Thursday, December 10, 2009


It isn't just what I eat that causes problems, skin within, skin without all reacts. We recently had a washing machine crisis. We had to take piles of clothes to the only laundrette in town which only does service washes. I took our own washing liquid, and conditioner - both Surecare unscented, but the clothes came back with an unpleasant scent, I think tumble dryer sheets.
It didn't occur to me they would be used, and you would think the Surecare would give some clue to the fact I can't have perfumed stuff. So a couple of weeks later some articles still have that whiff, though the machine is back in action and I am eliminating it as fast as I can!

So I have really sore eyes, feel really tired and can't do much, feel awful. Lets hope I get rid of the stuff quick.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I am not coeliac

Thanks for the tip Caroline, and wherever I go and mention I have problems with wheat it is assumed that I am a coeliac.

I wish it was that easy. I can't eat wheat, even with gluten removed, I can't eat any other grain apart from rice and I can't eat maize/corn/sweetcorn.

I cannot eat things with colouring, preservatives, there is a long list. I have had problems with tomatoes and with fruit, it is very restricting and when eating out very difficult.

At work they are booking up for the Christmas meal and before I could say I would go to the place that was being offered I had to ring and talk to the chef about ingredients. He was very nice (French too) and put my mind at ease, and said if I give him a list of what I can't eat he will make sure I don't get any of in the food.

It is a very long list and it is easier to list what I can safely eat.

I have had allergy tests, only for the major food groups and the nice doctor said you are not allergic to any of them so go away and eat anything you like - I wish I could. When I try I usually suffer afterwards, sometimes I just have to try and eat the things I love, shame they make me ill.

I have had endoscopies, colonoscopies, and a biopsy, the charming doctor (who did every one of them over several years) told me he never wanted to see me again, and the feeling is mutual - I didn't ask for the tests I only wanted help with the symptoms, unfortunately the first test they send me for every time is that one!

One time my doctor told me I couldn't be coeliac as I was too fat!

I wish I could be normal, grab a quick sandwich, eat the buffet, not have to take in food that I have to heat in the kitchen and stink it out of fish and get complaints.

I only eat fish or organic chicken, no other meat.

Last night I didn't know what to eat, didn't really fancy anything I normally have so ended up cooking a pan of rice pasta and making up a cheese sauce using rice flour and adding onions fried in butter (in fact they were the base of the sauce) as I must eat some vegetables to keep my system in order, and I added organic cheese and fresh basil.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Peppermint Tea

I am fussy about my peppermint tea, and I used to try and get Heath and Heather organic peppermint tea which (in my opinion) had a far superior taste to any other make.

The shop I used to get it from (GNC in Bath) closed, and I had to hunt the internet to find the tea, and I managed to do that but you have to faff around each time on the site, and postage was high, I was normally buying other things but service was variable.

Then one day when I had run out and was in Tesco I found Taylor's of Harrogate organic peppermint tea, which not only was in a larger size box than H&H but is as good if not better.

So when I had got used to that Tesco stopped selling it boo hoo! First I was cross, then thought I will try and find it online.

Off searching again online and I found it at a site called Tea World. They have a wide selection but to find the above I had to search by manufacturer, searching for organic peppermint tea doesn't find it strangely.

The really good thing about Tea World is that postage is free if you spend over £35 and they always send you some free samples with your order so you can try other teas, and there are lots to choose from.

I can also highly recommend Pukka Three Mint tea and Tea Pigs mint and liquorice tea bags - oh and I recently bought some of the Duchy organic peppermint tea when away on holiday, from a Sainsburys, and that was very nice too (and may have been talked to by HRH)!

Friday, January 23, 2009

New product

I was thrilled to find that Doves Farm now make organic rice pasta only containing brown rice, and Tesco stock it. It is also much cheaper than the pasta mentioned below but so far only one shape is available in my Tesco (penne).

Thanks Doves Farm, I love it.

How organic is organic?

I used to drive past an organic farm on my way to work, they had a bakery making bread and cakes from their own grain, and a small shop where you could buy the goods and a few other organic products.
On Thursday they had a delivery of organic veg which they set up on a table in the barn, that was the best day to buy it as they left the barn door open and the sun was on the veg every day. After I suggested they should move the table back into the shade in the barn they did this and it made a difference.
The baker used to check the veg and select the most unappealing dried up veg to cook into pasties.

When the supermarkets cottoned on to the organic food idea the farm shop closed down as they couldn't compete on price.

Those early days of supermarket "organic" were interesting. The produce had some words in very small print on the packaging stating that the produce was grown with less chemicals or something like that.

There was a two page spread in a national newspaper once that compared organic chickens in various supermarkets from the most upmarket downwards and only two of them stocked genuine organic chicken, and they weren't the ones you would have thought of first!

I believe that the only truly organic food carries the soil association logo, there is another organic standard that was introduced by the supermarkets to get round being able to call food "organic" and that is the one that gives the food a bad name where farmers can just alter one item in the food of chickens and call them "organic" (I have heard this from a farming family), and maybe put less chemicals on the crops but not have the clean soil that the soil association demands.

Now the reason that I thought of this is that I recently bought "organic" food in two different supermarkets, M&S and Sainsburys, the veg and chicken I bought didn't have soil association on the packaging, and I worry about that. I think some of Sainsbury's food has the logo though but not all.

Tesco and Waitrose on the other hand do have soil association on the packaging so I feel happy about buying it.

Packaging is a different story, if like me you hate the amount of packaging that has to go to landfill and welcome compostable packaging you will be thrilled to find your "plastic" bag is compostable.
Tesco do sell some organic food in totally compostable packaging but not consistently, one week yes one week no, and not all of it.

For example there are packs of 4 pears ready to eat (from the USA so lots of food miles too) and they are in the most amazing poly clear shell with about three layers. This is not recyclable round here.

Sainsburys sell all their organic produce in compostable bags from my experience, good for you Sainsburys. M&S don't appear to do this at all, not the stores I visit anyway! Waitrose also use compostable packaging.

I was really disappointed to hear the promised Waitrose is not now coming to town, they sell a lot of the things I want in one place. I don't blame them with the current economic climate but we are doomed to many more years of derelict factories and mount crushmore (the pile of rubble that used to be Tesco before they built a much bigger store on the town outdoor swimming pool leaving the old store empty, to be knocked down later by a developer that never seemed to want to actually build something that might be competition for Tesco, funny that).