I have always prided myself on not being a particularly fussy person. Finishing your food was law in my house when I was growing up, and mum made sure we always ate our vegetables. Seriously, she came up with some pretty nefarious means to convince us that vegetables were the best things on the plate. One of her tricks would be to blend as many vegetables as she could find in the fridge into a tomato sauce and then spoon it over pasta, in the bath later that night she took great delight in listing every single vegetable that was in the pasta sauce we had so delightedly scoffed down and then use it as proof that secretly we liked all of these ingredients we would turn our noses up at. And don’t even get me started on the whole fairy/sprout fiasco. (Definitely a story for another day.)
Gradually though my options for food decreased. After suddenly making the connection between the fluffy animals running around on a farm and the meat on my plate I gave up meat at aged 8, which my mother dutifully took on the chin, at least she knew that this way I would have to eat my vegetables.
Then at 23 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that affected my digestive system, and overnight I also had to give up dairy, gluten, alcohol, and caffeine. (At the time I think caffeine was the most devastating, being as I was, halfway through my MA thesis.) This dietary shift happened to be completely in vogue however, and as annoying as I’m sure my parents (and my in-laws) found it, I was lucky enough to start this diet right on the cusp of the wellness revolution. Soon I was smoothie making and spiralizing with the best of them and tofu had never looked so good. My meat loving husband looking wearily on from the sidelines…
Five years later and I had pretty much got this lifestyle down. My Indian in-laws, although constantly confused at my refusal to eat chicken take great delight in preparing 501 different types of daal, and my mother in law in particular finds tofu fascinating. I had got into a good rhythm food wise, and if you’d like to hear more about how to survive on this type of diet let me know and I’ll do a whole post on it very soon.
However, pregnancy thew me another curve ball in the name of Gestational Diabetes. Suddenly fruit and carbohydrates were also off the table. The smoothies I’m addicted to went out of the window. I watched the brown rice pasta I love so much recede into the distance. Still, none of this would be so bad if I was able to prepare my own food, but stuck as I am in my bed, unable to get up I am unable to prepare my own food. My wonderful husband is incredibly nervous when it comes to cooking and my parents-in-law are despairing at the thought of yet more bizarre dietary stipulations, (after meat, carbs are their biggest staple).
I need suggestions! What are some quick, easy to prepare meals that cut out meat, dairy, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and carbohydrates? The sugar is a big one, sugar is sneaky, even a banana will send my blood sugar skyrocketing so fruit is off the menu. I’m triple checking every label, sugar gets into everything! (I’m looking at you, salad dressing). We have found some success with pre packaged veggie stir fry, and my husband has now grown in such confidence that he now adds peanut butter and tamari to it, delicious! And dressed up pre-packaged salads are good too. (Simple, I cannot stress this enough, is key. The man is terrified of cooking). But I’m open to anything else! Has anyone else been through this?