For four years I was best known as The Unlucky Coeliac! Here you can find my archived posts that would moving forward sit under the What Not category. These blogs include my pregnancy diary, recipes and tips for eating out/dating as a coeliac!
Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok… A few social medias of many. Which ever one(s) you use you will know its absolutely brutal out there.
I’m quite lucky that the community I’ve been part of a Instagram has been one of those who live by a gluten-free diet or have disabilities or are friends and family. I’ve seen the abuse that influencers, those with a few thousand followers and celebrities receive. I’ve also experienced firsthand bullying throughout my school life and as a young adult. Never did I think that my safe community on Instagram would be tested!
At the beginning of December 2021 I created a reel, following the trend that shows you with your best friend when you first met and what you look like now. Over a period of 2 weeks I received numerous comments about my appearance, my weight and a few comments have been made about my friend. I started off trying to educate those that your opinion might not be wanted by the recipient etc. But im human, theres only so much before you get sassy back through a protective defense. It’s been hard, really hard.
I ended up disabling the comments on the reel, which even resulted in receiving a dm telling me to turn my comments back on and that I was a coward. After this I took some time away from TheUnluckyCoeliac, an instagram page i’ve put a lot of work into. Building my presence in the community, advertising my blogs of the years and even sharing insights into my life. It felt heartbreaking to step away!
I’m so glad I did, it was only a short time away but the feeling I felt when I came back was incredible! TheUnluckyCoeliac is my brand, it is my hard work and dedication, its me putting back into a number of communities that have helped me along the way. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and I will not be drove away from that again. It gave me a boost of resilience that I wasn’t aware I was lacking. And for that, I will remain an advocate for anti-bullying, disability, new mothers and so much more!
One thing I think everyone needs to remember on social media is; you only see what someone wants you to see, all the hard times are hidden. Therefore be kind. Before posting it ask yourself these questions;
If it was you on receipt of what youve typed, how would you feel?
If it was your child, niece or nephew receiving comments like yours would you be happy?
Is that the character you want to be known for?
Is there something that you need help with, which is the reason behind this action?
To those who wrote those nasty comments on my Reel; I hope that whatever it is you’re going through, someone is there for you. I hope you never have to endure the feeling that you made me feel. I forgive you, and hope you can forgive yourself. And finally, please reach out for help if you haven’t. Don’t be afraid to!
The gluten free world has been shaken recently by the update that Costa coffee has swapped to a gluten containing oat milk as well as a soya milk with a may contain warning. Is this the end to a gluten free Costa coffee?
I reached out to Costa due to seeing some mixed messages on instagram and here’s the breakdown!
Firstly when I heard about the commotion I checked the Allergen Matrix available in store and online. It’s a table showcasing all their food and drink items and the 14 allergens, with the below code;
YES in white font with a red background = allergen present
C in black font with a yellow background = the allergen isn’t in the ingredients but present in the site of manufacturing /supply chain and therefore there is a risk of cross contamination
N in black font with a green background = the allergen isn’t an ingredient
Yes in black font with a blue background or no in black font with a orange background = suitable for a dietary requirement (vegan or vegetarian) with information from the product manufacturer. Doesn’t take into count in-store cross contamination from management/preparation methods
With that in mind the gluten free safe milks (with no cross contamination warning) are semi-skimmed/skimmed/whole milk and almond milk. The oat milk is a direct gluten containing milk with the soya and coconut being marked as cross contamination due to manufacturing site. So if you are diary and gluten free it would be advised to avoid the soya and coconut, but almond is safe. If you are just gluten free you can also have the cows milk.
Then there has been some talk about the milk steamer and cross contamination. Now I’ve never in the 4 years I’ve been diagnosed been warned about the milk steamer, not even in the session the NHS provides. I have, however, still researched into this and discovered that as long as the outside is cleaned and in between each use it is turned on and off, there are no risks of cross contamination. Costa have confirmed that all Costa shops will have designated milk jugs for each milk and that there are no cross contamination risks from the milk steamer due to the cleaning completed between each use.
All in all this means unless you pick a gluten containing milk (or a cross contamination risk milk) then as a gluten free individual you are safe to drink in Costa!
Thank you to Costa Coffee for the information and official statement in regards to the milk and steamer.
Its no surprise that I, along with many others, feel completely mugged off by the government in light of the recent news. If you haven’t see it, a long story short is numerous parties were held and attended by our government when the rest of us were locked down…
I am full of so many emotions and didn’t quite know what to do with it all! After seeing numerous posts on instagram by influencers, speakers in the house of commons and your average joe, I have decided to write down why I’m angry in hopes of a sense of release and that someone else out that doesn’t feel crazy for being so angry too.
March 2020 we went into lockdown, I was 5 months pregnant with our first child. Our parents first grandchild. For a long time I was worried pregnancy wouldn’t be something I could do, as I didn’t think my body would handle it. I was so convinced I even brought it up in a pain management psychologist appointment, months into the start of my relationship with my now husband. I was scared that if things got serious and I couldn’t ever be pregnant he’d need to know before it was too late. So its safe to say this pregnancy was incredibly special and important to not just my husband and our parents, brothers etc. But it was incredibly special for me to be doing something I’d feared I wouldn’t be able to do.
Lockdown meant no visitors, pregnant people were considered vulnerable at the time so I couldn’t even go to the shops. Food shopping was done in turns by our parents and dropped off at our front door. Facetime was the only way to communicate with anyone other than each other, and I was working from home like the rest of the country. I found it really difficult to not be sharing key parts of pregnancy with our family and friends.
