up a storm! Beware of the hot sauce, it is in fact, HOT sauce!

Overall I was really impressed with the service and food at El Publico, they make it so easy for coeliacs, you almost forget you have any special diatary needs – that is until your date orders a crispy pork role (Torta ahogada), which had my mouth watering!

On another note, the Coles gluten free and healthy living expo is on this weekend 16 -17 March, 2013 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. According to a lovely lady at the Coeliac Society, the expo is a must for coeliacs as you can experience all things gluten free. You’ll find me there, taste testing my way through the expo booth by booth 🙂


Four weeks ago, when I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, I thought it was the end of my world. The end to all delicious food which I loved so much (no cakes! no pasta! no bread!) and the start of something much more depressing, frustrating and not to mention embarrassing – “how can I expect people to cook gluten free for me?” I was heard whining.

I have had so many ups and downs in this past month, I’ve dodged a few gluten bullets and had many a melt down over a restaurant menu, but lately I have noticed a change – news flash, I can still eat most of this stuff! – which is why I thought it a good idea to give a rundown of the basics I’ve learned to date.

Lesson 1 – Cheerleaders

All coeliacs need a cheer squad.

Listen up glutards and coeliacs alike, it is impossible to get through weeks 1 -3 without a posse of cheerleaders behind you. The Queen B cheer squad grew and grew in these first few weeks and is still growing as more family, friends and friends of friends of friends find out about my disease. It has blown me away how supportive everyone has been and I most definitely needed it!

We’ll start with my mum, or as I like to think of her, the base and strongest part of the cheer pyramid. Mum took the reins at home, swapping flours, bread crumbs, dips and anything else she could think of for gluten free products. I now have my own basket filled with gluten free snacks in the pantry, ensuring I don’t even have to look at anything with gluten in it and she continues to fill it daily.

Family (also known as the catchers, the people who catch the person flying through the air) have been crucial in the changeover phase. Regular weekly dinners at home and at my boyfriend’s parents’ house are now totally gluten free. This was something I really struggled with, I felt I was being a massive burden and I initially didn’t want to attend because of the inconvenience I felt I caused. I have since been talked around by cheer captain (the boyfie) and my gluten free diet has now been embraced by all, even my 80 something year old Italian grandmother who keeps gluten free cutlets in the freezer for when I visit – I couldn’t appreciate it more.

My friends and aunties, (the cheerleaders jumping around making lots of noise, shouting give me a Q, give me a U, give me an E… well you get the picture) provide me with tonnes of tips and I receive so many good gluten free product and shopping recommendations from this great group of cheerleaders each week. Most of these cheerleaders aren’t coeliacs or gluten intolerant, just super supportive!

Some of these cheerleaders encourage me by eating gluten free themselves and go so out of their way to help me. One was seen running around the Rottnest pub (on Rotto swim day, their busiest day of the year), hunting down a chef who could tell me which menu items were gluten free – she was on a mission!

And that brings me to you guys, the people who have read this blog, commented, emailed, encouraged and spread the word! Your support has been fantastic and you have given me so many more gluten free options to explore. I look forward to continuing this gluten free journey with you!

Lesson two coming soon… stay tuned!


Over the weekend I was treated to another birthday celebration at one of Perth’s newest restaurants, Bistro Guillaume. Located just off the lobby at Crown Entertainment Complex, Bistro Guillaume instantly transports you to a French wonderland through its modern take on a quintessential French bistro.

The entry sets the tone, with its smashed plate chandelier hanging high enough to direct punters to the bright green doorway and into the restaurant’s impressive foyer. The staff greeted us almost immediately, held up only by one disgruntled guest blasting the maitre d’ because she couldn’t be accommodated (without a booking) in the packed restaurant – even I was shaking in my stilettos…that woman was cray!

We were soon seated and as we were still waiting on one person, we ordered drinks. I decided on a French Martini (when in Rome!), which was almost as good as the  best French martini I have had – it went down way too easy after a long week in the office!

French martini.

French martini.

A few martinis later and with our last guest now present, we began to order our meals. I called the restaurant a few days earlier and spoke to a manager who assured me that most menu items can be made gluten free and our waitperson confirmed this on the night. I was very confident that I would have a wide variety to choose from and I was right.

For entrée, I ordered half a dozen natural oysters and the Spanner Crab salad with avocado, cucumber and capsicum coulis. I absolutely love oysters, but unfortunately these ones didn’t seem to be shucked properly and I had to work hard to get them off the shell – this was a bit of a turn off.

The Spanner Crab on the other hand was delicious, I couldn’t fault it!


The oysters left a lot to be desired.

The delicious crab salad!

The Spanner Crab with avocado, cucumber and capsicum coulis.

Between entrée and main we were treated to Chinese New Year fireworks. I got so distracted by the spectacle happening outside the window that I subconsciously reached for the bread roll, so sneakily placed on my side plate. It wasn’t until my gluttonous side kicked in and I asked for the butter that I realised what I was doing…eeek! The butter saved me from eating the bread (I never thought I would hear myself say that!).  After this little incident it was hard to forget about the doughy fresh bread that I couldn’t eat, but thankfully it was nothing another French martini couldn’t fix!

