Sunday 6 July 2014

living without

Casting my eyes over the plate I see a colourful landscape - the steamed courgettes, the quinoa and split peas, the nuts and the seeds, the buckwheat and chestnut flour bread. Not an ounce of meat. Not a grain of wheat. Not a drop of milk.

Not so long ago, I wouldn't have thought it possible to make something so delicious with so many missing ingredients. Whilst we've eaten pretty much vegetarian for over four and a half years and our diet has never been heavily reliant on processed items, we had a handful of ingredients that always made the top spot on the weekly menu.

And so we've been exploring different ways of living and eating, starting by abandoning those French staples of bread and cheese.

Three months ago, we decided to finally take the plunge and see whether living without gluten and dairy would make living with M.E./CFS and Fibromyalgia any easier. We decided to overhaul our diet not so much in the hope of a cure but rather as a conscious decision to choose a path of food as nourishment, possibly even medicine.

The initial fallout, both physical and mental, was not pleasant as our bodies readjusted. Without the shop bought cakes or biscuits when the afternoon energy dip came, I had to reach once more for a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.

Breakfast time was initially the hardest and I cursed as food preparation became laborious. I felt especially burdened by the lack of ingredients, choices and alternatives available to us here, halfway up a mountain. Gluten and dairy free products are not as developed or easily available here as in the UK elsewhere and so for a few weeks we were having to make everything from scratch. In order to keep the fire of change burning, we expanded our modest library of wholefoods literature. And most importantly, we kept talking.

It certainly has been a time of much reflection and discussion.

To be continued...

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