I stumbled upon an email that didn’t make it to my inbox this morning (damn my junk mail filter), from Sophie who is new to food intolerance and looking for some much needed advice, so I thought I would share my thoughts…
“I’ve recently been diagnosed with various food allergies and intolerance’s. During my research I found your website and I’d just like to say what a relief it is to meet other people who have a similar situation as myself.
The foods I am highly intolerant to include: yeast, wheat, all dairy products (including egg), sugar, all alcohol and all E numbers, to name but a few.
I also have environmental allergens including: all pollens, pollutants, sodium lauryl sulphate, to name but a few.
I was diagnosed this Saturday just gone, using an unusual method of testing (see: http://www.allergytest-london.co.uk/).
It seems very over-whelming as it’s both food and environmental allergens which I need to avoid. Being at university it is going to be a huge change on my lifestyle.
I was interested if you had any recipes which were quick – aka on the go so to speak? Also do you have any more information on Candida as I read on your website that you thought that you had that condition? Finally, I’m going to Tenerife on a fieldtrip mid-June, I’ve read your article about travelling abroad and it was very interesting. I just wanted to know what foods can you take abroad? and if you have been to either Tenerife or Spain, did you find any supermarkets which catered for your needs?
Thanks for making such a fantastic website, I intend to make your yeast, wheat, gluten and dairy free bread during the week (see Yeast Free Bread Recipe)!”
Newly Diagnosed Food Intolerance’s Advice
So from a foodie point of view your challenge is to avoid dairy, eggs, yeast, wheat and sugar (inc alcohol).
I have very similar food intolerance’s to you – dairy, eggs, yeast, gluten, sugar, some oily fish and cashew nuts – so I understand the challenges you face.
I would be really interested to hear more about why you decided to have a Food Intolerance Test e.g what symptoms led you to going in this direction and also more details regarding the tests that you had done. (On the Candida I will come back to you about this in separate message as it can make things a little more complex. I would be interested to hear about your journey a bit more which will then help me give you more details regarding my experiences.)
There are lots of recipes and articles on getting started on Fussy Foodie including a recent one I think you will find really beneficial: Multiple Food Intolerance Advise and also Food intolerance on holiday
Travelling with Food Intolerance
Travelling with food intolerances can be a real challenge especially when on a long haul flight as you will need to pack extra food. Airlines can cater for certain foodie requirements but the challenge of certain food intolerances makes it pretty impossible for them. Airlines however do have a couple of options you could take e.g
- Vegan which will be dairy free (see Vegan Diet Explained)
- Coeliac, therefore wheat free but you might find you have dairy in the meal.
With the airline meals I normally plump for vegan and then wing it a little as the coeliac options are often loaded with sugar and egg. Alternately, just go for the normal and see what there is available as there is normally a potato and vegetable option, however be careful as there might be a few things added that you don’t know about, so always pack a few snacks in your hand luggage just in case. The best solution is to eat before you get on the plane – Pret A Manage have stores in a few airports now and they have a few salad options that are great, including the No Salad Dressing and other tasty alternatives.
When travelling be flexible
I am a bit of a 100% er when it comes to my food intolerances, so plan ahead with lots of snacks e.g nuts and oat cakes, and take every opportunity to eat as food I can eat is not always on the menu. Also most of the time we travel self catering – as the need to have variety and cook for yourself when on a restricted diet comes apparent after a few days.
The great news is Spain especially has loads of options and I have been to both Spain and Maderia recently and found a huge variety of products e.g soya milk, Gluten Free Pasta etc – enough options to keep me going. One good thing to pack is your cereal and a carton of soya long life milk (in your checked in bag) just in case, but most European countries I have been to have soya milk you just need to find a big supermarket.
Spanish food is very tomato and potato based and they tend to cook with olive oil and not butter which makes things a little easier.
In summary – pack lots of snacks and eat when you can – and also take a list of food words e.g Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free, No added sugar etc – this is really important if eating out and sometimes the only way to know if something is OK for you is to ask.
Quick Recipes for Food Intolerance
I love cooking and previously had a pretty healthy diet which has always made things a little easier for me moving to a Free From way of life. The real challenge with this change of lifestyle is to see it as a positive and really embrace it, the negativaty that might come will only make the process harder. Keep checking to see if what you are doing is working for you – this isn’t an exact science and over and above everything its important to keep a balanced and healthy diet.
Keep it simple and health – lots of spices and herbs for added flavour.
- Gluten Free Pasta – love this with Vegan Pesto, carrot and seeds (random I know) | tuna, olive oil, herbs and lemon | Gluten Free Sausages and ragu style sauce (home made – 5 mins to make)
- Jacket potato – I have a new love for potatoes, after avoiding them for years, I have come to love them. So simple pop them in the oven and an hour or so later crispy heaven – dollop of Dairy Free Spread, Tomato Pesto and some salad – delicious.
- Summer salads got to love them – get in some frozen prawns – much cheaper frozen and fast to defrost for a quick meal – prawn salad with avocado is fantastic – and really filling too.
- Soups – Making up a batch of soup is a great way to get efficient meals – give this recipe a try (see Spicy Squash Soup)- takes a bit more work that usual but its AAAmazing
- Stews loaded with beans – Pick a weekend and cook a few stews – great for re heating and simple to make. I am into Moroccan stews at the moment – next time I make one I will post a recipe for you to try.
- Corn Wraps – Not a recipe but you can make lots with them – fellow Fussy Foodie Claire’s favourite – always takes a packet when away from home.
- Fish Fish Fish – you gotta love fish – some fresh fish – squeeze of lemon with a few herbies under the grill – done. Load up with some salad or veggies and potatoes.
- Platter- plate of your favourites things – houmous, guacamole, oat cakes, Corn Thins, carrot / pepper/ cucumber sticks for dipping, maybe some ham (check for added extras), few mixed seeds – delicious.
Few more recipe ideas and ingredients to get you started:
Sophie I hope this give you some ideas – let us know how you get on with your Newly Diagnosed Food Intolerances.