Goodbye lovely readers!

I’m one of the lucky ones….my battle with Bile Acid Malabsorption has been won with my successful response to the medication Cholestagel (Colesevelam). It has literally changed my life. I can now eat 80% normally and I can’t tell you how liberating that is!

So because of that….I’m writing to say goodbye! My renewal for this blog will come to an end in May and I wanted to write a quick post to let you know why I won’t be continuing my writing for GDfree anymore.

My history with BAM started a long time ago as a teenager and it is only now as I’m in my 40s (eeek!) that I have managed to get a handle on it. How? By persistently nagging my doctors and consultants for an answer. I knew I couldn’t live like I was, I knew something was wrong with me and I didn’t give up until I found out what it was.

I know not everyone has as much luck, discovering a rare and random cause to their stomach problems, which is why I think of myself as one of the lucky ones. I now have sympathetic doctors and I found a knowledgeable consultant who encouraged me to take the Sehcat test which is how I was diagnosed with BAM.

To recap….BAM is caused with your body cannot process fats properly and when it tries to process  fats your gallbladder over produces bile which causes your digestive tract to speed up so much that results in regular, painful and life restricting diarrhoea. The condition is humiliating and debilitating but…there is medication that can help.

I no longer need to eat gluten free and although I stick to a mostly dairy free diet at home I no longer worry about what I eat when I’m out, I eat take away food, I eat at friends houses and I eat when I’m away on holiday. I still occasionally have flare ups and I take more or less medication when I need to but I can control it. It’s such a relief to feel normal again I can’t tell you!

So for all of those reasons I don’t feel the need to blog about my diet anymore. I apologise if you miss my recipes but there are masses of wonderful gluten & dairy free cookbooks out there nowadays. It’s not like it was when I started on my journey, now the supermarkets have developed huge freefrom ranges and you can get freefrom food at most chain coffee shops, restaurant and take away outlets.

So lovely readers I’ll still be here until the end of May in case you have any questions you want to ask me. But after that do head over to the BAM patient support group at http://www.bamsupportuk.org to find a wealth of information, support and experienced people who will be able to help you. Good luck!

PS if you’re a dog/cat lover please head over to http://www.abipurrington.co.uk to see my painting, card designs, pet portraits and bespoke illustrations! I have a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/illustrationbyabi and you can find me on instagram at http://www.instagram.com/illustrationbyabi ……do come and see!

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Super Sexy Sushi Bowls

One of my favourite quick and easy mid week suppers to make in a hurry, when I’m starving and really only want to order a cheeky take away (shocked inhale)…..is a sushi bowl. I know….it’s a trendy spin-off healthy foodie thingy-ma-jig in a bowl but you can’t complain when it tastes like heaven now can you?! Pop some salmon in the oven, chop a few veggies and cook a bit of rice. That’s it. I’ve come up with my own style of sushi bowl and made a few versions for you here to try out. Hope you enjoy them!

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There a few things that remain the same every time I make a sushi bowl: baked salmon, fresh ginger, avocado, cucumber and sesame seeds. But there are plenty of varieties around those key ingredients that you can play with.

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Fruity Almond Loaf Cake

When you don’t fancy your normal piece of toast and cereal for breakfast this is a lovely alternative and perfect drizzled with a little honey and with a cup of tea on the side! Chocka full of naturally sweet dried fruit and using up two overripe bananas it’s naturally sugar free, plus it’s an easy store cupboard bake to make. I’ve used sultanas, apricots and cranberries but you can use whatever dried fruit you have on hand. The base of this cake is ground almonds which are naturally gluten free and give the cake it’s loaf-like consistency as well as keeping it nice and moist.

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Cherry & Coconut Granola

I love the flavours of cherry and coconut together, delicious in flapjacks and muffins, but today I’m making a cherry & coconut granola. I have learnt, through the various granola recipes I have created over the past year, a few tricks to make the perfect granola clusters with the perfect amount of sweetness and the perfect amount of crunch. When you buy granola mixes from the supermarket you take for granted all those lovely honey coated oaty clusters but actually they’re quite hard to make like that at home! So today I’m going to share with you a few tips to making the perfect bowl of granola.

