I was sorting through some files on my PC this morning and came across this photo and thought I really ought to share it, mainly for those who may be looking at my blog who haven’t experienced what it means to live gluten-free.
In the first week after my diagnosis last year, I went through all my kitchen cupboards and my freezer and took out everything I was no longer allowed to eat. It was quite heartbreaking at the time, so much so, I decided to record it:
As you can see, it’s not just bread, biscuits, cakes and pasta. It includes almost all processed foods such as packet sauce mixes, cereals, crackers, stock cubes, frozen turkey burgers, fish fingers, soup, vinegar, soy sauce, oats and probably worst of all, Maltesers!
I fed most of this now poisonous food to the rest of my family over the next few weeks, I gave some away to relatives and friends, and even threw some away.
OK, there are alternatives, but most of them don’t taste the same, and it makes shopping a minefield. Take chips for example, McCains Crinkle Oven Chips, they are fine, but McCains Homefries Crinkle Oven Chips – nope, contains wheat – as I pointed out to my other half when he proudly brought them home from Tesco last week. Fair play he did try, and pointed out that the ingredients list said “rice flour”, but as I pointed out, it also said “wheat flour”, and said “Contains – wheat” in the Allergies box! So now we’ve a huge bag of chips neither my daughter or I can eat in the freezer. Ho hum.
So, I now cook most meals from scratch using fresh ingredients, and we’re probably much healthier for it, so it’s not all bad. I know there are many worse things in the world than having to live on a gluten-free diet, so I don’t like to moan too much, but I just thought I’d share this, for me, life-changing photograph.
And I do wonder just how many people don’t realise they are eating so much hidden wheat every day without knowing it?
Next time, a proper cake recipe – promise!!