I love food, who doesn’t? I’m the type of person whose always planning my next meal. In the past this never posed any challenge and I would always be talking about food, what I’m going to have for lunch, restaurants I had visited……….. I’d never really paid too much attention to ingredients – with the exception to the usual; calories, fat, anything with an E number against.
HOWEVER all that changed the day I was told I was Coeliac and then over the 12 months that followed when I became ill. My love of food became a bit of a challenge – all the wheat based products I loved were now out of the question, even the barley squashes I loved. Going to a restaurant and food in general was and will never be viewed in the same way again.
So how do you overcome this challenge and learn to love food again? Well for me once I was told I was Coeliac I decided to embrace gluten free living. I joined Coeliac UK to get advice and downloaded their app so I could scan food whilst I’m out shopping.I cleared out my ‘gluten’ cook books, went through my cupboards and donated (to friends and family) most of my gluten food – things like sauces, stock cubes. I then purchased gluten free cook books and started to stock up on basics – gluten free flours, stocks, pasta etc.
I also panicked thinking that ‘normal food’ would now be off the list but in actual fact I was very surprised to see some of my favorite things were actually gluten free and I wouldn’t have to pay the earth for them.
I remember making my first gluten free bread – it looked whiter than white and not at all appealing – even my daughter and husband didn’t want to try it. It tasted ok but didn’t really look like proper bread. I soon realised that baking gluten free is a lot different to using your wheat/gluten based flours but soon discovered that using ground almonds and different types of gluten free flours made the texture of cakes a lot more palettable.
The benefit of a gluten free diet (there are a few in my opinion) is that I never suffer with bloating now and when I’m out and about particularly at a cafe or restaurant most of the yummy cakes contain gluten mean that they are ‘off the menu’. So I don’t eat for the sake of it or consume foods that aren’t good for you. I’m also a bit more adventurous now, I’ll try all sorts of different gluten free foods – although I’m not feeling Quinoa.
Now my diet is actually a lot healthier than it use to be – I mainly cook from scratch and try out lots of gluten free receipes – the picture above is polenta crusted chicken parmigiana taken from The Gluten Freedom Club. I visited their stalI at the Allergy Show back in July. They’ve got some wonderful receipes.
I’m still getting to grips with mastering baking but I’m planning to prepare some gluten free cakes for the Macmillan Coffee Morning during September, a cause now very close to my heart! – so watch this space!
See below pics of recent baking;
Now I’m having Chemo I do get days when my appetite is non existent but I know these are temporary and on my good days I make some of my favorite gluten free foods to make up for the bad days. Gluten free fish and chips! Why not?
They say you are what you eat……