Friday, November 16, 2007

One year on

It's one year and one week since, almost overnight I gave up coffee, wine, beer, fruit juice, oranges, Cox apples, peaches, jam, marmalade and avocado. I'd already given up tomato and had spent six months on a wheat free diet, losing the best part of a stone while doing so.

The discovery the problem is salicylate rather than wheat and other odd fruits meant I could resume eating ordinary bread, pasta and cereals. But almost all sources of vegetable matter in my diet were gone. I've had to live on cabbage, leeks, celery, bananas and Golden Delicious apples - and every day I count to ensure I get my government-prescribed "five a day".

Looking back, I can see how we've adapted our diet. Sunday lunch is now largely salicylate free - and is okay. Gravy no longer comes in powder form or cubes but is made from scratch. Soy sauce is amazingly useful and highly flavoured - combined with cabbage it makes a pasta sauce and I used a similar combination the other night as a substitute chili with baked potatoes.

Montelukast (or Singulair) is a great find by the consultant. It allows occasional indulgences. The other night I went out to a meal and managed to eat two slices of a cheese cake. Eating out is still embarrassing - especially when the wine flows. Iced water's not quite the same.

The diet sheet changed a little in the first few months. I note that the first one mentioned yeast - and that led me to keep away from bread for some time, as well as other products containing yeast. The dietician persuaded me that was wrong so I eat bread normally - but not a lot of it. It was worth losing weight last year.

Recently I tried papaya again. Although it's on sale all year round, it seems to be a seasonal fruit. It was good a year ago and has been great treat this autumn. But by Christmas Day it was hard and unripe and stayed that way for most of this year.

My taste buds have been sensitised. A little while ago I promised some fantasy menus and maybe I will - but in truth I'm quite happy with this diet based on chocolate, bananas, cabbage and soy sauce. I now reckon I can taste the tiniest grain of pepper in food - and that generally means something's wrong.

So those fantasy menus! Where to begin? Pizza, curry, chili, bolognese, Chow Mien.....

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