Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Foodie {heaven} ... Gluten Free Life

It's been two and a half years now since Moo and I were finally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. after countless trips to the doc with various ailments.  A friend asked me the other day how we coped, saying she could never do it.

The thing is it's not that big a deal once you get your head around it, and because you feel so much better, you just get on with it.

The fact you are no longer in pain sure does help a lot. (I thought it was normal to have an aching stomach and to feel as if my insides were on fire even though I hadn't gone near a curry or chilli!).

Ugh.  Do. Not. Miss. That. Burn One. Bit.  (And was rudely reminded the other day as I managed to eat some gluten by mistake at a restaurant which so didn't get what gluten was - must have been hiding out in a sauce some-where nasty stuff).   Bit of a shame as it was one of Sydney's finest - B's birthday went a bit flat that night.

Hello burning intestines - you're back, instantly.  Ouch.

I thought I had a handle on gluten bc gf so it was big news to me just where else it lurks - wheat is the biggest culprit as it's in all sorts of places such as some ice creams, yoghurt medication, vitamins and lipstick apparently.  Lipstick?!!  Shut the front door!  That's a bit tricky as lippie doesn't come with  an ingredient label - so just between you and me I'm ignoring that one!!!  A girl needs her lippie.

We've become experts at reading food labels - me with a magnifying glass as the type is always soooooo teeny tiny impossible to read.   It's such a great look - all I need is a blue rinse and my slippers on at Coles and it'd be confirmed - youngest myopic granny ever.  (Which aisle are those tena pads in again?).

We've become expert at asking restaurant staff about sauces and ingredients - and that's a bit of a sticky one as I loathe loathe loathe people who make a fuss (you know those neurotic types who have to have this that and whatever else on the side, omitted or changed).

But it's important as many foodie staff both front of house and back in the kitchen simply don't know - they get pasta and bread but not the intricacies of thickeners (1400 - 1450 wheat).

It's a good thing I LOVE to potter in the kitchen - so it has been a fairly easy transition to throw out the glut and bring in the gf.  Baking has been more of a challenge as the flour is much lighter so you need to experiment a bit, adding a bit more here or there.

It's opened up a whole new world of friends, bloggers and groups - I have met a whole bunch of people and discovered all sorts of blogs that make gf life easy.

Lovely Sara from Passionfood has become a firm, fast, fabulous friend.  The Coeliac Society has held my hand in the first wobbly months of getting my head around eradicating all gluten and understanding the lurkers.

I regularly read and am inspired to cook from Gluten Free Scallywag, Low Flying Duck, Gluten Free Goddess, Cannelle et Vanille, Gluten Free Day and Yummy Supper.  

All fab.

And I adore blogs like Ctrl alt eat - Aimee posts great reviews about gf eateries around Sydney.  It makes venturing out to eat a synch!  (In fact I love this blog so much I also write reviews for Aimee.)

If you're in Sydney - pop to Vientiane or Emmilou - two of our fav, almost entirely gf eateries, where the food sings.  Yum.

In the Highlands we are always eating at Wild Food, the Exeter Studio and the Exeter General Store (who keep a box of gf flour in the pantry to make gf pancakes for Moo whenever he wants - go to love country living!).  We're also mad fangs of Mt Ashby Estate and Southern Highlands Wines - great gf food plus excellent wine. Tick. Tick.

So, all up I guess the diagnosis has been one great big fat gf blessing - we are both much healthier, have far more energy and eat wholesome food every single day.

If you're feeling a bit sluggish or sleepy - cut out gluten for a week and see what a difference it makes. You won't regret it!

Bon appetit!

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