Tesco Poland – Thank you!

Remember some time back when I wrote about Tesco Poland and how absolutely awful it was in terms of free from? I sent that blog post to every Tesco head office address I could find, tweeted it repeatedly and emailed SO many people. Then… a few months back things started happening in Tesco. A free from shelf appeared, then two shelves, then three…. the bio section grew as well. I kept saying to hubby, I HOPE they bring their free from range over, its SUPERB… then I started seeing the Free From lactose free stuff (this from a shop that didn’t even have basic lactose free milk before). The Free from cottage cheese arrived a few weeks later, and I was like “YES!!! They are SERIOUS”. We now have a gluten free section that would put most other shops to shame, bigger then Auchan and carrefour for sure… and today…. oh wow… today, there was a free from sign on the freezer, and there was ICE CREAM! And there was jumping up and down a little and squeals of happiness and YESSS!!!!!!

Now all we need is the pies, the ready meals, the lasagnes, the cottage pies the everything!

And one of the leading sandwich meat factories went gluten free a couple of months back, and another looks like its following suit! POLAND, you are shaping up nicely for people like us! Im so happy. Really. Its only food… and yet its the normality of walking in to a shop and being able to buy something that others take for granted.

Tesco Polska, dziekuje bardzo!

Inne wiadomości na temat życie bez glutenu w Polsce, nie zapomnij śledzić nas na Facebooku.

Holland & Barrett

Oh my gosh! WHY Did I not know about this before? A few days ago I stumbled upon Holland & Barrett while searching for gluten free, eggfree cornfree flours. Randomly clicked around and a few minutes later realised they do International delivery! And guess what, it works out cheaper (delivery wise) then amazon to Poland!

Shopping Corn free, gluten free , wheat free and egg free means there is very very little available to us, but after clicking our allergens on the left and reading ingredients I found flour (!!), bread mixes (!!) biscuits and mayo. Anyone else who is corn free on top of gluten free will know my joy. Soups, so mummy can make lunch occasionally without cooking! Gravy, because making it from scratch every time gets so old, sweets, because kinder egg chocolate – however nice it is – gets boring after a while, ice lollies, because, ICE LOLLIES! Fancy teas for mum, because hey, Im worth it!

Then the joy when half the order came just 3 days later!

My joy though is nothing compared to the joy of little madam who got to eat mayo!

And in 2 days there will be more joy when the rest arrives!!

(This is like the kind of jumping up and down screaming joy that only teenage girls feel. Its A W E S O M E!)

Thank you Holland & Barrett, you made my day!

 

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com

Lipgloss, nail polish and other stuff girls want.

When your little girl comes to you and says, ‘mummy, I want nail polish, just like you’, do you feel proud or all mushy inside or does your heart sink?

Things are not so straight forward when you have a gluten free kid. Nail polish, like a gazillion other things, can contain gluten. Nails, are on your hands, and you use your hands when you eat bla bla etc, so nail polish must be gluten free. You cant just go out and buy a nail polish and hope for the best. You can google obviously, and you will find TONS of lists online saying which brands are ok, but if those results are over 6 months old you have to consider the fact that the recipes may have changed. I tend to google for companies that have proper gluten policies, rather then just one product thats gluten free. You could also go for one of those companies that specialise in making only gluten free products, but the truth is that they are expensive, and do other girls and women want to have just 1-2 companies to choose from? Obviously not.

So we went shopping, for lipgloss and nail polish. I already knew I would go for essie with the nail polish and I was hoping to find a lipgloss once there. Armed with my google results and my smart phone we found 2 awesome people in the makeup shop who helped us with the lipgloss, we ended up with a Loreal one that cost well over 100dhs/zloty. No cheap barbie stuff for this little girl! haha.

As a parent its important to me that my kid doesn’t feel super different, in the case of makeup (which she will absolutely not wear fully until she is in her teens thank you very much) it means mummy has to help, that she cant have one of those beauty pouches from the toy shop full of glitter and raspberry flavoured stuff. Thats ok. Putting on some lipgloss and wearing nail polish every now and then is part of growing up, so I will buy the right stuff and thats that.

In our family everything is ‘the right stuff’. All our soaps, shampoos etc are gluten free. Always.

People are always asking me to make lists of the stuff we use. The truth is Im not so comfortable with this, because information can change so fast, and if someone used something because I said its safe I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night! So just remember when you check something, don’t trust just one source and make sure the info you are getting is current. If you have questions pop them on the blogs facebook page and ask, or ask here 🙂 I also pin LOADS of body and house stuff on my pinterest boards.

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-Linda

 

 

EPI!

Gimme an E, gimme a P, gimme an I, what do we have? EPI!!!

Do I sound exited? Thats because I am, cheerleader kind of exited with high leg kicks!

For ages now whenever I say we are gluten free, people ask if we do all our shopping in Epi. Im like… ehhhm, no I go to a few places. Then in my head I think I should visit Epi one day, but I didnt get around to it, we are fine, and how good can it really BE?

Let me tell you how good it can be! So good that my eyes went all shiny and I almost had to cry a happy tear and Im pretty sure the staff were viewing me with great suspicion walking around with my giant smile and shiny eyes.

