Getting it together as a Coeliac……making life simple and less painful!
Helpful tips and ideas for managing a gluten-free life.  The second in our series of advice and tips for Coeliacs.

By Fionnghuala Kelly,  eLearning Development Officer, IINH

The big issue of cross contamination

Living in a family environment meant I had to come up with ways to ensure I wouldn’t  eat food that had been cross contaminated, as I am particularly sensitive to gluten. I wanted to do this in a way that wouldn’t impact too much on the rest of the family.  This is what I found works for me:

  • second toaster – used only for gluten free products.
  • I always have two butters or spreads available: one is labelled GF in permanent black marker, so others don’t use it
  • I used to have a counter area solely for preparing gluten free foods.  This worked great when my children were small, but now they are adults and prepare a lot of their own foods I make sure I just wipe down a surface before preparing food.
  • I have a small separate cupboard area for gluten free products, e.g. cereals, breads etc.

Handling dinner invitations

This can seem like a major hurdle.  At first I felt self conscious having to make an issue about the food to be served.  How best to deal with this problem?  When the dinner invitations started coming I initially suggested that when they had decided the menu they might give me a call and run the ingredients by me.  This has turned out great and is the approach I’ve taken ever since. Ironically, many of my friends and family members are now really up to speed with gluten free products.

Travelling Abroad

Don’t worry about travelling abroad.  The Coeliac Society provides cards in various languages that explain your condition and the dietary restrictions.  http://www.coeliac.ie/

Coeliac friendly restaurants I would recommend

Here are a couple of my favourite places.  They are a personal choice, nothing more.

Douglas and Kaldi in Dundrum Shopping centre do an excellent menu with coeliac-friendly products clearly marked GF. In fact most items on the menu are gluten free.  They also run a gluten free night once a month.  They do a mean Thai curry! http://www.douglaskaldi.com/restaurant-dundrum/ . They have other restaurants across the country, too, so check them out.

Morilles Bistro at the Yellow House in Rathfarnham is also very coeliac friendly and the food is great. I really recommend this place for a romantic night out, as the ambience is lovely.http://www.morillesbistro.ie/

Buying Online

www.ecodirect.ie/.   Brilliant for products like GF soy sauce. And their large bottles/packs work out cheaper.

[Next time … a couple of nice, simple recipes!!]