If you know me personally, you know I’ve been gluten and dairy free for a while now. I also try to exclude all added sugars from my diet, and limit my intake of natural sugars. I have literally become “that” girl, the one wait staff hates, whenever I go out to eat, although I do always apologize profusely for it! My friends hate hosting me as I am a pain to cook for. I often bring my own food, or at least offer to, since I feel guilty for being such a pain in the ass! I’ve been teased for years about the way I eat, as everyone assumes it is for weight loss and vanity. I can promise you, it’s not! This girl actually LOVES bread and cheese. Like loves them. So much in fact that the combo of the two with a glass of wine was considered a dinner staple for the best of my college years! I would never give them up completely to fit into my jeans, I would straight up buy a bigger size!
However, for me it wasn’t a simple choice. I had digestive issues for years, and could never really understand what was going on. It took years, but finally my husband pointed out how every night I would complain about severe stomach pain. I had trouble sleeping through the night because the pain kept me awake. I won’t go too deep into the details, but I visited quite a few doctors before finding out that I was 100% lactose intolerant and highly sensitive to gluten. It also came back that sugar caused digestive issues for me as well, so it’s best to limit straight cane sugar and sweets. To be honest, my actual results showed I was sensitive to and should stay away from: gluten, dairy, sugar, eggs, beans, white rice, potatoes, corn and shellfish. And alcohol. So. There’s that. What the hell can a girl eat?!
I was extremely frustrated with learning this news. I felt like such a burden to friends and family! I had no idea how to cook for myself with such a limited diet, and I’ve always loved to cook. I stuck to plain meat and vegetables for quite a long time. Of course, that got old pretty quickly.
I find it’s best to be creative in difficult situations, so I started experimenting with different combinations and changing up ingredients in recipes. The hard part about being both gluten and dairy free is due to most recipes using one or the other, not both. This was before “Paleo” was as common as it is now. I try to stay away from all of the ingredients on the “no” list as much as possible, but occasionally I’ll have brown rice or a sweet potato, as they don’t seem to upset my stomach too much.
I’ve learned that so many of you struggle with similar issues. I’ve learned that “bloating” or “stabbing” pain in your stomach shortly after eating could be a sign of food sensitivity. I’ve learned that your emotional/hormonal levels are extremely impacted by diet. This is one of the reasons I limit the intake of my beloved Pinot Noir! If I have too much sugar, I quickly become a candidate for a Daytime Emmy Nomination, with the amount of tears I cry for no reason!
The effects of food, both positive and negative, on our bodies is shocking. The old saying of, “you are what you eat” is literally true.
Along the way, I’ve also been able to find some incredible resources that have helped me navigate this crazy food journey. I’ll be sharing recipes that either I’ve created or adapted to fit my dietary needs, so check in the “What’s Cookin” section often for updates!
I’ll also share sites or books I come across that can help you on your journey too! Check the “Resources” page, under the “About” for an updated list whenever I find a new source!
You can help me and others like us too, by sending me an email or leaving a comment below with recipes or resources that have helped you in your culinary adventures! I’d love to hear from you!
Cheers to happy bellies and eating everyone!