New Food Elimination Factsheet and Gluten Testing Protocol

Some lovely new things for you today: a new Gluten Testing protocol and Elimination & Challenge Factsheet. I have been a busy bee!

no grain iconFirst, I have now finished and released a new all-singing and dancing Gluten Testing page on the website. This details the ideal testing route for anyone suspecting or with a gluten-related disorder.  There are three main steps to consider and each is covered for you:

1. Finding Your Type of Gluten Related Disorder (so you know what to do).

2. Determining Your Diet (because a gluten free diet is not enough for most to heal).

3. Establishing Your Healing Protocol (what damage and processes are going on so you can target treatment properly?)

Really important and I have spent ages cogitating over what the experts said in the Gluten Summit to make sure we are as up to date and efficient as we can be.

Food Challenge Factsheet Cover  In that, you will note I have mentioned elimination and challenge quite a bit as a double-checker. So, of course, that needed updating too! Here is a link to the new Elimination and Challenge Factsheet for you. It has been greatly extended and is now 30 pages of practical tips and techniques I have used in-clinic successfully for years. Here’s some blurb for you …

Elimination and Challenge is the most efficient way of finding your triggers, whether those are foods, supplements, meds, toiletries or whatever, and it takes real work, commitment and time to get it right. Most people don’t get it right and end up even more confused, hence this factsheet detailing the process I have used in-clinic for years. Get it right and it really will give you clear and actionable answers that will make a real difference to how you feel.

 I have included my forms for you at the end: use these to record everything, photocopying as many as you need.

Standard elimination diets advise to have one portion, then monitor, but this can be misleading as some people only react when they have had more than that. They merrily add the suspects in and wonder why they are reacting, often not realising which trigger it is. That’s why I have included a cumulative check. And what about those who react to a tiny amount, how do they do it? And have you thought about what cooking methods do to food? Or how combinations might affect you? How would you test yeast? Which order should you reintroduce things in? How often should you eat them then? How do you test your barrier permeability to see if you are ready to challenge again? Questions, questions …!

Click here to read more and see contents etc.

Hope you find them useful; they have taken a lot of thinking and work, so I hope so. Note: all Gut Planners and Barrier Planners will have the Elimination & Challenge Factsheet for free tomorrow so keep an eye out for the update email. Rest of you at a tenner is a flippin bargain – only 25 years’ worth of experience in it 😉

Let me know what you think of the new stuff, won’t you; it’s always like releasing a new baby into the world! Enjoy..

FreeFrom Food Awards Winners List

FFFM_logoLast night, the winners of the prestigious FreeFromFood Awards were announced in London. As I wrote before, I was honoured to be a judge on the Overall Winners and Innovations categories on the final day of judging.

You can see the full Winners list here across all the categories, complete with comments from the tasters, but for now, the Overall Winners were:

Bessant & Drury
Bessant and DruryLemon Dairy Free
Frozen Dessert

Winner of the
FAIR Trophy
for the best
free-from food


Bessant & Drury – Lemon, Dairy Free Frozen Dessert

‘Lovely dairy-free ice creamy substitute – you would never know it was dairy-free and, to be honest, you would never know that it was coconut either as the coconut flavour is cleverly held in check by the lemon.

Very innovative to use coconut as the base, and very clever indeed to get it so creamy. A beautifully clean ingredients list and a lovely zingy fresh taste.

How great to have a product which excludes all of the major allergens yet both looks and tastes like a fully fledged, upmarket, luxury food. Definitely the way to go for ‘freefrom’.’

Runners up…

Christine's puddings

Christine’s Puddings Frangipane Tart

‘Lovely crunchy pastry base, especially as it is gluten and dairy free. Delicious frangipane topping – great almond aroma and flavour, soft and not too sweet – and good jam. Excellent product all round – what a treat.’


Indian coeliac

The Indian Coeliac Paratha

     ‘What an exciting product! Lovely flavour and nice soft      paratha texture – lovely spicing. Delicious.’


Catalan porkLifestyle Catering Catalan Pork

‘Lovely dish – a dinner in itself; a well thought out mix with all the flavours and none of the allergens; really quite exciting. Excellent ingredients, excellent appearance, excellent aroma, excellent flavour.’   


