My Food Journey: Discovering Intolerances

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Sometimes I like to take a break from beauty and share a bit of real life on my blog, in the past I’ve talked about mental health and real life but today I am talking about my journey with intolerance.

Ever since I was little I’ve suffered a lot with intolerances, wishing to make a clear distinction between with intolerances and allergies which people often don’t understand is a clear distinction in severity. Like most people I suffer with hay fever although I tend to start in February as I suffer from it with tree pollen. Cats and dogs always proved to be an issue, and finally I have severe reaction to many bug bites but for years I was always thankful I never had an issue with food items.

That was until last year when I was finally diagnosed with an intolerance to egg, a lesser talked about food allergy yet it’s one of the most common with a must larger percentage of the population suffering from an egg allergy that those who suffer with wheat and/or gluten. Looking back for years I have suffered when eating egg products but tended to treat the symptoms as an off day than to do with anything I had eaten. Since cutting eggs out back in October I feel so much better in myself, and I’m slowly starting to enjoy food again.

The main thing that surprised me was the complete re-education with what I was eating, and I am now hoping continue into the year to eat healthier. Initially I found myself stuck in a little bit of a food rut, as there was so much I couldn’t eat and I didn’t look for alternatives that it was so difficult but I am finally getting there.

The main problem I found with egg was its in so much that you do not realised it in, processed food use egg products as a preservative. Breads, cheeses, yoghurts all surprising can contain egg, so look carefully and forget about deserts, ice cream and cake are obviously off the menu but once again those deserts that shouldn’t often do due to egg wash. It’s just a lot of thought, shopping takes a lot longer, label checking at home and finding vegan alternatives in some cases.

I’ve found myself having preferences for supermarkets, in terms of products they offer mainly Asda and Tesco with Morrison’s been the worse for labelling items. I have become endlessly frustrated with the “free from” sections, but hey you learn to like and look for standard alternatives, although the other day I discovered vegan pesto woohoo! I’m exploring food and alternatives though and the worse than can happen is I don’t like it.

I’ve also been exploring vegan baking, there obviously are normal recipes without egg which have proved to be great staples as my baking has had some interesting results. As my dad has put it I am a great baker, usually, but there has been some questionable recipes to say the least. If you don’t try you’ll never learn but there have been a few baked goods covered in Nutella or custard to make it more palatable.

The one final thing on this journey that I am trying to adapt to is eating out, I’ve felt awkward asking for allergy menu or stick to stuff I’m sure I can eat. Cross contamination is an issue and with egg in sauces and bread, you cannot just guess. It’s definitely more me than the restaurant many have been very accommodating and one place locally had a delicious vegan menu including a chocolate tart so there has been some silver liners. This has really been a huge thing of confidence building and just thinking about what I am eating, no more impulse buying or eating on the go food requires thought and effort. On the odd occasion I have made a mistake, I’ve felt genuinely ill which I was warned about that for a while you can either be more sensitive or you feel the effects more so I’m getting there.

So that’s my food journey the past few months and I know it’s going to be a long term journey but I’m getting there. If you have any good vegan recipes let me know, I’m definitely not vegan but it sure makes it easier to ensure I can eat something.

Gwen

xx

Blink and You’ll Miss It: Life Update

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Hi Guys,

I’ve been fairly quiet here on the blog the past few weeks which I regret but I’m excited to get back into things in November and aim to get everything back on track. So I thought I’d start a little bit of getting back on track with a life update.

 

Work

So let’s start with work as it starts to ramp up to peak, it just gets so stressful. It’s not necessarily always my role but there is definitely that general stressed feeling floating around. I’m so glad I work with a great bunch of people, so no matter how stressful it gets you can have a laugh. I’ve also been put on a mentoring scheme which I’m looking forward to, it’s great to have something like this at the start of my career and it will be interesting to see what my outcome will be.

 

Diet

I’ve recently found out I’m intolerant to egg whites and have gone on a full on egg exclusion diet, it’s taken some getting used to as there’s egg in a lot of things you’ve never thought it would be in. I’ve had a problem with certain egg products for years like egg noodle and quiche but cutting it out completely has made me think more about what I’m eating and there’s a lot more things I cannot eat. Saying that I’ve tried out some fun recipes and enjoyed making things from scratch as a number of preservatives are made from egg, I never realised some things were so easy to make and I’m tempted to start sharing some recipes on my blog.

 

Personal Life

It’s not been an especially great month for my personal life and the people I know and although none of it massively affects me you take a knock. At the start of October my best friend’s dad was diagnosed with cancer, he was always about when I was growing up and although they thought it might be coming when it was confirmed it was quite a shock. So we’ve spent some time having some girly fun night out and spent time together it’s all about being there for those you love. Similarly my boyfriend’s grandfather died unexpectedly, encroaching 90 it’s never totally unexpected but it’s horrible to loose family member so I spent a lot of the month being the supportive friend and girlfriend really trying to be there for them. However bad things always come in threes and in the last couple of days my uncle has being diagnosed with motor neuron disease, which is truly a horrible disease and you know what’s coming even if you don’t know how quickly it will happen.

