A day in the life of a coeliac

A day in the life of a coeliac

Cassia and I

Meet Cassia. She’s one of my best friends. We have a lot in common including breathy laughs, boring conversation starters (including window cleaning, cats and politics) and we both DO NOT find Jackass movies funny. Yep – you read it right (ground breaking, I know). We do have our differences, however. For example, Cassia is in the small percentage of Australians who have coeliac disease. I am in the large percentage that doesn’t.

FYI.
When people with coeliac disease consume gluten, an abnormal immune reaction occurs causing inflammation and damage to the small bowel lining. This impairs absorption of nutrients and can lead to a wide range of symptoms and medical complications(so I’ve been told..).

Aside from having some faint memories of stealing Cassia’s gluten-free pretzels at lunch time during school and them being strangely addictive, I’ve never really known too much about the disease. So I did some investigation!

The Facts.
One in 100 Australians have the disease.
80% of Australians remain undiagnosed.
Symptoms include lethargy, anaemia, nutrient deficiencies, loss of fertility, arthritis and type 1 diabetes.
People are generally born with the disease.

The Expo.
As Cassia is a member of the Coeliac Society (lol), we got discounted entry in to the Melbourne Gluten Free Expo so we had began the day on a high! We made a beeline for the hot jam doughnuts I had heard so much about, and they did not disappoint! They were delicious and didn’t taste much different from the regular kind, same with the bread samples. According to Cassia, these have made a big improvement compared to what they used to be. The chocolate eclairs however (aside from the cream of course) weren’t that great. Safe to say gluten-free pastry has a long way to go still. I also tried gluten free beer, brownies, cereal, pasta, chips and other various gluten free things that I didn’t even know usually contained gluten. It was all very educational, and most importantly tasty!

The Fad.
10% of Australians are currently following a strict or significantly reduced gluten diet.
This is 10 times greater than the total number of Australians thought to have coeliac disease.
The gluten-free industry is booming with a global market estimated to make US$4 billion over the next few years.

I am ALL about fads so I’m by no means hatin’ on anyone who’s adopted the gluten-free approach. Speaking to Cassia about this however, I did find it interesting that gluten-free diets aren’t actually recommended to everyone as there’s minimal evidence that people without the disease will get any benefits. I guess though with beautiful people like Gwyneth Paltrow endorsing gluten free diets, it’s bound to take off. As they say, each to their own.

It was a very fattening, interesting and delicious experience but I have to say I’m grateful I don’t have the disease. From what Cassia says, the food can still be a bit hit and miss and quite often expensive. But good on the gluten free society for being so cute and welcoming. And thanks to Cassia for showing me the ropes and letting me blog about her!

Cassia and Jessie

Coles expo

Beer

Cakes


References
1. Everything you need to know about coeliac disease (and whether you really have it), The Conversation.

Advertisements

Swan Lake

Last night, I saw my first Ballet at the Melbourne Arts Centre. It was breath taking! Completely mesmerizing.

Funny story however. As my friend, Victoria and I arrive (5 minutes late, whoops) we have to wait until we can be ushered in as the prologue had just began. While I was standing there waiting, I watched the monitor to see the show commencing. It was then when I realised – I have NO idea what Swan Lake is about? “I’ve seen the movie Black Swan, which was terrible.. is it anything like that?” I thought. I was completely surprised that I had never known the story, even though the name was so familiar. Embarrassing really?!

After having seen such a wonderful version of Swan Lake, I’d describe the story as beautifully tragic. Prince Siegfriend celebrates his birthday with his friends while four Princesses are presented to the Prince as potential wives, he shows no interest though. Later in the evening after the party, the Prince escapes to the lake where he seeks solitude. He becomes transfixed on a swan that transforms in to the beautiful Princess Odette, who gives her heart to the Prince.

The following night, there is an extravagant ball in process at the Prince’s palace. He is expected to choose a wife, but his mind is elsewhere thinking of Princess Odette. The festivities are interrupted by von Rothbart who introduces his seductive daughter to the Prince, who has an uncanny appearance to that of Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried is mesmerised by the beauty of von Rothbart’s daughter and falls under her spell, breaking the vow of fidelity to Odette.

As the swan maidens protect the Princess, the prince begs for her forgiveness, but she knows that they have to separate. In desperation, he drowns himself. His sacrifice frees the soul of Odette from von Rothbart though she will remain a swan.

The dancing was superb & so sophisticated. The orchestra was truly wonderful and an absolute joy to listen to.

I appreciated the experience and am already dying to see another ballet performance. Horizons have been broadened!  Dose of Melbourne Culture – Check.

Training is underway!

Hey all!

Welcome & thanks for reading my first blog post!

If you haven’t already – please read the about me pages and learning quests to give you an idea about what I’m about!

So 10km hey… I’d be lying if I said I’ve ever ran 2km without gasping for air half way through.. Before thinking twice about it though, I registered for the 10km Melbourne Marathon on the 14th of October. Less than 4 weeks away…eekk! With the run soon approaching, I’ve been under pressure to get fit again! I’m pleased to report that it hasn’t been as tragic as first thought. Thanks to some encouraging friends who have also challenged themselves to do the run, we’re getting better and better each week.

Record to date – 7.5km in 56 minutes.

My aim is to run the whole distance within 1 hour!