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Pass the Cake

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Those who know me know my passion for baking… and eating cake. It is no mistake that I earned the soubriquet “The Queen of Puddings” from a good friend… and even started a baking blog of the same name!

But now cake is unfortunately the enemy.


So I’ve had to ditch them… along with other crutches I used to get myself through wobbly bits in life: chocolate, sugar, wheat and alcohol. In fact they’re all the bits that GAVE me wobbly bits! If I consume any of them, I have to prepare to be really sick.

So, cake? Pass!

It sucks.

But it’s also my reality.

Having pretty much cleared them out of my life, I suddenly experienced what “normal” must feel like in a human body.

WOW! Alive rocks!

I honestly don’t know how I lived in “not normal” for so long.

I guess I just didn’t know it could be any different for me, in this body, in this life time. Whilst I was pretty sure the rest of the world didn’t feel like they were swimming through treacle all day, every day… I didn’t know how to make it so for me.

For years and years my normality has been:

Feeling spaced out, irritable, bloating which makes you look 4 months pregnant, weight gain, stomach pains, gurgling upset stomach most of the time,  itching skin, dull feeling of nausea, constant exhaustion …

Migraines, anxiety, depression…

It’s just when you’ve had all these symptoms for as long as you can remember…. and there are so many, it’s baffling to know where to begin. When you’re so fed up of feeling sick all the time. When you know everyone around you is fed up of you being sick all the time. You just chalk it down to life and carry on… Until the symptoms get stronger, and intolerable…

And then someone suggests it could be wheat and sugar.

You have NO idea how you could cut ONE of these out… let alone both.

PLUS you’re intolerant of food intolerances because they’re so flipping precious, everyone and his donkey has them nowadays. And it makes it a nightmare to eat out – at friend’s or restaurants… I did NOT want to be one of “those people”.

And when cake is the life line which got you through depression… it makes it twice as hard.


Gluten Free Chocolate Almond Cake – The Queen of Puddings

But it reaches a point where it gets so bad, you’ll try it.

And it works. Within days your skin and stomach are comfortable. You feel calmer and clear headed. And giving up wheat, wheat being the focus, for some reason made cutting sugar back MUCH easier.

But then… a few weeks later… you think you’re just imagining it anyway. It wasn’t so bad. And you’d kill for a quick easy sandwich for lunch. Or a slice of cake.

And so you do.

And five hours later you’re doubled over with stomach cramps, and the next morning your face is red and blotchy.

But you carry on, because this is ridiculous. Gluten-free bagels suck. French bread and croissants rock… But after 3 days you say… I remember feeling good… I want to feel good again.

So you stop with the wheat. And learn a few more interesting recipes and replacements. Until the day you’re out and about… and hungry… and you grab something wheaty… and once again the cramps and gas and rash.

And so you stop. Determined to do it alone. Not wanting tests. Especially tests which involve cutting out a little bit of your guts… Not wanting labels… Judgement… To inconvenience family and friends…

Until someone you know dies of stomach cancer. And you look up symptoms for untreated coeliac disease on trusty Dr Google… and you see stomach cancer… as well as brittle bones, diabetes, and all sorts of nasty autoimmune issues…


Strawberry Queen Cakes – The Queen of Puddings

And you say, OK, I’ll get myself tested.  To be sure. To know to what extent we need to eat clean. To look after ourselves properly. Whether it’s just in “intolerance” or something “REAL”. Whichever I’m gathering new recipes… learning new ways to bake… gluten free, chocolate free and low sugar… cue my Pinterest boards: Wheat Free Savoury, Gluten Free Treats, Healthy Baking and No Added Sugar.

But… and here’s the catch, in order to be tested you have to eat a “normal” amount of wheat for 6 weeks.

That’s where I’m at right now.

And I thought it would be heaven, eating exactly what I’ve been missing… but it isn’t – I’m hazy and irritable and itchy and bloated and sore…

And maybe at the end of it all, I will not officially have anything at all. Except egg on my face.

But I now know my own body. And it feel a million times better wheat free. Which is how I’ll be eating again. Coeliac or not.

But for now… just in time for my birthday next week – pass the cake! Mine’ll be the White Chocolate Whisper Cake with Strawberry Buttercream… my favourite!

For Part 2 of this post: How do you treat yourself? See here.

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Let’s celebrate together! I’ve got a midsummer sale on all my books to mark my birthday. Moon Time, The Rainbow Way, Reaching for the Moon, Moods of Motherhood… paperback or e-book… and moon dials… all 20% off till this Sunday night. Treat yourself. Your sister. Your friend. Your daughter.


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  1. Gabi

    Dear Lucy – thank you so much for writing this. I’ve just reached the same decision to cut out wheat and sugar for same reasons. I recently moved to live near Totnes where there are so many alternative options, to cater for all sorts of dietary preferences and many of my new friends who are my age are turning away from wheat so it’s been an easy choice. I hadn’t clarified it in my mind until I read your blog today. Two close relatives have died from stomach cancer and I’m prediabetic: suddenly the penny dropped when I read your blog, that I need to read more research and take responsibility for my body’s health. I’m only two days into my new menu (not diet!) but I am sure I feel a little better, brighter and more “normal”. I will enjoy trying your recipes! Wishing you a happy birthday next week, with love.

    • lucyhpearce

      Hi Gabi,

      Thank you so much for your comment – I am so touched and honoured to have helped you to clarify your journey. Your comment arrived just as I was putting together a follow up post on the subject which I’ll be sharing on Friday.

      I absolutely agree with not calling it a diet, rather I think of how I can really nourish myself with delicious foods that make me feel great – no denial – just choosing again and again to eat things that make me feel good. Totnes would be a great place for eating this way… here it’s not so good, but it gets better year on year. Ireland has the highest level of coeliac in the world, and so alternative choices are becoming more and more mainstream.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

      Lucy x

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