Showing posts with label Funny things about being a Coeliac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Funny things about being a Coeliac. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2020

Fried Round Gluten - my kryptonite!

Spotting a new glutenous product to avoid.

As someone with the autoimmune condition Coeliac Disease I MUST avoid gluten at all costs.

While at Bolton Market on Saturday Emily spotted a bag of my kryptonite!

Fried Round Gluten
I wonder what Fried Round Gluten tastes like? I'll never know

I've also seen Fried Gluten in a can and Roasted Gluten before.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. For people with Coeliac Disease gluten is a very dangerous substance that causes all manner of health problems. Check out the Coeliac UK website for more information.

Monday, December 11, 2017

98% gluten free

If something is 98% gluten free it's 100% useless to me.

The American Diner in Felixstowe is 98% gluten free
What a peculiar percentage to opt for, I wonder who their target market is?

Sadly there are very few 100% gluten free places for Coeliac diners. Cross-contamination with gluten containing food means that even 99% gluten free places are a big risk for people with Coeliac Disease.

The American Diner in Felixstowe is 98% gluten free
I've just noticed there's also a "98% GF" sticker on the door too

Thanks to Jo Tubby for the tip-off about the sign.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What a perfect Crazy Golf obstacle for a Coeliac

As a Coeliac Crazy Golfer was there a better obstacle for me to find on our visit to the Funder Park Adventure Golf course in Dawlish Warren, Devon than this!

Another funny thing about being a Coeliac

We can't believe it's been almost a year since our road trip around the South West of England! The Adventure Golf course at Dawlish Warren was the 15th visited on the trip, the 367th played, and 614th visited overall on our tour.

Related blog posts:
- Adventure Golf in Dawlish Warren
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Mini Golf in the South West of England
- Funny things about being a Coeliac

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems.

You can also now sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Chilli Shop in Leeds

While we were up in Leeds to watch some live PDC darts and Hal Cruttenden's stand-up tour we stumbled upon a great shop in the Merrion Shopping Centre.

We were making our way to the First Direct arena for the kick-off of the 2016 PDC Premier League of darts and spotted the Chilli Shop. And what a marvellous shop it is too.

Our haul from the Chilli Shop in Leeds. The flyers for the shop also contain a version of the Scoville scale - a 'Survival Guide' to the hottest things on the planet!

As well as 50 free tasters of the world's best chillies there was all manner of other merchandise and snacks to buy.

Two things caught my eye - the first was 'The Museum of Pain'. This exhibits the hottest chillies in the world, some of which are a mind (and mouth) blowing two million plus on the Scoville scale! As a curator of The Crazy Golf Museum it was great to see the owner of the shop, Frank Jay, has taken the time and effort to display the array of chillies, trinkets, objects and info.

The Museum of Pain - it contains the world's hottest Easter Egg!
The second thing that caught my eye was the Chilli Challenge of the 'Hunger Games' where you got to play some darts, but with the caveat that if you didn't hit the bullseye to win the star prize (a bag of the world's hottest peanuts) you had to do a forfeit.

Darts, with a difference

I stepped up and scored a dismal amount that doesn't need to be recorded here. Needless to say that Emily was brave enough and stepped up to take my forfeit of a spoonful of a Chilli and Garlic condiment. I was more fearful of trying it due to cross contamination with all the gluten knocking around from the crackers used for tasters. For once, Coeliac Disease came to my aid!

We did return to the shop the next day and tasted a few other items and picked up some nice bottles of sauce, including the condiment which has a nice kick to it. We also bought a Goan Curry Sauce that is gluten free.

The Chilli Shop is well worth a visit if you're in Leeds. Do check out the Chilli Shop website for more info and details on how to order online.

- The Chilli Shop website
- The Chilli Shop on Facebook

Friday, September 04, 2015


This evening I popped into Luton town centre to collect a parcel and decided to park up in my old stomping ground of High Town.

Driving along Havelock Road I saw this most peculiar sight!

