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The magic of visualisation worked, I won the £20 Tesco gift card in the Safer Eating competition.
What better way to beat the January blues, than to spend my winnings on a free-from food stash. Part of my task was also to see just how much I could get for £20. I only went over a little bit.

WARBURTONS LOAF (Reduced price of £1.53)

B FREE BROWN SEEDED LOAF (Reduced price of 94p) I snapped up these half loaves that were at a reduced price, as you can freeze them and then just take the slices out when you need them. Perfect for smashed avocado on toast in an emergency.

KIKKOMAN SOY SAUCE (£2.60) Another everyday store-cupboard staple. I don’t reserve this simply for stir-fries, it’s also great on mushrooms, chickpeas, potatoes or Brussels sprouts.

KOKO COCONUT MILK (£1.40) 1 cup Koko milk, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp ginger and a pinch of black pepper makes a delicious golden milk.

NATURE’S STORE MILK CHOC RICE CAKES (Reduced price of 38p) Couldn’t pass up on these at 38p – bargain!

THE COCONUT COLLABORATIVE CHOC POTS (£2) The richest, smoothest, silkiest chocolate – and all without the scary dairy.

GOSH! MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKPEA BAKES (£2.50) These are really tasty chickpea burgers with red pepper and Moroccan spices. They’re gluten and dairy free and handy to have in the freezer so you can bung them in the oven when time is short. To be honest, I don’t rate the rest of their line of products (I find them all very tasteless), but these are the exception to the rule.

CORN FLAKES (£1.43) A move away from my daily routine of morning oats…  thought I would give these a try as a lighter breakfast for when we move into the warmer, springtime weather (I can’t wait).

OATLY CUSTARD (£1.20) When I cut out dairy, I REALLY missed custard. On discovering this, my heart skipped a beat. It’s thick, yellow and vanilla-tasting – just like custard should be.

COYO CHOC YOGHURT (£2) Coyo yoghurts aren’t the texture of your regular yoghurt, they are much thicker and almost like a soft cream type of consistency – but oh so coconutty, they are divine.

COCONUT OIL (£3) Pretty sure I’m going to turn into a coconut, but it really seems to agree with me inside and out. I use it for cooking, hair masks and dry skin salve.

SANDWICH THINS (£1.80) I made these (awesome) mini pizzas with them.

TOTAL: £20.78

By Jemma Woolley – our lucky guest blogger who has multiple allergies


Ah Ah Ah Ah… Keeping him alive, keeping him alive

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m director of a company called Omnes Healing and the mother of Rory Mason (the second most allergic boy in Leeds). Thank you, Rory, for the vote of confidence in your blog: The key to staying alive for my first 18 years… Mum’s the word. But I do not think I can take full credit for your continued presence in this world as you have a lovely wife now who has come up with some amazing recipes to provide a safe and varied diet for you. (Frankly, much better than the boring food I used to serve).

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For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the second most allergic person in Leeds (see my first blog for more info). I was unsure of what to write about next so Safer Eating suggested I write about how I cope with allergies. Karen assured me this is what people want to know, so allow me to do my best. If I can help even just one person, it will be worth it.

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We have a very exciting competition for all you tricky eaters. How would you like to win a £20 Tesco card, some gorgeous truffles or tasty treats from new free-from brand, Happy Snacks?

All you have to do is nominate your favourite place to eat out, where the free-from options and service are awesome. It’s dead easy to do on our website safereating.co.uk.

Closing date: December 19th. Winners announced the following day. Winners selected at random, so the more places you nominate, the greater your chance of winning.

Please note, you have to register at safereating.co.uk to be able to nominate a venue. (That’s easy peasy too – and free!)

Prizes up for grabs are:
*A £20 Tesco gift card to spend on amazing free-from products


*A dozen beautiful dairy-free and vegan chocolate (dark and gin) truffles from Chocology of York


*A pre-launch stash of free-from chickpeas and fava bean snacks from the fantastic Happy Snack Company UK (14 allergen free)