Walking in to Epi is like walking in to gluten free heaven, or like I described it to hubby, like a mixture between the best spinneys and organic foods and cafe but cheaper and BETTER (Dubai ppl will understand). The jams are all high end good jams, there are tahinis galore, most organic, no other shop in Wroclaw has a choice of 10 tahinis, and they have sunflower seed butter (insert cheerleadery star jumps here)!

Then you get to the gluten free bread section, and its the size of a normal bread section, and part of you is so happy its crazy and the other part a bit disappointed because where are the biscuits and flours…?

Then you get stuck at the freezer section that has a whole freezer just with gluten free! Fish fingers, mini pizzas, lasagne etc. Onwards to the cheese and milk section and they have a ton of lactose free / dairy free cheese and milk and butters.

And meats! Poland might be the country of cold cuts and sausages, but finding gluten free ham and sausages here can be very very difficult. No problem in Epi, daughter and hubby will be happy, they are real sausage lovers.

Then.. then you get to the biscuit section, and there is a giant gluten free section, and flours galore and choice! Isn’t that what we all miss the most? To be able to choose between several things rather then having to buy whatever is there?

I also found organic potatoes (woop woop) and several kinds of organic gluten free drinking chocolate.

Is it expensive… well yes, but buying gluten free and organic stuff is expensive anywhere so actually I don’t think it was that bad.

Will I go back to Epi? HELL YES! I might even move in if they let me!

-Linda

Epi is near Arkady Wroclawski (actually just across the road) and has its own parking, parking is free if you spend money so show your car park card at the till.

They are open 8am-10pm every day except Sunday when they are open 10am-4pm.

http://www.epi.com.pl/site/

Shopping #glutenfree, then and now.

Yes I hash tagged the title. Is that bad? I guess Im lazy, now when I share it on twitter it will have the hashtag ready made! 😉

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I talked about shopping before, shopping for food can become a huge part of a gluten free persons life. We are a family of 4 humans, 3 dogs and 1 bird, all who eat gluten free! Its my job to shop for us all.

The first shop after diagnosis is a far cry from how I shop now. Its a far cry from how I shopped a year ago, or even 2 years ago. We all eat wheat and gluten free. Yeah, wheat free and gluten free are not always the same thing although I really wish they were. many so called  gluten free items out there are a no go for us.

So how do I shop? How long does it take? How many shops do I need to go to?

At first Id go to 3-5 supermarkets a week, the shopping would take anything from 30 mins to 2-3 hours. I rarely take longer then 30 mins now, I don’t read labels much, partly because they are in polish and I cant, and partly because I have cut out most of the processed junk we are so used to eating. Cutting out the processed junk means I no longer need to go in most aisles!

I go in the fruit and veg section, the meat section and dairy section, I take a quick peek in the gluten free section, and occasionally buy something. My processed foods are few and far between, passata, non gmo european corn, tinned chickpeas, artisan gluten free sausages, organic muesli bars (gluten free obviously), rice cakes and a few other bits and bobs. I do this every 1-2 weeks. Then I do small top up runs in my local fruit and veg market and a meat top up dash when needed that takes a few minutes. I only buy fish frozen, as fresh is not that easy to get here.

Thats it, khalas, done!

Do I still obsessively go in shops to look what they have? Sure, do I try new gluten free things whenever I see them, NO! Why? Because I don’t really feel we are missing anything in our lives or pantry. I try new products only if its a product we need. I am such a saint. (Of course I haven’t mentioned the jelly beans and occasional marshmallows and chocolate that sometimes slips in, that would make me sound far less healthy and saintly, but hey, this saint is human, and sweets don’t count, as long as you only eat them on Saturdays…right? 😀 )

If someone had come along 3 years ago and tried to teach me to shop how I shop now, I am not sure how I would have taken it, things were still so new, maybe I needed to go through that fase of trying everything to really figure out we didn’t need it, maybe I would have embraced the knowledge and saved a lot of time, not to mention money!

I have learned so much about gluten and pesticides and CRAP in our foods in the last few years, that even if Celiac was cured tomorrow, no WAY would we go back to eating how we used to. I have always loved cooking, always liked and preferred to make things from scratch rather then a packet, my ingredients though have changed so much.

I would love to hear how your shopping habits have changed and if there is any advice you wish someone had given you at the beginning? Or do we need to learn it by living it?

-Linda

(I share a ton of rantings and food tips on facebook, join us!)

 

Finding gluten free food in Poland.

Gluten free food in Poland is generally found in specialist stores, health food shops or delicatessens. In larger towns you will find some basics in the supermarkets, and mostly it will be in its own (very small) section. Piotr i Pawel has more then most, Alma usually has a few things, my local Intermarche has TONS, but you can usually find bits and bobs even in Carefour and Real and Auchan. As mentioned previously on this blog, tesco has nothing.

I live in a small town outside of Poznan, and even in this town there is a small delicatessen selling gluten free goods, and unlike other countries, it is NOT super expensive.

– Linda

Carefour gluten free sweets (Poland)

Im amazed at how many of the sweets in carefour in Poland have Gluten Free written on them, or Bezglutenowy. Having never seen them in the middle east I can only assume they have non halal beef gelatine in them. Being a non muslim this  doesn’t matter to me, and although the kids rarely eat shop bought sweets, its nice to be able to give them a choice so they too can feel ‘like everyone else’ at times 🙂

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Do you have a carefour where you live? Would love to know what gluten free sweets they have!

-Linda