Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
The festive period is always portrated as a wholesome, warming family driven time of the year and for most it is.
However, for some its not.
Not to be a grinch but for me this years festivities have not been jolly and bright but a time of low mood, long shifts and Covid.
We often talk about the food here at Allergic Foodie and especially around festive times food plays an important role. However, theres a sidekick to food which often gets overlooked but plays just as an important part, the drinks.
With the holiday’s often comes travelling around to families homes and visiting friends. This can put those with food restrictions onto tricky situations as others provide food and drinks to accomodate us, with at times little to no understanding of what is safe to consume.
A times when we are not feeling our best food can be a burden to manage however fluids tent to be more managable to consume.
But don’t think all drinks are allergy safe because they are not. And you can be easily caught out by a sneaky ingrede nt or two that your just not expecting to be there.
The good, the bad and the ugly….
There are plenty of drinks avalible that are suitable for those with food restrications.
However, be aware not all drinks from the same brand are safe to consume, so we always need to check each individual drink.
Number one on my top safe drinks list has to be the original fluid, water.
Water is always a safe option, be that from the tap or out of a bottle. We as humans are made up of 50% – 60% water so it never does us any harm giving ourselves a top up. Water is benefical in many ways and helps with both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Personally I am not a still water fan, however I do enjoy sparling water.
I have a soda stream as I don’t want to purchase disposable plastic bottles and it has saved me many pennies. The water made by the Soda stream can be kept in a fridge for a few days and will remain bubbly even if transported.
The Soda stream complany also makes syrups you can add to your water to flavor it. I have tried a few but they are not for me as they tend to taste a bit weird. I do however, add different cordials to the water for flavour. All the syrups advertised on the Soda stream website contain none of the 14 allergens.
And moving nicely on from water which is the base to my next favorite a good brew.
Us British love a good cup of tea, and its a good bet as a safe option.
Your tradition tea flavours – white, black, green, Oolong and Rooibos are all safe for those with allergies or intolerance to the main 14 allergens.
However, all but Rooibos contain caffeine which can be an allergen or intolerance to some. I myself have issues with caffeine so I choose to drink Rooibos.
All can be mixed with your choice of milk or enjoyed black.
And a little bit of festive fizz….
No I don’t mean Champagne just yet, i’m talking about fizzy pop or carbonated fizzy drinks.
These maynot be what your first thoughts go to thinking about festive times and beverages however, there most likely to be consumed as a mixer.
Are most fizzy drinks safe for those with gluten issues, yes.
Most are. However, like everything people like to get a bit fancy especially around Christmas and add in ingredents we may not normally come across. So we need to be mindful of add ons to our normal choices.
The main ingredent to look for regards gluten in fizzy drinks is caramel colour. Most of the time caramel colour is made out of corn however, it can also be made out of wheat so can contain gluten.
The majoy brands like Pepsi-Cola state all their carbonated beverages are gluten free. However, not all are vegan.
In the UK Diet Pepsi and Diet Pepsi caffine free is not vegan.
There are several drinks from Coca-Cola in the UK that are not vegan as they contain animal derivatives;
- Lilt zero
- Kia-Ora orange squash no added sugar
- Schweppes Indian tonic water
- Schweppes orande squash
- Honest lemon and honey
- Glaceau Vitaminwater Zero Sunshine and Multi V
- Costa Coffee Ready-to-Drink Caramel Latte
- Costa Coffee Ready-to-Drink Latte
- Costa Coffee Ready-to-Drink Americano
If fizzy drinks aren’t your cup of tea maybe a good fruit squash will tingle your tastbuds.
Most squashes are gluten free, however there is some that are obviously not.
Robinsons fruit and barley is an great example. They are not hiding the fact it contains barley so its a good one to avoid.
Safe fruit cordials in the UK are:
- Ribena – all products
- Vimto drinks are gluten free not there confectionary. Vimto is no longer vegan as they have added vitamin D
- Robinson fruit juices – all ranges bar their barley range
- Most supermarket own brands – from what I could find all had simualr ingredents none contained gluten
And for the adults….
Over the festive period there is approximately 5,768,212,788 units of alcohol consumed by adults over 18 years old in the UK. Thats 2 and a half billion pints of beer or wine.
But not alcohol is safe for those with food restrictions.
Sherry, cider, wine, spirits, port and liqueurs are gluen free and safe for Coeliacs. Distilled spirits only contain gluten if its been added after the distillation process.
Beer, larger, ale and stout are not gluten free. There is however, several brands that are now producing gluten free beers.
I myself do not drink so I can not personally comment on how good they are. I have tried Kopparberg alcohol free cider and its been all good.
Drinks containing a alcohol stregnth above 1.2% ABV do not have to list ingredents unless they contain gluten or the name of the drink, for exapmple wheat beer, tells the customer it contains and allergen.
However, not all wines are vegan. Some contain anilmal products to clarify the product so check beforehand.
And don’t forget there’s always butterbeer….
Like alot of things we are sold they contain a shed load of added preservatives, stabilisers and additives or as there better known E numbers.
These little codes can contain a multitude of things we aould rather not think about but for us with food restrictions we need to be thinking.
These codes can be allergens we are just not being made aware of.
The below E numbers are not vegan:
- E120 – Carmine dye
- E441 – Gelatin
- E542 – Edible bone phosphate
- E700 – E799 antibiotics all will have been tested on animals
- E901 – Beeswax
- E904 – Shellac
- E910 – L-cysteine
- E913 – Lanolin, sheep wool grease
- E920 – L-cysteine
- E921 – L-cysteine
- E966 – Lactitol
Food and your mood….
Our dietary can affect our mood dramatically and like I said not everyone is happy and joyful around the festive period.
Making sure we keep ourselves hydrated if food is not something we can think about at this time is important.
Although there is no set amount of fluids we should be having daily to help our minds and body we should be aiming for 6-8 glasses as a minimum. This is not of alcohol.
Be mindful of your fluid choices, sugar and caffeine can affect your mood so may need to be avoided.
Fruits and vegetables are again benifical to us so smoothies and acai bowls are great ways to have our veggie fruit intake without solids being present.
If you or anyone you know are feeling unsafe or in need of support for your mental health please seek help. Be that a chat with a friend or proffesional support.