Meet gluten-free Frankie!

Close-up of blogger, gluten-free frankie

We wanted to touch on the fact that this week is #coeliacawarenessweek and what better way to do this than by talking to student and food blogger, Frankie Cox.

Diagnosed with Refractory Coeliac disease when she was just a teenager, Frankie has made it her mission to raise awareness of the disease and help fellow sufferers. Known as glutenfree_frankie, her Instagram page is full of inspiring and informative content, while her blog is jam-packed with useful product reviews and delicious recipes that are suitable for coeliac sufferers and those with gluten intolerance.

So, without any further ado, over to you Frankie…

When were you diagnosed with coeliac disease and what were your symptoms?

I was diagnosed in July 2016. I was doing my AS level exams at the time and was suffering from severe abdominal pain, acne, headaches, tiredness and weight loss.

My weight dropped down to 5 stone (~30kg) in just a few weeks.

What exactly is refractory coeliac disease?

Refractory coeliac disease is a very rare complication of coeliac disease with an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Symptoms of refractory coeliac disease include ongoing severe diarrhoea, stomach pain, sudden unexpected weight loss.

What does your diet look like now?

My diet is mainly vegan as I’m allergic to gluten, lactose, soya and egg. For breakfast, I normally have a protein shake, then for lunch and tea, I eat mainly fruit and vegetables.

What are the challenges (and benefits) of being on this diet?

It's extremely hard to eat out at restaurants or enjoy normal uni life activities that other students partake in. But on the plus side, it's an extremely healthy, balanced diet. Luckily, I did enjoy eating healthy anyway, even before my diagnosis, so I’m not really too bothered by the change.

What support is available for those suffering from coeliac disease?

Coeliac UK are an amazing charity who really helped me in my first year of diagnosis. They publish monthly magazines with lots of helpful information.

Brands with allergy free products are also amazing and I wouldn’t have expanded my diet without the opportunities I’ve had through becoming a food blogger.

Why do you love Purition?

It’s allergen free and only made from real, natural ingredients. It also tastes amazing and I love all the vegan flavours!

I love to make simple protein shakes or smoothies with it and make them thick and creamy. Alternatively, I love using it in batter mixes for pancakes and waffles to add a subtle flavour in.

Quick-fire round...

Favourite recipe? Ooh that’s a tough one! Probably either my waffle or pancake recipes on my blog as I have a very sweet tooth. I’m a sucker for any cake or sweet treat I can get my hands on.

Go to snack? Probably any type of raw paleo energy bar!

Best place to eat out? It would have to be Zizzi’s due to their amazing gluten free and vegan options. Their Zucca pizza is to die for!

Three people you would invite to a dinner party? Wow! It would probably be the other food bloggers I’ve made friends with through Instagram. As we could all have gluten free and vegan food and take lots of photos of it without being judged haha!

Your perfect weekend consists of….? Probably having delicious food, going to the gym and spending time with family and friends. You can’t get much better than that really!

Thank you, Frankie, for taking the time out of your studies to talk to us about living with Refractory Coeliac disease. Learn more about Frankie’s journey, by visiting her Instagram and blog. Alternatively, for more information on coeliac disease and the gluten free diet, visit Coeliac UK.

Find out more about using Purition on your gluten-free diet.


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