Terms and conditions for competition 05/12/2017

  • Entry is open to residents of the UK except employees (and their families) of Time Inc. (UK), its printers and agents, the suppliers of the prizes and any other companies associated with the competitions.
  • The entrant(s) must be aged 18 or over. Proof of identity and age may be required.
  • Use of a false name or address will result in disqualification.
  • Entries that are incomplete, illegible, indecipherable, or inaudible (if made by phone) will not be valid and deemed void.
  • All entries must be made directly by the person entering the competition.
  • Entries made online using methods generated by a script, macro or the use of automated devices will be void.
  • No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, damaged or delayed in the post, or due to computer error in transit.
  • Prizes are subject to availability and the prize suppliers’ terms and conditions
  • The promoters reserve the right to amend or alter the terms of competitions at any time and reject entries from entrants not entering into the spirit of the competition.
  • In the event of a prize being unavailable, the promoter reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.
  • The winner(s) agree(s) to the use of their name and disclosure of county of residence (and a photo if they consent to this).
  • All entrants must have registered as a tricky eater at safereating.co.uk and also nominated at least one venue
  • Unless stated otherwise the winner(s) will be drawn at random from all correct nominations received between 7.30pm 05/12/2017 to 11.59pm on 19/12/2017.
  • Reasonable efforts will be made to contact the winners. If the winner(s) cannot be contacted, or are unable to comply with these terms and conditions, the Promoter reserves the right to offer the prize to the next eligible entrant drawn at random, or in the event that the promotion.
  • Confirmation of the prize will be made in writing to the winner(s).
  • Failure to respond and/or provide an address for delivery, or failure to meet the eligibility requirements may result in forfeiture of the prize.
  • Competitions may be modified or withdrawn at any time.
  • The provider of the prize is specified within the promotional material.
  • The Promoter is The Safer Eating Company Ltd in collaboration with Tesco, The Happy Snacks Company UK and Chocology of York.
  • In the event of a discrepancy between these standard terms and conditions and the details in the promotional material (or any other terms and conditions provided/referred to at the time of entry), the details of the promotional material (and any other terms and conditions provided/referred to at the time of entry) shall prevail.
  • A list of winners will be available by emailing info@safereating.co.uk from 20th Only the surname and county of the winners will be disclosed.

Eating out gluten free
Recently I’ve felt I am becoming less and less like a tricky eater. Things have considerably improved year on year since I was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2012. And even then, things were not too hopeless on the gluten-free front.

The thing I’ve noticed is that if, heaven forbid, I forget my lunch or food, I can usually find somewhere to buy another lunch or at least get the ingredients to make up a gluten and dairy-free sandwich or something. On the most part, I no longer have to survive on pure air or a bag of crisps if I’m lucky.

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Trick or treat (My 5 year-old mini-coeliac’s first ever carved pumpkin)

It’s trick or treat time. Yipee! How excited do the kids get (erm, and the adults of course)!? it’s just fantastic.

We’ll be getting dressed up as witches, slightly lower key to the Old Gregg costume I wore on Saturday night (for any Boosh fans out there – “Ever drunk Baileys from a shoe?”). We’ll be armed with buckets and going to knock on a few doors.

Old Gregg Halloween Old Gregg Halloween costume

But what do you need to consider when you are going trick or treating with tricky eaters?

Here’s some of our top tips…

1. Depending on how severe the child’s symptoms/reactions are, allow them to accept everything, so you don’t make the ‘giver’ feel bad, but then swap anything that is not safe at home. Have a little stash of safe treats. Then Mum or Dad gets the rest.

2. Warn your neighbours that you will be trick or treating with tricky eaters. If your child reacts when handling the allergen, one way to get around it would be to take safe treats to your neighbours prior to going trick or treating.

3. Keep wrappers of any sweets you have so you can double-check ALL labels.

4. Be really careful of hidden ingredients in sweets. The problem is, there are so many that can catch parents and carers out. For example:

Egg and soya in Chewits and Mars Bars

Nuts in Liquorice Allsorts

Gluten in Smarties

Gelatine in Dolly Mixtures

Wheat in strawberry laces

Milk in mint humbugs

5. If there is not a label on the sweet, don’t risk eating it. Labels must be checked on literally everything.

Best leave you now and get back to working out ways to use up all the pumpkin flesh. Happy Halloween everyone.

Pumpkin halloween

By Karen Woodford – mum of 2 tricky eaters and also one herself (currently still trying to remove the green face paint from her forehead)


free from holiday coeliacs

Now that summer is a distant memory, I have managed to spend a little time reflecting on our trips away. My eldest daughter started school last year, so it is the first summer holidays we have endured. I have quickly realised that every summer is going to involve non-stop driving… pick-ups, drop-offs, holidaying, visiting friends and family. Good fun, but we have been totally frazzled for the last month or so.

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Coeliac at Bingley Music Life

Now we’ve landed in autumn with a bit of a bump, I am feeling rather gloomy. I don’t usually mind as I love autumn, but I’m particularly down because the festival season has finished and I’ve had a bleedin’ great summer. There is nothing better than sitting in a field listening to music. Of course, you can always find cider too! Perfection.

We managed 3 festivals this year – Glastonbudget, Fake Festival and Bingley Music Live. We had a fab time at all of them. My 2 year old has now done two three-day camping festivals. She is a mini-festival queen.  Continue reading


Second most allergic person in Leeds

“I’m sorry. I’m a right pain in the arse” is usually how I end up starting my introduction when I eat out. The waitress/waiter suddenly landed in a life or death situation, because it is literally like that for me, and all I want to do is have a spot of lunch.