I can attest that the smell of lemon dessert, frangipane tart, paratha and Catalan pork was mouth-watering on the day! Really yummy, all of them.

And the winners in the innovation categories were:

The Innovation Award – sponsored by Warburtons

Del Ugo fusilliWinner

Dell’Ugo Chickpea Fusilli 

‘First grain-free pasta! It looks great and keepsits shape really well. You can taste the chickpeas – a bit of a culture shock for the taste buds but a very pleasant one. Slightly dry so needs plenty of oil or could handle quite a powerful sauce. Genuinely innovative product.’


Highly Commended

Lactofree Spreadable   

‘Fills a gaping gap in the market. Tastes just like regular butter – lightly salted – very pleasant. Nicely spreadable. Very useful product for lactose intolerant community.’

La Zaragozana Ambar Green (apta para celiàcos) 0.0% (non-alcoholic)

‘Wow! A gluten-free alcohol-free beer – that is definitely a first! Slightly thin but very good given it’s 0% alcohol, not too sweet, excellent lunchtime drink – very impressive.’


Good Wine Online So Lo SO2 2009 Navitas 

‘Not only sulphite free but fermented in concrete so no chance of gluten contamination as there always is with wooden barrels – so excellent allergy credentials. Not the greatest vintage but very drinkable. Very exciting for those who are sulphite intolerant.’

Tesco Free From Soya Crème Caramel

‘Surprisingly like a bought dairy crème caramel. Looks very authentic, smooth, good flavour – really would not know it was soya – impressive.’

I thought the chickpea pasta was wonderful; a real first. And I was chuffed that my favourite SoLo sulphite-free red wine was so close to the winning post too.

Get a cuppa and read through the winners; the judges work really hard to find the best freefrom products around for us all. Keep a pen and paper handy to jot down all the new yummy things you can get and try.

Well done organisers, judges and tasters; you make our restricted diet lives much easier and more enjoyable, thank you 🙂

#IBS: Doctors Call For #Gluten Sensitivity Check

  I absolutely agree with this. Over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that anyone presenting with any form of gut or allergy problem, especially those tarred with the ‘IBS’ umbrella term which means diddly-squat really,  should be checked for gluten related disorders.

Not that I’m bitter: if I had been diagnosed with gluten illness in my early twenties instead of IBS I would not be as ‘leaky’ and intolerance-ridden as I am now, thanks docs.

Anyway, my approach to IBS has always been the immediate removal of wheat and dairy as a first step, then a testing for gluten problems if it doesn’t resolve within a few weeks. That’s the premise that my Gut Plan is based on. Personally, as soon as I removed wheat and dairy, my IBS resolved. sadly, I didn’t realise about the gluten until years later and I continued to do damage by eating the other grains. Oops.

Happily, now I see a new task force put together by the American College of Gastroenterology are recommending that patients suffering with IBS should be screened for gluten sensitivity. Hallelujah. More evidence of mainstream catching up with what we’ve been saying in naturopathic and functional medicine circles for well over a decade.

The taskforce doesn’t just stop at testing IBS sufferers for coeliac disease, though, which is the really good news. They talk about the evidence now emerging of non-coeliac wheat sensitivity and the importance of considering that too. It’s only a matter of time before we get non-coeliac gluten sensitivity mentioned too. I would like it to go as far as non-coeliac grain sensitivity – ooh, perhaps I have just coined a new term there ;). Makes more sense to me what with the term gluten being so misleading, misused and misunderstood.

Dr O at the Gluten Free Society has written a comment on the piece which you can read here:

The Mystery of IBS – Why Gluten Sensitivity Should Always Be Considered

He also gives his top tips on dealing with IBS, which I agree with.

So, if you have a diagnosis of IBS – or even think that’s what it is in the absence of other diagnoses – have a read and get that gluten and dairy out. The Gut Plan is designed to help you work out if your ‘IBS’ is related to food sensitivity, how to remove them effectively and test whether you have a problem with gluten. It also goes through all the elements mentioned by Dr O and more.

