James Miller - Coeliac Diary


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Experiments with Adnams


I am not a supersensitive and have recently been talking to the Chief Brewer at Adnams. He has told me that the gluten levels in some of their beers are quite low. How low is open to question, as he told me that measuring gluten is not easy. I said that I’d try a bottle and see what happened. He urged me to be careful, but he would be interested in the results.

Last night, I drunk a half-litre bottle of Adnams Bitter with a chicken salad that I had for my supper. As of this morning, I have had no ill effects.

But the sad thing was that I wasn’t really enamoured with the taste of the beer after all these years. Especially, as I used to drink bottles of it with my supper before I was diagnosed. But then I remember when I was introduced to beer by father at about twelve, I wasn’t struck on the taste then. He said you had to learn to like it. He also reckoned that introducing kids to beer and wine early was a good thing as it meant they were less likely to get a drink problem. Not sure, if he was right, but I don’t have a drink problem, except with finding good half-bottles of wine. My three children were also introduced early and all three don’t drink alcohol at all.


Monday, May 19, 2008



I went to Wembley yesterday for the Blue Square play-off final. Stadium great, public transport much improved, views good, Coke expensive and food absolutely non-existent for a coeliac. So take a packed lunch.

View a full report as a PDF!


Sunday, May 18, 2008



I've had requests to put up the details of my holiday in Kenya, so I've extracted the Kenya part of the book as a separate pdf file.

Travels with My Celia(c) - Kenya

You can also see the video I took on my YouTube site.

I've also put up the videos from the Siruai, which was where I rode in the Masai Mara.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Campaign for Real Chips


I’m writing up my book on coeliac travelling and a pattern is starting to emerge. When I’ve been glutened and it hasn’t been often, I suspect that in several cases, it has been due to chips. If you look at M&S, their oven chips are marked as containing gluten and I suspect that some of the industrial chips used by restaurants and sometimes very good restaurants have been coated in flour.

On the other hand, I was recently at the Ship in Levington near Ipswich and had some very good hand-cut gluten-free chips. So it can be done. I was also told by the manager of the Cart and Horses at Kings Worthy that his chips were not gluten-free, but they would boil a few potatoes for me. I also accused the owner of the Star at Lidgate over her chips, as they were very nice and very crisp and I suspected that there was flour involved. She assured me they weren’t and I was fine.

Campaign for Real Chips anyone?


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blood Pressure, B12 and the Sun


I had my B12 shot on Friday and as she always does, the nurse took my blood pressure. It was absolutely normal for a sixty year old man. I was pleased. But a couple of years ago, it was all over the place in the winter. So much so, that I was measuring it every day with a machine from the surgery. I got the impression that this winter, I wasn’t that brilliant either, especially after the death of Celia. But everything in my body seems to have come better in the last few weeks as the sun has come out. I find that in the winter, I cough and splutter for perhaps half-an-hour or so when I start playing real tennis, but now I have no breathing problems and am ready to go. My handicap is improving too.

As a scientist and engineer, I wonder if others notice that the sun appears to calm their systems and make them more energetic? Could it be that the vitamin D is important to us? And if so, why?

Another curious thing, is that people, like the nurse, say I’m getting thin. She worries about me, so she also weighed me on Friday. I had lost a kilo since the last time she weighed me properly about two years ago. I wouldn’t have thought that was serious, but I have lost centimetres from my waist. That I suspect, is because I’m eating a bit less, as I’ve cut out things like cereals, as I find that if I have more than a small amount of milk, I react to it. So breakfast is more often fruit and perhaps a couple of Trufree crackers with honey.

Incidentally, I have taken to weighing myself regularly over the last month or so, as I want to keep my weight steady at around 61 to 62 kilos. One thing I notice is that if I weigh myself before I go to bed and then when I get up in the morning, the difference is almost half a kilo. Do we really sweat that much away?


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Food on the Go in The Netherlands


I just spent a couple of days in The Netherlands to see a couple of friends and didn’t find the food too difficult. One of the problems is that a lot of their meals are bread based, but I did get a couple of good meals in Italian restaurants without trouble, as the owners were real Italians and knew about celiachia. One thing that I did find was that in a chain called Albert Heijn, which always seemed to have a selection of very good salads, that were marked gluten free.