Sunday, 11 May 2014

Out of the mouths of babes!

My husband was proof reading this blog recently and Alexandra wanted to know what he was looking at. I explained that I sometimes wrote about her being a Coeliac so that other people would know what it's like.
'Well they could always ask me' was her very practical response. Great idea, I thought, get the five year old writing, she'll probably have a much more interesting take on things than I do! So I asked Alex what she would like to tell people about having Coeliac disease --and this is what she wanted people to know:

  • It's good being gluten free because you get to be special.
  • You can play with your friends still, even though you can't have the food that they have.
  • You can make food that is gluten free for yourself when you're older.
  •  If your grandma or grandad don't know you can tell them what's gluten free and what you can have. 
  • You can't have the same pudding that your friends have even though you might like to try it.
  • When I have gluten I get sick and I go home before my friends if I'm at school. 
  • It feels bad in my tummy and just in my heart. (?!)
  • A good nights sleep helps me feel better because ill people need a good nights sleep. 
  • When I go to the doctor they give me a blood test, but when I was little I was sick and I had to go to the hospital but I wasn't even five then, I was one. Was it 10 years ago mummy? (Obviously need to work on the maths a bit!)
  • That's it 'cause that's a lot of words isn't it?
  • Oh wait, can you just tell people even though God's with me I can still be poorly, so that's ok.
So there you have it, all you need to know about being a Coeliac from a five year old's perspective covered!

Plus a drawing of her being sick- nice!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Udi ya think you are? (Watch out the Yanks are coming!)

My facebook page has lots of irritating 'recommended' pages that pop up on my feed. Some are quite random (instant weight loss, cheap beauty products, reduce your wrinkles.....wait a minute- is Facebook trying to tell me something?!), but others are obviously linked to the things I post about. So, I guess because I post about gluten-free stuff and like some of the Coeliac pages, over the past few months I have noticed that ads for 'Udi's Gluten Free' kept popping up. Although it looked like a nice, friendly faced gluten-free company, I just assumed it was American and therefore wouldn't be available here in the UK, and so ignored the pop-ups.

More fool me- 'tinternet is smarter than that and Mark Zuckerberg sure knows how to target marketing. Turns out that Udi's have crossed the big pond and are now available right here in our UK supermarkets. Not only that, but the lovely folk at Udi's agreed to send me some products to test. As identified in a previous post, we were impressed with the range of GF products on the shelves in the US, so waited with excitement to see what treats Udi's would conjure up. And I have to say, we were not disappointed.

Please be clear, I am not under any obligation to write good things about Udi's, but I was genuinely impressed.

First of all we tried their Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels. I was  really pleased to find decent looking bagels, as previously Alex had wanted to write to 'Mr Sainsbury' to ask him to make some as she was desperate to try them. At one point I had gotten excited by one of the GF facebook pages who posted a picture of some mini bagels and suggested that soaking them in water overnight would grow them into gluten free bagels. I was genuinely about to post to ask where I could get them, when I read the previous comment which pointed out that it was April Fool's Day and it was a bag of Cheerios! Anyhow, GF bagels- exciting! And they did not disappoint. Good texture, good taste, normal size..... I figured too good to be true and either a) I would not be able to find them in the shops or b) they would be extortionate. However, on my very next trip to Asda, there they were on the shelf, and pretty much on a par with 'normal' branded bagels pricewise.  Wow- happy days!! A great option for picnics, lunchboxes etc, these are definitely on my shopping list from now on.

The pack of 'Bagel Chips' (a weird cross between a bagel, a crisp and a cracker, but sweet) did not go down so well in the household as a whole, although Alexandra herself enjoyed them. Because she was the only one who would eat them, and it's a good sized box, I probably wouldn't get these again unless we had a group of kids (and/ or adults) who would nibble them.

We did receive lots of other goodies, of which I will go into in more detail in the future, but I did want to pick up on one product that I hadn't come across before- gluten-free breakfast bars. The kids don't eat breakfast bars, I try to give them 'proper' cereal, but I must admit I will often grab a cereal bar for myself on the way to work, or en route to school pick-up if I haven't had a chance for a proper lunch. I know it's not good practice, but it's quick and easy, and I can imagine that not having the option to grab a hasty tasty breakfast bar as an adult Coeliac would be a bit of a pain (admittedly probably not the worst thing about having to eat gluten-free <hmm beer>, but all these little things add up).  This 'soft n' chewy' strawberry bar was not too sweet and reminded me a bit of  a fig roll. Again, top marks Udi's. I'm impressed.

Although I am fully supportive of any home grown gluten-free talent, I have to admit, the American's in this company have nailed it- decent products, reasonably priced and readily available. Can't wait to try the rest of their range!