I have anxiety, pre-pregnancy is was heavily situation based; eating somewhere I hadnt before, meeting new people, travelling somewhere I hadnt been before and flying were my triggers. Pregnancy increased it massively and I continually felt anxious and being in a global pandemic where you’ve been told your vulnerable made it even worse! I was not in a great place at all, but I continued to work, told my colleagues (we are quite a small team which is really nice) that I was struggling and we all supported each other. Ted was great with it all, our parents were understanding and I have my friends being incredible too. My maternity cover had also just joined the team around April time, so I was able to focus solely on her and we began the handover process.
April we received the news that Ted’s nan had covid. There was a wide panic and stress and worry spread through our families. She was in hospital, but restrictions meant no one could visit. No one did. She came home and still no one visited. Front door drop offs of food shopping and birthday gifts were made. We had a family quiz night over FaceTime and then the next day we received the heartbreaking news that she’d gone. Theres nothing more gut wrenching then waking your partner up to tell them that their Nan is no longer with us. I rung my head of department, told her what had happened and turned off my laptop. I rung my Mom and burst into tears. That day I left the house, my parents had done tests and came to get us. We went and sat in the garden of Ted’s grandparents to be together as safely as we could. Still keeping guidelines in our minds despite wanting to cuddle and comfort each other.
In May, at 7 months pregnant I stood (and sat as there was one bench that was taken in turns to sit on by many of us) outside the funeral with my father in law, whilst we supported our family at a distance still sticking to the rules. He couldn’t be with his wife, neither could the other husbands of Ted’s aunties, and I couldn’t be with Ted as they said goodbye to their mother/grandmother. No wake could be had, because we stuck to the rules.
July, I went into labour. Excluding our fathers going to work as their jobs meant they still worked (but were testing constantly and being extremely careful) our parent were isolating because I am the only driver and knew i’d need help getting to and from the hospital. With both sets of parents with us I went into hospital, went home and went back. They waited outside with Ted till he could come in, then they waited as long as they could. Teds dad had work so had to go home, my mom was struggling with her conditions so my parents went home. I dont think anybody actually slept that night.
Then when I gave birth via emergency C-section everything crumbled. Our baby was poorly, he needed additional care and the only hospital that could do that was the other side of Birmingham to us. I saw my baby for a minute before he was taken to NICU and then again for another minute before he was transported to another hospital. Ted left and then until I was discharged the next day on the afternoon I didn’t see my baby, Ted or anyone. I was alone in the hospital vulnerable, riddled with anxiety and fear. I wasn’t allowed a visitor because everyone was following the rules…
In NICU at the hospital our baby was in only one parent at a time could go in, which meant neither of us had the emotional support from each other than we needed. It also meant that until I was discharged Ted was the only one able to go in, so not only had he been up all night he was now getting all the information about our baby and was having to ensure I was told but also our parents. He was so exhausted but didn’t want our boy on his own for more than was necessary. Again all this was because of the rules and guidelines hospitals followed that were given to us by the government…
I was informed I was still considered vulnerable as I was coeliac and hadnt had a pneumonia vaccine. After having the pneumonia vaccine we thought we were safe to start integrating with a slightly normal life again. Just as I was starting to adjust, we then were told that our little one was considered vulnerable because of his medical history. So back into isolation we went… This time we did the food shopping but it was our alone time. One of our parents would have Lewis we would go food shopping, come home put it away shower and then have Lewis back. Then after months we were told this was incorrect…
After months and months of isolating ourselves and our little one, with very few walks in the park to at least say hi to friends we were expected to go straight back to “normal” because thats what the government said to do. Again we followed the rules…
We followed the rules consistently, even wearing masks longer than everyone else seemed to do. We put our son at risk of lack of social skills because we were advised to shield him. We had to suffer alone in turns trying to understand what was going on with our son in NICU and piece information together as we were updated on different things. We stuck to the rules religiously and all while they partied, laughed, joked about the right answers to give…
I never get involved in politics on my socials or on here and I will continue not to, but I will say I am angry, I am hurt and I feel utterly let down by our government. But I will still continue to do what I believe is best for my family, friends, colleagues and more! Like Gina Martin post on Instagram said, I will continue to be better than them who have made fools of themselves and let us down
Another year has come and gone so quickly, I cannot believe i’m saying it but it’s Christmas season! And what better way to get into spirit then thinking of all the food you can buy for the holiday period (being mindful of waste of course)!
3 years ago I was getting ready for my first Christmas as a newly diagnosed coeliac and my god was I worried. “What will I be able to eat”, “can I still have cheese and crackers”, what do I do about going my Nan’s?” All these questions, plus more, spun round my head!
Then I headed to Instagram and saw people like GlutenFreeAlice, GFBlogger and MyGlutenFreeGuide. What a relief!! So here I am repaying to the community what was so incredibly helpful for me…
Welcome to my Christmas 2021 Gluten Free Food Guide 🎄🤍
This guide is simply pictures and the supermarket location that I’ve spotted in the UK. Some items are Holiday Season specific and others are everyday items that maybe you’ve not tried yet or didn’t know where to buy them, or they’re just gonna be extra tasty this Christmas!!
Please note I will continue to add to this the more I find things throughout December! I also haven’t included ingredients or prices (for all supermarkets) of items, but have included a weblink for each store where you will be able to find this information out.
Marks & Spencers
I definitely cannot wait to get my Christmas shop this year! Keep an eye out on Instagram to see what I end up getting!! Let me know what treats you buy in the comments or using the hashtag #TheUnluckyCoeliac 🤍
It’s no secret that I am a parent, or that alongside blogging and creating content I am in full time employment. Therefore when it comes to feeding myself or my family a lot of the time it needs to be quick, easy and well still packed full of nutrition! I wont lie, it doesn’t always happen that way and well thats okay! A fed happy family is the best I can ask for.
Here you’ll find a collection of meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and those in between times when you realise you haven’t eaten but your child has! This is something i’ve been working on over the last few months that i’ve tried in real time and during real life! They work, they’re tasty and the fill your tummy…
Moving from left to right, row by row we have;
Gluten and dairy free pancakes
Ingredients; 1 cup gluten free flour, 1.5 cups of milk alternative I use soya, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder. Method; add to a mixing bowl the flour, pinch of salt and a flat teaspoon of baking powder. Heat your milk in the microwave/stove (however you like, I actually use my swan milk frother. The add the milk and two drops of vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix. In a pan put a teaspoon of coconut oil 9or oil of choice), heat until melted and lower the heat to low-mid. Spoon amounts into your pan to your desired size of pancake you’d like and allow to cook. Once the pancakes are showing lots of bubbles then flip them. I find that gluten free pancakes can look a little pale, so don’t let this dishearten you! Top with your choice of toppings, in the image I’ve gone with peach yoghurt (no dairy free) for Lewis and crunchy almond butter and syrup for myself!
Gluten free porridge
This one isn’t dairy free as we were trying to encourage lewis to try milk, he isn’t off formula yet and that’s fine with us/him and his health visitors. You could easily swap the milk for a milk alternative at a 1:1 ratio as that is what I usually do for myself.
Ingredients; 3/4 cup gluten free oats, 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon honey & fruit to top (optional). Method; add the oats and milk to a pan and heat on a medium heat until it starts to thicken, then add the honey and lower the heat. Depending on the consistency you would like it does vary on timings. I find for a thick yet still smoothly falls off the spoon texture it cooks for between 8-10 minutes in total. For a thick doesn’t move kind of porridge you wanna keep it cooking for around 15 minutes. Remember to keep stirring when cooking porridge otherwise it will stick!!
Soft cheese and avocado toast
I know it’s not dairy free but so can easily be! Cheese is my downfall and as this isn’t an allergy/intolerance but an upset upon large consumption I can play with diary a little more than others. But there are loads of great soft cheeses out there if you are lactose free, vegan or dairy free! So I would recommend going with one you know you like as it will make this brunch classic so much nice and enjoyable for you!
Ingredients; 2x bread, 1 avocado, soft cheese of choice (I used Philadelphia), black pepper (optional) and lemon or lime juice. Method; toast your bread to your liking, whilst it’s toasting slide the knife around the avocado to cut it in half and the twist and pull the two halves away from each other. Remove the seed and peel your avocado. Slice into small strips, as thin or chunky as you like. Once your toast is done, add about 1.5 tablespoons of soft cheese to each slice and spread evenly. Top with half an avocado on each slice, sprinkle of lemon/lime juice and as much black pepper as you’d like! Then tuck in and enjoy!!
Ready for the controversial comment… This is made using a jar of pre-made sauce! I know… (* the curry sauce I used and am referring to is the Aldi own jalfrezi jar that comes with spices to use. If you are using other brands/styles you may not have spices to use and just the sauce. Therefore you can disregard the adding the spices section of the method).
Ingredients; chicken thighs (1 per person), 1 x peppers (Add more if there aren’t already peppers in your curry sauce), 1 jar of curry sauce*, 400g tin of chopped tomatoes. Method; chop the pepper into small chunks, heat a frying pan with a bit of oil; I used rapeseed here. Brown off each side of the chicken thighs, then add the peppers and the spices from the curry sauce. Once fried off, turn of the heat and add to your ingredients to the slow cooker. Top the chicken, peppers and spices off with the tinned tomatoes and curry sauce, season with salt and pepper, then cook on low for a few hours. About 2 hours in I remove the chicken thighs and shred them in a bowl, then reintroduce them to the slow cooker. About 30 minutes before serving, if you are preparing fresh rice start to cook it now. Alternatively for speed we used Tesco own frozen microwave plain rice and prepared them minutes before serving. There was enough here with the sauce being a little thinner than a standard curry due to adding the tomatoes, and the chicken was thigh meat that was shredded, that it fed the three of us and provided lunch for the next day.
Alternatively if you don’t want to use a slow cooker, this will simmer nicely in a large pan on the hob! You can also add more veggies in such as cauliflower for extra 5 a day or even remove the tomatoes to get a thick sauce.
Tuna and egg salad
This is definitely one of the easiest meals! All need to do is just grab all the salad ingredients that you like and bang in a bowl! Then add tuna, some soft boiled eggs, bit of pepper and top it with your favourite sauce/salad dressing!! In the image you will see that my go to for this salad bowl is lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, sweetcorn and I did (after I’ve took the photo) top it with some good old mayonnaise!
Cheesy Tomato toast
Now out of all of the images this one probably isn’t the most attractive looking meal, however, it’s super tasty, super speedy and even my little one loves it! All you need is a few tomatoes of your choice you can use standard tomatoes, beef tomatoes or even little plum tomatoes. You want to chop them into slightly smaller chunks, pop them into a hot saucepan with an oil of your choice; I tend to use the fry light garlic as it just gives that extra little flavour to it. And you wanna cook it on a medium heat so that the tomatoes start to wilt down you get some natural tomato juice but you don’t lose the chunk so do not mash the tomatoes. Then when you’ve got a slightly more liquidy consistency you want to add the cheese of your choice (I just stick to a standard cheddar), take it off the heat and just stir through! The heat of the tomatoes will naturally melt the cheese and then you want to pour it on top of some toast!
Baked bean chilli
I know what you’re thinking baked beans and chilli surely not. Well I’m telling you yes this is a vegetarian style chilli using baked beans, it’s super quick and I made it whilst washing up on my lunch break one day! Ingredients wise you’ll want one tin of baked beans, it doesn’t have to be Heinz it can be any supermarket own brand as long as it’s baked beans in tomato sauce. Then you’re going to want hot smoked paprika, chilli flakes, garlic granules and hot sauce! In terms of hot sauce I used the Crucials hot sauce and literally just used a splash! Send it’s as simple as adding all the ingredients to a source burn heating on a low to medium heat by until it is hot and serve it with some rice! The level of spice is completely up to you, I like a hot spicy chilli if you prefer a more milder chilli swap the smoked hot paprika for standard paprika and you can also skip the hot sauce. I served mine with a slice of bread with some cream cheese, controversial I know but I love a bit of cheese with chilli!
Bbq Pork Chops, rice and Garlic Potatoes
Facemail is a mixture of supermarket preprepared that you just cook and cooking from scratch. The barbecue pork chops are from Aldi, they are gluten-free and you would just cook them following the instructions that you find on the packet. The rice is a mixture of a golden veg frozen rice bag and I frozen plain rice bag. Then the potatoes is a recipe from my friend and she said it is a slimming world recipe that she’s just tweaked, so it might not technically be syn free if you followed the slimming world diet but it does make some really nice tasty potatoes. All you need is some new potatoes or potatoes that you chop into smaller chunks, oil, garlic, smoke paprika, salt and pepper! Heat some oil in a ovensafe dish and pop your potatoes into some water and hope to parboil. When is your potatoes are parboiled, I do tend to do mine slightly longer than the recommended power boil I am so I do it for 20 minutes, you want to transfer the potatoes to the hot oil in the dish (that you’ve heated oil in) please be careful it will splash and it’s hot. once potatoes are in the hot oil using a large spoon you want to ensure that all the potatoes are coated then what I tend to do is cover the potatoes in a mixture of garlic granules or garlic powder smoke paprika salt and pepper. I do this now by all but you can do is create a small little season mix in a smaller bowl and sprinkle it over the potatoes. Would use potatoes and I seasoned pop them in the oven for 20 minutes, again I parboil my potato slightly longer than the recommended, you will need to ensure you are checking your potatoes before serving. When you’ve got about 10 minutes left before everything is due to be ready popularising your microwave cooking for how long it tells you to do, you don’t have to use a frozen rice bags you can use standard micro rice or if you’ve got the time cook some rice from scratch! When the rice is ready, plate everything up and serve!! It’s actually so tasty and quite a moist meal, so you don’t require anything else. But if you did want a nice sauce to go alongside I would probably recommend like a garlic mayo/ garlic aioli or a bbq.
So I’ve paid the last two photos together as you can either do them as a pair so little one has the pizza toast and you have the bruschetta style mozzarella tomato toast or you could do everyone has one or the other. For the pizza toast it is a simple as toast your bread, once it’s toasted both sides add a small layer of tomato purée and some mozzarella cheese on top. Pop it under the grill, you do not wanna use a toaster when you’ve got the toppings on and wait for the cheese to melt! That is enough time for the tomato purée to cook through. And then you good to go you have some pizza choice you can always add more toppings to eat such as pepperoni or some pancetta or even some roasted vegetables, it is completely up to you what are you top your pizza toast with. For the Pusheta style mozzarella tomato toast what you want to do is great a little bit of garlic and smeary along your bread toast to bread under the grill trace madness it will be the better way to do it when you’ve got the garlic on top winch of toasted it then add your mozzarella and tomato slices diagonally on top of each other. Then you wanna do a sprinkle of salt and pepper and then if you’re feeling super duper fancy a nice gulp of balsamic vinegar! And then we have a pizza toast and bruschetta style mozzarella and tomato toast.
I hope these recipes have gave you some inspiration or even you’ve looked at it and gone yes that is what I want to make! The purpose of this post was to show that yes sometimes mom guilt/dad guilt creeps in and you feel like these quick simple meals are actually awful! You may feel they don’t offer enough nutrients and I just want to reassure you that they are tasty and fulfilling, we’re all doing our best and out best is all that we can give and that our children ask from us! As long as your child has been fed and watered, and you’ve been fed and watered that’s all that matters! See it this way, if you don’t eat properly you won’t have the energy to do the things you want with your child and that again is just going to trigger this mum/dad guilt!
If you do use one of these recipes then please tag me in your Instagram post, use the hashtag #TheUnluckyCoeliac, or drop a comment on this post! I would love to hear your thoughts, see what you enjoyed and even what you didn’t! If you’ve got ways of upgrading these meals let me know!! Do you have any quick and easy meals? Let me know, drop them in the comments section as well sharing is caring after all! I would love to have a go at some of your quick and easy meals for the working parent!
As someone who is in their mid to late 20s and recently became a first-time mum it hit me the last few months how important it is to actually take care of your skin. I was definitely one of those teens the wore a lot of make-up and didn’t really think about the consequences of falling asleep with it on or not washing it off properly or using face wipes, cringed I know!!
Now I’ve started taking care of my skin and I’ve seen the benefits of doing it, it is something that I wish in my teenage years I fully understood and would have done for a long time. Why, because now I feel so confident in my own skin that I very rarely wear foundation, where as before I would not leave the house without foundation on and would pretend that I was wearing no make up.
Back in April I was very fortunate that my mum purchased a skincare product for myself and my brother after using it herself, and to be completely honest the experience I’ve had with it I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!! Now I’ve unfortunately been subject to a bit of a scam and used a product, a little bit similar to the one I am referring to, so I was sceptical when my mum first approached me with it.
Now before I go into detail about what the product is I just wanna give you a bit of background on my skin and my skincare routines in the past, so that you do know that when I tell you what the product is that I am being genuine! You will see via pictures what my skin was like, how its changed as well as my honest opinion!
When I first started senior school, so in the UK that is at age 11, I didn’t really have too bad skin. Then when I became 12/13 and hormones really kicked in I noticed that my skin was oily and was very spotty. From then on it became a vicious cycle of trying skincare products that would work, that my skin would get used to and they would stop working. I’d give up, stop doing a routine for a few months and then start the cycle all over again. I honestly don’t want to think about how much money my parents have spent over the years helping to try and make my skin better! From products considered cheap to mid range in price to very expensive. We’ve tried products with Witchhazel and products with tea tree oil, or cucumber, eucalyptus everything you can think of i’ve used.
The biggest annoyance for me (and probably my parents too) was when we moved to Proactiv; this is a very expensive high-end product which you can’t just buy one of the products, you do have to buy the full package. My parents spent a lot of money for it to work for the first 2 to 3 months and then the cycle began again. My skin got used to it and it no longer worked, this was the breaking point I think for me! I just fully gave up, what’s the point was the biggest thought following close with “I might as well carry on wearing my make up to cover and hide the spots and I’ll just wash my face normally”.
So from here on I would just wash my face with a standard face wash, didn’t really moisturise regularly and continued to wear a lot of make up! This last a very long time, until I reach the age of 22. Makeup was becoming an annoyance as I was in the gym all the time and had got used to not wearing it when there, that putting it on felt a chore. This is when makeup stopped for me, I fell out of love with it and no longer felt the need for it unless I was getting ready to go out with friends and wanted to look more glamorous.
At this point I though maybe my skin will get better, and it didn’t because lets face it I still wasn’t looking after it! I was also drinking alcohol and eating greasy food nearly every weekend. So this was the acceptance stage for me, this was my skin and it was always going to be oily yet dry! The dry skin is very heavily weather related for myself but I am very pale skinned so it is quite hidden until it becomes flakey.
So that’s my background on skincare, thank you for sticking around and holding in there with me! Now the product my Mom kindly purchased me is the LumiSpa and I can hands on heart say it’s incredible! I use the wash thats best for my type of skin, use the moisturiser and eye cream (which I didn’t even know how to use, Ted had to google it for me lmao) as well as a toner for my skin type too! Now as I said I was still skeptical, and things got a bit stressing with fears of our ceiling falling down again (long story for another day)! So what did I do… I stopped my routine and low and behold the spots and super oiliness returned!!
To my surprise my skin isn’t as oily as I thought, as long as I look after it! And for the last 3 weeks I have been back on top of it and the results already are incredible! I have a natural glow, which lets not lie we all want one of them! I’ve also got such a nice feel to my skin and I am here for it!
For me what makes this product even better is it has eliminated leaning over the sink, which with my fibromyalgia and spinal issues this has made my life a little easier! Even more so that it’s lightweight, takes 2 minutes and I can do it sat down. I find this product quite disabled friendly, I wouldn’t say it is 100% as if you do have a disabled or chronic illness/condition that restricts you from grasping/holding something it is equipped to support you. But for disabilities, chronic illnesses or conditions that enable you to grasp and hold onto things this would work for you!
Ending this super long post, again thank you for hanging in, I will say the top 3 things I’ve learnt and wished I had paid attention to when I was younger are; Moisturiser morning and night, don’t forget about your neck, keep up with a skin care routine and don’t lose hope!
If you would like any further information about the Lumispa please comment, message me on instagram or check out NuSkin’s website! I am now a distributor of the Lumispa, which I want to be fully transparent about, purely because I believe in this product and have seen what it can do first hand!
UK READERS; You can get the Lumi Spa Luxe Kit Special Offer using this link!! Be sure to take the skin type quiz before purchasing if you are unsure which cleanser to use.
This diary entry is a short one, as we were very much at home and that was it! Its also taken a very long time to come to terms with trimester 3 and what happened during birth. So much so that I am writing this whilst weeks away from Lewis’ 1st Birthday.
Trimester 3 was where my body started to slow down and things became very painful. Not just because I had a heavy pregnant belly, but because my already fragile body was pushed to its limit and was still having to try and carry on.
Queue the hip subluxations, the misaligned jaw, the increased back pain and the pelvic girdle pain! Oh and lightening crotch is not something to joke about, and definitely should be discussed more! I had no idea what it was until describing to a friend what I was feeling. Pairing all of these things together for a “normal” person is too much, throw in that I have fibromyalgia and am more sensitive to pain and boy do we have a fun concoction!
Trimester 3 for me was very much Groundhog Day! The same thing every day, the same feelings and the same routine. Lockdown was still very active in the UK, but we were grateful to have our parents near. DISCLAIMER: In case you missed it in a previous post; I am the only driver in our household, therefore we needed help from our parents as I still had growth scans and midwife appointments to go to. I was also considered vulnerable due to not having my pneumonia vaccine and having coeliac disease therefore they would need to either do or take Ted to do our food shopping. Under guidelines, we were allowed this bubble (and was verified by our doctors).
Trimester 3 was also where my anxiety peaked, I really wanted to meet out baby but still in the midst of a global pandemic I wanted to keep him as safe as possible. This lead to the ongoing battle of wanting to give birth ASAP to get out of pain, but also never wanting to give birth because how could I protect him from this still very unknown coronavirus.
At 35 weeks pregnant I could no longer manage with the pain, the pain relief I could have felt even more pointless now and I felt stretched to the max. At 36/37 weeks we had another telephone appointment with our consultant who was pushing to go until overdue for an induction, despite already advising previously we could have an induction if my pain became unbearable. After pushing it was agreed at 39 weeks I would be induced.
The few weeks leading up to the induction date I was spending most of my time on our bed, feet elevated and impatiently waiting to get out of this pain. Then the evening before our scheduled induction I went into labour naturally. The flood of emotions I felt when this happen was wild! I was excited, I was nervous, I was anxious, I was full of joy! All these emotions carried me forward into the hospital alone, and kept me going when I was sent home. They then gave me the push to get back in the car and go back and insist that this was happening and I need Ted to be allowed in now. We were having a baby, and what a whirlwind that was.
I’ll be sharing our birth story separate to this and trimester 4, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
How did you find trimester 3? Comment below to share your experiences!
So its no secret that I have coeliac disease, so when we found out we were expecting we knew it would be possible that our child would be too.
Disclaimer: I am no expert, I am not saying this is what you should do, and I definitely can’t give advice! All weaning related content is based solely mine and my fiancés Ted have experience with our own child following guidelines from the NHS.
When we started weaning Lewis it was more then ever important for us to ensure we did the gluten test as soon as possible. Now if you haven’t weaned a baby before this may sound a little odd; But when you start weaning your baby its important to ensure that allergy tests are done. Now these aren’t with a GP or paediatrician, but at home eating the allergen and observing what happens. It is advised to ensure they have no interaction with any other allergen for 3 days whilst eating the allergen your testing.
Once we got the gluten allergy testing done, we continued with weaning and this meant he was gluten containing products. This is when we got Lewis weighed by the Health Visitor, to ensure we were happy he wasn’t reacting to it in ways we couldn’t see. Our boy is tall and slender so its hard to see physically if there is a weight issue, which is why we seeked the help of our Health Visitor and requested he be weighed for that reason. His weight was fine, he was showing no symptoms at all!
Fast forward to being 5.5 months old (we started weaning lewis at 4.5 months, which will all be explained in another post)! We decided that now was the time we wanted to incorporate BLW – Baby Led Weaning and not just purées. A big driver for this was that Lewis really wanted to feed himself, I mean he had been holding his bottle himself from 4 months old! After some research via NHS, Ella’s Kitchen and sharing my thoughts with friends who had already weaned their little ones, we decided this was definitely the right route for Lewis.
BLW meant pasta, bread, baby biscuits etc. All of which contain gluten. So how do I cope I here you ask?! By following the below steps I have found, for me, that this has made weaning a gluten eating baby the safest for me.
Naturally gluten free
I am the main cook in our household and a lot of the meals we eat are naturally gluten free, for example homemade meatballs, rice, vegetables etc. These meals we all eat, I just ensure the salt and sugar levels aren’t within a level that Lewis can’t eat.
Cleaning = happy tummy
Outside of these naturally gluten free meals Lewis does eat baby Biscuits, Toast, Crumpets, Oats and Pasta. When he eats these if Ted is at work and unable to prepare them then I will ensure that after preparing Lewis’ meal I was my hands thoroughly, clean the surface and any cupboard/draw fronts I may have touched.
I don’t sit too close to Lewis whilst his eating, but still close enough I am able to reach him in an emergency. Once he has finished eating and we’ve confirmed all done with baby-sign, his hands and face are wiped down before he is taken out his highchair. And then its time to go play with the water aka wash his hands! This means then I don’t have to worry about him touching my mouth or shoving his fingers in my mouth and gluten’ing me!
Sharing is caring
When encouraging to share food, such as when mommy has food and you just really need some, we make sure its fruit or veg. That way its consistent and Lewis learns that he can only share his food with mommy if it’s fruit or veg.
Like with when you make a bottle up and you pour some onto your wrist to check the temperature, I do this with food that Lewis is having thats got gluten in it. Mainly when Ted isn’t here I use this technique, as when he is he will do the heat checks!
These tips that i’m sharing have really helped me with ensuring Lewis continues to eat Gluten, whilst not making me unwell. I hope by sharing these tips it helps reassure anyone who’s in the same position, who’s maybe getting ready to wean or even has allergies (that they can be around) but their child doesn’t!
Thank you for reading, if you use any if these tips or even have ones to share please comment below or on my Instagram x
When I first started to write this my little one was nearly 6 months old and we were in Lockdown number 3 in the UK. Now as I share this our boy is 10 months old and our restrictions are slowly lifting as the months go on.
