Hello and welcome to The Gluten Free Blogger!

I’m Sarah, a journalist, blogger, vlogger, digital specialist and Professional Gluten Free Pizza Tester – well, in my dreams, anyway – who has coeliac disease.

I live near the sea in sunny North Devon, UK, drink way too much coffee, eat way too much pizza and am passionate about making gluten free living FUN.

Sarah Howells The Gluten Free Blogger

I hope by visiting my lovely little blog you’ll pick up on the fun side pretty quickly. I LOVE food (it’s all I think about) and 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 get way too excited and dance in the free from aisles when I find new gluten free products. And I really want to spread this excitement and prove that a gluten free diet doesn’t have to be boring at all.

My coeliac disease diagnosis

Sarah Howells The Gluten Free Blogger Coeliac Disease

I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease when I was around 12-years-old.

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.

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!

Thyroid problems too?

Sarah Howells The Gluten Free Blogger Coeliac Disease

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 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’m currently working on updating this page with ALL the details, but for now you can find all my thyroid posts here.

Loving gluten free life

Sarah Howells The Gluten Free Blogger Coeliac Disease

I guess my coeliac disease and thyroid issues have made me more motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle. Y

es, you’ll see me posting hideously indulgent recipes, but you’ll also see me talking about fitness and posting healthy recipes too. 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 guess that’s what comes with working full time and running a blog on the side.

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?

Sarah Howells The Gluten Free Blogger Coeliac Disease

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 sarah@theglutenfreeblogger.com. And if you’re a brand looking to work together, check out some of my work here.

Thanks to my friend Mikey at Twisty Focus for the photos!


  1. sonia gluten free
    January 20, 2010 / 18:13

    Hi nice to meet Sarah.
    My name is Sonia (Spain) and I have a granddaughter celiac seven years diagosticada with sixteen months.
    My granddaughter often travels to UK, his father is half English, half Irish :-)))
    I work for celiac disease spread.
    They must create laws for the community, in school menus without gluten, in workplaces, restaurants, hotels can take a beer …. gluten easily …..-)))))

    Any information on Spain’m aa your disposal.

    Hugs with affection “gluten free”

  2. sarahhowells
    January 22, 2010 / 21:07

    Thankyou Sonia! If I ever travel to Spain (which hopefully I will!) I know who to contact! Sarah

  3. sonia gluten free
    January 27, 2010 / 18:34

    Thanks Sarah.
    Etam working hard to spread the Celiac Disease in Spain, we Hotels, Restaurants …. all with gluten-free diet.

    Now tarbajamos in schools, all school cafeterias with “GLUTEN-FREE DIET.

    afcetuosos greetings

  4. LadyBizBiz
    January 27, 2010 / 18:40

    Did you really survive on porridge when you’d maxed out your student grant? Porridge isn’t recommended for Coeliacs …. it can have the same effect as Gluten!

    What I have noticed is that when eaten it appears to be fine for a little while, but then oh the pain as it kicks in. It appears to have an accumulative affect. Something I thought I should share with you as someone who has been Coeliac for over 50 years.

    I remember the student days well enough, eating at the Halls Restaurant was very dodgey … when I asked for a gluten free dessert I got stewed apples and custard …. EVERY evening!

    Take care Sara.

  5. sarahhowells
    January 27, 2010 / 20:01

    I was told by my dietician and GP that I could try oats as I only suffer from mild effects from my food, and some Coeliacs are OK with eating gluten. I have never seemed to suffer any affects from eating porrdige so I consider myself lucky! But thankyou for the advice, it is probably wise that I eat as little of it as possible!
    Stewed apples and custard sounds amazing! I might have to have a look at making that myself! Wow, a Coeliac for 50 years! That’s quite an achievement! I have been diagnosed for about 8/9 years now I thought that was a long time!

  6. sonia gluten free
    January 27, 2010 / 20:19

    If there are people who take many years to be diagnosed!

    It is important to implement the protocols medioc about celiac disease in all special treatments.

    There are about 80% of celiac patients are not diagnosed :::::-((((

    greetings with affection

  7. Pingback: Looking back over 2010… « The Gluten Free Blogger
  8. Shullie
    January 22, 2011 / 19:25

    new follower here – diagnosed finally as I went into menopause..( a few years ago) but always had some issues .

    I’m a cake baker so always trying out recipes – shall be happy to share,

  9. January 22, 2011 / 19:39

    Of course Sarah :-))))
    At your disposal!
    Greetings with love

  10. Sally Romain
    March 25, 2012 / 08:57

    You tweeted me a couple of weeks back. My website is now up and running so hope you will have a look. Comments welcome and especially any advice as to how I can let people know about my gluten free cakes. Best wishes, Sally Romain

  11. January 13, 2013 / 20:46

    Those statements are so true! The number of questions “so you can have flour can’t you? – and that was from a chef!

  12. September 22, 2013 / 07:13

    Great blog. Like you my son was lucky that his usual doctor was on holidays when I took him for an appointment for yet another bout of vomiting and gastro and several days off school. This ‘new’ doctor picked up on what a specialist and 2 other doctors had missed over the last 12 years. Suddenly all his sickness and illnesses made complete sense. He is 12 months down the track now (aged 16) and feeling much better and more confident about having coeliac disease and I am starting to enjoy cooking and baking and shopping again.

