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Two Years Gluten Free and Gluten Free in Cape Town!!

It’s hard to believe it but I have been gluten free now for exactly two years! It was exactly 2 years ago that I went for my gastroscopy and got my diagnosis of Celiac Disease. At the time it was overwhelming, but to look back now it’s amazing how it has changed my life.

I still think there is not enough knowledge about this disease and so it’s still my passion to make people as aware of it as possible. Despite this, I believe there is a lot more awareness of what eating gluten free entails and people are becoming more knowledgeable about food allergies and intolerances and not just seeing them as passing fads, sprouted by the latest celebrity diet.

I am also pleased to see far more awareness in South Africa of gluten free options and gluten free food. I think Cape Town is really on the ball as far as gluten free options existing. I hope that this blog can also serve as a platform for promoting and sharing of the best gluten free options in the city.

I made 2 great finds over the last week.
Number 1:
I am pleased to see that the Kirstenbosch Tea Room, in the magnificent setting of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, now has gluten free options on the menu.

They have Chocolate Mousse Cake (very rich and sweet) and Rum Puddle Cake with ice cream. Their menu states “wheat free”. Their very knowledgeable manager told me the chocolate mousse cake is made with potato flour when I asked if it was gluten free or only wheat free. He said it’s gluten free and he is aware that gluten free is always wheat free, but wheat free isn’t always gluten free!! Wow impressive! Well Done to Kirstenbosch Tea Room for educating their staff. He also told me they bake gluten free bread and rolls too, so I will be going back there to try those out!

For my second great find:
Bulter’s Pizza. Wow definitely the best pizza in Cape Town if not the whole of South Africa! Their Gluten free option base is an extra R16.00 for the medium and R18.50 for the large. It is without a doubt the best gluten free base I have tasted and I welcome anyone to challenge that.

The owner of Pizzeria Villagio contacted me to let me know that they offer Gluten free bases at his new restaurant, so that is my next stop to try and see if the compare to Butlers! Have any of you tried it out?

Here’s to happy healthy gluten free eating!
Yael

15 comments to Two Years Gluten Free and Gluten Free in Cape Town!!

  • Michele Gleeson

    Hi there,
    I am so glad I found your website! I have just been diagnosed with celiacs, although I have had it for years without knowing. It is very daunting as although I have always intuitively eaten pretty healthily, going gluten free is HARD! I love my pastas and breads etc, but am slowly discovering that gluten is in so much food! I had prawn tempura rolls last night and didnt even give the tempura a thought that it could have gluten! I have lots to learn! I would very much appreciate it if you could let me know your latest list of restaurants in Cape Town that cater for gluten free foods, as well as where the best place to buy gluten free products at the best prices. Maybe there is a celiacs support group you could put me in touch with?
    Kind regards,
    Michele

  • Yael

    Hi Michelle.
    I have sent you an email with any info you may need. Hope to chat to you soon!

  • Louis

    Hi,

    My mom is also diagnosed with celiac – I think? The range of food she can eat is so limited and when she eats something that she is not “supposed” to, she gets the most excruciating pain on her stomach. We live in Pretoria and would like to know if there is someone who I can take her to, or get in contact with to help her?

    Thank you!

  • Yael

    Hi Louis.
    Firstly it is very important to get a proper diagnosis. You cannot guesse if you have Celiac or not. It needs to be diagnosed by a blood test and a gastrsocopy (a camera is put down your mouth to see what is going on inside your colon, under anaesthetic.)

    Secondly, if she does have it, she MUST NOT under any circumstances eat any gluten. She cannot “cheat”. It is a serious disease and by not following a strict diet, not only will she have the side effects of pain in her stomach, but ultimately she is causing more damage to her intestines, which will affect her long term.

    The best thing is to ask your GP for a referral to a Gastroenterologist (stomach doctor) for testing and treatment. I do not unfortunately know of anyone in Pretoria. The Doctor that treated me is at the Floracliff Clinic in Roodepoort (if you are willing to travel). His name is Dr Papas. Otherwise if any readers can share info on a good doctor in Pretoria…please do.
    Good Luck and keep us informed of how she is doing.
    Best Wishes
    Yael

  • Wendy Wake

    Hi Yael,

    Great site!

    I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who is a confirmed celiac, my husband is actually getting his biopsy done this morning and we are expecting a positive because his has all the symptoms and he has a family history (mom and granny – suspected) of celiac’s.

