Bloggers & Support Groups

Last week marked my three month anniversary of gluten free living – whoohoo! I’m still very much a newbie, but it’s been comforting to talk and link up with so many other coeliacs on various social media platforms and hear that everything I’m going through is totally normal! The anxiety over cross contamination, buying multiple brands of products only to find you don’t like any of them, how to approach the GF conversation with friends/family and deal with the “you’re just over reacting” responses, to name a few.

As much as the doctors and dieticians are there to support you with the transition, sometimes you just need to speak to somebody who’s been there and done it (and got the t-shirt!) and can tell you the reality of what’s in store. So, I thought I would dedicate a blog post to the super duper bloggers I’ve come across so far on my online coeliac travels ……..

  • Gluten Free Cuppa Tea – GF Cuppa Tea is ranked 13th in the Foodies 100 UK Food Blog rankings, and we like it, a lot! Becky’s blog was the first blog I ever looked at when I was told I may have coeliac disease. I remember looking through the blog back in November after I’d had my blood test results just to try and see what “being gluten free” would actually mean and what adjustments I would likely have to make. The blog is full of yummy recipes, honest product reviews, and also has its own youtube channel with various “monthly favourite products” and cooking demo’s. Becky also posts regularly about coping with IBS, dairy free products, and general overall “free from” products right aross a range of intoleranes (dairy, gluten, soy, egg etc) –  Go give her a follow on twitter – @gfcuppatea
  • Gluten Free Blogger – Sarah is an avid gluten free and health&fitness blogger and features in the top 500 blogs of the Foodies 100 UK Food Blogs rankings. If you’re after product reviews, recipes & restaurant recommendations all in one place, this is the place to go! The “eating out” page is really great – I’ve still not tried eating out as yet, but for a lot of people (me included) it can cause a lot of anxiety. Sarah’s reviews of tried and tested restaurants in her local area, and chain restaurants across the country are a really good way of providing some reassurance as to where is most accommodating for our dietary requirements. Also, if you’ve had, or are having thyroid problems, drop her a message! Follow on twitter at @GFBlogger
  • Iamthegfb – Franco titles her blog as “proper reviews of gluten free and wheat free foods” and there’s a whole host of products on there! Sweet, savoury, prescription products, non prescription – if you’re not sure whether to try a product or not, check out this blog first as I can almost certainly guarantee there will be a review!! Franco’s also a Coeliac UK Food Campaigner so you can be assured her reviews are always the honest truth! Franco’s twitter handle is @PeaBennett
  • A Balanced Belly – Jen is lovely!! A Balanced Belly is a blog mainly covering IBD, but regularly features free from hints, tips and advice. As a qualified Nutritional therapist, Jen has a wealth of knowledge relating to diet, nutrition, health well-being and overall gut health and the blog has regular recipes, healthy living, travel and lifestyle posts. I’ve often asked Jen on twitter for advice relating to vitamins, prebiotics/probiotics etc and she has plenty of recommendations of the best suited products for those with IBD/IBS/Coeliac etc. You can also find Jen’s articles in a few editions of Huffington Post UK, and the Free From magazine. You can link up with the blog via twitter @jenbalancebelly

Blogs aside, over on facebook there are some great gluten free support groups which are like a whole community of coeliacs at your fingertips! If you’re looking for products, recipes, where to eat out, dealing with symptoms or general support, the best two groups I’ve joined are GUT’s Coeliac UK, and Gluten Free and Me. I’ve even found myself posting ingredient queries on the groups whilst I’m out food shopping and getting a reply and reassurance before I’ve even left the supermarket! 

GUT’s is a Coeliac UK run group for coeliacs aged 18-30 and is a great place to get advice about coping with coeliac whilst moving away, going to uni, living with non coeliac’s etc. GUT also have a couple of events running across various locations which you can book in to to meet some new people and enjoy a social time where you don’t need to panic about gluten free issues because it’s already been sorted! Having been diagnosed in my twenties, this group has been really useful in terms of “age related” coeliac queries – both in terms of health queries and social occasions. 

Gluten Free and Me is a general discussion group full of various hints, tips, advice and suggestions to help your gluten free lifestyle. A lovely group of people who are all there to support one another, you’ll find lots of product reviews, recipes, eating out suggestions and restaurant reviews, coeliac articles, event, new products … The list goes on! If you have any queries at all, you can post a question on the page and there is always somebody who knows the answer! 

Other Facebook groups include ‘Coeliac’s Eat Out Too’, ‘Coeliac’s Eat In Too’, location based groups such as ‘Gluten Free Swansea”, and also the official regional voluntary support groups across the country such as my local one ‘Cardiff and East Wales Voluntary Support Group’

There’s so much support available and  sometimes it can be overwhelming,but it’s great to be able to get advice from people who have all been in the same situation, so take a look online and browse some blogs, chat in some groups and pick up lots of hints and tips along the way! 

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