We’re featuring a guest blogger today, Ruth from Nutritiously Naughty who, like Sarah, also has Coeliac Disease and is a recipe developer and health blogger! Read on to find out more and head over to her blog for some seriously tasty recipes…
Tell us a little about yourself & your blog:
My name is Ruth, I’m 27, and currently living in Cardiff. I grew up in North Somerset but moved to Cardiff in 2006 for university and never left! I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2012 and IBS in 2016. I have a full time job and spend my spare time running my blog and creating recipes for some of my favourite brands. My website, Nutritiously Naughty, is a food blog specialising in Coeliac-friendly, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, healthy recipes. The majority of my recipes are influenced by the low-fodmap diet which is well known for making life with digestive disorders and food allergies more manageable.
What is Coeliac Disease/IBS and how were you diagnosed?
Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disease caused by gluten (a protein naturally occurring in wheat, barley and rye) which results in the immune system attacking the lining of the small intestine when gluten is ingested, even in small amounts. It is surprisingly common with around 1 in a 100 people suffering from it, however there is believed to be many more people who have not yet been diagnosed. The symptoms for Coeliac Disease can range in severity and can include diarrheoa, constipation, bloating, nausea, exhaustion, mouth ulcers and even hair loss, weight loss and anaemia. I found that I had a few mild symptoms for most of my life but they worsened considerably in the year before I got diagnosed, to the point where I think I had pretty much all of them! After feeling really ill while on holiday I had a blood test which came back positive for Coeliac Disease, which was then followed by a gastroscopy (unpleasant but worth it!)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an extremely common digestive disorder but the causes are not entirely understood. The symptoms usually result from food sensitivities that cause, often painful, reactions in your gut. It can also be triggered as a symptom of stress and anxiety. Like Coeliac Disease, the symptoms can range in severity including cramps, bloating, diarrheoa and constipation. I was unlucky enough to have extremely painful symptoms resulting in me ending up in hospital where doctors were convinced I had Crohn’s Disease. I then had a colonoscopy procedure which resulted in a polyp being removed and me being told that I had IBS.
What inspired you to start a food blog?
Following my Coeliac diagnosis, although I already loved to cook I really struggled with what to eat and relied heavily on food blogs and recipes books for advice. I started my blog in the hope of making the experience easier for those also struggling with their love for food post-diagnosis. Ironically my IBS diagnosis, which encouraged me to follow the low-fodmap programme, fuelled my love for cooking even more as I was more determined than ever to create gut-friendly recipes! My dream for the future is to release a healthy recipe book providing simple, affordable, Coeliac-friendly, low FODMAP (the recommended programme for IBS sufferers) and refined sugar free recipes for people with digestive disorders and those interested in eating more simple and healthy food. I am a firm believer in ‘everything in moderation’ and have a major sweet tooth, so love to create recipes to show that indulgence doesn’t have to be unhealthy!
How has changing your diet affected your life?
I’ve never really had an ‘unhealthy’ diet but definitely eat more veg than I ever have, all thanks to green smoothies! Before my Coeliac Diagnosis I was so used to being uncomfortable and exhausted (a symptom) all the time that I never noticed how eating well could affect your energy levels. When I cut out gluten and started to feel better I could tell the effect healthy, wholesome food had on my body. I even joined the gym (something I could never have managed before) and haven’t stopped going since! Although I was no longer eating gluten I knew that there were other foods that didn’t agree with my digestive system, this seemed to worsen in the year before my IBS diagnosis. I now eat a balanced diet while avoiding high-FODMAP foods including refined sugars, onions, garlic and cows dairy. When I eat high-FODMAP foods I can feel the effect they have on my body, making me lethargic and bloated. I cannot recommend filling your diet with fresh veg and unprocessed food more!
Can you give us an example of what kind of things you eat in a day?
I try to vary my diet as much as possible but my typical working day would be:
Breakfast – a veg-packed smoothie, smoothie bowl or proats (porridge with added vegan protein powder)
Lunch – soup, salads or leftovers from the night before
Dinner – I love batch cooking so often have meals like my low FODMAP Chicken in a Coconut and Peanut Sauce or something quick after work like a frittata, stir-fry or simply a big bowl of leftovers!
I love snacking during the day so I normally have something sweet in the morning such as homemade flapjacks or as a treat my Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes! I am a really active person so after the gym I sometimes have a vegan protein shake to prevent any muscle soreness!
For more from Ruth, follow her on social media at:
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nutritiouslynaughty/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Nutritiously_N
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NutritiouslyN