Coeliac UK Awareness Week: Eating Out

To mark Coeliac UK Awareness Week (8–14 May 2017) we’re looking at the ins and outs of eating out if you’re Coeliac with the help of Alex Gazzola. 

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Gluten Freevolution logo, Coeliac UK Awareness Week (used with permission)

You can’t always eat food prepared in your newly safe Gluten Free kitchen. There will come a time when you will want or need to consume food prepared by people you don’t know at restaurants and other outlets – or indeed order meals for home delivery.

Dining out is one of life’s great pleasures, and you shouldn’t deny yourself. For many, picking up a quick bite for lunch is a normal part of their working day, and business dinners and family social events are regular events for lots of us.

That said, mistakes are more likely when you’re away from home and less in control over the food you eat, so it’s not something you can treat lightly or be overconfident about. It is vital to understand what you can and cannot eat – it’s unfair to expect others to if you don’t.

Where to eat

Ask for recommendations. Fellow, long-standing coeliacs will know of good places, as will your local coeliac group. Coeliac UK has a Venue Guide and offers a GF Catering accreditation scheme to food outlets who meet certain criteria and standards. Many GF bloggers review restaurants and share tips on social media. Most restaurants and chains provide menus online.

The ‘chippie’

With GF batter and careful cross-contamination controls – separate oil and frying areas for fish covered in gluten-containing batter, for instance – many fish and chip shops can now cater for coeliacs, and some hold special events once a week or month where they go entirely GF for the evening or day.

Fast-food chains

Some of the popular fast-food chains’ products are listed in the Food and Drink Directory, and these chains will gladly give you a list of GF food served.


Some pub chains have a GF menu, and some privately owned pubs or ‘gastropubs’ have good options. It’s always worth checking that GF beers are available!


With pizza and pasta galore, Italian restaurants used to be fairly coeliac-unfriendly in the British Isles, but the situation has improved tremendously in recent years and most high street pizzerias now offer both GF pastas and at least ‘no gluten-containing ingredients’ pizzas, for example. Others may add toppings to your own brought in GF pizza base – but you must stress that it would need to be baked in a clean oven.


Wheat noodles and soy sauce are an obvious source of gluten, but there’s also the problem of the tradition of wiping but not washing a wok, causing possible cross-contamination.


Traditional Indian cooking – especially from the south – is largely GF. Watch out for breads such as naans. Chickpea flour is the usual thickening agent, though, which is naturally free from gluten. Ask about cross-contamination of deep-fried foods. With lots of rice dishes, Indian food can be a good option.


A lot of sushi is naturally free from gluten, but do check. Check the crabsticks and soy sauce too.

Sandwich and salad bars

Some sandwich bars have GF sandwiches. In salads, any grain should be checked, but gluten may be ‘hiding’ in dressings too. Those bars that allow you to make up your own salads and choose your own dressings are the safest.

Coffee and tea

Cafés and teahouses increasingly stock GF sweet treats and sometimes modest lunch options, and many upmarket hotels now offer GF afternoon tea, with sandwiches and cakes.

Planning ahead

Pre-planning is helpful and reassuring to you; however, more and more chefs and catering staff are now fully aware of CD and understand that it is not a fad diet. You are increasingly likely to find dishes labelled ‘gluten free’ – if not a dedicated GF menu.

  • Phone ahead. Speak with the head waiter or chef, if you can. Try in mid-afternoon during a quiet period. Ask whether those on a GFD can be well catered for, and what may be available.
  • Give examples. Explain which kinds of meals are naturally free from gluten or easily adapted to a GFD, such as rice-based meals and meat, fish and vegetable dishes, and where gluten may ‘lurk’, such as stock cubes and thickened sauces.
  • Satisfy yourself that the kitchen understands cross-contamination issues, e.g. that the spoon used to stir wheaten pasta cannot be used to stir your corn pasta.
  • Convey the severity of your condition. Don’t just say ‘I can’t eat gluten,’ use powerful words: ‘I have coeliac disease’ or ‘Consuming even a trace of gluten will make me extremely ill.’
  • Get family, friends and colleagues ‘on side’ before you go out. Let them know about your dietary needs and that you will need to talk about them, so you don’t feel embarrassed when the time comes and they can support you as needed.
  • If you’re not comfortable with the arrangements and don’t feel reassured that you can be safely catered for, then change your plans.

This is an extract from Coeliac Disease: What you need to know

Visit the Coeliac UK website for more information about Coeliac UK Awareness Week and how to get involved.





Sheldon Press’s New Titles: May 2017

Following on from our brilliant April title, Dr Jane McGregor’s Coping with Aggressive Behaviour, Sheldon Press is delighted to reveal all the information you need to get to know our May releases.

First u9781847094537p is Understanding Hoarding by expert declutterer and Director of Hoarding Disorders UK CIC, Jo Cooke.

Compulsive hoarding can make life a misery, affecting health, well-being and lifestyle, and posing a significant risk of fire, illness, infestation and other dangers. Hoarding touches the whole family and, in extreme cases, impinges on basic freedoms, such as space in which to eat, do paperwork or even sleep. Packed with practical advice, Understanding Hoarding aims to help those with hoarding difficulties and those who live with them. It is also a useful resource for friends and professionals. Topics include: what hoarding is; what triggers hoarding; why an intensive clear-out doesn’t work; decluttering tips and tricks; how to help a hoarder; where your stuff goes; therapies and resources; what the professionals say; hoarders; stories.

The hoarder’s journey can be a long and complex one but, in this useful book, expert Jo Cooke says that it is possible to take control of your life and your stuff.


Our second May release is Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Adults by Dr Luke Beardon.

Autism is still persistently viewed as a disorder or impairment, but this concept needs to be challenged. Written by a university lecturer with decades of experience in the field, this helpful book presents an up-to-date overview of autism and Asperger Syndrome. Dr Luke Beardon examines aspects of adult life, including further and higher education, employment, dating and parenthood, and what they mean for autistic people. Topics include: terminology and what’s preferred; diagnosis and related issues; tips for undiagnosed adults; understanding the impact of autism on the individual; sensory issues; transition into adulthood; friendships and intimate relationships; the criminal justice system – what happens when autistic people break the law.

In this sensitive and insightful book, Dr Luke Beardon tackles myths and stereotypes about autism, and clearly explains its implications in adulthood.

Our may releases are out now and available to buy from Books etc. 


The Sheldon Press April Release

Sheldon Press is delighted to be publishing a book by Dr Jane McGregor, on the 20th of April 2017, which invites readers to consider how they cope with aggressive behavior.


The following comes from the back cover of this beautifully designed, medically informed book:

Aggression is a complex issue, not least because what one person sees as an acceptable form of expressing anger or frustration may be seen by others as an aggressive act. This practical book explores the difference between positive and pathological expressions of anger, and explains how to transform your approach to dealing with aggression, both yours and other people’s. Packed full of strategies for handling relations with others, it will help transform your dealings with aggressors as you go about everyday life. 

Topics discussed include:
– the nature of anger
– passive aggression and how to recognise it
– covert aggression
– open aggression and outright hostility
– cyber and online bullying
– useful conversational gambits
– empathy and why our culture needs it

Coping with Aggressive Behaviour is available to preorder now via Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle editions!

Try out this FODMAP-friendly Spaghetti Bolognese recipe (IBS Awareness Month)

Irritable bowel syndrom (IBS) is a disorder of the function of the bowel. It is a very common condition that can affect anyone, although women are twice as likely as men to suffer. In her book, Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBSDr Dawn Harper says that IBS ‘affects as many as one in five of us and can occur at any age, but most people first notice symptoms in their twenties or thirties and often people find that symptoms improve in later life.’ 

To mark IBS Awareness Month this April we’re sharing one of the recipes by dietitian Azmina Govindji from Dr Dawn’s book since knowing what to eat can be a real struggle for people with IBS. Filled with effective tips and suggestions, Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS can help you to enjoy your food again if you are affected by IBS. 

We hope you enjoy this family- and FODMAP-friendly recipe.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Prep 10 mins. Cook 35 mins. Serves 4

  • 1½ tbsp of garlic-infused oil
  • 1 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 500 g of lean minced beef, lamb or
  • 1 Maggi beef stock pot or Knorr
  • Mixed Herbs Flavour Pot (see Box,
    page 45)
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1–2 tsp of herbs of choice e.g.
  • dried oregano, mixed herbs or
  • 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 25 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 300 g dried ‘free from’
  • Bacon rashers, finely sliced

Heat 1½ tbsp of garlic-infused oil and if you wish, add 1 tsp asafoetida powder along with 500 g of lean minced beef, lamb or turkey. Brown the mince over a low heat for 3–4 minutes. Add the stock or Flavour Pot, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, 1 large finely chopped carrot and 2 sticks of finely chopped celery. Stir-fry to blend the ingredients together. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste and a teaspoon of herbs of your choice e.g. dried oregano, mixed herbs or basil. Stir for a few minutes on a medium heat. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes with the juices. Season, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the ‘free from’ spaghetti until al dente. Serve the cooked Bolognese mince on top of a bed of spaghetti and sprinkle with a handful of grated Parmesan. For an enhanced meat flavour, you could also add a couple of finely sliced bacon rashers while the mince is browning.


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Cover: Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS

Dr Dawn’s Guide to Healthy Eating for IBS is now available

The Sheldon Press March Release

As we hinted at in a recent extract posted on our blog, Sheldon Press is proud to be publishing ‘Parenting Your Disabled Child’ by Dr Margaret Barrett.

The Sheldon PressMarch Release

This little book is jam-packed with wise counsel and helpful suggestions, from the emotional roller coaster of diagnosis through to strategies for babies and toddlers with developmental delay, sensory impairment or learning difficulties.

Sensitive and practical, this book addresses the common concerns of parenting, such as feeding, sleeping, toileting, and the thorny question of discipline.

Dr Barrett writes as a qualified teacher of mentally disabled children, who has helped families in several countries including Switzerland, Australia, Finland, Sri Lanka and Japan. In her dedication for the book, you can sense the author’s compassion and care:

This book is dedicated to the courageous little souls throughout  the world who have enriched my life, to their parents who have pushed me to keep on looking for answers to their many questions and problems, to other like-minded people who are striving to provide a better quality of life for children with disabilities, and to my family who have never stopped believing in me

You can preorder now from Amazon, or save over 40% by ordering from

Eating Disorders Awareness Week: The importance of early intervention

It’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week (27 February–5 March 2017). To help raise awareness of these mental illnesses, forthcoming author Emma Woolf explores this year’s key theme, Early Intervention.

 One of the single most important aspects of the treatment of eating disorders is early intervention. It is clear that the sooner one intervenes to tackle disordered eating, the more effectively it can be treated. This is simply because disordered eating becomes habitual – and human beings are creatures of habit. The spiral of self-starving or binge-purging can be hard to escape.

‘One of the single most important aspects of the treatment of eating disorders is early intervention.’

Early intervention is also essential from a health perspective: while early-onset eating disorders (i.e. before puberty) are relatively rare, the number of children developing them does appear to be increasing. The damage of a childhood eating disorder, in physical, social, educational and emotional terms, can be even more severe than eating disorders in adolescents and adults as it occurs at a time of crucial development, and could lead to delayed maturation and stunted growth, among other things.

‘The number of children developing [eating disorders] does appear to be increasing.’

Socially, individuals with eating disorders also suffer isolation and depression, which in turn affects their education, work and family lives. Physical, social and emotional problems tend to intensify the longer the illness goes on, and the illness becomes more difficult (and expensive) to treat.

‘Early intervention is essential from a health perspective.’

For all these reasons, spotting the warning signs and understanding the symptoms is imperative for effective mental health treatment. Early intervention is essential in this process.

Emma Woolf is a writer and journalist. Born and brought up in London, she studied English at Oxford University. She worked in publishing for ten years before going freelance and now writes for The Times, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia, Red, Psychologies and Top Sante, among others. Her media appearances include Newsnight, and Woman’s Hour and she was a co-presenter on Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny.

Emma is the great-niece of Virginia Woolf and her previous books include bestselling An Apple a Day (2012), The Ministry of Thin (2013), Letting Go (2015), and Positively Primal (2016.)

Emma recently talked about the importance of healthy role models and going back to basics with exercise and diet regimes at Food Matters Live. You can still catch up here.

A-Z of Eating Disorders.jpg This is an edited extract from Emma’s forthcoming book, The A-Z of Eating Disorders out this September.

Extract: Parenting Your Disabled Child

If you or someone you know has a baby or child with disabilities, then our March release, Parenting Your Disabled Child, is for you. Whether the problem is picked up in pregnancy or after birth, or is a result of an accident or sudden illness, Margaret Barrett takes you through the emotional roller coaster of diagnosis and on to coping strategies for babies and toddlers with developmental delay, sensory impairment or learning difficulties.

9781847094513Below is an edited extract from the introduction:

The very fact that you are taking the time to look at this book suggests you or somebody close to you has been touched by the possibility of something being wrong with their child. If that is the case, you are probably at the beginning of a long journey aimed at finding out what you can do, where you can go for help. Whether this is your first or fifth baby, whether you are a novice parent or an experienced grandparent, that path is likely to be long and you will experience difficulties along the way.

The cause of the disability might be brain damage, a genetic or chromosomal disorder, metabolic disease or traumatic injury. The symptoms can include such things as cerebral palsy, developmental delay, sensory impairment, movement disorder and learning difficulties. Whatever the cause and symptoms, one thing all of you who find yourselves in this situation will have in common is the feeling of devastation, helplessness and uncertainty.

Some of you will have known from very soon after the birth – or even the later stages of pregnancy – that something has been discovered about your baby. For some this is seen as beneficial, in that they feel they can quickly get to grips with the situation and be directed towards agencies offering help, but for others the shock is overwhelming and can delay or even halt the bonding process as they try to come to terms with the fact that they will not have the normal healthy baby they were expecting. Generally speaking, though, finding out so quickly means that you might immediately lower your expectations with respect to your child’s development and adopt the attitude that any progress, however slight, will be welcome.

Some of you will have endured – and indeed may still be enduring – months of feeling instinctively that things are not right before obtaining confirmation of your suspicions. It might be argued that this scenario is easier to cope with, in that you will already have bonded with your baby before having to face up to the difficulties ahead. This can be counterbalanced, however, by an increasing lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy if people fail to take your concerns seriously. While you will most probably have started out with normal expectations for your child, your introduction to disability will have been via a continued failure to reach milestones, which might result in a ‘He’ll never be able to achieve anything’ frame of mind.

Then there are those of you who, in what seems like an instant – a squeal of brakes, a sudden illness, a bang on the head – will have had to come to terms with the loss of the energetic outgoing child you knew and, instead, care for one who is as helpless and dependent as a newborn. As well as having to learn how to physically care for your child, you might also have had to replace the likelihood of university and a career with the hope that there might be some advances in regaining mobility and learning to communicate again. In some cases, there might be the additional agony of overwhelming feelings of guilt – you should have held on to him to prevent him running into the road, you should have noticed her high fever sooner, you should have stopped your child from climbing or whatever it was.

Too often, parents and close family members become so bogged down by the idea of disability, so wrapped up in hospital appointments, so bound by times of administering medication, so afraid that they will not be able to cope with or cater for their child’s needs, that they end up seeing the child as a problem and fail to recognize what is very often a dear little personality within. To me this is nothing less than a tragedy, since childhood is precious, whatever the situation, and something that can never be relived or recaptured. If I have one hope for this book, it is that it will help at least a few parents to find ways to cope with the prospect of raising a child with disabilities and enable them to experience the pleasures and pride which should be theirs by right.

The [book] contains some points that you should try to bear in mind as you are caring for your disabled baby. None of them is intended as a magic formula that will suddenly remove the problems associated with being the parents of a baby with a disability, but it is hoped that at least some of them may help you put things into perspective and make it a little easier to cope with the situation on a day-to-day basis. . .

Whether you read [it] from cover to cover, dip into chapters as you feel them to be relevant or come back to it time and time again for reassurance, I hope somewhere within these pages you will find guidance and support that enables you to become the relaxed and confident parent your disabled child is going to need.

Parenting Your Disabled Child is out 16 March 2017. More information can be found here.  

Extract: Living with Multiple Sclerosis

The last few years have witnessed a revolution in our understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS) and new treatments have transformed the prospects for many who have this chronic disease.

9781847094131Living with Multiple Sclerosis explains the latest thinking on the medical management of MS. It explores how to ease symptoms such as balance and mobility problems  and how to get the best from medical treatments. The book also suggests self-help techniques and lifestyle changes that may help.





Topics include:

  • types of MS
  • diagnosis
  • drug treatment
  • managing side effects
  • treating pain and fatigue
  • bladder, bowel, swallowing and other problems
  • coping with the mental and emotional burden
  • diet and MS
  • complementary and alternative remedies

In this informative and reassuring book, Mark Greener says, take heart – while a cure is yet to be found, increasingly, MS is a manageable disease .

Living with Multiple Sclerosis is out next Thursday and is currently available to pre-order. You can read an extract from the book here

Extract: The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book by Tessa Buckley

Increasingly, the evidence is that nutritious food can improve the health and well-being of those with MS.

9781847094155The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book explains the role that a healthy eating diet may play in MS, as well as other autoimmune diseases, such as coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes.

The new edition of this popular book has been updated and includes information about the Overcoming MS and Wahls diets. It also presents research findings into the importance of vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids, and discusses the effects salt and sugar may have on people with MS.



Topics include:

  • types of diet, including the low-fat, Best Bet and paleo diets
  • which foods to eat, which foods to avoid and why
  • supplements – benefits and dangers
  • food intolerance
  • practical advice on food preparation
  • coping with problems such as swallowing and fatigue
  • new recipes
  • updated case histories

This detailed guide presents a wealth of information to help you get the very best from nutritional therapy if you have MS.

The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book is out on 16 February 2017 and is currently available to pre-order. You can read an extract from the book here

Sheldon Press – February 2017 Covers

Following our exciting January publication of Alcohol Recover: The Mindful Way by our Author of the Month Catherine G. Lucas, Sheldon Press is excited to publish two new books in February!


Today we can reveal the titles, covers and authors, and we’ll be sure to give you more information on these two new books, both dealing with Multiple Sclerosis, before publication day on the 16th of February.

Two great books for living, coping and thriving whilst suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Available soon from good bookshops and online.

You can preorder The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book from Amazon now!

Living with Multiple Sclerosis is also available for Amazon preorder!

Keep an eye on the Sheldon Press Twitter feed and our Facebook Page!