Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Food Glorious Food

I don't ever remember being able to eat fresh local strawberries and raspberries in late Sept.  It's been an incredible season.  Inversely I was just reading about how our apple harvest has suffered due to our unseasonably warm spring.  Give and take.  That's how life goes.

It has been almost a year since I had a slice of pizza.

Food is a real enjoyment for me.  I embrace different cultures and their cuisine is a big reason why I want to go to different places.  So imagine how hard it is after all these years of not thinking twice about what I eat to avoiding pastries in France or Pasta in Italy or yogurt in Greece.  It has been a challenge to say the least and not an overly enjoyable one.

It made me start questioning why I was travelling?  Is the history, architecture, language practice, visual stimulation etc. enough now that I've become 'that girl' who comes across like an ultra picky eater at a restaurant when in reality all I want to do is sample everything?  Try explaining food allergies in a different language... 

It's not fun and to be honest I haven't tried to explain anything.  I pretty much stick to meat, seafood, fresh fruit and veggies and drool over all the desserts I used to eat.  I've even taken to drinking espressos to avoid the milk in a cappuccino.  Thank goodness I am not anaphylactic to anything.  That level of avoidance would be many times more difficult.

Finding good airport food has become harder.  Sandwiches (wheat) are out.  Battered food is out too (wheat and or egg).  It's amazing just how many foods have soy, dairy, wheat, egg in them.  Next time you are at a supermarket, check out the ingredients in flavoured potato chips.  It may surprise you. 

The consequence of all the dietary restrictions is that we are cooking even more when we cook a lot to begin with.  It is the only way to ensure almost complete compliance.  Thank goodness for our dishwasher!  Other than sauces which may contain wheat and soy, we are eating pretty clean nowadays.  

We are now able to make a potato bacon leek soup that is so rich, you'd swear had dairy in it.  We are eating more antipasti courtesy of my recent trip to Italy and Spain.  And we've found an eggless, wheatless breakfast I enjoy very much. 

If I don't grow out of these allergies, it is really going to make my travel life difficult.  It already has caused me undue stress.  Temptation is high when I'm in a different country, especially one known for cuisine.  As I am far from perfect, I did cheat twice this last voyage -- You remember the picture of the clams in Barcelona?  There was a clam and mussel antipasti in Venice too.  Known weakness...


  1. I understand completely! With Celiac, I have no choice - I get very sick with even a little bit of wheat. And it's in everything! When I was diagnosed four and half years ago, I had no idea of how to eat gluten-free. The US offers tons of gluten-free options now, but here in Mexico, I have to be very careful because the restaurants seem to think that a little bit won't hurt me. And now that I am also eating vegetarian, it is really a challenge. Often, it's just easier to cook from scratch at home. Good thing I love to cook!

  2. Wow Kathy, I can't imagine right now eating vegetarian. Got protein deficient during the early stages of all the cutting out and felt like crap for a few months.

    Because I don't get any abdominal discomfort, it has made it harder to stay away. My food allergies show like hayfever and on the skin (ichy eyes, nasal congestion and hives). The hives bother me the most as it causes my eye area to swell and sometimes scar. So I manage them with antihistamines.