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A Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Life - Are You Serious?!

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When it comes to food, some people think I'm fussy - well, I guess you could call it that - I prefer self-loving.

My body has never liked gluten or dairy and when a caring mother thrust the obligatory 'Weetabix and milk' my way when I started on solids, it was pushed away and my mouth stayed firmly shut. Oh the joy, when I had the power of the spoon, because the gluey goo would always ended up on the floor, with the bowl upturned on my head! The patience and creativity of my mum was tested and she presented things like mashed avocado, scrambled eggs and yummy poached apples and blueberries - which I devoured to her delight ... and relief!

Then came school and then work and I wanted to be normal, be liked and fit in with the crowd. So I chose to abandon that wise little girl and eat what everyone else was eating.

I was trapped in the normal pattern of toast or cereal for breakfast (sugar/gluten/yeast/carbs); sandwiches for lunch (sugar/gluten/yeast/carbs); pasta, pizza, rice, alcohol for dinner (sugar/gluten/yeast/carbs) and my whole body was bloated, blocked, heavy, exhausted, hard and vulnerable to illness and every cold or virus that was floating around.

Unfortunately, that's normal today for most people.

For some relief, I would thrash it out at the gym, take laxatives and even more sugar to get through the day. Sound familiar? My body was pleading with me to listen again - so gradually I heard and felt what my body can tolerate and what it can't. There are some things I gave up 'cold turkey' - cigarettes, recreational drugs, alcohol, dairy - others like gluten, caffeine, sugar, yeast and high carbs took longer to feel the affect they have on my body.

Food is such a huge part of our lives and relationships, the need to fit in with everyone and not attract attention with food is massive. Many times I have been out with friends or work colleagues and they make a big deal about me asking what's in the food, or ask if the chef can make it without gluten/dairy etc. Once a waitress made a big deal of it, then after asking the kitchen, came back and apologised and said the chef was fine with my requests. Easy peasy!

I challenge normal. Why can't normal become self-love instead of self-harm?

Over many years, I've re-discovered my true voice inside that is honest and knows what is right for my body.

Instead of my choices being about the self-control of cravings, maybe it could be about self-love instead? Gosh, could I love myself that much that I don't want to harm myself anymore?

This is my exploratory journey of deliciousness!

Cooking is a true joy for me - here's a little delight I prepared earlier that is literally a 15-minute meal for a quick, light Sunday lunch - or supper after work - or take to in for a tasty, awesome lunch at your desk.


Sarah's Wow San Choi Bow - Asian Tacos

In a non-stick pan gently brown 500g chicken thigh mince (or any mince you like, or mashed firm tofu is great too) with a little sesame oil and a splash of gluten free tamari (soy sauce), sea salt and black pepper.

When fully cooked, drain most of the liquid and add five (or so) chopped spring onions, half a cup of roughly chopped macadamia nuts (or you could use water chestnuts or any other nuts you like), white and/or black sesame seeds, chilli flakes (to your taste), the juice of a whole lime and a little more sesame oil and tamari ... Cook another few minutes till the spring onions soften.

Serve spooned into lettuce leaves and roll up ... Wow

For a change instead of lettuce, thinly slice aubergine (eggplant) lengthways and griddle then roll up with the mince mixture inside - Super Wow!!

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