‘Food glorious foooooood!’…. is what I want to sing from the top of my lungs whenever I discuss such a scrumptious topic. I’m not going to lie, I love food. It brings you together with friends, you feel the love that was made with it while sitting around the dinner table with family, and let’s not forget the feelings of euphoria that run wild after you’ve finally satiated your haaanger. I mean, what’s not to love about food! Well, after so many years of having the best love affair of my life, it would seem it has come to an end. At least for the time being. My lover, has betrayed me, and my stomach and gut are now paying the price.
Yesterday was a very lazy Sunday for me and I decided to watch the movie “Chocolat”. However, it wasn’t the best of choices with what I’m going through. While watching it I started drooling at all the mouth-watering deliciousness that was on display. You see my fluffy pandas I was torturing myself. It was a cruel and unusual way to go but I did it nonetheless. I sat there wishing I could have every magical morsel that presented itself on my screen. The funny thing is, I’m not a sweets person. Savoury is my thing. Like lasagna, pesto sauce with penne pasta, Greek dips, roast chicken with all the trimmings, pizza, a Patty & Bun Chicken Burger, Chilli cheese fries, warm fat pretzels, this Rosemary & potato sourdough bread from Gail’s. I mean I could carry on but I will spare you. Anyway, while watching the movie I seemed to be serenading the TV forcefully, almost as if I were pleading with a long lost ex to take me back. And then I screeched “Why have you cursed me?!” towards the heavens. “WHYYYYYYYY?!!” As I looked back at my screen it was just in time to see Dame Judi Dench seductively sip the silky thick hot chocolate. Her expression after that was of pure euphoria. The kind you would get after a great orgasm. (Yeah, I went there). There she was, stupid Judi and her stupid happy expression. All I could do was yell “CURSE YOU BAD JOO JOOS! Curse….. you!” as I raised my fists in the air.
Ok..ok….my melodrama is over. I swear. Oh one last thing… I also watched Julie & Julia. I know, I know! Food movies back to back.
You see, as some of you know, for the past 10 weeks I have not been feeling well. The doctors ran tests and nothing really came up. They said that it could be IBS but they didn’t want to say for sure. The first 4 weeks were the most miserable of my life. I had to take an Uber to and from work just so I wouldn’t have an anxiety attack in an underground tin-can as I shit on myself profusely. There were days where my internal pep talks consisted of… “You can do this. You will not shit your pants. You own your poop, not the other way round! Just go out the front door. Good. Now walk down the stairs. You’re doing it. You see, everything will be fine. Start walking to the bus. You got this Ali! You are one tough cookie. You…. oh shit. RUN! RUN BACK HOME! RUN FOR YOUR FUCKING LIFE! CLENCH CLENCH CLENCH!” And then I would slam the door to my apartment, start sobbing and ultimately feel really sorry for myself. This was the cycle. My life… for weeks.
The doctors were not that helpful. They said most of the time they don’t usually refer patients unless the symptoms persist for at least 6 months. A big HELL NO to that one. The only suggestion that they made was for me to go on a Low-FODMAP diet for the next two weeks. And with a shitty little leaflet, that didn’t explain what I should or shouldn’t eat, I left. My heart grew heavy and I decided after my umpteenth visit to the docs to walk into this posh pharmacy and plead with them to give me a miracle. And guess what? They actually did! Their suggestion was a probiotic liquid called Symprove. Within 2 days I felt almost back to normal. At the same time however, I did switch to the Low-FODMAP diet. So both have helped tremendously. But I really think the Symprove was the key. There was one slip up with a spelt grain pasta (which I thought I could have) and had to call in sick the next day. But apart from that I have been feeling at 90%. Which is a drastic improvement. But alas, even despite my positive outcome, with every passing day I start to loath food at little bit more. And that’s because of the diet I’ve been put on.
Here’s what I can have….
Unfortunately, I had to say ‘see ya later’ to my two favourite ingredients, garlic and onions. How the hell does one cook without these two things?! My breads and pastas, unless they were gluten-free, were out of the question. Avocados and asparagus which I both adore, I can’t have. The list above says I can have 1/4 avocado but others say I shouldn’t. Hence, I leave it out. So, I was stuck with rice and rice cakes. Who the hell likes rice cakes by the way? It’s what I imagine eating cardboard would taste like. Every time I eat one I have to lather it with almond butter but, guess what?! N0w I can’t lather. Therefore, I’m officially screwed. Luckily I can eat plain meat, fish, and chicken so that’s something I guess.
All in all this diet has forced me to rethink how I eat. It’s forced me to look at my meals with a shoulder shrug of whatever. I have no desire anymore when I sit down to eat and that’s the part that’s killing me. I used to love going home after work and making something fun. But the thing that has nudge the dagger in a little deeper is the fact that I can’t bake anymore. I will have to work with Rice/corn flour and buy gluten free baking soda. I mean, woe is me right?!
Don’t worry, I’m not that depressed. But I am disappointed. When it comes to my health I take things very seriously therefore I’m following the Low-Fodmap diet to a tee! I know how important your health is and to always make sure it comes first. But in the process I have lost my love. And my love, has ripped open my heart and filled it with emptiness. I’m onto my third week now and food has never looked so dissatisfying. Yet, I know that I must grin and bear it. I’m not listening to the doctors suggestion of two weeks because everyone else is saying I have to be on this for at least a couple of months. And I like to be thorough. However the thing that’s really driving me? Is not repeating the shits any time soon. I will soldier on even though my permanent expression nowadays is the stank face of misery. I will endure, I will conquer! I sound like I’m going to war don’t I?! Lord I’ve got mental issues. By the way I would like to add that I would prefer coddling myself with two bottles of wine. But you guessed it…. I CAN’T!! Wooooooossssaaaaaahhhhh!
And so with all that being said…. my love affair has ended. The comfort has gone. The desire and passion has disintegrated. And slowly its embrace will be a very distant memory.
This was my ode, my lament to food. Oh how I’ll miss you. You never judged me. You were a soothing reassurance that everything was going to be alright.
Oh woe is me….
PS- I will do a dedicated post on the Low-FODMAP diet along with two great books you should buy. Don’t worry, I won’t be complaining in that one! :-)