Coeliac awareness week – Mrs Green takes the challenge
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There is a saying I love and try hard to live by which says don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.
It basically means don’t judge or criticise others because you don’t actually know what anyone else is going through.
I’m not always mindful of it, but I try my best.
Next week we ALL have a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes by supporting Coeliac awareness week.
The week runs from 14th – 20th May and you’re invited to take part in a gluten free challenge for the week.
Apparently, people with coeliac disease have a hard time eating out as many restaurants and cafes do not cater for, or understand the condition.
People with coeliac disease are so intolerant to gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye), that eating it damages the lining of the small intestine which is responsible for absorbing nutrition from the food you eat. Minor symptoms include nausea, pain and tiredness, but major symptoms include iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency, osteoporosis and neurological problems. In some cases, weight loss can be so dramatic the person becomes completely debilitated.
Do you reckon you could live without gluten for a week? It means cutting out bread, cakes and biscuits made from wheat, saying no to museli and scouring ingredients labels for information. I know at Chez Green we reach for toast when we’re in a hurry and I eat ryvita like there is no tomorrow…
And what about eating out; do you fancy trying to find a snack bar that doesn’t base everything on sandwiches or baguettes? I guess jacket potatoes would do for a lunchtime snack but what about a full meal – pasta is out as are many sauces that are thickened with wheat flour. But it’s not only that; even if you find gluten-free foods there are risks of cross contamination from other lines which needs to be taken into account; for example in a fish and chip shop everything is fried in the same oil.
Other things to think about – vinegar; malt vinegar is made from barley. Beer, larger, stout and ale contain gluten. Mustard is often thickened with wheat flour. Soy Sauce contains wheat. So you see, you really need to start reading ingredients labels and not make any assumptions!
For inspiration you can download this gluten free recipe planner. I have a bag of millet that I’ve not yet used so I’m going to try that. I’ll also be eating more rice and jacket potatoes I guess and I believe oats are ok, so porrage is still good! I think Little Miss Green will find it the most difficult, she LOVES wheat, adores any type of bread, will eat pasta plain from the saucepan and loves my home baking.
What about you – do you think you could live without gluten for a week? Are you willing to help raise awareness for people who live with coeliac disease?
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