My name, for those that don’t already know me is, Rory Mason, and I have been told that I was once the most allergic person in Leeds.

Now this title was ripped away from me at a tender young age, by some poor girl who had to sleep in some sort of vacuum bubble – just to survive. Compared to her, I have it easy, so don’t have pity on me for losing my crown (even if nobody is interested in the second most allergic person in Leeds).

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Violife dairy free cheese

It doesn’t have to be hard cheese when you are vegan or go dairy or lactose free. The free-from market has picked up recently and there’s a ton of cheesy offerings out there. Here is Karen Woodford’s pick of the best goodies…

DAIRY-FREE AND VEGAN CHEESES

Sainsbury’s Wensleydale Cheese with Cranberries, £2.25

This looks the part – exactly like Wensleydale. I even put it on a cheeseboard the first time I had it because I was so excited. It deserved it! It crumbles in the same way as proper Wensleydale and tastes really good. It is strange as I was never a fan of this kind of cheese in the past but it definitely tastes very similar and is lovely on a gf cracker. It costs £2.25 so comes in at a decent price. Not quite as versatile as some others but it is perfect for the job it has been put on this earth to do.

Mozzarisella Classic, £3.99

I have tried this vegan cheese a few times at Allergy & Free From shows. I remember it being gorgeous on a Venice Bakery pizza base – it looked and tasted very nearly like the real thing and melted perfectly. I was going to buy some to refresh my memory but, unfortunately, it is difficult to get hold of. It costs £3.99, which is not a bad price, but the postage at the online shop that stocks it is more than the item itself. Groan. Grab it if you can (and get some for me, too).

Violife Original, £2.30

This is a block cheese and it looks like Cheddar. There is no horrible smell AND no horrible aftertaste. Coconut oil is the key ingredient and it is soya-free – what a difference that makes. Melted in an omelette or hard in a ham sandwich, it almost cons you that it is real cheese. It is the best I have found in supermarkets to grace the top of pizzas. It does not completely melt the normal way but it is very good. I have also heard it is fab in lasagne… and all Violife cheese has the vegan stamp of approval. Well done, Violife, you have won my dairy-free cheese vote. £2.30 in Tesco.

Violife Original Slices, £2.50

Again, these are the best I have found – superb in a free-from burger! It is the same ‘pretend’ cheese as above, just pre-sliced. £2.50 in Tesco.

Violife Prosociano, £3.50

This is like pretend parmesan and just like its sister products, it looks the part. And the packaging is excellent too. It even smells like parmesan does and grates like it. And you can feel like a normal person, accepting some grated ‘pretend’ parmesan on your free-from pasta. Bravo! £3.50 at Tesco.

Violife Creamy Original, £2.50

This is pretend soft cheese – it’s a harder texture than a normal one, but tastes good. Violife also has a range of flavoured pretend soft cheeses that I have not had the pleasure of trying yet (tomato and basil, hot peppers, herbs, cucumber and dill). It worked well in a df cheesecake recipe. £2.50 at Tesco.

Tesco Free-From Grated Mozzarella

This looked like heaven and I was dreaming of a beautiful pizza. But as soon as I opened the packet, I realised this was not to be the case and I’m not even sure why I put it on my base. It ruined it. It is partially made from coconut oil, but I think the soya must have taken over. It’s not quite as offensive as some other soya cheeses I have had – I opened one before and had to throw it away as the smell was so awful. To give it its due, it melted and looked the part, but it did make the pizza rather soggy and just had a really strange aftertaste which made me feel quite nauseous. I did manage to eat it, though, which is a step up from any other soya cheese alternative I have had. Anyone else like it?

LACTOSE-FREE CHEESES

Lactofree Mild Cheddar, £1.80

Lactofree is a brilliant brand and I think all its products taste the business. The mild Cheddar reminds me slightly of plastic school cheese… but I used to love that. It works really well in sandwiches or on crackers or just to eat as is. It is a great price at £1.80 at Tesco. This is not suitable for milk allergy sufferers.

Lactofree Mature Cheddar, £1.80

This is just divine – exactly like the real thing in its crumbly, strong-tasting way. Perfect for cheese on toast or grating on to pizzas. Still, I am so, so sad that I now need to be dairy free. How is that fair on top of being gluten free? Sob. £1.80 at Asda.

Lactofree Soft White Cheese, £1

You seriously cannot tell the difference between this and normal soft cheese. It has a beautiful and creamy flavour and is really good on crackers. It makes a great cheesecake ingredient and is really cheap – only £1 at Asda.

By Karen Woodford, always on the hunt for excellent dairy-free products