Photo of a portaloo in Luton
There wasn't even a building site nearby. Perhaps the lavvy had just been dumped

Are the council calling for people to recycle EVERYTHING now! Or has someone flytipped an actual portable toilet at the recycling point?

There's a dearth of public conveniences in Luton, perhaps this is the future...

- Rubbish, Waste and Recycling on Luton Borough Council's website
- Elliott Loohire website

Related blog posts:
- Recycling
- Public Toilets
- Toilets

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Free From Coeliacs

Some interesting labeling on a crisp packet.

+Emily recently got some Convivial Yorkshire Crisps and I was pleased to see they were 'Free From' Gluten.

I did laugh when I saw they were also 'Free From' Coeliacs!

Good to know these crisps do not contain any Coeliacs. I draw the line at eating fellow gluten free people
Good to know these crisps do not contain any Coeliacs. I draw the line at eating fellow gluten free people!

Being on a lifelong medically approved diet to treat my Coeliac Disease I am forever poring over labels on food and drink before I'll dare consume it.

The Yorkshire Crisps website also details the allergy information and states the lightly sea salted flavour crisps are suitable for Coeliacs and Vegetarians. They are Free From nuts, soya, milk, egg, gluten, MSG and GM.

Natural Sea Salted Yorkshire Crisps
The 'Convivial' crisps

I'm looking forward to eating them.

Take a look at my blog series on Funny things about being a Coeliac for more menu and label fails.

- Yorkshire Crisps
- Coeliac UK

Related blog posts:
Coeliac-related blog posts
Gluten Free-related blog posts
Funny things about being a Coeliac

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another gluten free menu fail

On a recent trip to the seaside town of Hastings I spotted a great typo caveat/warning/disclaimer on a menu in a restaurant.

A gluten free menu fail

I'm guessing the word 'FREE' was meant to appear between the words 'GLUTEN' and 'DESSERTS'!

Related blog posts:
- Coeliac-related blog posts
- Gluten Free-related blog posts
- Funny things about being a Coeliac
- Funny things about being a Coeliac #5 - Menu fails
- Funny things about being a Coeliac #9 - Menu disclaimers

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #10 - Play-Doh is NOT gluten free

It's not just food that contains gluten - toys do too!

As today - 16 September - is National Play-Doh Day it's worth noting that Play-Doh is not gluten free as it contains dreaded Wheat!

The mind boggles!

Obviously Play-Doh is NOT a food product and is NOT meant to be eaten, but there are cross-contamination risks if Coeliacs touch/use/play with Play-Doh.

A big barrel of Play-Doh. This was as close as I dared get to it
A big barrel of Play-Doh. This was as close as I dared get to it

Hasbro, the manufacturers of Play-Doh in the UK, have helpfully put together a warning on the product packaging and also on the Ingredients section of the Play-Doh FAQ & Tips website. Although rather than mentioning the autoimmune reaction - or gluten intolerance - it say that an 'allergic' reaction may occur with use of the product.

The Coeliac UK website has some further information on play dough products and even has a recipe for making your own Gluten-free play dough.

Related blog posts:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #9 - Menu disclaimers

There are a wide-range of disclaimers on food menus and as someone with Coeliac Disease I am always searching for that holy grail line printed on them - "Suitable for Coeliacs".

Coeliac Disease is a life-long autoimmune disease. It's not an allergy, intolerance or faddy diet choice. So it means people with Coeliac Disease must avoid eating gluten and gluten cross-contamination at all costs.

The Quayside in Whitby caters for Coeliacs with Gluten Free fish and chips
How I'd like things to be in more places. This was on the window of the Quayside Fish & Chip Restaurant and Takeaway in Whitby where we had a brilliant gluten free meal

We had a very nice meal at Pierre Le Bistrot in Nottingham earlier this year and I spotted a new dislaimer on the menu there. Warning of the "air-born allergen" that is 'gluten', it read "Please note no gluten-containing ingredients are used in these recipes. However, as gluten is an air-born allergen and it is used in other recipes in our kitchens, we cannot guarantee against contamination. Please feel free to ask us if you would like to know the steps we have taken to minimise cross contamination regarding gluten in our kitchens." The food and service we received was great and looking at the Pierre Le Bistrot website they are 'Proud to be working with Coeliac UK'.

