28 Dec 2015


So I've decided to start a new item on my blog which will reference all things foody. Whether it be recipe ideas or just good food I've eaten out and about. This week will give you a run down of what my diet is like and the difficulties I come across. If you haven't already worked it out from the title I have several very annoying intolerances. I was first diagnosed when I went to uni after complaints of stomach pain and bloating, and I'm afraid I'm just gonna go ahead and say it... far too regular bowel movements after eating (yum). My doctor did some tests and told me to first cut out gluten based products to see if that made a difference - for the most part it did but I still found I was having issues. I then cut out dairy based products and then a diagnosis was reached. I was gluten and lactose intolerant YAY. So basically I was faced with the fact that as a poor student I couldn't eat all the cheapest and tastiest foods I wanted to eat, so what did I do? I completely ignored this diagnosis and suffered in silence. This was possibly the worst thing I could've done, if you have issues like this do not ignore them as they can potentially affect your whole body. Intolerances can have an affect on your mood, your skin even your bones! So what made me make a change? Well my stomach had gotten so bad I had had to take time off work and my symptoms were just getting worse, I knew I had to make a change. This was daunting as looking at my diet 90% of all the things I ate contained gluten and lactose, so I had to give my diet a complete makeover.

Before my diagnosis I mainly lived on a breakfast of Shreddies and Skimmed milk, both of which were big NOs. So my first change was to Lactose free milk of which you can get readily in the UK, that was the easy part. Unfortunately the current range of gluten free cereals isn't too great, it's basically Rice Krispies or Cornflakes (I know boring). However you can buy gluten free croissants which are amazing but they have caused me to put on 5 pounds in weight so not advisable.

My lunches used to mainly consist of sandwiches from Pret or getting a quick McChicken Sandwich from McDonalds. I was suddenly faced with the fact that food would no longer be fast for me. After scouring most cafes/fast-food restaurants, gluten free just isn't an option or there'll be one wrap that will have some pretentious filling that will make you wish you just hadn't eaten (I'm talking about you Starbucks and your gluten free falafel wrap). So I had to start making my own lunches (I know heart breaking) I found Sainsburys and Tesco have really great freefrom ranges including bagels, bread rolls and wraps - all gluten free! My lunch of choice at the moment is a gluten free white bagel, with lactose free cream cheese and crunchy salad, with a bag of kettle crisps (that's another thing, no more Doritos *cry*).

So now comes the easy part, this is probably one of the easiest times of day to be able to substitute your diet. You could go the whole meat and veg route but I love pasta so it does make it a little harder. Like I said before Sainsburys and Tesco have really great freefrom ranges - which include pasta. The pasta tastes almost identical so it's not that much of an issue, only problem is that because it is such a small section of the store they tend to sell out of products quickly (I haven't been able to buy a gluten free bagel all through the festive season!) and some stores still don't even hold a freefrom range (only larger branches seem to have it available). If you can't get hold of any freefrom pasta I recommend turning your veg into pasta! My favourite is courgette, which you just cut into thin strips and cook as normal! When it come to eating out in the evening, restaurants are becoming more helpful with gluten free options - however I once ordered a gluten free version of the bruschetta and tomato on a menu and it came as a slice of gluten free white bread, toasted, with a tomato plonked on top. Not quite worth the £5 I paid for it... Zizzi does a great gluten free menu, which is separate from the main menu, including gluten free versions of their pasta and pizza! Obviously being lactose free as well makes things a little more difficult as a lot of the meals will also contain cheese. In the mean time I tend to stick to meat and veg meals when eating out. Sushi is also one of my favourite meals to have as it is completely gluten and lactose free, although if you have soy sauce make sure you ask for the gluten free version!

So hope you enjoyed my little run down of my dietary requirements and how I've had alter my life to suit them. (Even if I'm a major bad example and will still eat the odd quality street over xmas) If you suffer from anything like this I hope it has given you some ideas and keep an eye on the blog for weekly recipe ideas to cater for intolerances! Also check out my new youtube channel where I will be posting videos alongside this blog!

Lauren Eliza x

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