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

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!

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 🙂


  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!


  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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