To finish off Coeliac Awareness Week, I thought it would be a great idea to let you know what foods I can’t live without. The idea for this blog came to me when I was doing my latest online shop. Being incapacitated at the moment with the ankle, I can’t really get out to go shopping. Before I continue, it’s only when you can’t do something that you actually realise how much you liked it. I actually quite like walking around a supermarket getting my groceries. Can’t wait to be able to do that again! Anyway, as a person who refrains from gluten, there are certain foods I would actually be lost without:
You may be surprised to learn that as a child I never used to like bacon! I know, what was wrong with me, but as soon as I started consuming alcohol and getting hangovers, I suddenly realised how transforming bacon is. Just the smell of bacon is enough to make your mouth water. Thankfully bacon is a protein and so does not contain any gluten. I find it is an essential part of my life now, and I am buying it regularly in my weekly shops. If I’m ever in a pickle about what to eat, I can never go wrong with some bacon and eggs, or a bacon butty.
I’m from Northern Ireland. Potatoes make up 80% of my diet, so basically I’m exactly like a 19th Century Irish peasant! I honestly wouldn’t be able to eat without potatoes, and this was true even before I became gluten intolerant. A staple part of any gluten intolerant persons diet is the trusty baked potato. I find if I go to a café and they don’t have any gluten free options in their sandwiches, they are most likely to have a baked potato selection. You can anything with the potato as well. Beans and cheese is my favourite topping, followed closely by tuna and coleslaw. Chips, potato waffles, mashed potato, boiled potato, champ, garlic potatoes…I love it all!
I love baked beans. They are so versatile, even though I only use them for three things. I use them when I’m having a fry, or if I fancy some beans on toast, or if I’m making a baked potato. I will always have at least one tin of baked beans in my food cupboard. I think beans are not only a staple for the gluten intolerant person, but for people in general. Beans are brilliant!
Microwave Rice Packets
Another thing I couldn’t live without, especially when it comes to work. These are super handy for me when it comes to work. I’m terrible at prepping sandwiches, or anything else, for myself and typically I’m rushing around in the morning and grabbing a packet of rice is just so handy! Sometimes I’ll add a little extra so it, an avocado maybe, but I often like to keep it simple and add some gluten free soy sauce. Tasty and convenient.
Where would I be without eggs? I have no clue. Another naturally gluten free food item that is great for protein. Eggs are also versatile and can be cooked in many ways. Eggs have gotten me out of a lot of food scrapes. You know when you open the fridge and you literally have nothing except for a box of eggs and an onion? Omelette! I will admit though that as I’ve gotten older and my stomach has gotten more sensitive, I’ve found my love of fried eggs has lessened, but my love for poached eggs has reach an all time high! Add a bit of bacon to a poached egg and you have a lovely little breakfast.
Gluten Free Cereal
As mentioned I am terrible in the mornings. I am constantly rushing around trying to get ready for work, which means not only am I terrible at prepping my lunch, I am terrible at making a good breakfast. I rely heavily on gluten free cereal. In the past few months (before the ankle) I had been trying to get up earlier to make pancakes and other lovely things, but typically I’m just reaching for the cereal. Not only is it great in the morning, but I love a bowl of cereal in the evening as a snack. Why does cereal taste better in the evenings?
Gluten free bread products
I used to LOVE bread, and I still do, but I will admit gluten free bread is not great. It is starting to get better as companies branch out into making more interesting and palatable bread. You can’t change a habit of a life time, only modify the stuff that is going into your mouth. I will always have a loaf of bread and other items like gluten free brioche, gluten free rolls and gluten free crumpets in the cupboard.
Finally I want to end with this. I have greatly enjoyed Coeliac Awareness Week. On Instagram in particular I’ve gotten to interact with so many more of my piers and those who are on the same food journey as me. I’ve found out that a lot of people are on the exact same boat as me. They haven’t officially been diagnosed as being coeliac, but were advised to go on a gluten free diet by their doctor. I’m hoping that this week has made people more aware of what coeliac disease is, and has encouraged those who are having problems to go and see their doctor. Hopefully people can learn from the stories that have been put out there and demand tests rather than just be told to try the gluten free diet. Diagnosis is so important!