Younger and slimmer...

Younger and slimmer…

My name is Kevin Gollop and I have lived in Plymouth my whole life.  I am an IT professional and  a big supporter of Plymouth Argyle.  In 2011 life changed forever when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease.  Adjusting to a gluten free lifestyle has been tremendously hard, but really worth the effort.  In 2011 my weight went down to eight and a half stone, I had no energy, had constant stomach and join pain – not to mention the other less pleasant stomach issues.  A blood test  and subsequent endoscopy confirmed the condition, and I set about my new life without wheat, rye and barley.  No more pastry, pasta, cakes, bread or beer.  I didn’t think I’d ever eat again!

At the start of 2012 I started using Twitter and soon discovered I was not alone!  I soon got into contact with so many other coeliacs and people with other conditions which required them to be gluten or wheat free.  This naturally led to the discovery of a wealth of amazing gluten free blogs.  I soon found delicious gluten free recipes, got to find out about the best coeliac friendly restaurants, heard of new products and got great tips on where to find these things.  All of a sudden I had a support group.  I was no longer feeling alone and depressed, I now felt like I was part of something special.  I had become part of the online gluten free community.  So many people helping each other and sharing ideas, eating gluten free was no longer a curse, it was becoming a passion.

Since being diagnosed I have put on nearly two stone, I am pain free and full of energy.  There have been peaks and troughs along the way but it has all been worth it.  The purpose of this blog is to try and help people who have to lead a gluten free life style.  If I can help one person find a gluten free friendly restaurant, pasty or supermarket gem along the way then the blog will have been a success.  I hope someone finds it useful!

In April 2013 I began a volunteer role as Secretary for the Plymouth Coeliac UK Voluntary Support Group, which has sadly now closed.

See also: My Coeliac Journey – One Year On

See also: My Coeliac Journey – Two Years On

If you’d like to follow me on Twitter I am @kgollop, and check out the Gluten Free by the Sea Facebook page too.

I’d love to hear from you if you offer gluten free options in Plymouth.  You can contact me via email at gfreebythesea@gmail.com.

Guest blog posts on other sites:

London Allergy & Free From Show 2012 for The Gluten Free Student Cookbook
When food changes everything for PRSD


My name is Emma Oxland, I am 28 years of age. I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease 8 years ago whilst studying for my degree at University.

I have been part of the Coeliac community in Plymouth for a couple of years now, and I was very fortunate to be introduced to Kevin, along with many other fellow Coeliacs, when I opened The Galley Gluten Free Restaurant back in October 2014. I will be forever grateful for meeting so many supportive, lovely and inspiring people.

Exciting first day at The Galley

Exciting first day at The Galley

I must admit, before opening The Galley, I had no idea of the amount of local people, let alone any other visitors, that were following a Gluten Free diet. (In fact, I didn’t know any one apart from me!) Many of which had been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. However, I was also surprised to meet a great number of customers who had actually self diagnosed themselves.

On the one hand, this made me very angry and upset, that because of the lack of knowledge about this Disease, these poor people had to work everything out by themselves. There was clearly a lack of support from our NHS, and a huge lack of empathy shown towards them by any doctors; they knew they were suffering, but no one officially acknowledged this.

On the other hand, I was relieved and grateful that these people now had somewhere to go out and enjoy food and a chat about their struggles, without being patronised or scrutinised about their need for a particular dietary requirement.

It was of great satisfaction to me to be able to provide our customers with freshly cooked, gluten free food that could be enjoyed by anyone. The main thing for me was that families and friends could go out for a meal and not worry that they would be contaminated or be ill. I am very passionate about EVERYONE being able to enjoy their dining out experience, and feel comfortable with the service, and most of all the food. I will

always be so proud of what The Galley achieved, and how it genuinely helped so many people!

Unfortunately, due to health reasons, which I will explain at a later date, I had to leave The Galley in January this year. After my departure The Galley struggled and eventually had to close a few months ago. I am sad to say this has happened, but also have faith that it will happen again, and also with the support of the Coeliac community, will be a great success!

Right, so there you have it – that is how I came to be so passionate about making a difference, because I realised it was possible.


10 Responses to “About”

  1. Vicky August 27, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Hi Kevin

    I’ve been following your blog for some time now and I love to read your thoughts and advice as well as your reviews etc. I decided to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Please see my post here for further details.


    Hope you have a lovely week!

    Vicky x

  2. bethgorgeouslyglutenfree December 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I’ve nominated you for a Leibster Award! Check it out here!! http://gorgeouslygf.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/leibster-award/

    I love your blog 🙂

  3. Karen March 12, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    Do you know if the the “what’s your beef” burger bar in Plymouth does any gluten free burgers??

    • Kevin Gollop March 12, 2016 at 11:13 am #

      They do and also have gluten free buns. Fries are gluten free but not the sweet potato fries. I’ve eaten there twice now and enjoyed it with no ill effects

  4. Cristina September 12, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    hello there! do you know where i can find a directory of bars/restaurant with gf menus around Cornwall. i’m planning to come and visit next year, so getting ready for it! great stuff what you do, keep up the good work! ciao from italy.

    • Kevin Gollop September 12, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

      Hi Cristina, what part of Cornwall are you planning to visit? And thank you 🙂

  5. Gwen Hughes April 8, 2018 at 10:18 am #

    Hi Kevin
    Would thoroughly recommend the fig tree on admiralty Street for a visit. Great staff and loads of gluten free options (almost everything). Good was amazing! Keep it up 👍😉

    • Kevin Gollop April 8, 2018 at 10:38 am #

      Thanks for the tip, I must give that one a try!

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