Hi, I’m Delicious Alchemy’s founder, Emma Killilea, and as part of our new ‘behind the scenes’ series I’ll be sharing my thoughts on being a newly diagnosed coeliac.
Hello, my name is Emma and I’m a celeriac.
I’m also a glutton avoider and an undesirable!
Of course I’m really just a rather militant coeliac with an additional severe wheat allergy but, like you, some of the things I’ve been called by people who do not understand coeliac disease, allergy and intolerance are hilarious…
Settling the scene
Picture a coffee shop, you pick your table and bob up to the counter to see what they have that you can eat:
“Tracy! Tracy! She’s a celeriac?”
(The attendant is looking at you like you have two heads)
“She doesn’t eat glutton! Do we have anything for her?”
(You start trying to explain that it’s gluten but quickly give up…)
“Glutton? Who’s a glutton?”
“She wants glutton free food”
“Free food?! Tell her to get lost!”
(You slink off red-faced while everyone in the queue that’s just formed looks at you in disbelief – “she doesn’t look like a scrounger but it takes all sorts” you imagine they are saying to themselves!)
Lord in heaven! This conversation actually took place when I was in a chip shop around four years ago. It’s like being part of a comedy sketch!
Still, with the increase in awareness due to the excellent work of Coeliac UK, Anaphylaxis Campaign, Allergy UK and others, things have really changed in the last few years and those situations are becoming far less frequent.
Not only are there a number of independent and chain restaurants (including chip shops!) who are very keen to look after people like us, there is also a much wider variety of free from food available in the supermarkets. We’ve never had it so good!
However, it’s hard to be on a life-long restricted diet; to be different from everyone else and to deal with all the unwanted attention that brings, forever more. It’s very wearing to always be the person with ‘the problem’ that others have to consider.
It’s especially hard to adapt to a restricted diet once you are diagnosed or choose to go on one because you realise you have a problem with a certain ingredient. It’s even harder to comply with that diet 100% of the time!
Support for coeliacs is out there
Well, the great news is that we are part of an ever growing club as more and more people give up eating ingredients that cause them problems. We may be the white root vegetables (!), the glutton haters (!) and sometimes even the undesirables (!) but we march on together!
So if you are not part of any support body or social media group then definitely join one. You’ll find lots of news about new product launches and read their reviews. You’ll learn more about the condition you have and what’s OK and not OK to eat.
If you need a gluten free starter pack right now, either for yourself or someone else who is just starting out, have a look around our site for help on different conditions and starting out on a gluten free diet.
It’s really lovely to have made this connection with you.
Keep us posted on what you are up to via our Facebook page and keep an eye out for our frequent online food promotions and competitions!
Finally, if you want a giggle, check out this cartoon by Howard the Celeraic: If you could meet gluten.
All the best,