Hi, I'm Sarah Howells, aka The Gluten Free Blogger!
I'm a UK-based food blogger who writes about coeliac disease and life on a gluten free diet, mixing a lot of deprecating humour alongside tasty gluten free recipes.
In short, I want to help you love food as much as I do - with or without gluten!
Diagnosed with coeliac disease nearly 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread.
No fruit salads or dry, boring brownies here.
I'm a journalist by trade and live near the sea in sunny North Devon.
I also drink way too much coffee, eat way too much pizza and am passionate about making gluten free living FUN.
For me, going gluten free was where my love of cooking and baking began to flourish, and my inner foodie emerged.
Starting The Gluten Free Blogger
I started this blog way back in 2010 while I was studying journalism at university, as a way of documenting my gluten free life and connecting with others.
I didn't know anyone else with coeliac disease and as the online community of gluten free-ers began to grow, it was like coming home.
My mission was always to try and show the positive side to living gluten free.
You might think I'm crazy (you wouldn't be alone!) but I genuinely think that having coeliac disease is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
It’s helped me find a passion for creating new dishes and trying new flavours.
I'm so excited by the way my life has changed for the better since my coeliac disease diagnosis.
So much so, I could transfer that happiness to anyone who is feeling down about it.
I get way too excited and dance in the free from aisles when I find new gluten free products.
I want to hug all the people I see browsing the gluten free goodies and make them be my best friend. (I don't though, because that really would be a bit weird).
Stick with me and hopefully you'll see that being gluten free doesn't have to be boring!
My coeliac disease diagnosis
I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease when I was around 12-years-old, back in 2002.
That's right, I've been gluten free for a very long time!
For years I complained of stomach aches, and initially the doctors though I was intolerant to lactose.
It wasn’t until my normal GP was ill and I visited a different doctor, that he suggested testing for coeliac disease.
Here's a little 'glow up' of me in my 'peak coeliac' days, as I call them, versus now on a very chilly day in a North Devon car park. Goals.
A blood test indicated I had it, and an endoscopy then confirmed my coeliac diagnosis. Since then, I’ve been completely gluten free and loving it.
I don’t remember a lot about what ‘normal’ food tastes like, and to be honest, I don’t really miss it.
I guess being diagnosed as a child was a lucky break, as I imagine it would be a lot harder cutting something from my diet now.
But I still believe anyone who is diagnosed with coeliac disease should use it as an opportunity to try lots of new foods. It’s not all bad!
I've also got a video here explaining a bit more about my own coeliac disease diagnosis story.
Thyroid problems too?
Around the time I was diagnosed with coeliac disease it also transpired I had an overactive thyroid.
Thyroid issues run in the family so I guess this didn’t come as a surprise.
It also explained why I was one of the smallest children in my class at school and painfully thin too.
Looking back, I guess my body wasn’t absorbing much of the nutrients from my food.,
And then to top that, whatever was left was being burned up at 100 miles an hour by my mental thyroid.
It was the perfect storm!
In December 2010 I had a sub-total thyroidectomy. I’ve written a lot about my experience of surgery and my recovery.
I've written a full overview of my thyroid experience here, if it's of interest and you want a read.
Loving gluten free life
I guess my coeliac disease and thyroid issues have made me more motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Yes, you’ll see me posting hideously indulgent recipes, but you’ll also see me talking about nutritious meals as well.
Why? It’s all about balance.
As much as this word seems to be banded about and overused on social media, life is for living, and if you can’t enjoy food, then what is the point?
Food is fuel but it’s also one of my great loves.
I love lifting weights and practising yoga so I can eat plenty of pizza (are you sensing a theme here?).
I dislike gloomy days and unnecessarily-holey gluten free bread.
I eat way too much cheese than is probably advised and I definitely think if you took a sample of my blood, it would be about 95% caffeine.
But I love every day of it, and every time someone makes one of my recipes it puts a massive smile on my face.
At the end of the day, I want to help YOU to love food on a gluten free diet and realise having coeliac disease isn’t the be all and end all.
Want to chat?
I love hearing from you and am always happy to help if I can!
If you have any recipe requests, burning questions about coeliac disease or a gluten free diet, or just want to ask me a random question, get in touch!
Drop me a line at [email protected].
And if you’re a brand looking to work together, check out some of my work here.
I just really hope that if I achieve one thing with The Gluten Free Blogger, it's to show you that being gluten free isn't all that bad, really.
Find me on social media!
On Instagram? Follow me at @GFBlogger.
Come follow The Gluten Free Blogger on Facebook.
You can also join my awesome, supportive Gluten Free Blogger Group, where you can ask questions and get all the help you need from other like-minded, gluten-free souls!
Here are some of the wonderful publications I've had the pleasure of featuring in or writing for!
- 5 Things You Should Know About Gluten Free Baking (Metro)
- Our Expert Gluten Free Meal Planner (Asda Magazine)
- Guest Recipe: Veganuary Fried Rice (B&M)
- My Free From Life (Free From Heaven Magazine)
- My Life Without Gluten (North Devon Gazette)
- BU Graduate Profiles (Bournemouth University Alumini interview)
- Top 5 Free From Bloggers (Free From Festival)
- Top 25 Blogs for Gluten Free Living (Healthcare Technicians)
- Gluten Free Bloggers and Influencers To Follow on Instagram (Delicious Alchemy)
- A Touch of the Wilderness (Devon Life Magazine)
- The Ultimate Guide To Vegan Mince Pies 2020 (Peta)
- Recipes You Must Try This Spooky Season (SEREN)
- 'Today is a great day!' Elated office workers share snaps of their Christmas sandwiches as festive treats hit the shelves VERY early (Daily Mail)