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It’s nearly pancake day!

I’ll be honest, I have never had much luck making pancakes. But today I’m going to share with you the best recipe ever for making the fluffiest, softest, most pancakey-est (new word) pancakes, in the world, ever. Promise. Oh and yes, all gluten free and dairy free….yay!!!

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I don’t know about you guys but I only ever make pancakes for the kids on either a sunday morning or as an after school treat if something good has happened. But as I was making up the batter today I was wondering why we consider something made simply from flour, milk and eggs to be such a treat?! I suppose it’s all the syrup and lovely yummy toppings that we pile of top of them that is the treat part, but still. Essentially, apart from the little bit of butter that you cook them in, there’s nothing much in them! At less than 140 calories a pancake, that’s gotta be a good thing right?!

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Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread

This is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and write something for weeks….sorry lovely readers, don’t know where the time has gone. I thought I would make up for it in spades by wowing you with a sticky, chocolatey, delicious childhood favourite of surely everyone on the planet….millionaire’s shortbread. And yes, this version is all gluten free and dairy free and is just as sticky, chocolatey and delicious as you remember it!

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Creamy Fish Pie Pasta

You know when you’ve bought all the ingredients that you think you need, mentally prepared to take some time to cook a dish, got everything ready and out and prepared and then…..you realise you’ve forgotten potatoes? Yup that was how I ended up making this deliciously satisfying pasta bake when I was planning on making a fish pie! Happy accidents are the best though aren’t they? The three little bears christened it ‘Fish Pie Pasta’ and I thought I’d share it with you on this cold and frosty winter morning.

There’s nothing nicer than a huge dish of comfort food is there! How good does this look?!

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My favourite take-to-a-party dish

So you know when someone says “bring something to share” to a party….well this is the perfect dish. I took it to at least three different parties over the holiday season and it always went down a treat plus the best thing about it is, you can make it basically from store cupboard ingredients and it’s seriously easy to rustle up! What’s not to like? Naturally gluten, dairy free & vegetarian it will cater for most people’s diets and everyone’s tastes. Serve it warm in the winter or keep it cold in the summer, it’s equally good both ways. Is it a salad or is it a side-dish, you decide, but however you serve it it’s sure to be a delicious & different alternative to those same-old dishes that everyone else will be bringing!

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Breakfast Treats

I’m not much of a breakfast girl. Never have been to be honest. I can’t even think straight without my cup of tea first thing and then we’re rushing out the door on the school run and then there’s the dog to walk or a yoga class to go to. After that….that’s when I’m hungry and ready to eat something nutritious and delicious. Saturday brunch has also become a bit of a thing with the hubs and I and sets us up for the weekend ahead with a nice cup of frothy coffee alongside. Here are some of our favourite breakfast treats:

But if I’m in a rush and need to grab something quick that’s gonna fill me up until lunch then granola is always my go-to. I make fruity ones, crunchy oaty ones, full of seed ones and today I have come up with this naughty chocolate & hazelnut one for a treat!

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This recipe if for a special treat granola that tastes like dessert but you can eat it for breakfast – win win! 

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If you like chocolate or nuts or nutella or all of the above, then this granola is definitely for you! Crunchy hazelnuts, chewy pecans, little pops of chocolate chips, sweet hits from chocolate covered raisins all surrounded by sweet clusters of oaty goodness. Continue reading

Chocolate Orange Brownie Cakes

I LOVE chocolate orange!

If you read my blog often enough you will already know this fact (!!) and sorry if I’m boring but I’ve come up with yet another chocolate orange recipe for you lovely people…. this one is particularly appealing because it’s super duper easy peasy to make. Get the kids to make it or rustle it up quickly  before someone pops in for coffee – they will never realise how simple it is but it always goes down a treat I promise!

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