GLUTEN FREE DAY

YES YOU READ RIGHT… IT’S GLUTEN FREE DAY ON GROCERYRUN.COM.AU AND ALL YOUR FAVOURITE GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS ARE DISCOUNTED FOR THE NEXT 21 HOURS!

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!

BREAKFAST WITH BENEFITS

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.

MEXICAN HOT SPOT

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 🙂

COELIAC 101, LESSON 1

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!

GLUTEN FREE WHAT?!

I don’t know about all you other coeliacs / gluten intolerant people, but I have really struggled to find good and easy, gluten free take away. I have found myself less inclined to pop out for lunch during the week and I have noticed that the language barrier at cheaper eats is a big hurdle (gluten free what?!), making the task of picking up a quick feed on a week night almost impossible.

This was most definitely the case last night at a Japanese takeaway place in Subiaco. I was left a little red faced and not to mention hungry, after a gluten free altercation with the people behind the counter. I could tell they weren’t well versed on gluten free foods, especially when they said a big fat “NO!” when I asked to check the ingredients on the miso paste they use – I wonder what they were hiding in that backroom, it sounded suss.

On the other hand I do want to share a good experience I’ve had with Thai cuisine. Thai seems to be a great way to go for gluten free takeaway and I was pleasantly surprised when some friends and I ordered Tamarind Thai in Mt Hawthorn. The Menu has ‘gluten free’ scrawled across the front (big tick), and the lady taking our order was more than happy to point out the four menu items that contained gluten (I still double checked all dishes were gluten free at time of ordering). That FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling was nowhere to be seen… coeliac heaven!

I didn’t get any snaps of the food (we were too busy chomping it down!) but click on the image below to see a copy of the menu. The highlighted items are not gluten free.

Tamarind Thai menu, the highlighted items are NOT gluten free.

Tamarind Thai menu, the highlighted items are NOT gluten free.

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