Gluten Free Foodies was created by Helen Pengelly-Johnson in 2009. Helen was finally diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2003 after over 30 years of suffering symptoms such as anaemia and bloating. Her grandfather was also a coeliac, diagnosed in the 1970s, so she has over 40 years’ experience of catering for a gluten free diet.
In 2005 she started a business selling gluten free food online but closed it in 2010. Her sons observed that she did not eat a lot of the food she was selling and it was a bit of a wake up call. Through running the business she learnt a lot about nutrition as well as how our food is produced and the supply chain. When she closed it she surveyed her customer database and found that what was needed was not more ‘gluten free’ products but support and advice to help people adapt to a healthier lifestyle after diagnosis.
In 2008 Helen won Coeliac UK’s Awareness Champion Award for her work in the food sector. In 2009 she created a page on facebook and a blog and continued to post updates about what was happening in the gluten free world. She is also a qualified teacher and an accredited coach. She offers one to one support as well as workshops and courses.
Helen loves cooking and is a volunteer cook at a retreat centre where she is affectionately know as the ‘kitchen goddess.’ Nigella eat your heart out! She is used to adapting recipes for all sorts of dietary needs and sometimes just simply to make them taste better.