Gluten Free & Me

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Vanessa from Goodness Me Gluten Free making PastaFor as long as I can remember I didn’t feel truly well, suffering from headaches, bloating, stomach problems, a sniffly nose, lack of energy and many other niggly health complaints. But I grew up in an era where, if there was nothing identifiably wrong you just had to accept “that’s the way you are” and get on with life. So I ignored the messages my body tried to send me as I kept unwittingly poisoning it with gluten containing foods in my efforts to eat what most people would consider a “normal healthy diet”. But then, about 14 years ago after getting very ill my Dad was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Soon after, my sister and I discovered that we were both gluten intolerant too and so a major lifestyle adjustment happened in our household as everyone adopted a gluten free diet.

When I eventually cut gluten containing foods out of my diet, it made such a positive impact on my wellbeing, my energy returned, I didn’t have aches and pains and a sniffly nose anymore, but then came the next problem, what could I eat? Everywhere I went I was confronted with an array of foods that were now “off limits”, a simple trip to a café or trying to grab “food on the go” was filled with frustration, and packed lunches…well, who could stomach the thought of the crumbly, cardboard or brick like, gluten free bread that was on offer back then? Not me! I persisted for a while and in that time I tried some truly dreadful “ready to eat” gluten free food and was so desperate for something resembling the food I used to eat I decided enough was enough.

I’m a foodie at heart and so have a large collection of recipes and food knowledge from years of living in the UK and France plus extensive travel in other cultures and in combination with my Mum’s scientific background we decided we could do so much better. So together at home we set about developing delicious snacks, treats, meals, desserts and of course lots of baking that tasted and looked as good as their gluten containing counterparts, often fooling guests to our house who had no idea they were eating gluten free!

Goodness Me it's Gluten Free Cover Pic BakingWe quickly realised, as requests for our recipes began to come in, that we were not the only ones wanting simple, easy to cook, fantastic tasting gluten free food, and with baking being the hardest to get right, we decided to write Goodness Me it’s Gluten Free so that other gluten intolerant people could also experience the joy of being able to have a sandwich, piece of cake, scone or biscuit again. We realised that often people were first-time bakers, having only started to cook as a result of needing a gluten free diet, so we focused our cookbook on simple to follow recipes each with a photo and lots of tips to help people at home to create gluten free food that not only looks fantastic but tastes amazing too.

Logo Gourmand Winner It’s such a pleasure to share the recipes that have transformed my gluten free diet from bland and boring to tasty and terrific, and we were very blessed in 2013 when we won two Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for 3rd Best Health Cookbook in the World and Best First Cookbook in New Zealand. Goodness Me it’s Gluten Free is available from this website and leading online retailers.

I would like to encourage you that although living with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance isn’t always easy, the benefits of sticking to a gluten free diet definitely outweigh the alternative. So if you have a “gut feeling” that all is not right with your body please do keep persisting until you have an answer whatever that might be. If its gluten intolerance then we look forward to sharing the journey with you here on the blog, on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/GoodnessMeGlutenFree and our website www.goodnessme.co.nz