“Not for me. I’m on a diet.”

Being on a diet when you’ve chosen to lose weight is hard enough but having to be on a specific diet because otherwise you’ll be ill is a real pain. I can’t eat gluten or garlic, and I have to limit my beans, pulses and dairy because, due to my IBS, if I did eat them I wouldn’t be at all well! 3 years ago I sussed that gluten was an issue but spent a long time figuring out the rest of my trigger foods (hooray for the FODMAP diet!) and think I’m finally eating a diet that works for me.

Cooking at home is fine and actually I love finding recipes that work for me. My favourite thing is to serve something delicious and hear, “what, and this is gluten free?!” But, eating out… nightmare! I am so grateful for restaurants/cafes with staff who really get it and go out of their way to help, or apologise if they really can’t. However, I have received a lot of blank stares at my asking, “does it have garlic in?” Food intolerances seem so common so I’m really surprised every time someone acts like they’ve never been asked about what’s in their food before.

Thank you to the many friends who have gone to great trouble to make delicious food for me when I have come to eat with you. Having to explain my dietary requirements makes me feel so frustrated at the requirements themselves and at putting people out so I really appreciate when people have worked really hard to cook well for me!

And, thank you to the friends who let me sniff their pastries just to remember what it was once like to eat a pain au raisin, and to those friends who willingly give me the icing off their cake. You guys rock.

 

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