For me I was pregnant during lockdown with only one friend going through the same thing, all my other friends who had been pregnant had been so before Coronavirus was known to us publicly. So with that in mind, and I know this isn’t for everyone, I have decided to share my experiences with pregnancy during a global pandemic. In doing so I hope that anyone else who still is or who has also gone through it, knows that how they’re feeling is kinda normal for what we’ve experienced. That any worries, feelings or even emotions they feel is even more so normal than ever before!
So let’s start with when the pandemic really started to become clear to everyone that it was a pandemic…
We had our gender reveal with family and friends around us on March 1st 2020, was in London March 7th-9th and then March 16th I was working from home and in Social Isolation as I was considered vulnerable to coronavirus due to being pregnant and vulnerable to bacterial pnuemonia. By Wednesday 18th March my fiancé was sent home early from work due to my vulnerability status and then on the evening lockdown was announced. From then on every appointment I had related to my pregnancy I attended alone, and I had a few due to being considered high risk due to rhuematology medical issues (Hypermobility, Fibromyalgia and my spinal issues).
In total we had 2 telephone appointments with my consultant, 1 telephone appointment with the anaesthetist, 1 diabetes check, 2 midwife appointments, 2 scans, 1 covid test and 2 hospital visits . Minus the telephone appointments I had to physically attend every appointment/visit alone. Whether my partner was sat in my car waiting for me or whether one of our parents came to either take me or keep him company in the car, I was in the appointment/visit physically alone. Disclaimer; after a certain point you are unable to drive during pregnancy, I am the only driver in our house, so for the safety of myself and our unborn child we had to ask for help from our parents when I needed to attend appointments. Minus our father’s working, our moms were home and isolated to protect us and our siblings.
Now not every pregnancy is the same, and not every pregnancy with the same medical conditions as I have is the same. However, typically new expecting parents will have a lot of questions, concerns and queries. Its natural, this is your first time so you will have all of this as well as a lot of emotions. Now my pregnancy wasn’t too bad, I did struggle towards the end with my body and its limitations and I did have real bad sickness and queasiness throughout, but nothing was more challenging than the mental aspect of pregnancy and pregnancy in isolation.
Truthfully, I have always had anxiety. I have situation based usually, which makes it incredibly difficult to meet new people, go new places, go to new restaurants, travel via train and plane and well a lot of things. As soon as my pregnancy stated to develop more and more, my anxiety got stronger and stronger. I was now fearing the drive to and from work, due to previously having a very small bump on the motorway a year before. Add in being anxious about my health anyway, now an unknown virus and being labelled vulnerable. I was struggling. I am very lucky that my partner is very good at respecting my anxiety and supporting me, that my team were available to talk to and every morning we had team catch ups to make sure as a team we were okay and if not we had the support we needed. But also THANK the heavens that there is such a thing as video calling. I would video call my mom or my best friend when I felt I needed help, and now I’m stuck in a habit of video calling my mom daily because it has became a coping mechanism. So why am I telling you all this? Well it’s simple really, being an already anxious person and now being pregnant and pregnant during a worldwide pandemic having to attend appointments alone was incredibly hard!
Personally I feel that the mental health side of pregnancy isn’t very spoken about anyway. You go through a lot of changes during pregnancy with your body, and a good chunk of them is related to your hormones. Hormone changes can contribute to your mental health, as much as physical changes to your body can. For example, if you’ve struggled with body image you may struggle with the fact you are getting larger as the baby gets bigger. This isn’t something to be ashamed off and you definitely shouldn’t feel guilty either. Pregnancy can be the most beautiful thing but also the most challenging, and I hope that the mental health side of it can be spoken about more and be naturally discussed like the physical changes are.
So moving on from the announcement we were going into Lockdown, this meant all appointments now would follow the similar pattern of being alone and feeling confused. I would go into my appointments with all these questions in my head that we both wanted answering, but the anxiety would take over and id walk out with no answers. Even if I wrote them down on my phone, I’d say a good 8/10 questions were unanswered because I hadn’t asked them. I would feel incredibly sad watching our baby wriggling around on the screen at scans because I was the only one seeing it, as unfortunately the NHS doesn’t allow you to record your scans. Id feel a heavy feeling walking out with only a picture of a baby foot because little one hadn’t kept still for a full body shot. I dreaded going to midwife appointments because I just felt so deflated.
Then we have the scares. We had two in total; one where baby hadn’t moved all day and he was usually a very active baby. This was around the end of March. I have never felt fear like it in my life, as you will automatically think the worst. I rung my triage, could barely speak, but they said to come in and after pulling myself together (with my partners help) I drove us the the hospital. As I walked in the usual thoughts crossed my mind, I hope baby is okay. But then due to being in a pandemic and super anxious, I had the terrifying thoughts of ‘what if baby isn’t okay, how do I tell his dad over a text or over the phone that something has happened’, ‘how will he get home if I have to stay in’, ‘what if this is all over and I’m here alone and can’t even tell my partner this journey has ended’. I am absolutely grateful that baby was fine, he started wriggling around the minute they put the monitors on and all stats were fine so I was allowed to go home. But those thoughts shouldn’t be something we have to experience, but unfortunately due to what’s happening with coronavirus I know I’m not the only one who has had to think like that. And unfortunately I know there’s people out there who had to experience those thoughts as an awful reality. Our second scare was around May/June time. I had bad pains in my lower stomach and pelvic area, so we went to a different hospital with my mother-in-law taking us this time as I could no longer drive and to keep my partner company so he wasn’t alone. Tests were run and it was ruled as normal pains, I presume pelvic girdle as a few weeks later I was told that’s what I was suffering with. Again those thoughts creep in, but this time it was ‘what if this is premature labour’, ‘how does this work during a pandemic, like when does my partner get to come in’, and ‘what if something awful happens’. Again all thoughts I had alone in a hospital bed with only the bleeping of the monitors attached to me for baby keeping me company.
