Life without Gluten & Dairy, Part I

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Life Before

It was amazing not having to check every restaurants’ menu, or interrogate each waiter for how food was prepared. I could walk in anywhere and order whatever my little heart desired. With no allergies my entire life, I couldn’t understand what it would be like to have any. I had it good, and didn’t even realize it.

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In Transition

In October 2013, I met my boyfriend (now husband). He told me of all his food allergies, and I didn’t think much of it. Then we went out to eat, and I saw the discomfort of both him and the waitress as he poked and prodded for every ingredient in an entrée. Does is contain any cow dairy product? Do they have any wheat flour on them? Do you use butter or oil?

Not only were countless waitstaff and restaurants bombarded with these questions and heavy demands, but I myself was forced to coddle his allergy-ridden body. After eating anything containing gluten, dairy, or tree nuts, I’d have to brush my teeth in earnest. Otherwise, he might have a severe allergic reaction lasting anywhere from one to several weeks.

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In Progress

Now the brushing-of-teeth routine is less a burden and more a part of everyday life. Eating dairy-free was an easy change, besides the cheese. Oh, how I do miss the cheese. Luckily, there are some great goat cheeses that are pretty darn close to cow cheese. I had been drinking soy milk for years already, so no real change there.

I love baking. No, seriously. I LOVE to bake! And it’s like learning to walk for the first time, without gluten. I did succeed in baking some amazing pies over Thanksgiving, so there is hope. But just the other day I went to make some simple (ha!) sugar cookies. They came out oh-so-mealy and pasty. I am going to attempt the sugar cookie again today with a different recipe.

Another recent life-altering habit I have fallen into. Vacationing can be more painful than exciting sometimes. I have to research and contact any and all restaurants of the location we’re visiting to make sure they have any options on the menu. We are going into the mountains for New Years weekend, and I’ve been going through rounds of emails and inspecting each restaurants’ website menu thoroughly. I don’t think I researched this much in college! But so is the pains of love, right? Is that the saying?

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