James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Monday, May 28, 2007

Quack Science


The trouble is that there is so much quack science about that no-one believes the truth.

People will believe some wacky expert, who say believes that being fat is healthy, rather than look at the statistics which show that fat people will get diabetes, are more likely to get cancer and inevitably die younger.

Politicians and especially Blair and his lying hoard are to blame, as they have so besmirched the truth in all things, that when they get up and say what is good for us then we just raise two fingers.

Incidentally, I’m a coeliac. When I was diagnosed at 56, I switched to a gluten free diet immediately and felt better within a week. I know others, who have ignored the diagnosis and tried all sorts of quack remedies. None have worked.

So listen to and understand those with the real knowledge.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Motherhood and Alcohol


I used to work in a pub with a barmaid called Pat.

She had her baby just after the war and every night her husband sneaked a bottle of Guinness in for her to drink. Hers was the only baby that sleep through the night. I met him when he was thirty and he was a well rounded individual, who drank very sensibly.

On a more serious side, I moderate a list for coeliacs. We have had I think three women get pregnant soon after going on a gluten-free diet. Is this because you’re getting all those healthy folates again and this helps conception?

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Socca and Shopping


In the Nice area, they make a bread called socca. It is GF as it is made with chick-pea flour. We actually didn’t get to try it, but I’d be interested in reports.

The other reason we went to Nice was that Celia wanted to buy her summer wardrobe. The clothes shopping is not as good as say Paris, but she did manage to add four kilos to our luggage on the way home. One thing she finds is that she can still buy bikinis in France that are suitable for an older lady, but she can’t find anything that fits in the UK.

Are the French a different shape to us?


Weekend in Nice


We’ve just come back from an enjoyable weekend in Nice. A nice weekend?

We used a book called Walk and Eat Nice by John and Pat Underwood, which is quite small and fits in the pocket. Only when I got there, did I realise that the book has been written by a coeliac. They recommended a restaurant called the Le Pot d-Etain, which was excellent. There was also quite a few tips on how to find gluten-free foods in the city and recommendations for hotels and restaurants all round the city and in the environs.

We flew EasyGo from Stansted and stayed at the Hotel Windsor which was excellent and reasonable as we had a very large room for about £100 a night. You’d have paid at least £250 for a similar standard in London. We booked on-line and the hotel system was excellent.

It was also close to the train station, so we did a couple of trips to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Antibes for just a few Euros. If you do that make sure you know how to use the automatic ticket machines for the TER, as the queues for the guichet were horrendous. For those who complain about our trains, the local trains from Nice were large brand-new double deck monsters. Or rickety trains of a certain vintage. But we did get to travel back from Antibes to Nice on a double-deck TGV, with four engines and sixteen coaches. You can walk from one end to the other on the top deck.

It’s a pity that our loading gauge is so small, that we can’t get the extra capacity we need by going double deck.

I’ve since checked with Sunflower Books and they do other guides in the same series. Check their web site for details.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Coeliac Ignorance


We had a bad day yesterday in that my wife, Celia, went to hospital with a bad pain in her shoulder. It was so severe that she had to miss Court for the first time through illness in all her thirty or so years at the Bar.

Anyway they found her irregular heartbeat, which was described as a medical curiosity by a cardiac consultant in Liverpool, when she had our first childe nearly forty years ago. We spent the whole day in the hospital, whilst they did tests and in the end proved that she is fit and well. But they didn’t do anything for the shoulder.

The point is that the doctor, who saw Celia was on crutches and had serious arthritis. She asked if Celia was on a diet and she said because I was a coeliac, she was on a virtually gluten-free one. I then said have you tried that for your condition. She had no idea that it might help and when I told her that a consultant at Bury St. Edmunds recommended it to his patients, she was very surprised.

How much training do doctors have in the interrelationships between diseases?

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Monday, May 14, 2007



I am not vegetarian, Jewish, Muslim or any of those other groups that are morally or religiously affected by the change in the formulation of Masterfoods products.

I have to read all food labels as I'm a coeliac. This means I'm allergic to the gluten in wheat, barley and rye, so no bread, beer and pasta for me. But I can and do enjoy cake, cider and rice noodles!

So when a company like Masterfoods changes the formulation of their products, without flagging this in the media and on the product with a big **New** sticker, I immediately put the company on my banned list.

There are many companies that are scrupulous in flagging and informing changes and in future I'll stick to them.


Prozac Nation


With the news today about the large number of people on anti-depressants and the reported links between coeliac disease and depression, I wonder if anybody has any thoughts.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ice Lollies


I’m pretty sure that Waitrose do a lolly which is just frozen orange juice. We give them to our granddaughter (non-coeliac), as she thinks they’re great. I suspect that some of the other supermarkets make them too.

On the other hand, my mother used to make lollies with a mould. I’m 60, so that was more than a few years ago.

I looked and Lakeland have an ice lolly maker on their site.


Thursday, May 03, 2007



I had a bad attack of cramp over the weekend. I've always suffered and is this a symptom of coeliac disease?

On the other hand, my wife who never suffers from it, had cramp today in her feet. Her fitness instructor said it was the hot weather and she wasn't eating enough salt to replace what she looses through exercise.

Any ideas?