I love food, and I love cooking, but one thing I often forget is I can’t eat like normal people. I had hepatitis (the light form) as a child, and I damaged my pancreas and gallbladder as an adult with my stupid diet choices, so now we have what we have. If I want to have a slice of pizza, I need to prepare for that with weeks of light eating. My favourite drink, coffee, is a special treat that I can indulge in no more than several times a week, and only if I stick to my strict eating plan for a while, so that I am stable. I can’t grab breakfast on the go, because most options are a no go. Work lunches, so conveniently catered to us at our company and generally healthily prepared, are also an indulgence and an exception.
What’s healthy for others is a world of digestion trouble and pain for me. I can’t eat big leafy green salads. I can’t eat legumes. My dreams of going vegan are forever just that – dreams. I can eat certain grains only sparingly. Some vegetables are out of the picture. Most cooking methods are avoided. I can’t just pick a cookbook or a recipe from Pinterest and follow it, because most of the time I would have to substitute at least something.
This isn’t a sob story, though. I know there are people out there who have it way worse than I do when it comes to their diets and digestion. This is an explanation as to why I am hesitant to share what I eat and what I cook – for the sheer boredom and formulaic simplicity of it.
But the other day I thought that this is exactly the trouble with people like me and foods we eat. We don’t think about sharing recipes from our kitchens and talking about our food patterns, because they are so irrelevant to the standard Instagram fare of food-styled flatlays of buddha bowl avocado toast matcha frappuccinos of what the hell ever or 21-day fitness food prep with the abundance of raw greens and veg, tofu, and Cruciferae.
And when I go on the internets to look for meal inspiration?
I find nothing.
Which is ridiculous, because I know I am not the only special snowflake with a capricious pancreas who has to stick to certain food patterns and products. But where are we all? Healthy meals plans are overtaken by paleo gluten-free raw vegans. I’ve nothing against these people, but their healthy is not healthy for me.
I wanted to fill this void at least slightly by starting a series of honest recipes and general food posts. Think of it like a food diary. If you are a person with a sensitive digestion or a problematic liver/ gallbladder/ pancreas, then I’m sure I don’t have to warn you that what works for me might not work for you. Even the least offensive grains out there (ohai white rice, ohai oatmeal, ohai buckwheat) can be problematic if eaten at a wrong time or in a wrong combination.
Everything I cook is cooked and processed thoroughly, but as light as possible, with minimal oil. My main cooking methods are steaming, boiling, and microwaving. I usually overcook grains, and give veg a lot of time to become soft. I would bake often, but I have no oven. There aren’t a lot of spices, as most of them are aggravating. Salt is minimal, and so is sugar, which is often substituted by fruit sugar, or Huxol, or stevia, or honey (all in moderation).
Etc., etc., etc.
I am not yet sure how often I am going to share posts like that – perhaps at first they will be nothing more than Instagram digests.
(Pictures in this post are the basic ingredients of one of my most favourite foods ever, okroshka. As much as I love it, I have to be careful with it, lest my stomach sends me into a special kind of hell.)
Is there anything you’d like to see in this series?