Quinoa Stuffing

I thought this was a nice new healthy stuffing idea to pass onto you ready for Sunday roasts…

Quinoa Sage Stuffing - Gluten-free + Vegan

Quinoa Sage Stuffing – Gluten-free + Vegan

{yields 6 servings}


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth (Ed: eg. Marigold bouillon, make sure its the gluten and dairy free one)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 heaping cup of diced celery
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • small handful of fresh sage, chopped {about 2 tablespoons}
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (Ed: I would probably use fresh garlic or you could use garlic salt and cut down on other salt)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground coarse pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sized pot bring 1 cup of vegetable broth to a boil. Add in the quinoa and bay leaf, salt, pepper and stir. Set to low heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat {do not lift lid} and allow the quinoa to steam for another 10 minutes. When that is over, you will have picture perfect quinoa – trust me, no  more soggy mess!

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over low heat. Add in the chopped celery and onion. Cook until they begin to become clear, about 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and add in the vegetable broth, sage, garlic powder and season with more salt and pepper if needed; simmer for a few minutes.

Combine the quinoa with the veggie mixture and add in the last 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, stir together well. Place the stuffing mix into a greased oven safe dish. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Then broil under a low flame until the top become golden brown.

t i p: I prefer my stuffing on the drier side so, this recipe will come out that way. If you like your stuffing to be on the moist side, feel free to add more broth into the quinoa mixture before it goes into the oven to bake.


Guest Chef #Grain & #Dairy Free Recipes

banner_logoYep, I was FoodsMatter guest chef this week so hop on over and see my Truly Gluten Free recipes:

Honey Nut Granola

Simple Muffins

Flaxseed Foccacia

Liver Pate

Brazil Nut Chocolate

They are grain, dairy, nightshade and mostly lectin free. Even if you’re not grain free by necessity, these nut and seed based recipes are a healthy choice for everyday meals. Enjoy!


#Gluten and #Dairy Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

As promised, here’s the delish lemon drizzle cake from NHR. Couldn’t you just dive in?

150g NHR’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

4 Eggs

130g Agave Syrup

175g Ground Almonds

100g Mash Potato. . . . Yes mashed potato!

Zest of 3 lemons

2 tsp Baking powder

2 drops of NHR’s Organic Lemon Essential Oil (which is food grade).

For the drizzle:-

Juice of ½ lemon

50g (or there abouts) Agave Syrup

1. Pre-melt the coconut oil and put to one side to cool.

2. Grease and line a 20cm deep round cake tin.

3.   Whisk the eggs well. Add the agave and whisk well again.  Add the coconut oil carefully and continue to whisk. Now add 2 or 3 drops of NHR lemon essential oil and whisk again.

4. In a separate bowl, place the ground almonds, lemon zest, baking powder, and mix in well.

5. Now gently add the almond mixture to the egg mix, thoroughly stirring it in.

6. Lastly add the mashed potato, gently blending it into the cake mix. Make sure the potato is well mashed so there are no lumps!

7. Lovingly pour mixture into the cake tin and pop into a pre-heated oven, gas mark 4, 160c, 180c fan – for 40-45mins.

Skewer the middle; skewer should come out clean when cooked.

This is such a yummy delicious cake! :0))) Not only is it yummy, it’s a nourishing and healthy alternative to your usual average wheat, dairy and sugar filled cake. It’s so easy to make, why not have a go, we’d love to hear how you got on…

Ps. It works just as well without the mash potato if you’re shy about it.

#FreeFrom Recipe Books

banner_logo  The lovely people at have set up a special page detailing my three recipe books for food allergy and intolerance sufferers. Makes me feel like a proper writer!

Go have a look.

Taking a bow, thank you.

New FreeFrom Food Directories

Do you remember eons ago when I used to do a report  in the newsletter on the monthly taste tests from Foodsmatter?

Well, I am pleased to say that they have just completed what I’m sure was an onerous task of updating all their freefrom food supplier directories. I’m SO glad I didn’t have to do that one!

So, next time you are looking for the best gluten free bread, tastiest soya free sauce or most unctuous egg-free mayonnaise, just hop over to the freefrom directories and have a look. The companies who win the freefrom awards are listed at the top of each category so you can see immediately who the judges think are the ones to look at first.

