Imagine eating pizza, pasta, beautiful delicious cakes, waffle cone from the ice cream… And many more delicious daily pleasures. And then – you can not eat them. What do you do????….
Cry? Well, I almost cried, as pathetic as it sounds… I knew there was some kind of food intolerance in my body and once I checked at the doctor’s it was confirmed that I am slightly allergic to wheat. The allergy may disappear, yet I have to try totally avoiding wheat products for at least half a year. I have never thought I would become intolerant to any kind of food but here we go.
Nevertheless, it is not that bad. I am not gluten intolerant, meaning I can still no problem enjoy many other foods. Crisps, potatoes, rice and many more are fine, without which my grocery shopping wold be very challenging. So when eating at home it is no problem to find substitutions to my habits. I do not mind eating oats instead of typical bread – I even more like it. And there are many options for substituting flour in everyday cooking, such as corn, specific gluten free or other flours:
You need to be a bit more creative and really read the labels. Yes, as stupid as it sounds but eventually it is possible to forget that even Kinder Bueno contains a tiny waffle part which is made from wheat… But eventually it is possible to get used to it. Just have to accept it. And accept it that regular cookies will be out of your diet once and for all (well, at least for half a year…).
The main problem and uncomfortable feeling arouse when you go out for food or someone else organizes food for a mass of people. Such as university seminar lunch… which is always sandwiches and a great variety of wraps, all which I absolutely love BUT all of which contains wheat. Yes, I got very upset and left hungry.
And now imagine going to Milan, Italy. Again small panic attack: you just can not have pizza!… What to do??? Simply heartbreaking.
Well, eventually I did survive (thanks to my travel friend’s encouragement). Luckily, I am very fond of salads, which was my dinner for a weekend. Decent portion of greens with salmon/tuna etc and chips on the side. No judgement – I needed some kind of carbs, not in the shape of traditional Italian food, as well! And (surprise) in the hotel Milan Malpensa Holiday Inn they even had gluten free crackers and muffins. It is not my choice not to eat wheat, so I really appreciate when I can get something suitable for me… Thanks to this, I did survive my struggle with wheat in Milan Malpensa neighborhood during World Salsa Meeting 2016.
Also, may I point it out this superb thing: not in every country you get a nice dressing take away selection to your salad without even asking. So far only in Italy I got olive oil and balsamic vinegar packed in small portions as a take away dressing. It all makes sense, since Italians will not typically eat salad with mayonnaise. I absolutely love it! Small take away packets not only of ketchup and mayonnaise… Yes, please!
So let’s continue ‘no wheat journey’. Being a loyal customer in cookies/biscuits/pastries section I had to start looking for home made substitutions to all those cheap and pleasure providing sweets. I am very excited about trying couple of things soon: peanut butter and oats muffins and granola bars.
These recipes look amazing and I CAN eat them! Also, I have purchased corn flour which will be very exciting to try in an omelet and some kind of a vegetable mix cooked in the oven, aka bake.
So, in case you have no allergies – enjoy it! Eat everything – moderately – and ENJOY it! If you are less lucky and have, say, this gluten or wheat intolerance problem, it is okey. There is still a lot we can eat. Everyday grocery shopping and eating out do require strength, patience and some imagination. It might be even better shopping online for specific products. But hey, it is not the end of the world.