You know, I wish you lot would add comments on to the bottom of posts instead of emailing me questions. I am not ungrateful to get your emails, but as y’all complain I take so long to respond to them, it would be quicker all round if you just commented. Whinge over.
So in answer to the emails, here is a list of things I can’t (or won’t) eat. Then you can decide if you want me over for dinner or not. I should preface this with a caveat. I am not eating vegan as much as I can because I have an ethical problem with eating meat, and don’t want to hurt the little-baby-baa-lambs-a-gamboling-and-a-frolicking. As anyone who knows me knows, I love a good steak with the rest of you. I am eating vegan as much as I can, because I have reached a point in my life (middle age), where what I eat has an impact on how I feel for a couple of days afterwards. My whole ethos for this year has been to listen to my body, and when it is not happy with food, it lets me know. In many, varied and mysterious ways. From bloating; to unbelievable stomach rumbles; to being bunged up for days; to having the complete opposite effect (blush); to gale force wind issues; believe me my digestive system is not backward in coming forward in telling me it is not happy. My skin too is also a good barometer of how I am doing. At the moment, it isn’t great, I’ve changed my shampoo and it needs time to settle down. I also face plant on the bed, so if there is any residue soap in the bedding, that can set it off too.
Are you ready, are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin:
- Meat – self-explanatory. Although, when I am out and about, I will order off the veggie menu, I am looking forward to a Breakfast Creek Hotel steak when I get to Brisbane later in the year.
- Wheat – likewise, but it is hidden everywhere. We’re driving to NSW at the weekend, I will look like I am moving in as I need to take food with me for the journey, then lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner. There is simply hardly anything I can buy at a petrol station should I get the munchies. Nuts yes are available at petrol stations, but I don’t necessarily want them covered in salt. As Michael Pollan says, ‘Don’t fuel up where you fuel your car up’. You will only make poor choices if you do.
- Dairy – self-explanatory, or so you would think. But people are surprised when you tell them it includes milk in coffee, cream, cheese etc. What do they think dairy means?!
- Goats cheese, because it is absolutely vile. Have you noticed how many vegetarian dishes on menus have goats cheese in, or filo pastry? I’ll just have a nice plate of vegetables please, but hold the butter.
- Eggs – although I am more relaxed on this than I am on anything else when I am out. Have you tried eating a breakfast out and about with having them? People look at me like I have an extra head.
- (Are you still with me? I did warn you it was a pain in the butt list)
- Sauces in jars, Paul Newman spaghetti sauce excepted. Have a look at the huge long list of ingredients in them next time you go to grab a one off the shelf. Especially the day-glow colourings that radiate out of some of them.
- I also try and avoid additives especially colourings and preservatives. Having a use-by date of 4 years hence, is a good sign. Don’t eat it!
- MSG – seriously, this makes me really, really poorly. Thankfully over here, you can request food to be made without it.
- Fizzy drinks. Sparkling water being the exception.
- Faux vegetarian meat. Aside from that most people go vegetarian to avoid eating little-baby-baa-lambs-etc, why would you then try and find something to resemble bacon? As it is also made with wheat, I can’t eat it anyway.
- Seafood – this is a tricky one. I grew up in a seaside town, but as my father didn’t eat fish, we didn’t eat fish. So it really isn’t high up on my chosen wish list of foods anyway. I’ve had a lobster, it was alright. I’ve had a seafood platter at Christmas, it was alright. Not eating this is the easiest of all, as I didn’t eat much of it anyway.
- Salads – I am really good at making salads. But when I am eating out, I have to avoid croutons, meat and most of the dressings. I also know it is really annoying for Chef to have an order come through with a great long list of instructions on how I want my meal prepared.
Honestly, I’d smack me if I was going out to eat with me. If we’re going out, I try and organise them as much as I can so I can choose a Lily-Compliant venue. If not, I’ll ask for where we’re going, then will call the restaurant ahead to discuss menus. If I get sprung with a ‘Let’s go out!’ I will go, but then munch on olives, or the snacks I permanently keep in my handbag.
Pity my poor husband too. He has to live with me.