Sarah on a mission to feed the world with gorgeous gluten free food
Bread and Belgian buns were two of Sarah Hirst's favourite foods.
So she was horrified when a blood test in 2015 confirmed that she had Coeliac disease.
It meant no more bread or buns for Sarah and while it may seem a small sacrifice to make that we can treat lightheartedly there is a lack of awareness of the seriousness of the condition.
Sarah said: "I have been treated as a bit of a pain in the neck at times and although attitudes are changing there is still a long way to go."
Today marks the start of Coeliac Disease Awareness Week. The aim of this week is to raise as much awareness for coeliac disease as possible, and to inform the community of what it is and how it affects those around us that suffer from it.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where symptoms are triggered by the consumption of gluten. This then damages the lining of the small intestine, and in some rare cases, other parts of the body.
Symptoms of coeliac disease include many ailments such as nausea and vomiting, skin rashes, weight loss, issues with digestion, headaches and fatigue, among a many others.
Another aim of this week is to help people recognise these symptoms and seek help, because while awareness of coeliac disease is spreading, there is still a very low awareness for the symptoms of the disease.
It is estimated half a million people, which is around one in 100, are living with the disease undiagnosed.
Since she was diagnosed Sarah has been on a mission to find gorgeous gluten free food and it proved to be such a struggle she decided to launch her own business making it.
Burnley based GF2GO was born out of frustration after Sarah was upset to discover she did not like any of the gluten free breads on offer. It was also a challenge to find tasty food on the go.
She said: " Supermarkets now have quite a range of gluten free foods but there is still the problem of getting fed on the go and in a hurry.
"We Ceoliacs and the gluten intolerant community are offered usually only one choice of sandwich on the lunchshelf and that has often sold out."
Sarah's daughter Rose Lycett, who is joint director with Sarah in the business, became gluten intolerant due to IBS and she loved the idea of making the solution to their problems their work.
Grace, Sarah's other daughter, started following the gluten free lifestyle followed by Sarah's mum, Chistine.
Three years ago Sarah moved from from her home in Staffordshire to Barrowford to help her family care for Christine who is 86 and doing remarkably well on the gluten free diet.
Sarah said: "Mum suffered with stomach problems but all that has improved tremendously since going gluten free."
Although a business, Sarah and her daughters are passionate about their work and it is now their goal and life's work to help anyone who has to avoid gluten to find foods they love.
They do their research continually and manufacture some items themselves as their previous business, Pudding n Pie Ltd won a couple of Great Taste Awards.
Sarah said: "I have always been interested in food and completed a HND in Hotel and Catering, worked as a chefand set up the puddings and cakes business later on.
"Our production kitchen is very nearly ready to open."
The company gluten free food trailer is already on the road and the business has many confirmed bookings including the Cross Gaits at Blacko for the Pendle Pub Walk, March for Men in Liverpool, Nottingham andLeeds and Lytham St Annes International Kite Festival to name a few.
Sarah also plans to attend several farmers' markets in the area and she wants to hear other people's stories.
And while more people are trying to kick poor eating habits and lead a healthier lifestyle the benefits of going gluten free are numerous including:
* Reducing symptoms of IBS – no more uncomfortable bloating and cramps* Can help lower the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes* Can aid healthy weight loss* Improves cholesterol levels* Helps ward off viruses and germs as many foods you will now eat will contain moreantioxidants, vitamins, and minerals* Energy levels could be increased* A gluten free lifestyle can significantly decrease behavioural disorders in children withautism* Alleviates inflammation of the joints, which is particularly beneficial to those withCrohn’s disease, Lupus and Arthritis
For more information about gluten free foods email [email protected] or call Sarah on 07753695331.