People often ask me how I discovered I shouldn’t eat dairy and gluten, or if I have always been gluten and dairy free, or if it developed later in life.
Well, I think I have always had issues with dairy and gluten, but I didn’t realize it until I was 23.
As a child, I suffered from massive undiagnosed panic attacks, unexplainable fainting and weird food issues.
I remember my mother trying to force me to drink my milk — because you know, calcium.
Or when my mom would make Alfredo cheese tortellini, and I would be almost immediately sick after eating it.
The signs for food intolerances were always there, but no one was looking for them.
Like, the unexplainable reason when I drove out west, I said no to an ice cream cone at a gas station, (and anyone who knows me, knows I am a sugar addict). I didn’t know at that point gluten and dairy were a problem, but my subconscious did.
OR like when I would attend an event as a journalist and only eat salad because I knew eating anything else could make me feel unwell.
Cue the AH HA moment.
I was reading a checklist of symptom for celiac disease, and I checked off every single symptom.
Although I did a blood test that said I don’t have an issue with digesting gluten, (so not celiac) but HORRIBLE things happen when I eat it. So diagnosis or not, I’m gluten-free.
Dairy was a little trickier, and it was actually my mom that caught it.
Every time I would fly, my ears wouldn’t pop, and mimic the symptoms of ear infections.
Round after round of antibiotics did nothing, until one day I felt my head was going to explode from the pressure, and my mom suggested taking Benadryl.
I woke up in the morning, and although I wasn’t completely cured, my head no longer wanted to explode.
Off I went for blood tests. A hint of issues with dairy, however, it doesn’t show up on any prick test I’ve done.
So only a couple of months after going gluten-free, I had to go dairy free as well. I remember leaving the doctor’s office feeling completely overwhelmed.
How does one go from cooking anything they want to be exclusively dairy and gluten-free?
Well, let me tell you, I was starving. And not just in-between meals, but ALL the TIME.
My body needed to adjust to no longer craving bread, and lasagna, no more cheese or yogurt.
I bought all the specialty products and spent a ton of money on cookbooks. But nothing really helped. I was still hungry and at a loss of what to eat every day.
Then I started to get the hang of substitutions and limiting specialty products. It began to get easier.
And then, I met my now-husband, Adam.
And a whole new challenge emerged. Learning to cook for more than just me, and having Adam learn which products were gluten and dairy free.
However, since Adam was already a foodie, it wasn’t so difficult. We worked together to ensure I wasn’t poisoned.
He always thanked South Park’s episode, tricky, tricky soya sauce, for teaching him I couldn’t eat soya sauce.
Now, it’s just second nature to cook a meal. Not much thought goes into making everyday recipes into delicious meals that aren’t apparently gluten and dairy free.
I want to pass on what I have learned and all the tips and tricks I had to learn the hard way.
Welcome to an everyday gluten and dairy free blog.