If you’re like me and are vegan dealing with a food intolerance (or a few) you’re probably used to experimenting with food. Also you’re also used to being the extra fussy person when you’re out to dinner and in some cases you mostly eat at home.
I find my choices are rather limited at times so I have been working with a nutritionist to make sure I enjoy a variety of nutritious food.
I knew for a while now that I am gluten intolerant, a blood test in 2003 confirmed that. Over the years however I noticed that the bloating I get from gluten also appears after other food. Earlier this year my reactions didn’t stop at bloating (let’s just say that frequent trips to the bathroom were required, and my skin looked like I was scolded with boiling water) so I went to a nutritionist for some food testing. I had a Food Detective food intolerance blood test which revealed that I am intolerant to eggs, dairy, oats, corn, potato, lentils, peas, almonds and cashews. Say goodbye to vegan desserts!
Gluten free vegan options usually have corn as a gluten replacement so finding gluten free convenience food rather challenging. I have been lucky enough to discover quinoa bread (though it’s minute in size and can be chewier than an old boot), rice and quinoa pasta, mung bean fettuccine, slim pasta and a few other gluten replacements.
I am however still on the search for a tasty gluten free, corn free tortilla or flat bread for my vegan tacos and wraps. This is one food item that is almost impossible to find or make. I’ve been experimenting with a mix of coconut flour, chickpea (besan) flour and soy flour, but I still have to find the right fit.
Mock meats and textured vegetable proteins are out – and you would be amazed how many vegan sausages use almond meal in their recipes. I basically have to read EVERY ingredient on a label, question anyone who brought food to the table about what is in it and cross examine cafe staff about this ingredient and that ingredient. Needless to say I find myself opting out of social events for the comfort of non-judgmental family at home.
Sometimes I get strange looks or comments from vegan folk too – like staff at a raw cafe thinking I was an idiot when I asked if any of their desserts didn’t contain almonds or cashews – but it’s basically a choice between asking questions now or suffering later.
I would just love to know – if you’re vegan and have food intolerances – how do you deal with them? Does your social life suffer? Share your story below.