lifestyle

A day in the life of a gluten-avoider.

Latina ™ Fresh Gluten Free Pasta Range
Thanks to our brand partner, Latina ™ Fresh Gluten Free Pasta Range

I’ve suffered from food intolerance my whole life.

As a lactose-intolerant child, Easter was my least favourite time of year. I still remember the Easter Bunny visiting my kindergarten, leaving behind a cotton bud tail and a trail of chocolate eggs.

“Oh, Jo. Ah, he left you these marshmallows wrapped in tinfoil…” Thanks for planning ahead, Mum.

avoiding gluten
WHAT A TROOPER. Image: Supplied.

In my early twenties I developed severe fructose intolerance as well – so, while I am not a coeliac, I opt for gluten free foods because they are also low in fructans, which are present in bread, cake, pastries and essentially anything wheat-based and delicious.

It took some getting used to, I’ll tell you what. Working in an office of amazing bakers who love celebrating birthdays doesn’t make it any easier either.

Here’s what my typical day looks like:

7.00am Alarm.

7.30am Shower. Can’t account for previous half an hour, it possibly took that long to drag myself from bed to bathroom.

8.00am Brekky. I usually have gluten-free toast, which is pretty much like regular toast, except it is small and dense and sugary and VERY DISAPPOINTING. (Remember croissants? Just kill me).

Then it is tram, work, morning meeting.

“Want a Tim Tam, Jo?”

“Sorry, I can’t.”

CRICKETS.

11.00am(ish) Morning tea time. In the past week our office has enjoyed homemade ginger cookies, brownies, a selection of fancy donuts, muffins and honey joys (among other things). I just don’t even look at the kitchen bench any more. Don’t. Even. Look.

Work work work.

Lunchtime “Want to come to Macca’s Jo?”

“No I am just going to enjoy this sushi wrapped in sadness, thanks.”

No more sandwiches, no sneaky mid-arvo muffin break, no last night’s cold pizza.

And then there’s birthdays. How I dread birthdays.

Here is an actual cake that Monique (aka a former contestant on Australia’s Greatest Bake Off) made for someone in our office:

avoiding gluten
An actual cake that I didn’t eat. Image: Supplied.
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I didn’t eat a bite. Not one.

“Oh it’s cool guys, I have these nuts. Yummo.”

Then it’s home time and I’m starving.

“Hey Jobi! You want some of this pie? Oh, wait.”

Sigh.

It’s hitting 7pm, I’m tired. I just want to order some takeaway. Pizza’s out. Fish and chips? Absolutely not.

I guess I’ll just stir-fry some veggies and have them with rice. Again.

One thing they don’t tell you about going gluten free is how hungry you’ll be. All the time. Eventually you adjust, but there’s no risk of filling up on bread before dinner.

It’s 7:30pm and I’m watching the news with my housemates. I just witnessed one of them inhale a whole box of pizza shapes while he waited for the pudding he is baking in the oven. At least I can smell how delicious it would be.

I won’t lie, going gluten free has been hard at times, but at least I don’t have to run for the bathroom after every meal and my health has improved immeasurably, so it’s worth it.

I grieved gluten for a long time, but I’m pretty used to it now. I’m used to saying no and dealing with the inevitable ‘are you sure?’ that follows.

Happily, I’m not the only one out there with a ‘funny tummy’ either. Nowadays there’s abundance of gluten-free alternatives that has made my life a thousand times more bearable.

I eat a lot of gluten-free pasta and bread and can even buy biccies for my tea. I’m slowly but surely expanding my repertoire of gluten free desserts.

If there’s one time of the year I dread more than Easter, it’s Christmas.

God I miss mince tarts.

What is your gluten-avoiding day like?

Here are some celebs that also have super-fun times with food intolerances and allergies:

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A nun complains of stomach pains. It was not gluten intolerance.

The truth about going gluten-free.

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