    I would be very grateful if you could send me any details you have on support groups in Cape Town via email. I will also reply with a long list of great “gluten free finds” I have made.

    Kind regards,

    Wendy

  • Isabella

    Does anyone know of a good doctor in Cape Town?
    I went for blood tests and the results came back with a long list of food intolerances including gluten, wheat and dairy products. I cut out everything on the list for a month and my health improved dramatically. I have read that the blood test are not very accurate and I would like to be properly diagnosed so that I don’t cut out unnecessary foods.

  • Yael

    Hi Wendy
    Sorry to have not replied sooner.Your comment fell through the cracks. I do not know of any support groups in Cape Town. In many ways that is why I started a blog. To write about my experiences with Celiac and hopefully meet and chat to like minded people.
    I hope your husband’s results are negative…
    Please feel free to share any ideas or suggestions on the site and hopefully we can make our own little community right here!

    Yael

  • Yael

    Hi Isabella
    Sorry for the late response.
    I do not unfortunately know of anyone good. I wish I did..I would definitely share. I was diagnosed by a gastroenerologist, and that is probably your best bet. If you are unsure of blood tests, a scope would confirm any abnormalities. There is of course the possibility that you are intolerant to all of those substances, especially as your health improved so much! If it is an intolerance and not an actual allergy (an IgE response) than you could cut it out for a period of time, heal up your gut with probiotics and glutamine and you would probably be able to include a small amount in your diet, with no reaction. Best of luck finding someone and if you do…please share

  • Candice

    hi there,
    I am so glad i stumbled across this sight!!! Happiness!
    I have been struggling with syptoms for a few months now and the doctors i have been to dont seem too interested in getting to the bottom of my problem. so i have been doing my own reseach and discovered Celiac Disease today. i have a very strong feeling its what i have and i am going for tests asap. i am relieved to have an answer in sight but also scared and sad to say goodbye to gluten foods. thanks so much for this site!
    P.s my boyfriend, Luke is the operations manager at BUTLER’S PIZZA and their gluten free pizza is amazing, its the only thing getting me through the gluten free lifestyle! what a coincidence that you should mention that…

    keep up the good work,

    Candice

  • Mariska

    Hi
    I was diagnosed with Celiac about a year ago…I live in Pretoria, I have a special meal card which I had out at restaurants when I arrive. In many cases – the chef politely comes out to speak to me which is great, in some cases they also advise that they are not able to provide me with a meal according to my specifications.
    My conditions is at such a level that the smallest cross transfer of gluten and soya sends me to the emergency room – and I’m sick and in pain for at least 10 days.
    The awareness in Pretoria is not close to what you have in Cape Town… Terrible to be go out for dinner in fear…
    Mariska x

  • Zaheera

    Hi Mariska

    I have been suffering with symptoms for the past three years. Its mosly affecting
    My skin. Please could you let me know which doctor you consulted.

    I am also in pretoria. Been to the dermatologist and also a physician with no luck.
    I would be so grateful if i can finally find out whats wrong with me

  • Esther Loedolff

    Hallo
    My son is a celiac. I would appreciate a list of glutenfree food if available.

  • Dee

    I live in Cape Town and have celiac disease and lots of food intolerances (soya, corn, grains, milk, eggs, vegetables, Xanthan gum).

    I have tried gluten free and organic foods but have stomach ache. I cannot eat most of the foods without having stomach pain and many other food reactions. I don’t know which foods are safe to eat even though I have tried all of them without success.

    I would appreciate some advice.

  • Yael

    Hi Dee

    I highly recommend checking out http://www.thepaleomom.com/ and also get her book called The Paleo Approach. There are so many possible food triggers that you might be inadvertently eating and the best thing to do is an Elimination Diet until you can work out what is stimulating your immune system. Also try and find a Functional Medicine doctor to work with as you might have underlying infections and other possible causes for your stomach pain.
    Good Luck!

  • Dr Amy Duncan

    Hi

    This is a great site. I hope you don’t mind if I leave a message on it…

    My name is Amy and I’m a Neuropsychologist (postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town) doing some research on Celiac disease and other auto-immune diseases. I’m investigating whether they can result in any changes in mood (happy, sad, irritable) or cognition (memory, attention etc.).

    If anyone is interested in finding out more, please contact me on amynortham@gmail.com or 083 653 3048. I would love to interview you to find out more about your experience of Celiac disease.

    Thanks so much.

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