I think these things make you appreciate life more, what you have and the people in it. Its a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Take the time to spend time with others and appreciate what you have.

So with all of this going on I really just needed to take some time out and shut off, I love my blog but I think it was important to have some me time with no schedules and no pushing myself. I’ve really missed blogging so I’m coming back in November with a vengeance to create some great content that you will love.

Sign Off

Life Update: 3 Year Anniversary

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This is a bit of a lazy post but between work, looking for other jobs and managing upcoming ideas for my blog including a revamp I neglected to fill today with something and opposed to leaving it blank I thought I’d do a quick post. Sorry it’s a bit meh but I’ve put a lot of effort into other posts, I suppose this is a bit of a space filler.

Today is my 3 year anniversary with my lovely boyfriend, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to share my life with.  We met during my fresher’s week and have blossomed and grown ever since, sure we’ve had our ups and downs I mean currently we are living 300 miles apart while we both try to start careers and find jobs near one another. Yet it is just another hurdle and we are making an effort to make this work. Plenty people make long distance work and it is just something that happens but you come out stronger the other end. We are working out living closer to each other, saving up for deposits and just generally looking forward to the future as well as finally having to be proper adults.

So here is to 3 amazing years and hopefully to many more

Graduation

Graduation

So on Thursday 10th September I finally had my graduation ceremony, although you may already of seen this on twitter and instagram and if you aren’t already following me why not? I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with an Upper Second Class Honours in Economics. I’m so proud of my achievements and what I managed over 3 years at university, all the hard work finally paid off.  I’ve known my results since June, and the transcript arrived at the end of July as well as working in a graduate position since the middle of July it was somewhat a long time coming but with the time between finishing in May and the Graduation in September it is so nice to see everyone again. With some going on to masters in a variety of subjects while other have been travelling, everyone is doing something different and it’s nice to all be together one last time.

I loved the 3 years at university having some great times with friends, I met my amazing boyfriend there and just had such a great experience. I also loved my course, I find economics fascinating and I’m so glad I got to study it in such depth, it is also useful for getting a career and is such a great all round subject.

Long days studying, drinking cocktails, working one of the best jobs I think ever existed I definitely made the most of it. Obviously it’s not all positive with annoying housemates and a lot of coursework sometimes, but you just have work through these things and they are just a part of the university experience. All the hard work and stress finally paid off and the graduation ceremony was just a great way to end it all.

The graduation ceremony was held at St Albans Cathedral an absolutely beautiful setting, and I had an evening ceremony. Which meant I got the day off from work to get ready and I was exhausted at work the following day but it was so worth it. On Friday once I’ve collated all of the graduation photos and sorted out all of the pieces about my outfit and my makeup, I will also feature some of the other photos as it is such a nice setting for graduation.

Anyway talk to you again soon.

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Life Update: New Job

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So just a small life update today to let you guys know that as of yesterday I have started a new job, it is only temporary for now but its nice starting life in a proper graduate job. I hate sitting around doing nothing so the opportunity to earn some money, buy a car and gain relevant experience, I’m just relieved that in less than 6 weeks I have managed to find work.

I’m just getting the hang of it at the moment, getting to know my role and the other people in the office and I’m enjoying being back in a working environment although its very different from when I’ve worked in retail previously. I am still looking at other work because with this only being a 3 month job I will need something in the long run but for now I can be a lot more picky which is refreshing. I’m also still looking to relocate and me and my boyfriend can find jobs together, get a little flat ect but these will all come with time.

With the new job I may have a lot less time on my hands but I am hoping that I will still be able to keep to my current blog schedule. It just may be a little bit messy for a little bit until I get into my routine but I have a load of ideas and pieces that I am currently working on so I am sure I will be able to schedule something. I’ve also been hitting up the summer sales for work attire, its great to have an excuse to go shopping and be able to buy somewhat of a new wardrobe, so I may haul it if I get the chance.

What has been happening in your lives? Anything new and exciting in your lives, or are you planning on going away somewhere nice this summer.

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Life Update: University is Over

Hi everyone,

So here is a mini life update as on Monday I complete my final exam of my final year of university and it hasn’t really sunk in yet. It is pretty much being stuck in a weird limbo as I’ve finished but I have no grade and I am still looking for a job it just all feels a little bit odd. Yet for now I am going to celebrate finishing and seeing everyone one last time before we start our lives out in the big wide world.

