About me

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I love food. Oh, I really love food! But quite a lot of it doesn’t love me back.

Sixteen years ago I had what I now recognise to be as one of my first sensitivity reactions to food. That mushroom stroganoff was delicious but it just went straight through me like a dose of salts. It wasn’t the first time it had happened, but it was the first time that I was able to reproduce the reaction by making the same dinner the next night. Then I knew something wasn’t right.

For the next 6 years the battle with my belly got worse. I spent most of the time feeling sick … and the other distressing gastrointestinal symptoms, I won’t go in to … When I decided that I wanted to spend some time on the mountains in Canada I knew that I had to do something. I knew that I needed a dietician and an elimination diet.

So I went to the doctor with my symptoms. She was pretty unsympathetic, and frankly disbelieving. I had to BEG (beg?!) to get a referral. It still think the only reason she gave it to me was because I was lucky enough to have private health cover so wouldn’t be clogging up the NHS with my silliness.

I embarked on 4 months of restricted eating, which I don’t recall invoking much suffering, but apparently my friends disagree. I could reintroduce one food every few days and then monitor any reaction. Some were somewhat obvious – after 2 pints of milk over 2 days, I spent another 2 days on the loo. It took me an entire week to recover from the bloating, lethargy and mind-fuck caused by eating wheat.

So my final list looked like this:

  • Wheat
  • Lactose
  • Beef
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Citrus fruit
  • Raw nuts
  • Raw kiwi and apple
  • MSG

I think I missed something …

Let me tell you, that is pretty limiting, especially when it comes to eating out. But I count myself lucky that chocolate and booze aren’t on that list or I would have found a tall building to throw myself off.

Over the next 10 years, further experimentation, and some VERY CAREFUL reintroduction, I’ve managed to resolve the list to now look like this:

  • Absolutely no wheat – I’d rather cut off my right arm; my fiancé would help me – but ok with spelt, rye and barley
  • No milk, cream, soft cheese (except in moderation in the privacy of my own home) – but ok with lactose-free versions and hard cheese
  • NO BEEF, EVER. EVER!

Now that my insides have settled right down, the other culprits seem to be manageable in small doses.

But there are plus sides to this rather unpleasant medical journey.

  1. I can’t eat any processed food – bonus! No one needs that crap. I eat more healthily – my cholesterol ratio is so good that it’s off the good side of the chart
  2. I have to make everything I want to eat from scratch myself – this has nurtured an interest in cooking that I’ve had since childhood, thanks to my mum.
  3. Now I’m here, doing what I love and sharing it with you!
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4 thoughts on “About me

  1. Funny! I almost can have no alcohol now, because wheat, malt and yeast are on my Food Intolerance list! AND I really love beer 🙂 I understand the tall building comment 🙂 I do 🙂

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  2. Oh no! No booze! How are you with vodka? I say cocktails are your way to go. You’ll be right “on trend” 🙂 Although, by the looks of it, you’ll have to find a souring agent that isn’t citrus – tamarind? pomegranate molasses? Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say!

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  3. I had a similar issue years ago that lasted for 3 years! It was the worst experience ever. IBS and food intolerances tend to get overlooked by doctors (ugh. It’s probably because they get like 6 hours of nutrition training in their degrees and people still go to them for diet related advice. It’s crazy) – it’s better to get seen by a nutritionist, dietitian or gastroenterologist!

    Anyhow, I’m mostly good with everything but occasionally some things will set me off – I only get tired and bloat though, thankfully no other symptoms! As long as I’m mostly low-lactose, I’m a-okay!! Haha ❤️

    Great to hear how it’s really sparked your love of cooking and food! You’ve got yourself a loyal reader 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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