Towards the end of 2015 I was very unwell for over a month and my tummy was in so much pain I couldn’t stomach food! After lots of tests doctors couldn’t see anything wrong with me and one doctor suggested that I helped ease the tummy back to normal and better health by doing an elimination diet – first trying lactose and then trying gluten.
At first I was totally daunted by the prospect of cutting out things that I loved – cheese! Oh how I used to love cheese! Bread, Pasta – basically most Italian food – my favourite cuisine. But I was in so much pain and constantly bloated.
I stared with cutting out lactose and enjoyed experimenting with coconut based products and almond milk. The one thing that struck me was that there was so much choice and upon doing further reading, some much healthier and ethical options for things like milk. I have always been a keen baker, so started finding recipes that I could enjoy and substituting items to make recipes lactose free. I tried to reintroduce the lactose, but found it left me feeling bloated and uncomfortable, so I stuck with no lactose. I then also took out the gluten from my diet too. By eliminating both, again I was worried that I wouldn’t have many options, however I found that most restaurants had alternatives and options that you could have and I found that I could still have some goats cheese and halloumi which were milder.
The most helpful thing for me was finding like minded and health/ free from and health conscious bloggers and food writers. Here I found recipes that helped me explore alternatives and learn about healthy fats. If anyone else is looking to start trying to cut out either lactose or gluten or both, here are some great sources to help with ideas and recipes:
I often make substitutes if I use a standard recipe for example:
- substitute milk for coconut milk or almond milk
- substitute butter for coconut oil or free from ranges of butter
- substitute flour for free from ranges or rice flour/buckwheat flour (ensure gf)
- substitute nutella or peanut butter for almond butter (very easy to make your own too!)
- substituting coco powder with cacao powder
Although not all gf/lf options the following chefs promote healthy eating and have some delicious recipes:
One of my fav recipes is the best Quinoa muffins which can be found here.
Not only do I feel a lot healthier but my skin also has benefited and feels fresher! Take some tips from Wendy Rowe
For me the key thing has been learning to have a healthy balance of exercise, food and lifestyle. Shock/Horror….I don’t always stick rigidly to healthy eating and sometime when on holiday I have some bread! But if you have things in moderation this is okay and I know that I will feel rubbish after perhaps for a little while. With a busy schedule and commitments it is just easier day-to-day to know I am putting things into my body that my body will tolerate….and enjoy! I hope that you found the sources above helpful and I would love to hear about your food journeys too.