Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Food Investigator

Week one of the elimination diet is complete. A week with many bumps in the road but also a lot of interesting discoveries. At first, I felt at a loss as to what I could eat in work; fruit salads and regular green salads seemingly being the only options. I was also missing having something sweet with a cup of tea in the evening. As the week wore on and I started to read more recipes and research wheat free brands, I was amazed to find out about the variety of foods available for people in a similar position.

In the past three days, I took a trip to my local Dunnes Stores to investigate what they stock. To my surprise and delight, they offer quite a large variety of wheat free/dairy free products which are readily available in their own specific section of the shop. I also experienced two firsts since finding out about my intolerances:
1) My first trip to a Health Food Store to stock up on essentials.
2) My first trip to an Artisan Food Market with the specific intention of buying wheat and dairy free goods.

The former visit happened in my home town. I planned to scour the shop's stock in order to figure out what sorts of alternatives were available. The Health Food Store or Co-op provided me with Glenisk goats milk, a gluten free bread mix and some chocolate and biscuit/snack alternatives:

The latter event was run as part of the Macroom Food Festival. This festival offered a wide array of artisan food stalls, which were run by helpful and knowledgeable food producers. I purchased a fabulous brownie and lentil pie from a gluten free stall. I can honestly say, the brownie was the best I've ever tasted and this wasn't just due to the lack of chocolate in last week's diet. I had the pie yesterday for lunch, the pastry was perfect and the combination of lentils and mixed vegetable was delicious. Unfortunately, I'm not 100% sure of this company who produced these goodies, but I will investigate further and update this blog accordingly.

Foreground: Lentil Pie and Chocolate Brownie
Background: Tomato Pasta Sauce & Olive Oil
Sunday of this week, I created a food plan for each meal of the weekdays. I pre-baked my wheat free bread and packed a bag full of fruits/oat crackers etc. to take to my workplace. So far, I have stayed on track to avoid all of the foods that I'm intolerant to. Forward planning seems to be the key but I am using the following as rule of thumb: If the food has one ingredient which doesn't fit the list of foods that I am intolerant to, but the percentage of this ingredient is relatively low, it's okay to have this food occasionally.

During the rest of this week, I aim to keep on track with my food plan and to investigate alternatives to bread and pasta, as the wheat free alternatives did not agree with my taste pallet. A good friend has been invited for dinner on Saturday so it will be very interesting to prepare a meal for somebody without intolerances. Luckily, my boyfriend has been very understanding. We take it in turns to cook or prepare a meal together when our schedules allow it, and he has been very aware of my intolerances and this is making the process a lot easier to adjust to. On a personal level, I have already been feeling the positive effects of eating a diet void of processed food types. I'm feeling more hungry, my appetite feels more genuine and not just a reflex accountable to reaching a particular point in the day. I hope this continues and that my energy levels also keep improving. Until next time...


  1. Alternative to pasta is surprisingly veggies! if you cut courgettes and/or leeks into thin strips, blanche then in boiling water for a few min (cooked to your liking) its similar to pasta, but without the bloating. Also with leeks, you can use them like lasagna sheets: cut the leek to the middle and try to flatten the layers out, blanche for a few seconds, then layer across like the pasta sheets :)

  2. I've heard of this before, thanks for reminding me! Sounds really lovely, have you tried it? Thanks for the comment :)