Very helpful. Well done them!

Get Your Iron Levels Up With Dairy Free Liver Pate

I am NOT a lover of offal. That said, I remembered the other day I used to love it as a youngster – my body needed iron clearly. I have problems now maintaining iron levels and it seems with taking iron supplements. So, not to be out done, I determined to eat some liver. And before you say ‘eurgh’ or however you spell that, it’s actually REALLY TASTY!

Here’s the recipe I concocted: simplicity itself.

Buy some beef, calves or lamb’s liver preferably from a farmer who does 100% grass fed animals. The taste is so much better for a start I’m told, but importantly they have had less toxicity going through that all-important organ to pass on to you when you eat it. Nuff said. I get mine from Sheepdrove Farm who may well give you 10% discount if you say you ‘belong’ to me!

Chop up an onion and 2-3 largish carrots quite small. I had no onion left so I used a leek and some spring onions instead actually, and I blitzed them into tiny chunks in my Thermomix processor – took 1-2 seconds, much faster than laboriously chopping away. Saute them in a little olive oil or coconut oil preferably if you have some.

Next, get a peg on your nose (I actually did this as I can’t bear the smell. Hey, good look!). Snip 1lb of liver straight into the pan, trying not to look. Stir it round to help it brown on a mediumish heat. You want to get it cooked through but slightly pink. When it stinks, its overdone so don’t let it get too stinky. I am selling this, aren’t I?

Add in a few fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, plus a generous sprinkle of nutmeg – dried herbs will do if you’ve none fresh or even a little mustard powder is nice. Stir through letting the liver cook for about 10 minutes or however you like it done: stinky or non-stinky. OK, I’ll stop with the nasal teasing now, sorry 🙂

Crack 3 large eggs straight into the pan and stir around until cooked. Season, then pop the whole lot into a processor and blitz until smooth. I wanted mine pretty mild and people would normally add cream for that. I improvised and added a quarter ish of a block of solid coconut cream (you could use the thick top of coconut milk too). Blitz that in, check the taste, peg off nose now, and season to taste.

This makes quite a lot of pate which I put into various ramekins, covered and froze for iron-deficient days.

I had mine very cold from the fridge on hot grain free walnut toast with crunchy cucumber on top. Was delish, I’ve got to say. There: that sounds much more appetising now, doesn’t it?

National Vegetarian Week Recipe: Berry Burst Breakfast Bars

I see it is National Vegetarian Week 2012. I also see the society has released some nice recipes. Trouble is, most of them are choc full of the usual wheat and dairy, which you know I don’t like to encourage you to eat!

I did notice this nice breakfast bar recipe though so here it is for you, complete with my notes to help you make it healthier, as always! You can see the original recipe post here.

Berry Burst Breakfast Bars

Berry Burst Breakfast Bars

A tasty solution for those who are always on the move

  • Serves 4 (8 small bars)
  • Preparation time 5 minutes
  • Cooking time 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes cooling time)
  • Can be vegan*


50g butter (or vegan margarine*) Ed’s note: use Pure spread, no hydrogenates or trans fats.

3 tbsp sunflower seeds, roughly chopped

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped

3 tbsp sesame seeds, roughly chopped

1 ripe banana, mashed

100g rolled or jumbo oats

50g ground flaxseed

50g dried goji berries or cranberries

3 tbsp golden syrup Ed’s note: agave syrup, which has a lower GL score is much better, or even raw honey is better than this processed rubbish!


  1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Melt the butter (or margarine*) in a small pan, then add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. 
  3. Pack into a small, foil lined loaf tin (approx. 18cm x 10cm) and bake for 25-30 minutes, until crispy on top. Leave to cool for at least ten minutes before removing from the tin. Then wait a further 20 minutes before cutting into eight small bars. Ed’s note: avoid cooking on foil – all that aluminium! – use baking paper or a well-oiled tin instead.

© The Vegetarian Society 2012

Hope you enjoy those and have a nice veggie week. One way to join in would be to make sure you have two vegetarian days this week with no meat or fish. Doing this automatically increases your intake of vegetables so is a good rule for life.