Emily and I have also recently found some places with gluten free options, but upon looking on the menu the only gluten free 'choice' is a bowl of olives!?

There's also a real mix of how places state the allergens on menus. Among those we've seen are:
- Gluten Free
- No Gluten Containing Ingredients
- GF
- G (to denote 'Contains gluten')
- G (to denote 'Gluten Free')
- C (to denote the Coeliac options)

At a restaurant in Newcastle this year we spotted some Allergen Information that said "All dishes are prepared in the same kitchen with risk of gluten exposure, so we do not recommend any dishes for customers with celiac (sic) disease. We ask that customers with gluten sensitivity should exercise judgement before ordering." This basically means - Coeliacs Stay Away!

Most of the places we've found also contain the 'cannot guarantee against cross-contamination' caveat.

On Twitter I recently spotted a tweet from GFreeRadio that highlighted that you have to agree to a couple of disclaimer statements before you can even see the Gluten Free menu at Frankie & Benny's!

Their gluten free menu is 'Accredited by Coeliac UK', but still has the following warning "To reduce the risk of cross contamination from allergens during preparation there are controlled procedures in the kitchen. Every care is taken to avoid any cross contamination when processing a specific allergen free order. We do however work in a kitchen that processes allergenic ingredients and do not have a specific allergen free zone or dedicated fryers. All dishes on this menu are subject to ingredients availability."

As well as the two statements you need to agree to (akin to signing your responsibilities away as if you're about to embark on a Mega Death Chilli Eating Food Challenge off a show like Man V Food) I noticed the line "Wheat and gluten ingredients which are deep fried will use the same fryers in our kitchens as dishes not containing these ingredients - there may be risk of cross contamination which may therefore affect extremely sensitive sufferers." This statement isn't particularly well written. Does it mean that 'normal' diner's gluten and wheat containing food could be cross-contaminated by 'gluten free'!?

Its all a shame really, as many Coeliacs do still like to dine out, have disposal income to actually buy food but have virtually nowhere to safely spend their money!

On the bright side there are some very good restaurants out there and more are opening up to be solely gluten free, such as Vozars in Brixton, 2 Oxford Place in Leeds and the new Nibsy's Coffee Shop in Reading. Its really good to know more places are opening that can cater for the strict gluten free diet required by Coeliacs . And if they help to take away the majority of the anxiety that accompanies any eating experience then that's great too.

Thanks to Patrick at GFreeRadio for pointing out the Frankie & Benny's menu. Check out the GFreeRadio website and Twitter for more details of the informative and entertaining weekly podcast.

Related blog posts:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #8

Being scared of bread!

Well, bread and all manner of other seemingly 'normal' food.

Just ask Emily about the look of fear upon my face if a waiter or waitress brings over a basket of 'normal' bread in a restaurant - it's like a vampire being confronted with garlic!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Gluten - my Kryptonite

My friend (and perhaps enemy!) Paul O'Conner was recently shopping in London's Chinatown and sent me this photo of what he described as "my kryptonite". He's not wrong!

Photo of some Gluten
Mmmm, Kimlan Peanut Gluten. Warning: Contains Gluten. Photo by Paul O'Connor (June 2014)

I know what I'll be getting from Paul for my next birthday then.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley (and peanuts 'cut' with Fried Wheat Gluten by the look of that bottle in the picture). For people with Coeliac Disease gluten is a very dangerous substance that causes all manner of health problems. Check out the Coeliac UK website for more information on Coeliac Disease.

Paul's interesting (and evil) find reminds me of the time Emily and I spotted some terrible merchandising in a health food shop in Kentish Town. On that occasion we found the 'Gluten Free Vegetable Suet' right next to bags of pure 'Gluten'!