It was then onto mains for which I ordered Chargrilled King Salmon with roast fennel, oyster mushroom, clams and beurre blanc. It was cooked perfectly and was a great gluten free choice. The serving was fairly big and after my entrée it was a struggle to finish it all.

Chargrilled king salmon.

Chargrilled king salmon.

When it came time to order desert, our waitperson explained that there were only two gluten free deserts, the sorbet and the fresh raspberry and rose macaron. With such a small selection to choose from, I was lucky that I already had my mind set on the macaron. It was like nothing I had seen before, a huge macaron with an amazing creamy centre. It was extremely sweet (even for me and my sweet loving tooth), but I would still recomend it to all you glutards!

THE macaron!

THE macaron!

All in all, the food was very nice however the service (especially the drink service) was not on par with that of neighboring restaurants Nobu and Rockpool. We found we drank less because our glasses weren’t filled regularly (first world problem, I know, I know!), and the significantly pricey Hennesy Paradis ordered by the males at our table was more expensive (and less quantity) than that served 20 metres away at Nobu, this was a bit disappointing.

Although I wouldnt rush back, I would recommend you try it at least once for the decor alone, oh and they cater very well to us coeliacs, which is a big plus in my book!


After my first blog post on Friday (and after receiving so much support from all of you) I was pumped for my first gluten free (GF) weekend. I headed straight home after work for a gluten free snack (Chick Nuts, thanks mum!), and dived head first into a gluten battlefield, where I stayed for the rest of the weekend.

After visiting my friend’s adorable new puppy Brooklyn, we decided on Tao in Innaloo for a casual dinner . Well, gluten dropped its first bomb, the tempura prawns! They looked so delicious, but as tempura is well and truly out, I opted for sashimi instead. It was cut very thick, and it just wasn’t the same without soy sauce (soy sauce contains wheat).

To avoid accidental gluten ingestion, I asked the waitress which menu items were GF and she very kindly hand wrote me my own GF menu. I chose the Pho Ga (chicken breast in rice noodle soup, with green onions and coriander) and to my huge delight, so did almost everyone else at the table – FOMO (fear of missing out) crisis averted!

The gluten free menu at Tao.

The gluten free menu at Tao.

The Pho Ga was nice and healthy, however gluten still managed to creep up on me in a sneaky little bowl of chili sauce served on the side of the Pho Ga. The troops had my back and suggested I check with the waitress (who wrote the GF list and also served me the evil bowl of gluten, go figure!) she confirmed it to be inedible… phewf that was close! My new number one rule is to ask questions, and lots of them.

The Pho Ga dish at Tao.

The Pho Ga dish at Tao.

Gluten went into Saturday night with guns blazing. We had organised to have fish and chips at Cottesloe beach, which, upon reflection, was not the best idea for a new glutard! I became so overwhelmed and stressed about what to order, I ended up buying almost everything in the shop! $60 and half an hour later I emerged with enough food to feed a small army, however the only suitable items for me to eat were grilled fish (no flour) and a garden salad.

I spent the entire meal googling “Can coeliac’s eat chips at a fish and chip shop” (for the record, no we can’t!) and watching my friends eat battered fish, which looked much nicer than my dry mackerel.

It was me vs gluten and gluten was kicking my butt!

Gluten may have won this time, however there’s always next weekend and I already have some moves up my sleeve in the form of homemade GF meatballs, recipe to come!


Hi! My name is Natalie Biagioni, and this blog is about my journey to becoming the Queen B (B for Biagioni) of all things gluten free (GF)!

Right now, as of this very minute I am a self-confessed, diehard, food fanatic – I eat what I want, when I want. I am a born and bred Perthian, with a European family who love to feed me pastas, cakes, biscuits and breads. Our whole family dynamic revolves around eating and hey, I’m not going to say no to delicious handmade pasta covered in fresh homemade sugo … who would!

So (back to the point!), you can imagine the shock and horror that hit me at 8.10am yesterday morning, when I met with my doctor and she confirmed that I have Coeliac Disease. My first thought was, oh no! No more Torres cutlets!

Alas, I began mourning my glorious gluten filled life. I ate every bit of every wheat product in my sight. I told myself “this is the last time I will eat a kit kat” and “I will start eating GF on Monday”. I even shed a tear for the arancini I won’t be able to eat at my birthday dinner next weekend!

After feeling very sorry for myself for most of the morning (and a majority of last week, before the test results came through), I was shown a documentary at work titled ‘The Ride’. It’s about four wheelchair bound men who travel on quad bikes to the sites of their accidents. The sheer difficulty that these men face every day snapped me back to reality pretty quickly. I realised very fast that eating gluten free is not the worst thing that could happen to a person!

Voilà! Here I am writing a blog to tackle my new life head on. My plan is to use this blog as inspiration, to stay on track and to document all the great products I find and the best places – in whichever city or town I am in – to eat gluten free!

The best bit is, after setting up this blog, I have found that I want to get started on my new gluten free diet right now.  No more wallowing, no more last bites, no more excuses. Here starts my journey to becoming Queen B… I hope you will join me!

Natalie xx

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