What the hell do you eat? I hear that question all the time since I found out about my food intolerances. You can eat Nutella - I hear a question after coming out with my lactose intolerance. What about bread - when I say that I'm gluten intolerant as well. I realise how much information is missing so I will try to explain a little bit about food intolerances.
What is a food intolerance?
Food intolerance is detrimental, often delayed reaction of a body to the foods. Symptoms are quite often delayed and may seem not connected to the food. The intolerance can be caused by the lack of the enzyme necessary to digest the food or an abnormality in a body that makes certain foods impossible to absorb.
What's the source? I wish to know, so I'd cure the source, not the symptoms. Sometimes the candida infection is messing with the body, and that might be the case. Or maybe that's just the way I am.
So what is gluten?
Gluten is a mixture of plant proteins, gliadin and glutenin, that exists in cereals grains, like wheat, barley, rye, oats and couscous. This combination can be found in bread, sausages, chocolates, beer, sweets and yoghurts as many of them contain plant (wheat) derived proteins.
What kind of bread can you eat then?
Almost none, except for the one that I make myself. First of all, ready-made gluten-free bread is full of shit. Secondly, I have a high yeast intolerance that makes things even worse. I also cannot eat bread made of gluten-free wheat. I guess that you've already found out why? Yes, I'm intolerant to wheat. There's conviction that some gluten-sensitive people can eat spelt because it is easily digested. Unfortunately, spelt is also a kind of wheat. The circle closes.
What about cheese then?
No cheese for me because of a lactose intolerance. Also, no milk, cream, yoghurt, butter, and cottage cheese. People with this kind of issue sometimes are ok with eating mature cheeses because they have a small amount of lactose but because of my yeast sensitivity things that have mould are a definite no-no.
But you used to eat everything, and you felt fine. I hear that quite often, but it's not true. I had a handful of random, sourceless symptoms. I used to get cold a few times a year, sinus infection every month, my belly was like a balloon almost all the time, and my oesophagus seemed to have some alien being inside that was making weird sounds. My joints and head used to hurt frequently and all of that stopped after I've changed my diet.
How do you diagnose that?
You can go for a food intolerance test - the nurse will make a prick on your finger, and the laboratory will test your blood for the antigens. The article in the link says that the tests don't make sense but I did two separate and the results were similar and only confirmed my assumptions. Anyway, you just have to eat everything before the test. You can also do an elimination diet (like Paleo or FODMAP) and see if you feel better after you stop eating something although it requires a strong will and observational skills. The best thing is to do both to be sure. You have to stop eating the most allergenic foods for a few weeks and then gradually add new foods, just one at a time. After you add new food you have to wait for three days as the reaction of your body can be delayed and then look for changes in a sleep pattern, mood, on your skin – generally, you have to check if anything has changed in your mind and body after adding this food. It seems like it is a lot of work, but it is possible to find out the intolerances that way.
How did you get an idea that it's a food intolerance?
I didn't. Other people did it for me. Just one day I felt so sick that I couldn't move because I felt nauseous. My stomach was tense and hurt like hell. I got tested for coeliac. Nothing. I got camera test. Nothing. In the meantime, I got sick again with high fever and sinus infections more and more often. And then one day a friend of mine said that he had the same issue and had to eliminate gluten. I spoke with a dietitian at work and she said that it might be it.
I went for the Food Detective test in Ireland and food intolerance test in Revitum in Poland. I also did a Paleo elimination diet, but it was physically and emotionally exhausting.
But one sip of milk or some bread crumbs in the pâté won't hurt you, try it.
One sip of milk will make me run to the toilet straight away. I don't want to remember what one small bottle of milkshake did to me once.
A bit of crumb in the pâté won't hurt me if I take one bite. If I take more, my stomach will be tense again, my belly will hurt, I will be bloated, and if I'm unlucky, I'll feel nauseous. You're a good host. You don't want to hurt me, right? So if there's something that could hurt me in your food, please - don't give it to me, unless you forgot.
Ok, so what the hell do you eat?
For breakfast I have millet, rice or buckwheat flakes with plant-based milk, nut butter, avocado and fruits, rice waffles with avocado, ham, veggies, sprouts, jam, honey or eggs (but not too much because I'm intolerant to egg whites. Yolks are fine). Other options are tofu scramble (I love it), shakshuka, poached or boiled eggs, spring rolls or nori with hummus and the same feeling like topping for the sandwiches.
Except for that?
Meat, fish, seafood, millet, buckwheat, rice, pasta (made of rice, buckwheat, tapioca, green tea, shiitake mushrooms), vegetables and fruits.
What about alcohol then?
I'm allowed to have vodka, gin and tequila but since the change of the diet they work on me way too intense. Sometimes I make an exception while meeting with a friend that I haven't seen for a long time.
To make your life with me easier, I will try to write at least one yeast, gluten and dairy-free recipe a week. You'll see that cooking is not difficult. I hope that you understand now a bit more what's happening with an intolerant body.
Do you have intolerant friends or family members? How do they deal with it? How do you deal with it, are you trying to make the food that they're allowed to eat? Let me know in the comments.
That's my favourite breakfast ever. Boiled asparagus with smoked salmon and poached egg. Mmmm
Silesian noodles, my mum and my in-laws make the best.