Discovering you’ve developed a food intolerance or allergy can be an emotional journey, as much as a physical one.
From the moment your doctor tells you that you have a food intolerance, you suspect your life will never be the same again. And you’d be right. People will look at you differently (people are surprisingly intolerant of intolerances – I can’t remember whether that is irony or just unfortunate…).
But fear not: we’ll get through this together…
“Nope. I will be fine. I used to be able to eat this stuff, no worries. It’s probably something else.”
“That sounds like some Gwyneth Paltrow rubbish right there. I don’t believe in that woo-woo, rich people, food intolerance nonsense.”
“I’ll just eat it sometimes.”
“Being easy-going is my thing. I am not suddenly going to become one of those people who complains about food in restaurants and asks for dressing on the side.”
I said all of those things. I was an idiot.
Why me? Why now? Oh Dear Lord, what is this thing that I have just tried to put in my mouth?
The discovery, that food that doesn’t have wheat or dairy in it can taste pretty bad, can bring on The Rage.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve flung a coffee that cost me $5.50 into the bin because the non-dairy milk tasted so very bad. I was once served a terrible soy decaf in a café and I pretended to get a call so I could just leave the rest behind (now I ask the kind of soy milk or nut milk they have before I order. It makes me feel like a goose, but it is better than the alternative).
Know this: you will be mocked. My colleagues refer to my coffee order as a “Why Bother?” (large soy decaf flat-white, if you’re buying). I have been snubbed in hipster coffee emporiums who don’t serve decaf (sometimes I have a tremor and caffeine makes it worse. I know from experience that this is a fact that hipsters do not care about).