The Great Gluten Free Controversy

So, after a month or so roughly gluten free, I’m starting to feel better again. The bloating is diminishing, and I can go to the toilet like a normal person!

Last week was very touch and go; I felt awful. I was getting really frustrated as I couldn’t see where I was going wrong. Then I found out a colleague of mine came down with d&v the very next day, meaning I had just picked up a bug. Thank fuck for that!

I went GF in the summer last year, but this time I’ve been putting more substitute foods into my diet instead of going all-out low carb. So far, I have discovered that M&S is heaven for us freefromers. Their seeded bread is by far the best I have tried so far (not too keen on Genius, it’s very sweet), and their pizza bases could be mistaken for beautiful gluten filled dough. And we can get party food! Gluten free party food! Thank you, M&S. You are a bloody lifesaver.

Despite Coeliac UK deeming malt vinegar ok to have, I don’t think I’m ok with it. This is something I need to do a bit more testing on which is a shame, as I friggin’ love vinegar. Aspall’s Apple Cider Vinegar is currently my substitute.

I’m also testing out some other foods that are high in FODMAPS and likely to spark trouble in us IBS afflicted beings. I appear to be fine with all veggies and onion. Garlic needs more testing, but I think a lot of fruits are out for me. Which is fine by me, as I have never been a big fruit eater.

I have been finding myself getting a little pissed off lately, however. Not with the diet, it’s working and my tummy is happy, so I’m happy! No, what I’m getting pissed off with is know-it-alls in the media, on the internet, and in real life who basically say, ‘coeliac or GTFO’.

There appears to have been an influx of articles recently calling out gluten free as a fad. Sales are up, so of course we’re all just big fakey fakers, replacing delicious food with mediocre, overpriced alternatives just for the sheer fun of it. It’s all in our heads don’t you know. The placebo effect. Quite how me not having Guinness makes me feel better is a placebo, god knows. I miss it guys. So much. *sob*

I know a lot of people who can’t eat dairy, because if they do they get symptoms very similar to what I get after eating ciabatta. Nobody questions if their unfortunate bowel habits are real; being dairy free is fine! So why the problem with gluten? What is it about this silly little protein that gets people so riled up?

I spend a lot of my time on reddit, which is both good and bad. There is a good gluten free and coeliac community there, but the entirety of reddit is also full of idiots, so it’s swings and roundabouts. I have read of a waitress refusing to believe someone had a problem with gluten because she finished her meal off with coffee. (a) People with coeliac disease/NCGS can have coffee, because coffee doesn’t contain gluten. And (b) who the fuck are you to be judging what other people are eating, you hateful jerk?! (I responded to her, she claimed it was because of cross-reactivity, despite there being no solid evidence of this.)

And then there was the FODMPAS controversy. There were so many posts pointing out gleefully that NCGS didn’t exist, that it was all down to FODMAPS. I mean, duh, how stupid are we? To follow a gluten free diet and feel better on it because grains that contain gluten are also high in FODMAPS. LOL I no rite?!1!

So these idiots who find people avoiding gluten irritating, were actually saying, ‘Guys! It’s not gluten! It’s still wheat, barley and rye, but it’s also tons of other shit, like onions and garlic and cabbage and cauliflower and beans and apples!’ They were annoyed about people restricting one thing from their diet, and instead telling them to restrict even more things.

…Yeah. I don’t follow. What is the beef with gluten?!

I talk to a lot of coeliacs, and 99% of them are happy with the rest of us that avoid gluten. They don’t give a shit why, they’re just happy that restaurants now cater for them and they have three choices of bread instead of one subpar vacuum packed monstrosity.

If my uncooperative tummy pisses you off, I’m not sorry. I can’t help it. Just like how I can’t help that I’m pigeon toed and knock kneed, I can’t help that my tummy can’t tolerate certain things. I can’t help that I tested negative for coeliac, despite showing all the symptoms of it and improving on the same diet.

If you think it’s all in my head, you stay with me for 24 hours after I drink some Guinness. You may start to rethink!

Nikki x

Working 8.45 to 5

look-at-all-this-work-i-have-not-done-yet-funny-memeSince a large part of this blog was written whilst I was unemployed, and thus followed me through the nightmare of signing on, I thought it best to keep you all informed on what I’m doing and maybe even offer some tips to those still unfortunately unemployed.

As of yesterday, I got a full-time, permanent job! It’s at the company I was on a temp contract for. A week before that contract ended, I interviewed for a Merchandising Assistant job and I walked into it the day after my old contract ended. If I believed in fate, this is it.

