Tag Archives: health

Gluten Free Event, Saturday 1st June

29 May

LaiThere is a gluten free event taking place this Saturday at St Maurice Bakery in Plympton, Plymouth.  Coeliac UK Plymouth Voluntary Support Group Organiser Lai-Yin Wong Brooks (right) will be there in a personal capacity, demonstrating cooking gluten free Chinese dishes with her company 8.  The bakery is run by Sam Evans who has recently opened in Plympton after previously running Hooe Pasties in Stoke.  The Coeliac UK Plymouth Voluntary Support Group are also going to be present with an information stand and offering advice to coeliacs.  I’m personally looking forward to the event as I’ve been meaning to check out Sam’s gluten free baked goods for some time now.  I’ll also be manning the Plymouth Group stand for a while, so do come and say hello!  For full details of the event and some of the goodies on offer see information below.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea



St Maurice Bakery & 8 are hosting a Gluten free day on:

Saturday 1 June 2013


St Maurice Bakery

8 St Maurice Road, Plympton, PL7 1JT

 Sam Evans, Owner of St Maurice Bakery will have freshly baked Gluten Free items. There will be  samples for people to try & available for purchase. Some of the Gluten Free items stocked here include a variety of pasties, sausage rolls, quiches, egg & bacon pies, scones.

A variety of Gluten Free desserts are available for anyone with a sweet tooth which includes carrot cake, chocolate cake, New York Cheese Cake, Exploding Vegan choc & banana cake, Exploding lemon & almond polenta cake, chocolate brownie, apple & blackberry pie.

Lai-Yin Wong Brooks, founder of 8 will be demonstrating some Chinese Gluten Free recipes between 10am-2pm. Advice will be given on what sauces can be used to create these dishes. Items will be available for purchase & specific orders can be placed for delivery.

The Coeliac UK Plymouth Group will be there to offer advice and will have some information literature available.


My Gut Feeling Week

19 May

Awarenesss WeekWell just let me see wow! What a week Gut Feeling Week has been.  I have been blown away by the fantastic sense of feeling and togetherness amongst the coeliac community on Twitter and Facebook.  There has also been great support from non-coeliac gluten free folk too which is very much appreciated.  I think we have all done a great job in trying to raise coeliac disease awareness, and if we can help just one person get diagnosed it will all have been worth it.

CookiesMy wife Abby, my parents and my cousin Chris are all doing a gluten free week to help raise awareness with their friends and colleagues.  I thank them for their support and this means a lot to me.  I started the week by taking some of Abby’s delicious home baked gluten free (of course!) cookies in to work to announce the start of the week to my colleagues.  I also posted a blog aimed at non-coeliacs giving a (hopefully) concise overview of coeliac disease and what the week is all about.  I then asked all my Twitter and Facebook friends to share this to help raise awareness of coeliac disease to all their friends and followers.  There was a great number of retweets and shares so I thank everyone who did for their support.  This post is here and it’s not too late to share!

On Tuesday I posted about some great gluten free offers that companies were running for the week and I thank those companies for supporting the cause.  Coeliac UK have been encouraging people to share their diagnosis stories for the week and I have really enjoyed reading them.  There have been some powerful and moving stories, but at the same time uplifting as we read how people have come out of the other side.  It’s also been concerning reading how the medical profession has let so many people down.  We can only hope that things are improving and that weeks like this are raising awareness with GP’s and not just the general public.  It has been an honour to be in a position to share the diagnosis stories of some people who do not (yet!) have their own blogs, and I thank Carrie, Becca and Steph for being so brave and letting me share their stories.  Even now reading other people’s stories make me feel less alone and it’s been enlightening to read some of the pre-diagnosis symptoms.  Steph’s story in particular had many seemingly uncommon similarities to my own.


HeraldAs I work in the I.T. department of my local newspaper (The Plymouth Herald) I asked a colleague if they were planning on running a story for Gut Feeling week, and thankfully they thought this was a great idea.  They also ended up running a cut down version of my own diagnosis story and ended up dedicating a full page to raise coeliac disease awareness.  Lai-Yin Wong Brooks and I drafted a press release on behalf of the Coeliac UK Plymouth Voluntary Support Group, and this also featured heavily.  I am very grateful to my colleagues Clare and Sophie at The Herald for doing such a fantastic job as you can see that for yourself here.

We also visited Las Iguanas during the week which has newly opened in Plymouth.  As we were in a large group it gave a good chance to talk about Gut Feeling week and what it meant, particularly as Abby was eating gluten free too.  I had a great meal, though Abby struggled a bit to find something she liked that was both gluten free and vegetarian.  You can read my review here.  Hopefully Gut Feeling week will help spread the word to restaurants and more will have a separate gluten free menu like Las Iguanas.

So a brilliant week and a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped support it.  This is the last day so let’s have one final push and spread the word.  If you’re Tweeting don’t forget to use the #GutFeeling hashtag, it would be great to get it trending.  I’d love to hear what you all got up to during the week, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know.

Do you have bloating, fatigue, IBS, diarrhoea, vomiting, anaemia or abdominal pain? Could you be living with coeliac disease and not know it? Listen to your gut with Coeliac UK’s Gut Feeling campaign – visit www.coeliac.org.uk/gutfeeling for info.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

Gut Feeling Week

13 May

This week is Coeliac Awareness week, this year called Gut Feeling week.  This is event is being run by Coeliac UK to raise awareness of Coeliac Disease.  As many of you know I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2011, and I now spend much of my time spreading the word and trying to help fellow coeliacs.  The disease affects an estimated 1 in 100 people in the UK according to Coeliac UK.  However only around 15% of this number have been properly diagnosed.  That means a massive 85% of those with coeliac disease are still being made ill, with the long term risk of osteoporosis or even bowel cancer remaining without treatment.

Awarenesss Week

When a coeliac ingests gluten, an autoimmune response will cause the body to attack the lining of the small intestine.  This leads to damage to the villi (small finger like projections lining the gut).  These are flattened reducing the surface area of the gut, preventing food and nutrients from being properly absorbed.  This can lead to malnourishment and anemia.  There is currently no medical cure for the disease, and the only treatment is a lifetime gluten free diet.  This means strict avoidance of wheat, rye and barley.

Gluten is commonly found in foods such as pasta, bread, cakes, biscuits, pizza, pastry and flour.  Food is not the only issue, as many drinks such as beer and cheaper cola’s can also contain gluten.  Other symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, headaches, joint pain and fatigue.  Coeliac disease is also a hereditary condition, so if you have a family member with coeliac disease you are at an increased risk.  Many patients are also incorrectly diagnosed with IBS.  So does this sound like you?  Make sure you see your GP and get tested.

For more information on coeliac disease, please take the time to read the story of my diagnosis here.  I would also be really grateful if you could share this post to your Facebook and Twitter feeds to help spread the word.

Do you have bloating, fatigue, IBS, diarrhoea, vomiting, anaemia or abdominal pain? Could you be living with coeliac disease and not know it? Listen to your gut with Coeliac UK’s Gut Feeling campaign – visit www.coeliac.org.uk/gutfeeling for info.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

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