I have a weakness for food. I love food. Ever since I started my chemo back late 2010, I have always closely monitored my diet intake. I was adamant to fight the cancer through food. I adjusted my food according to what I felt I wanted to eat. During the chemo treatments, my taste buds went haywire and craved for more savory food. I ate as normal as I can enjoying my breads, pasta and the occasional cake as a treat. Although I may not have eaten a large portion, my tummy does feel a little heavy and at times uncomfortable when I eat anything that has wheat. 4.5 months ago, I decided to cut out wheat products from my diet.
It is tough to not to eat gluten because 99% of the foods contain some form of wheat. Even soya sauce, a staple condiment in chinese cooking has gluten. When I share this fact with many of my friends’ they were taken aback. Their immediate reaction is that “Isn’t soya sauce made of soy beans only?”. Gluten or wheat based products is an inexpensive stabilizer used by food manufacturers. I haven’t not done a medical test to see if I am allergic to wheat/gluten and diagnosed to have celiac disease. Since I am much more prone to having stomach cramps, it only makes sense for me to cut what could cause the pain. Many who have symptoms such as bad stomach cramps or skin rashes may not realize it could be the wheat that is causing the discomfort.
So how do I manage with all the temptations? For me I have to visit health shops to buy some of my grocery items such as pasta, baking flour and even chocolate. Like most specialty shops, the items are much more expensive that non-gluten based products. Even shopping at supermarket chains here in Singapore, they are slowly introducing some gluten-free products. This is great news! Of course there are natural foods that are naturally gluten-free like fruits and vegetables, tofu. Being a foodie, I am always searching of new recipes or find creative ways to tantalize my taste buds. I don’t want to miss out on breads, pasta, pizza. The challenge for me is when I dine out. I have to scrutinize the menu and see which dishes I can eat. I even have to ask the waitress to check with the chef to make sure no gluten is being included. Restaurants in Singapore are not as always up to speed to have alternative dishes for those gluten intolerant.
While I am writing this post, I am already thinking of what to have for breakfast. I am craving a good slice of pizza with all of my favorite toppings. Mind you I am still looking for the perfect substitute for mozzarella cheese – I can’t have dairy products either.