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So to kick off the celebrations after my exam me and my course mates went out to Prezzo to have a meal. Amazing food, great company and a cheeky glass of wine was a perfect way to kick off celebrating the end of an era. Also prezzo is delicious I just barely go but it was certainly a lovely treat.

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Then on Tuesday I had a mini bbq with my closest friend from university, my house mate a boyfriend all of us are graduating this year and it was nice to do something a little more intimate rather than lets get pissed. Although the weather was variable with lunch being cooked an umbrella but it brightened up later and turned really nice for dinner and luckily the boys were doing the cooking anyway so we remained completely dry. So we loads of good food watching a few films, some Simpsons it was a really lovely chill day and I’m glad I got to celebrate graduating.

As for the rest of the celebrations, tonight I will be going to an ‘awards’ night for work as working for my SU it means that some 20 of us are leaving this year so its a end of year celebration and sort of a send off for us that won’t be coming back. Then on Saturday we are going to Harvester for a cute little work meal so that will be fun, basically a huge arse send off seeing as most of my work is leaving.

Then on Sunday I am going to Slam Dunk South a music festival I really love and considering that I am literally a 5 minute walk away as it is held at my university. I cannot wait especially to see Taking Back Sunday as I haven’t see them since 2006 so it should be a great day/night. While next week will be more chill as I spend time with my boyfriend before we are apart for ages.

Do you have any big changes to your life? Any one else finishing University this year?

Lots of Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

What I got for my birthday . . .

Hi guys, if you didn’t know I turned 21 over the weekend exciting I know. For the day me, my boyfriend, my best friend and her boyfriend went to London Zoo as I’m a big kid inside. As I’m currently at university I don’t get all the family gifts and as I don’t know what I want my parents put my birthday money to one side for when I decide what I want. So if I want something more expensive and nice in a few months they’ll get it for me rather than wasting it now. Saying that I was still spoilt by my boyfriend and besties ect. so here we go.

ZSL London Zoo

LOTR inspired art

My first gift from my boyfriend was the ZSL London Zoo tickets, because his amazing and it was a great day out. He also brought me a beautiful piece of LOTR Inspired artwork which I had spied on etsy a while back. The piece is based on the final chapter of Lord of the Rings: Return on the King as the elves leave middle earth. I love Tolkens world, both the books and the films and I think this is such a beautiful piece with it actually made from the pages of the book, mine are the pages from the battle of the shire.purminerals, ciate & rimmel

Next up is what my best friend at uni got me and I honestly wasn’t expecting anything we were just going to do something together as its both of our 21sts at the weekend. Anyway she brought me Purminerals Holiday Elements set, which is a really cute little set with three looks, and a little travel thing so great for touch ups or going away. I’m excited to try it out as I’ve never tried any purminerals make up before. Then she got me two Ciate Paint Pots in Members Only and Doll Face which are incredibly pretty and great nude go to colours. And finally as she knows I’ve developed an obsession with east end snob by rimmel she picked me up a back up one.swarvoski tennis bracelet

My sister spoilt me this year buying my a Swarovski Tennis Bracelet, its a beautiful piece and I’m so glad to finally have this as an addition to my collection as I’m all for just a few well made piece.

LOTR mug & Chocolate controller

white chocolate and raspberry cupcakes

My best friend from back home brought me a Tolken Inspired Mug, which just adds to my expanding Tolken collection and you can never really have enough mugs. She also brought me a chocolate controller as I said me and my boyfriend need a second controller for his Xbox One, this one is so much better and finally she made some beautiful raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes nomnomnom! Oh and I got malibu.

21st themed gifts

My boyfriends family brought me some lovely 21st themed pieces, starting with a lovely 21st frame which I am filling with a picture from the day. I also got the lovely wooden 21 which I am slowly getting people to sign which is an adorable ideal to remember the occasion.

Hello Kitty Food and Drink

My parents tend to give me money so I am yet to spend that however, my mum every year get me a bunch of jokey presents. She always gets me Hello Kitty stuff without fail, for Christmas I got got Hello Kitty salt and pepper shakers. For my birthday I received a Hello Kitty Pomegranate Iced Tea which I don’t want to drink and have to throw  the can away, as well as an adorable Hello Kitty Cupcake Set. finally She brought me a cute little bear with a 21 badge of course.

So that what I got for my birthday and I am truly thankful for everything I have received and I even have more money to spend which I probably will go on a shopping spree over easter.

Lots of Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

Happy Birthday

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Happy Birthday to me! Just a quick note to say today is my 21st Birthday, YAY! I’m finally and adult and there is not going back, although I don’t have to enter the real world until Graduation.

So today my amazing boyfriend is taking me to London zoo so I am insanely excited and my best friend and other half will be joining us. So have a great weekend everyone.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xxx