  13. April 20, 2014 / 11:13

    Love your blog. Love from a fellow coeliac! 🙂 check out my blog here: lucyspantry.weebly.com

    • Sarah H (GF Blogger)
      April 21, 2014 / 18:35

      Thanks Lucy, I will have a read 🙂

  14. Diane
    June 4, 2014 / 08:31

    Great to read your blog Sarah. I’m researching blogs as I was thinking of starting one myself, mainly for restaurant reviews. As a newbie to a gluten free diet I am finding eating out a real headache mainly because some waiters/waitresses look at me as if I have two heads, and I really want to raise awareness. My sister is a diagnosed celiac, I have had symptoms similar to hers for the last few years and have been eating gluten free for roughly 12 months with my symptoms reducing significantly in this period. Your blog is a great find for a novice; thanks.

  15. July 2, 2014 / 09:41

    great blog sarah x I recently met a friend whose gotta gluten intolerence aswell as a dairy intolerence to and its kinda strange but despite the fact he felt ” oh nooooo I’ll never eat the same again” I’m really intruiged as to how you can cook an all time favourite homemade dish but just tweak it a little differently so that it still tastes good but its gluten free :). I’m looking forward to seeing more posts from you in my wp blog feed x I don’t really blog about cooking and GF stuff myself but you’ll find some inky illustrations if it takes your fancy 🙂 . Thanks again kate x

  16. May 12, 2016 / 02:43

    Glad to have found your blog! My boyfriend and I are traveling to this exact resort in 11 days *eek!* He has coeliacs as well sadly but it’s a lot of comfort knowing this place takes it seriously as many don’t, just brushing it off as a fad.
    Anything you recommend we do while we’re there? Any favorite part you’d do again in a heart beat? 🙂 -Keeley

  17. Natalie
    October 26, 2017 / 19:51

    I am so glad I found your blog!
    My husband was diagnosed about a year ago now and my 5 year old son has just been diagnosed along with lactose intolerance. I was scared about cooking for them both but you have made it so much easier! I can’t thank you enough!
    Keep up all your good work, it really is appreciated by so many xxx

  18. May 20, 2018 / 17:16

    Stumbled on this when googling for an alternative to chicken oxo cubes that’s gluten free and also crumbles! I also passed it to a good friend of mine who is in her 80’s with an extremely rare auto-immune illness and who is also gluten free. I myself am facing diagnosis confirmation in June after being told for 10 years plus I had gynae issues and then being told my pain was too extreme for the cause to be gynae, I have other health issues and apparently they all,fall under the same “umbrella” asthmatic, nervous system issues, and auto immune issues……this box isn’t long enough! Am terrified as I am not a good eater anyway I stick to the same things day in day out as I like them and now a lot of them contain gluten and it’s finind alternatives that are actually edible, I’ve been paying attention to what has gluten in so I have an idea of how much of what I eat contains gluten, I found quite a few things didn’t, but some of the main things I eat do! I was so relieved to find Kellogg’s cereals that I live on are gluten free only to have a lovely email from Kellogg’s apologising as the new rules say it has to be 20-100 to be labelled as gluten free or low gluten so none of their cereals have been approved. It’s a scary prospect as I found if I don’t like it I’ll skip a meal rather than eat! I can see me surviving on Milk and Pop Chips! It’s nice to see others who have thrived on gluten free, it gives someone like me a glimmer of hope! Though saddly I can’t seem to loose weight and my thiroid is fine, this could turn out to be a great way to loose weight, by cutting out the gluten food and replacing it with nothing! Somehow I doubt my consultant would be accepting of that! Thank you for the glimmer of hope.

    • November 7, 2018 / 08:49

      Hey Katyjs…not sure of you’re UK based, but if you are, a lot of asda and Tesco home brand cereals are under the limit and are safe for coeliacs.
      Remember to keep eating gluten until after your tests though so you get an accurate diagnosis. X

  19. Matthew F.J. O'Connor
    December 19, 2018 / 16:14

    Hello, My sister Caroline is lactose intolerant and I think she can really benefit from this website. It seems very exciting and full of great information. She hasn’t always had the intolerance but she struggles to eat things like pizza with cheese that she used to enjoy which the pills havn’t completely accounted for. I’m sure she will love this website so I will be passing it on to her. I didn’t know there was so much information available and in abundance. This and all that you’ve done here will surely improve her quality of life. I think she will be very pleased.

  20. March 23, 2020 / 11:00

    So happy to have found you! I was googling for information about being coeliac and the impact of the Corona Virus on that and stumbled across this blog. I’m here to stay! I’ve been coeliac since being diagnosed at the age of 29 – which, unfortunately, was well over 30 years ago …it took 12 years to get the accurate diagnosis and was only revealed when I tried to become a blood donor and was told my blood was rubbish as I was so anaemic. I am happy being coeliac as I think it’s made me eat far more healthily over the years. Will happily now follow your blog – thanks for being here!

  21. Elizabeth
    April 20, 2020 / 20:49

    Sarah, I am new to your site and wondering what kind of flour blend you get that is self-rising. I have never seen gf flour that has leavening in it. Thanks!

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