One of my bugbears about shopping as a Coeliac is that I often see shops (including the big supermarkets) stocking bags of gluten free and gluten-containing flour side-by-side on the shelf. Such a waste, as due to the cross-contamination I wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole.

A bag of Vital Wheat Gluten Flour. Deadly to Coeliacs
A bag of Vital Wheat Gluten Flour. Deadly to Coeliacs

Related blog posts:
- Hmm, Some Bizarre Gluten & Gluten Free Shelf Stacking!
- Funny things about being a Coeliac
- Gluten Free
- Coeliac

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #7

Disappearing flight attendants!

On a flight to Sweden in 2011 I was surprised to see everyone get served an on-board meal. Well, everyone that is apart from a few poor vegetarians who missed out on the meagre offering of veggie sangers, and me.

The serving of the lunch was very puzzling as the BA website didn't allow you to make a dietary selection for the flight!? I mentioned this to the Steward, who said he’d ask his colleagues and have a look.

I never saw him again!

Odd, as it was a very small plane.

I have had some good experiences with airline food, its not always great, nor always gluten AND wheat free, but gluten free 'special meals' do get served before the normal people's meals.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #6

Its Coeliac Disease (pronounced see-lee-ack). So I am not:

a celeriac - that's Howard ;-)

a celery - even though my brother thinks I am!

a solero - that's an ice cream!?

Funny things about being a Coeliac #1
Funny things about being a Coeliac #4
Funny things about being a Coeliac #5
Coeliac-related blog posts
Gluten Free-related blog posts

Monday, May 05, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #4

The look of sheer horror and disgust in the faces of waiting staff when you use the word 'disease'.

Why call your condition an "intolerance" or "allergy", when the word "disease" makes a much better impression and helps put you more at ease on the already terrifying experience of dining out.

For added effect, I've started to ring a bell as I enter a restaurant to signify that I have Coeliac Disease - and I say the D-word in my most stentorian voice.


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #3

Howard the Celeriac comic strips.

A little bit of gallows humour. But hey, sometimes its good to have a laugh about your serious medical condition.

Check out the 'Special Steak' incident comic strip on the Howard the Celeriac website.

Funny things about being a Coeliac #1
Funny things about being a Coeliac #2
- Howard the Celeriac
Coeliac-related blog posts
Gluten Free-related blog posts

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #2

I live in Luton, but I can't eat Gluten.

Gluton Free not Gluten Free
Gluton (sic) Free menu at the Chicago Rib Shack in London (October 2010)

Gluton Free, not Gluten Free
Gluton (sic) Free sausages at the Arcade Butchers in Hastings (October 2010)

Not the funniest of puns, but the amount of times I've heard the line! If I had a pound...

- Funny things about being a Coeliac #1
- Coeliac-related blog posts
- Gluten Free-related blog posts
- Luton, Gluten and Gluton - 'typo' signs
- Gluten Free Finds in London (and beyond) - October 2010

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Funny things about being a Coeliac #1

As someone diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I find the labels you get on your gluten free prescriptions quite funny. Not only do they have instructions that you should eat the gluten free food "as directed by your doctor", but also that you should "Keep all medicines out of children's reach."

Gluten Free presecription
The pharmacy guidelines and doctor's orders stuck on my prescribed packet of medicine (Glutafin Mini Crackers)

Glutafin Savoury Shorts
The Savoury Shorts from a prescription with the big guidelines sticker from the pharmacy

On a more serious note you can check out the guidelines for Coeliacs to receive gluten free food on prescription on the Coeliac UK website. The only treatment coeliacs currently have is to adhere to a STRICT gluten free diet - this can be very restrictive indeed - so it's great that some staple products are available on prescription. However, in the dozens of prescription orders I've ever done, I've only had one be correctly prescribed!?

Luckily I followed the doctors orders and didn't overdose by eating too much long-life bread, or too many crackers and pizza bases.