I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of intolerance vs allergy and food diaries and doctors… but I will say that, once you’ve got over the shock, it really isn’t all bad.
OK so you can’t make a cheese and onion toastie with Braces extra thick white bread… but time is a great healer. You’ll get over it – by discovering new things that you never knew you liked, because you never had to like them.
A year ago I had no time to cook – I was the master of plonking some pasta in some creamy sauce, shoving a garlic baguette in the oven, and patting myself on the back for my culinary skills. Discovering you have intolerances means that you have to check the labels on everything (why the hell is there wheat in cornflakes??). It also means that you learn that there are lots of things you can’t have; and lots of over-priced specialist versions of these that you can have. What are you going to do, make everything from scratch?
No, you don’t have to be ripped off. And you don’t have to spend 24/7 in the kitchen. If you can find a ‘free-from’ item that you’ll use and can’t make yourself, buy it. Don’t waste money buying the things that you either don’t need, or can make easily yourself. Start putting together simple meals that you never before made the effort to make. Make things for your whole family – my OH loves my gluten and lactose free cooking. It’s addictively satisfying.
Intolerances often cause fatigue and irritability. That was one of my main reasons for staying out of the kitchen – I didn’t have the energy, and I couldn’t be bothered. But if you’re prepared to put in a bit of effort, you’ll notice how much better your body feels when you fuel it with foods that it can digest properly, and I can honestly tell you there’s no better feeling.