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On Prisons and Books.

So. The ‘prison book ban’. It’s not actually a ban, but it’s still a pretty stupid rule, and I fancied writing about it.

What the ‘prison book ban’ actually is, is a ban on all parcels for inmates who aren’t brand new. Brand new inmates are allowed one care package, I believe, and that’s it.

Apparently, it’s because Chris Grayling has introduced a new sliding scale of privileges, and he believes prisoners being able to receive parcels from outside would undermine this new system. (Previously, new inmates would start out halfway up the privileges ladder, and would move around according to behaviour. Now, like all Tory policies, everyone starts at the bottom.)

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The Daily Mail Lies.

This is just a quick post to ask as many people as possible to read this post. It completely tears the story about Romanians and Bulgarians coming here in droves apart. Please, read and share. The second most read newspaper in this country should not be allowed to print lies. Lies and propaganda, that is all it is. No wonder my beloved country is becoming more insular and hateful than ever.

Nikki x

On trusting people to know their own minds

I’m very bored and tired of hearing about this whole Miley Cyrus and Sinéad O’Connor thing.

But if that’s the case, why am I writing about it? The answer is slut shaming.

I’m an open minded person. I accept that some women like to get naked in front of others or be paid for sex or dance provactively. I don’t assume all these young (and older) women are being manipulated, because I am daring enough to think that some women have their own minds, and they are exercising their hard won right to do whatever the hell they want to do.

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But think of the children! *faints*

Ahh, porn. The great unifier of the internet. Or not.

So David Cameron wants all ISPs make people ‘opt in’ to porn. You know, for ‘teh childrenz’.

There are many, many problems with this, which I shall lay out for you here, along with my own experiences. I know, I know, the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but my experience seems to be very similar to those of my generation who also grew up with the internet.

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Where is the love?

The Trayvon Martin case makes me sad. I don’t know exactly what happened; nobody does apart from two people, and one of those is no longer able to defend himself. It does seem an odd set of circumstances to me, and I’m really not sure why the person with the gun felt his life was in danger. The gun debate is for another day (or now, it’s really simple and quick: guns are bad, mmkay?). But the racism debate is one that urgently needs addressing.

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Musings on class and ‘stations’ of life.

unemployment1

I got my first mean blog comment the other day. I didn’t approve it, because at first it shocked me. Some people don’t have the same views as me! Quelle horreur! But it also amused me. And then it made me sad.

To paraphrase, the comment said that I was a ‘well-to-do moocher’, with ‘ideas above my station’ and that I should ‘just get a job’.

First of all: I am no longer on JSA so am no longer ‘mooching’. I only ever received £31 per week as I work on Saturdays. And I am entitled to it. People who don’t accept money they are entitled to through some misplaced sense of pride are, to be quite honest, stupid.

Secondly, I don’t have to get just any old job. My parents support me, I work part time and I get money from other places: babysitting and eBay. Yes, it’s not enough to move out on, but it’s enough for me to afford to go abroad twice a year and go out once a week if I so wish. Why would I give that up to be some wage slave in a shop?

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The Trouble with JSA

Ok, so now I’m signed off, I can happily write all about my gripes with Jobcentre Plus (henceforth referred to as JCP).

I will begin by saying that I never dealt with any mean people at JCP; everyone I dealt with was polite, and even if they weren’t exactly friendly, they weren’t patronising either. Some began by being patronising, but once they got to know me they readjusted their demeanour appropriately.

My number one rule for success at the JCP: BE POLITE. Let’s face it, I am sure there are plenty of arses working at the JCP. There are in every single profession on the planet. But most people working there are just that: working there. It’s not the people that are against you, it’s the system. People working at the JCP know they aren’t that far away from being the other side of the desk. They have reports to write and targets to hit (even though IDS denies it!) and I am sure most of them just want to do the bare minimum to get by and take some money home. So don’t be a dick to them: I once saw a bloke having such a go at this poor woman working there and she was nothing but polite and patient with him, and he just threw it back in her face. It must be a thankless job. A little civility goes a long way.

ANYWAY. If I were in charge of this whole JCP farce, what would I do? What are the problems with it?

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Agency Rage

When you have been searching for a job for as long as I have (9 months and counting!), you get used to agencies. At first, you think they can be nothing but helpful. But soon, you learn that agencies are an utter waste of your time.

I have only had one interview for a job via an agency, and that was for an admin assistant where the headteacher sneered at me and couldn’t understand why someone with my level of education wanted the job. Um, for the absolutely ridiculous £18k salary, please!

All my other job interviews I snagged through applying to the company directly.

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