T here are those who eat to live, and then there’s the rest of us who live to eat.
Guess which category I fall under? 😛
I LOVE FOOD. Let me confess that first & foremost. I know I’m vegetarian, but in my experience, that doesen’t preclude one from being a foodie. My favorite memories are of food shared with family. Be it grandma hovering over us at lunch with, “Is it going to be lemon pickle with your curd rice today or Mango pickle?”; or my mom making her signature Tamarind rice over birthdays or my aunt’s celebrating us on Report Card days, with incomparable kajas (South Indian baklava) or bobbatus (Jaggery-cardamom stuffed pancakes); or dad-daughter fusion cook offs every weekend (“Lasagna with paneer”/”Moroccan Lentil Soup with an Indian twist”, Dad called them “man-made dishes”); or straight up having pizza or the world’s best ice cream with friends – there’s a deep tenderness in enjoying not just food, but life, with those around you. It’s how you bond & show folks how much they mean to you.
In my world, it’s practically impossible to cook without milk, yogurt & cheese. And because I love chocolate like my life depends on it, I have a major love affair with eggs, flour & all other yuminess you need to make cupcakes, Nutella, milkshakes etc.
So what on God’s green earth would possess such a dairy & gluten lover to ever conceive giving it up??
That’s right, I got a super rude shock from the doc, telling me I need to cut out gluten & dairy for health reasons. Here’s how I took the news:
What does this all mean? How will I live? Wait, does this mean I give up GOUDA & BRIE CHEESE?? What about MANCHEGO & GOAT CHEESE? BOURSIN? Not PARMESAN too, please no need to involve Parm cheese in all this!! A life without gluten & dairy…does that mean no cupcakes? Ice cream? Fudge? SAMOSAS??? And brunch won’t ever be the same without pancakes or waffles. And dear god, the biggest realization of all….
….I CAN’T HAVE NUTELLA….
^^^^ This is my face exactly right now (minus the baldness..and umm..most facial hair.)
I actually started hyperventilating. I had to stop the car and pull over, I had a panic attack & freak out, over the thought of not eating my beloved, gooey, chocolatey, mushy, hazelnutty, mind melting best friend Nutella. Through break ups & celebrations, Nutella’s always been there for me. I know I’m talking about it like it’s a real person. I don’t know if I want to live in such a world.
So after my panic session, I realized there is such a thing as gluten-free flour, gluten-free baking & dear Lord, I can’t even begin to think of dairy free living…but I suppose I have to start somewhere. Dude, Where’s My dairy & gluten-free Mojo?
This is my next 100 day challenge. It seems unsurmountable now, and I find it hard to believe in the benefits the doctor’s run by me…. but I’m going to share my journey here, and work on building an open mind & heart…and more importantly finding delicious food goodness that doesen’t compromise on flavor, texture or Mojo! Did you know the most scrumptious Thai curries are made with Coconut milk, which is dairy free? Maybe what I need to work on, is finding good substitutes.
What if this is the start of something better & healthier? It feels far from it now. Wish me luck & any advice you have for me on delicious, vegetarian, dairy & gluten free food is greatly appreciated 🙂
To new Journeys, & the beautiful wherevers, they may take us :D!
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Also published on Medium.