The Coeliac UK Gluten Free Challenge: Day 6

Today was probably the first day where I felt that I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary: the GF diet had just been a part of my day today like sleeping and breathing and bathing and writing. I just ate what I ate and didn’t think much about it.

It was also the first time where, just once or twice, I caught myself thinking, “I am actually going to succeed in doing this” – and I don’t mean that in a cocky way. I just assumed originally I’d mess up or sneak some gluten during a moment of weakness. It hasn’t happened. Of course I’ll maintain my guard, though: pride comes before a fall, and all that.

I had eaten half of my dinner before I’d realised I’d not photographed it, but I don’t think it’s much of an exciting recipe anyway, so a quick summary I’m sure will do you.

Throughout the week, as I’ve been concentrating on cooking a hot GF meal of an evening or eating a hot GF meal when out, what has failed to strike me is the fact that I haven’t been eating many raw vegetables, discounting a bit of tomato in my GF rolls. Today that realisation truly set in. I don’t want to sound all virtuous, but I did just fancy some crunchiness and greenness today, and the more I thought of it the more I felt my body really needed it, so I knocked up a quick cold potato salad with a piece of cooked salmon on a bed of romaine, spring onions, avocado, cuke and the coriander which was left over from yesterday's recipe. Dressing was olive oil, lime juice, mayo and mustard (all labels checked).

It’s obviously a simple GF meal, but it struck me while I was eating it that it was actually a very good meal for a newly diagnosed coeliac. B vitamins in the greens, calcium in the fish – and prebiotics in the cold potatoes. When potatoes cool, they form a type of starch called resistant starch, which is thought to be beneficial to gut bacteria – the health of which could be compromised in coeliacs, especially when newly diagnosed. This is something I touched upon in my book, Coeliac Disease: What you need to know, and it’s an area which interests me very much.

The end of another day, then. Tomorrow is the last. I would’ve expected it to be the easiest, perhaps, but it could turn out to be the toughest, as it looks like I’ll be hanging out with a large group of Italians at football. Most of us are born with a slice of pizza in one hand and a bottle of Peroni in the other, so avoiding glutine could be tricky if I get sucked into any eating or drinking shenanigans. Though in spite of its wheat-loving reputation, Italy is a terrific place for coeliacs, I’m increasingly realising, as Sian, AKA Gluten Free Mrs D, is exploring most interestingly on her blog at present.

So wish me luck for the final stretch. I’ll have a couple of Estrella Damms waiting for me when I get in tomorrow evening!

To learn more about Coeliac UK's Gluten-free Challenge, click here.

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