My name's Ali and my story begins back in 1996 when I started getting immense tummy pain and bloating but not knowing why.
I had countless trips to the doctor, an operation under general anaesthetic (after being misdiagnosed with endometriosis) and was reaching the end of my tether.
It was only a chance encounter with a new (and wonderful) doctor that I got my life back again.
He suggested coeliac disease, which eventually led to me having a positive biopsy and a strict gluten-free diet.
It wasn't long before I finally felt normal again. But I had to learn everything myself. I would have loved to have had someone to help me on my journey.
And that's why I began Life on a Rice Cake.
Why 'Life on a Rice Cake'?
After my coeliac diagnosis, I honestly thought my problems were over. But just a year later I was in hideous pain again. I decided it had to be food-related and started eliminating things. Eventually I got down to eating just rice cakes.
I finally managed to see a gastroenterologist who went through everything with me.
"Are you eating gluten?" he enquired.
"None. I'm only eating rice cakes."
He paused. "What are you drinking?"
"2 or 3 bottles of Diet Coke every day." (I saw it as a treat.)
And there lay the problem: Diet Coke contains caffeine and if you drink as much as I was, it's caffeine by the truckload.
I stopped immediately.
2 weeks later I was back in a pair of jeans. (Anyone who suffers IBS will know what a triumph this is.)
Since then I've put together strategies to overcome common issues that coeliacs face (many of us also have IBS).
And it's made my world a whole lot better!
How you can benefit
Wondering how can I help you? Here's what I offer:
Support sessions for coeliacs (book online here).
A fantastic coeliac disease course to help you feel fabulous.
Advice and guidance on going gluten-free in my blog.
I'll get you to a better, easier lifestyle where you can thrive!
You can also benefit from my online 7 Day Swap course where I teach you how to make quick & yummy gluten-free meals without having to resort to white rice or a jacket spud.
You can also hop over to my Instagram account to see daily photos, videos and motivators.
Lastly, click on my Facebook group 'The Gluten-Free Haven' and join in the conversation. I'm looking forward to meeting you!