Hey there, Internet!
This phrase (in German but still) was what I got when I wanted to buy some fries today. I kindly asked the salesman if he could tell me if the sauce was gluten-free and his reply was ‘So you are one of those Food-Nazis?’. I instantly turned around without buying. Knowing there is a trend of people having Gluten (or whatever) free diets this question obviously was ok for him and he tried to do a joke I guess. For anyone who (like me) suffers from intolerances this was quite painful so here is a bit of background story.
Living healthy with allergies or food intolerances can be a pain.
I was a kid with a lot of allergies, also didn’t like meat so my mom had to try a lot of different things to convince me, back in the early 90s that’s what people would do. During my pubescence most of my allergies disappeared and I ate everything but warm spinach (you know, when it gets mushy). I sometimes did have a pain in my stomach, but thought it was normal, same with the migraines, as a teenager you don’t think about that too much, parties might cause hangovers, so you would blame the last party. That party for sure was fun so you would not want to look closer into the pain.
When I was 16 though the pain in my stomach was enough to get me collapsing, pale, barely able to move or breathe, doctors thought it could be a ruptured appendix, luckily they did not start any surgery before some more tests were done. My appendix is still with me, it was not reasonable for my pain. One of the doctors I saw during that time thought it could be lactose that made my stomach hurt so much. Tests were done and I had to start looking into ingredients again, ask for them, try to avoid lactose. If not possible I would have to also take a lactase pill. That was 2003 when soy products were quite new in Germany and tasted horrible, got better throughout the years. The pain in my stomach did not completely disappear but was a lot better, migraines stayed but because nobody knew where they came from doctors decided it was because of my arachnoid cyst and there would be nothing they could do about it besides the painkillers. Then there were a few years of bad and good eating habits, diets, weight differences but everything was still ok. I sticked to Montignac method mainly and simply left out lactose.
In 2014 / 2015 though the pain was back in all its glory, migraines tunred worse as well and left me confused, tests were done, all different kind of diseases were suspected, again. All they found out was that my body had some pretty big infection. At that time I saw a few fellow bloggers post about similar problems and the reason for most was gluten, that was what I told my doctors to look into as well because we got quite desperate. More tests were done, eating habits were changed and again more tests were done. Result: Now I would have to stop eating gluten containing stuff as well. As far as I know there is not such a nice pill for gluten as there is for lactose so permanent abandonment it is. Tried for a while and it worked. Stomach pain is completely gone and migraines only show up maybe once a month for 3 days and less intense as they were. This though ends in more reading of ingredients, of more asking salesmen, of more tears when shopping for food or eating at restaurants. Most companies write tiny notes that all their products might contain tiny bits of gluten even when no gluten is listed directly in the ingredients, fear of pain is big enough to keep me even away from those products – last time I tried to buy some chocolate I was reading ingredients for 30 minutes and in the end found not a single bar that I could buy. There are alternatives for cooking / baking most of the things one would wish for but still, eating outside will force me to ask and this experience today was one of a few. No Sir, I am not just a Food-Nazi (and I hate that word.), I simply am afraid of pain, pain that will last for days!
And yes, besides one energy drink each day I still try to stick to Montignac method most days (unlike today) while taking care of my lactose and gluten intolerances. In the end I wonder what if I was vegan or vegetarian on top. I still don’t like eating meat too much but maybe once in two months or on festivals with a medieval market I have a Mutzbraten or something similar. I could eat even less stuff than I can now and probably get comments like the one today even more frequently. Then again there is hope, hope of more alternatives to find in stores in the future (especially with the whatever-free diet trends these days), and the hope that no more intolerances or food allergies will be found in my body.
Do you have to cut some food from your meals as well? Is it easy in your area to get alternatives? Have a nice evening!