Annie's Story

Real Stories

Annie's Story

Annie tells us about her gluten free journey.

When did you get diagnosed with coeliac disease?

I was diagnosed with coeliac disease in October 2020. This was after being diagnosed with anaemia and having further blood tests and a biopsy to confirm my diagnosis.

How did you feel about the diagnosis?

The diagnosis did feel a bit daunting initially. However, I knew I needed to make these lifestyle changes in order to feel better, which I was definitely willing to do.

What was your relationship with food like before you were diagnosed with coeliac disease?

I have always had a great relationship with food & a good appetite as well! I didn't want my diagnosis to change this, so I made it my mission to discover all the best places to eat where I felt safe & also had good choices! That's why I started up my Follow Me For Gluten Free walking tours to help show newly diagnosed coeliacs (as well as gluten intolerant individuals & anyone who's curious) the gluten free hidden gems around Manchester & beyond.

Have you ever felt like you have missed out because of coeliac disease?

Unfortunately, I feel like I do miss out when eating out if I haven't done my research. I have discovered that if I have done my research, then I can eat really well, without having to sacrifice. Luckily the people around me have been very understanding & usually let me choose the restaurant! That's also why I set up my gluten free walking tours, as I didn't want anyone to feel like they were missing out. I try to make it inclusive as possible with everything featured being gluten free and offering vegan options on most tours.

Did you notice a difference in mood and health after sticking to your gluten-free diet?

I definitely think my health has improved as I used to feel constantly dizzy & weak before I was diagnosed, which has thankfully mostly gone now. I feel like I have lots more energy & can get up at 7am on the weekend instead of 1pm! My mood depends on if I'm hungry or not, so as long as I'm stocked up on good gluten free food then I'm happy!

What does eating "well" mean to you?

Eating well means having good quality choices that are tasty & affordable, with the ultimate goal of feeling amazing afterwards. I am quite an intuitive eater, so I listen to my body & eat what I want when I want, which naturally creates balance & variety.

What's your favourite Juvela product and what do you make with it?

My favourite Juvela product is the White Mix as it's so versatile & creates amazing results! I love to bake, so I was initially scared to try gluten free flour when I was diagnosed with coeliac disease as I didn't think the outcome would be as good. But the Juvela mix makes it so easy & even my non-gluten free friends & family can't tell the difference!

What advice would you give to your younger self or to a newly diagnosed coeliac about what you now know about coeliac disease and gluten-free foods?

My advice would be to definitely stick to all the coeliac 'rules' as health is so important, but try to have fun whilst doing this as you want to have a good relationship with food! I recommend reaching out to local gluten free groups/communities as that really helped me & continues to do so. That's why I ended up starting my gluten free walking tours, to grow that community & provide support to local people.



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