I’m a 30-something single professional who works full-time Monday through Friday, and part-time teaching about one quarter a year. By the time I get home most nights, I am tired and hungry, but I really want food, not cereal, to eat. I grew up in a household where family dinner was a nightly, unnamed thing — we just called it dinner, and it wasn’t a special event. My mother had a pretty standard, midwestern menu plan, though she’s a better cook than many — meat, two veg, potatoes, and usually dessert.
I’ve never cooked like that — it makes way too many dishes for one person. So I’ve always been relatively experimental in the kitchen — most of my best dishes come from “use up everything in the fridge before it goes bad” moments of motivation, but those rarely result in anything one could call a “recipe.”
I stopped eating dairy years ago after a diagnosis of lactose intolerance. It was hard at first, but then it became an adventure. I experimented, got good at new things, learned vegan baking.
But when I was diagnosed with a boatload of new food sensitivities, the bottom kind of fell out for me. I mean, none of these things would kill me, or even send me to the hospital, but so many of them made me wish for death — if only I could get out of the bathroom first. I trudged towards “better health” with all the joie de vivre of your average teenager on a family vacation.
Since my diagnosis was food sensitivity, not allergy, I did hold out some hope that time away would reduce the sensitivities, but so far this has not been the case. I am healthy when I do not eat these foods, I start to lose ground when I do. If you’re interested, the diagnosis of lactose intolerance (severe) was made through a breath-gas test that likely has a scientific name. The sensitivities were diagnosed through an IgE blood test.
- dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter)
- gluten (wheat, etc., though I do not have to be concerned for cross-contamination, so I’m still eating up my regular oats)
- soy (I can tolerate gluten-free soy sauce and soy oil, as the protein is removed from the latter)