The story of the creation of this stomach-soothing smoothie starts at the beginning of this month – when my very good friend, Chrish, took me out for a belated 40th birthday afternoon tea. (I am 41 in less than 2 months time!) You can read about our experience at One Aldwych’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea, and how laughter soon turned to tears, further down the post should you so desire.
Basically they feed me food with gluten in it – I call it being gluten-nuked or gluten-ed. I reacted violently there and then; I puked in their pristine toilets, hence the tears as my eyes streamed when I threw up. Even though I was sick almost immediately some of the gluten must have made it’s way down into my system as I was horribly ill for the next five days, (again more details below the recipe!)
Initially I could not eat anything – I drank my green-pineapple juice basically consuming 4 pineapples in 4 days which helped calm my system down. I also drank lots of water, fresh mint tea and lemon’s juiced in hot water.
I had read about papaya’s and how they are great at cleaning out small intestines. As I was only consuming lemon or mint teas and juices at that stage I looked up a papaya juice and proceeded to make a disgusting nasty grey-green slimy juice which I forced down before going to bed. It really helped, the difference the next day was incredible. BUT I never ever wanted to have to drink anything that putrid again!
So I decided to put a papaya in a tropical smoothie and thus this stomach-soothing smoothie recipe was created. I will happily enjoy this tasty tropical treat if I get gluten-nuked again! In fact even though I don’t need one – yesterday I bought a papaya and mango so I can make one of these gorgeous tropical treat smoothies again today. (My reward once I have finished writing this!)
Chrish, my friend is a foodie and took me for a Charlie & the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea at One Aldwych. She also introduced me to the Sanderson for the Mad Hatter Tea Party a couple of years ago – where the food was amazing and 100% gluten free. So I had high hopes and expectations!
I had spoken to One Aldwych weeks in advance to let them know that I needed gluten-free food. Everything seemed fine and dandy. When the food arrived and Chrish had to take photos as she found the disparity between the normal and gluten-free options hilarious. All these photos are courtesy of her.
So as Chrish tucked into her tarts, brioche and pastries I ate my basic boring sandwiches all on the same seeded gluten-free bread. The little beetroot salad on the end of my plate was YUM!
Once I’d finished my mini sarnies and Chrish her selections of savoury treats; the cakes arrived – again Chrish found the contrast between her bowl of cakes, and my gluten-free bowl very amusing. Chrish is very petit yet had a bevy of cakes to consume, whilst I had two crunchy, crumbling scones and a little (delicious) orange polenta cake. We laughed a lot because it the difference was so extreme – it was still amusing at that stage!
However, we then moved onto the main event – the chocolate part. Unfortunately for me we started with the mini bottles of chocolate milk – Chrish sucked all hers up in one go and I am grateful that I did not follow suit. I had a little bit – it tasty lovely – but my throat started to spasm like my body needed to be sick. Then it kept rushing up my gullet so I asked the waiter to check that it was gluten-free. He called the chef who insisted it was – it didn’t make any sense to me as my body was rejecting it. I had to rush to the toilets where I was violently ill.
When I returned I asked the waiter to check again, he returned up with the massive packet of powdered chocolate they use in the drink where it clearly stated that it “may contain gluten”. My body had reacted as if it definitely had.
We spoke to the Food & Beverage Director, Gavin who was very apologetic, he himself suffers from a nut allergy so should have known the risks of using foods which “may contain…” on them. Everything was complimentary and he assured me that they would not serve that drink to other gluten-free guests. I hope that they keep to that promise. He also said he would email me which he is yet to do. Luckily I am not like my son who suffers from severe food allergies and anaphylaxis.
I thought that because I had thrown-up I would not suffer the consequences of ingesting gluten but my belly bloated, hard and swollen, I couldn’t be further than 10 metres from a toilet and I lost a lot of blood every time I passed gas, or went the loo proper. By the fourth day I had started to worry that I may need to go to hospital as I was loosing so much blood. The fourth day was also the evening I desperately made my disgusting papaya juice and forced the slimy thing down before bed. It was worth it, it calmed my system down completely and the next morning when I woke up the bloating was gone and I started to recover finally. Two weeks later my stomach is still very sensitive and I am having to avoid all gluten substitutes and stick to clean eating (which you know I enjoy – so it’s no chore)
If you are looking for an afternoon tea in London to enjoy with someone who is gluten-free I would thoroughly recommend the Mad Hatter Tea Party at the Sanderson. I have been twice, never had a reaction and they take as much care and effort over the food for us gluten-free bods as they do over everyone else.
Chrish and I are going there to try and celebrate my belated 40th again – I’m sure she will take pics and I will do a little review that should be cheery and positive! (fingers crossed)
If you get gluten-nuked I really recommend my green tummy taming juice, my soothing slushy and this gorgeous stomach soothing smoothie. Stick to foods you know are clean and safe, avoid the gluten substitutes, drink lots of liquids – be that water, teas or juices and take time to self-care. I found some helpful gentle yoga asanas for bloating online too.
Stay safe & healthy, namaste to each of you,