Then we had labour… I went naturally into labour the evening before my induction, typical right, and went from nothing to 3cm quite quickly. Then from 3cm to 4cm even quicker. I was so grateful for this as at 3cm there were no beds on the ward and my partner couldn’t come in until I was in active labour. So once we went back to the hospital an hour after leaving, I was in active labour and moved to delivery with my partner meeting us there. Now we had come to terms with doing labour just us, but we hadn’t prepared for the possibility of hospital stays and separation. Something that since has been agreed shouldn’t have happened, but everything was so strange as again we were in the middle of a pandemic. This again for me was really hard, I was in a different hospital to my baby and alone. I, like all the other moms who have gave birth during the pandemic, had no visitors. Now normally I don’t mind my own company, but this was different. I was discharged the next day and man did I count down the minutes till I got to go into NICU at the other hospital and see my baby boy!
But NICU was just as lonely. We had to go in one at a time to see our boy, which led to us making the decision that I would stay with him for a large period of the day whilst my partner did errands. This was because I couldn’t really walk, having had a csection, and couldn’t do back and forth travelling to much due to how uncomfortable being in a car was. I was also in a lot of pain, very emotional (quite a usual reaction after just having a baby), and I was processing everything that had and was happening.
Once our boy came home things started to feel less lonely and more scary. I was a new mom, with a tiny baby who had struggled with breathing. My partner was a new dad, we were excited to be starting our new chapter as a family of three. But still surrounded by so much uncertainty due to coronavirus. After a few weeks things started to feel less lonely, we had started to get into the swing of things and due to a mixture of lockdown and me still being vulnerable, I had my partner around more than the month we had originally prepared for.
Months later and I can now safely say that despite the loneliness I truly believe we benefited from having time to ourselves with a new baby. It didn’t start straight away due to little ones health and my csection, but when it did happen it allowed us to learn and grow as a family together. And for that I am truly grateful that we were able to do that, thanks to the pandemic.
I would love to hear your experience of having a baby in a pandemic! Especially as pregnancy is different person to person, so please feel free to comment below x
Gender was becoming a big topic for us in Trimester Two! We had a private scan at 16 weeks, they were able to see the gender clearly and they popped the gender scan and the gender in an envelope for us. At our 20 week NHS scan we made sure that they didn’t tell us the gender. Little did we know before closing out eyes that this would be the last time my fiancé would see our little one…
At the beginning of March we found out at a Gender Reveal we were having a boy! A massive shock as I was convinced he was going to be a girl. But honestly we didn’t care if he was a boy or girl, we just wanted a healthy baby.
Then the 15th March 2020 came… It was the day before I was due to return to work after a week if annual leave and celebrating my birthday in London with my Fiancé and lots of incredible GF food. My Head of Department called me a few days before asking about my vulnerability status to Covid-19 as the Government were putting new rules into place. After reviewing the information from Direct Gov it was ruled I was vulnerable as I was pregnant. We still weren’t sure about my medical conditions. I was feeling so anxious about what was going to happen over the next few days.
As of March 16th until my maternity leave started on June 1st, I was working from home 24/7. Until I physically could no long drive, excluding two days for when a family member passed away and attending their funeral, we were in social isolation. This meant I couldn’t see anyone and unfortunately my fiancé couldn’t either. We were incredibly grateful that his employers ruled anyone living with or pregnant themselves were to remain at home.
Then the government announced Lockdown. We discovered as someone with Coeliac Disease I am more prone to bacterial pneumonia and as Covid-19 was causing many to have pneumonia and I hadn’t had my vaccine for pneumonia yet I was even more vulnerable.
My mental health was very affected but with the help of my amazing fiancé, FaceTiming our family and closest friends, and my incredible team I had a lot of support! Unfortunately when it came to midwife appointments and scans, I had to go alone. Baby boy was a massive wriggler so we never after 20 weeks got a clear chance of a scan for Daddy! With the NHS you cant record your scan, so from 20 Weeks until he was born Daddy only felt and saw belly movements. I now feel more positively towards the scans as Ted got to attend the two standard scans. All the additional ones I went to that he couldn’t attend were due to having health conditions myself.
Aside from being in a pandemic and my mental health taking a plummet, pregnancy wise trimester two was a lot nicer to me! My sickness subsided finally at 4.5 – 5 months, I could finally feel baby moving at 24 weeks and being at home meant I was keeping my feet up more.
My bump was growing, baby boy was doing well and I was being consumed by heartburn by the end of month 5! Milk, milkshakes, ice cold drinks and orange heartburn relief chews where my best friends! My gestational diabetes check came back negative and my regular annual health check came back fine too.
All in all months 4-6 were relatively nice pregnancy wise, it was everything else around me that wasn’t quite right. But again, we were in a pandemic, national lockdown and I was self isolating. Three things I and Ted have never experienced before…
I would love to hear how your second trimester was. Comment below sharing your memories and remember everyones pregnancy journey is different!