My new, rather unwelcome diet

Nuts and dried berries

I’ve never been one for dieting and if it weren’t for medical purposes I certainly wouldn’t be doing this one; I love food too much! But as things are I’m on a wheat, yeast, dairy, sugar, caffeine, wine and beer free diet for the next few months. It turns out there are a lot of foods out there with yeast or sugar in them!

I’ve become one of those people I always hated when I worked as a waitress at university; the fussy ones who order a dish and request it with half of the ingredients removed. I cringe every time I order food these days and my supermarket trips have also doubled in length as I now spend half the time reading the back of packs to make sure there is no lactose injected in the sausages or wheat or sugar in the cereal. Whole Foods is a godsend for things like rice milk, soya yoghurt – both rather tasty – and wheat and sugar free cereal. However, as of next Tuesday I’ll be living in Australia and will need to suss out what sort of food is available Down Under.

The first few days I was permanently exhausted and had no energy at all, my body was craving carbs, sugar – I can’t even eat fruit – and caffeine to keep me going. But after the first week I had a lot more energy and I was getting used to eating lots of veg, hummus, pulses, nuts, dried berries and rice, and I was feeling a lot better. I have managed to find and create a few new recipes that are very tasty albeit the lack of cheese and carbs.

Spicy tomoato sauce with beans and hot dog

Spicy tomoato sauce with beans and hot dog

One of these dishes which I have made a few times now is spicy tomato sauce with kidney beans, chickpeas and boiled hot dogs or chorizo served with brown rice and garnished with coriander. I have to say it is delicious and it filled me up nicely. The hardest parts are probably the mid morning and afternoon snacking, when I could do with a chocolate bar or a biscuit and instead I’m stuck munching on celery and apple sticks and hummus or when I’m out for dinner and order a mint tea while the person I’m with has a dessert!

Jacket potato and beans

Jacket potato and beans

Another dish I have made – and this may be a no brainer but I’ve never managed to make it properly – is jacket potato and baked beans. You may ask how and why I’ve struggled with this and the answer is that my problem lies with the potatoes. You see microwaves and I have never made friends and I have a tendency to dry the potatoes out when I cook them – they take too long in the oven. That was until one of my friends gave me a tip, wrap the potato in kitchen towel and cook for five minutes on each side in the microwave. It works a treat. This dish turned out pretty good too. I fried onions, cherry tomatoes and peppers in a pan and added the baked beans and chilli once they were sauteed. Once everything was on the plate I added chopped chives both for appearance and taste, it wasn’t half bad.

Stir fry

Stir fry

And the final dish I have to report on so far is stir fry with either rice noodles or quinoa, which I tried today, more so as I’m trying to use up as much food in my cupboard as I can before I leave the country. You can never go wrong with stir fry, even if you have to make it without adding soya sauce – it contains wheat.

I was desperate to taste something akin to bread the other day that I ordered a gluten and cheese free pizza at Pizza Express. It was a sorry looking pizza but it tasted amazing to me! I have discovered that some sourdough breads are made without yeast and wheat, so I’m on a mission to hunt a baker down who does just that.

As for all my talk of moving to Australia, I’m departing on Sunday to do a ski season Down Under to start with and then we’ll see where life takes me. So my next post will be from the Snowy Mountains. Moving to the other side of the world is quite stressful as it turns out and packing is a nightmare, but I’m almost there.

I’ve already warned my sister, who I will be staying with to start with, about my new dietary requirements and she’s far from impressed and I quote, “but I thought only old people got IBS,” thanks sis!

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