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: cadbury.com.au

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

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: cadbury.com.au

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

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!

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.

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!

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