Coeliac Awareness Week is 15-21 May

Many articles in the media indicate that It is a healthy choice to eat a gluten a free diet to improve health. However for people with coeliac disease it is essential, life changing  and the only treatment available.

What is coeliac disease and what are the symptoms?

Coeliac disease is a permanent intestinal intolerance to dietary gluten, a protein found in some plants. It induces an autoimmune reaction in the lining of the small bowel which causes villous atrophy (flattening of the mucosa). Everyone is different, common symptoms can include stomach and joint pain, tiredness, vomiting or diarrhoea.

What is so difficult about eating out with coeliac disease?

The main issue is cross-contamination. This can happen when very small amounts have been passed on from serving tongs, fingers or cooking utensils such as BBQs and toasters.

Cathy Khouri at Nutrition Care Ltd sees many people who have been diagnosed with Coeliac disease. The appointment time includes a full nutritional assessment and “A to Z“ advice about how to manage coeliac disease with diet.

Cathy has had patients return for further advice because they have been unwell or have had blood results that reflect the condition was poorly controlled. She recalled a careful review of intake for a young woman in a flatting situation. This revealed flatmates used the same dishcloth for wiping down benches before and after gluten containing and gluten free meals were being prepared, that may have been enough to trigger symptoms.  Cathyalso remembered a case of an older man who had received positive coeliac blood test results despite his best efforts to totally exclude gluten. After careful questioning and some discussion, it became clear that while he was on holiday, although he had chosen gluten free bread for toast, there would have been cross contamination from the hotel toaster.       

Where is gluten found?

·         Wheat and all varieties, such as spelt

·         Rye

  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Derivatives of these products, such as malt


It is important to seek an accurate diagnosis and consult a qualified and experienced Dietitian. For more information see


Nutrition Care’s weight loss programme immediately caught my eye. I was very encouraged by my first meeting with Cathy~the programme she asked me to follow was simple and easy to fit into my daily life. After 7 months, I am almost at my goal weight and have now lost 14kgs! More importantly, I am focused on maintaining my healthy lifestyle and feel much happier, healthier and full of energy.

Craig Hughes

As Occupational Health Advisor for Solid Energy New Zealand in 2007 (based at Huntly East Coal Mine) we ran a wellness programme for staff at all three of the Huntly sites modeled on the TV program “The Biggest Loser.” I invited the dietitians from Nutrition Care along for the ride.

From the outset the dietitians at Nutrition Care were invaluable in assisting with planning and monitoring the competitors in the programme. They developed successful healthy eating plans for guys to whom salad was a dirty word, were well regarded by everyone they were working with and enjoyed great success over the 4 month competition.

One year on from the Biggest Loser and the majority of competitors still continued to follow advice and methods given to them by Cathy and Nutrition Care. I have also referred others to them on a one on one basis for a variety of health reasons.

Fiona Scott

After suffering stomach cramps, diarrhoea and significant weight loss for over 12 months, I was feeling anxious and needed some help. I found Cathy's telephone number in a healthy eating magazine and made a call that made a huge difference to my life.

I am so grateful to Cathy for her help. I have learnt so much about food and now feel that I am equipped with the tools to make the necessary adjustments to my diet if I find a certain food isn't agreeing with me.  Best of all, I feel as though I have regained my equilibrium.

Kevin O'Brien

I started with Niki at Nutrition Care in September 2012 and have lost 20kg since that time (about 5 months). Niki has an ability to work around your personal traits and gradually change your lifestyle habits in a way that allows you to enjoy the things you have always enjoyed but to do so with moderation and an understanding of the impacts of poor diet.

I am now able to exercise as hard as I want and I am certainly reaping the benefits of being more active with my kids and more energy and drive at work.


I first visited Cathy in September 2014, after a referral from my doctor to see if dietary changes rather than medication could improve some health concerns. From the very first consultation, Cathy was professional, pragmatic, compassionate and supportive.

I recall her words, ‘There’s no such thing as right food or wrong food, we’re here to work out which foods work best for you’.

After three months, all the health indicators in the ‘concerning’ range were either within or close to ‘normal’ range.

After six months, my biological age had reduced by 11 years – I’m now 5 year’s younger biologically than my ‘real’ age!

After nine months with Cathy, I’m now happy, healthy, vibrant, 20 kgs lighter and thoroughly enjoying my improved lifestyle.

Celeste Duston

Niki was non-judgemental, supportive and full of great advice to help me get my weight down. The best thing was that I did not have to dramatically change what I was already eating. Just a few small changes saved me 500 calories a day! I dropped 7 kg quite easily & wasn’t hungry all the time. I look forward to continuing my weight loss journey with all the knowledge that Niki has provided me.