The Foodie Hub is lucky to have a special guest post from the self labelled “Gluten Free Chick” Nora Gassner. Nora is a gluten intolerant foodie who is passionate about eating out and managing a required strict diet. She writes with an entertaining style and has a talent in writing and food photography. This is hopefully the first of many posts Nora contributes as she is keen to share some feedback from Perth’s Gluten Free leaders.
A blood test in 2010 confirmed my gluten intolerance and from that day on, eating out would never be the same again. I’ve had to make some pretty big changes to the way I dine, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means I need to be prepared and stay informed. Here’s a little insight into my new world.
O gluten, wherefore art thou?
One might expect that eliminating gluten is a straightforward task. However, what surprised me about this, is just how well hidden gluten can be. Things that I never imagined contain gluten, actually contain gluten – such as salad dressing, stock cubes, icing sugar, ice cream and soy sauce to name a few. So, more often than not, I find myself checking food labels or asking waitstaff about meal contents or meal modifications. Luckily there is a raft of foods that are naturally free of gluten and full of taste so I never go hungry.
One bite won’t hurt you
Wanna bet? Gluten affects people in different ways. I notice the effects of it within a short space of time depending on what I’ve eaten and how much of it I’ve had. The symptoms are not pleasant, so I’ll spare you the details (this is a foodie site after all), but if you want to know more you can read about it on the Coeliac Australia website. If you suspect you might be gluten intolerant, I urge you to seek advice from a health care professional (I’m not one, but I sure am glad that I went to see one).
It’s just lacking one thing
That gluten-free food lacks flavour and that those who are gluten intolerant are missing out is a common misconception. Over the years I have tried and tested many gluten-free meals and found that often the food tastes as good or even better than its gluten-ous twin. I used to be apprehensive about eating out, but several of Perth’s restaurants and cafes identify gluten-free meals on their menus now or are quite willing to modify them (when they can), ultimately reducing my FOMO (yes, I totes just said that).
[Editor: “FOMO” means ‘fear of missing out’ should you not know -it is essentially a social media borne acronym!]
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