When you fall out of love with food… (and the reason for my 8 week hiatus)

Eight weeks already?! I couldn’t quite believe it when I checked the stats of the blog and spotted the last time I had posted, I knew it had been a while, but two months?!!

I have been meaning to post for the longest time…it was bugging me in the back of my mind, a weird combination of reluctant urgency- urgency because I KNEW I had to, I wanted to maintain momentum and not fall into the habit of becoming a sporadic blogger. Reluctancy because I actually felt like I had nothing to blog about!

FOODIElia is a blog centered and focused entirely on food, but what happens when your appetite is poor? When you haven’t been out exploring various restaurants and foodie events? When you’ve had to re-evaluate your entire relationship with food because of illness?

For the past 6-8 weeks, I’ve been dealing with leaky gut syndrome, a weird and horrible ailment that I initially could not diagnose, even with the help of a doctor. Almost everything I ate would sit lodged somewhere between my chest and stomach (not literally, but this is what it felt like) creating great cramping and discomfort and there was a non stop inferno, which I could only describe as a mini volcano erupting in my stomach.

In tow with poor appetite, diarrhoea, a sharp, sour taste at the back of my tongue/throat, acid reflux, bloating, flatulence a-plenty, a nasty cough and fatigue, it was safe to say that consuming food was no longer a pleasure for me.

Worst still, my skin was breaking out more than ever, another side effect that I now realise is connected to leaky gut.

Wtf is leaky gut?

Leaky gut is when the bowel lining becomes irritated and “leaky” as a result of a wide range of factors, including an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the bowel, a poor diet and the overuse of antibiotics. (Always nice when you take antibiotics to get better and end up with another ailment eh?)

This means that undigested food particles, bacterial toxins and germs can pass through the “leaky” gut wall and into the bloodstream, triggering the immune system and causing persistent inflammation throughout the body leading to a wide range of health problems, hence my 101 symptoms.
Other inflammatory foods like dairy , sugar and excessive alcohol, are suspected to exacerbate the condition as well.

How d’yu fix it?

I had to alter what I was eating in order to help the resolve the situation, which meant going on a cleanse and cutting out ALL dairy (I don’t drink cow’s milk, but I am a sucker for cheese. Sigh.), sugar (this was PRETTY DARN DIFFICULT), yeast and alcohol. I also did my best to avoid grains. This actually helped to identify which foods irritated me the most.

Upon doing further research, I discovered that the intake of friendly bacteria and fermented foods such as kimchi, (a sort of pickled/fermented cabbage which I love) was the way to go, and I also began to take a medicine called Silicogel in order to help repair the damage and soothe my raging stomach.

And, it worked guys! Not only do I feel tons better, but my skin has cleared up remarkably, I have more energy and I’ve managed to keep up my low level sugar intake, avoid alcohol completely and cut down on bread. Oh and I’m back in love with food again lol.

So now I’m back, in better health and trying to reacclimatise to the swing of things, primarily change.
During my time away, quite a few thought provoking events re-established the reality of life for me; one constant of which being change and how well we either adapt to it, or reject it.

I suppose the resounding thought I had to conclude with, is to never give up on yourself, no matter what may be changing around you.

We are in a constant state of change, with various factors of life changing all around us, but we, as in you and I as individuals, remain constant. So whether I am sad, I am unwell, I am better, I am afraid, I am determined, I am here. The one constant amongst all of those changing facets, is that I am. And as long as I am, I can.

T x

 

 

REVIEW: Hakkasan Mayfair

Establishing itself as a leading destination for modern Cantonese cuisine in London, michelin star award winning restaurant Hakkasan offers stunning Cantonese cuisine, world-class mixology and dramatic design.

Famed for elaborate dishes such as Roasted silver cod with Champagne and honey to classics such as Sweet and sour Duke of Berkshire pork, Hakkasan did not fail to impress in quality, execution and most importantly, flavour.

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MAY: STARBUCKS FRAPPUCCINO HAPPY HOUR (50% OFF!)

With the UK weather warming up, it’s nice to keep cool with icy treats and from 13th-22nd May, Starbucks is introducing Frappuccino Happy Hour!

Between 3 and 5pm you’ll be able to pick up your fave frappuccino half price!

This gives you an excuse to try out their new flavours- which I couldn’t resist- Banana and Caramel S’more- a delicious creme blend with banana compote, rich caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and digestive biscuit/ graham cracker crumbs (review coming soon!) and Chocolate Marshmallow S’more.

For those unfamiliar with Starbucks Frappuccinos, they are ice blended creme or coffee based drinks, flavoured with delicious syrups, fruit compotes and sauces, and often topped with whipped cream (although this is optional). They are available to order with soya and coconut milk too for all you dairy free folks out there.

Unfortunately, this offer is only available at these times in UK stores nationwide; but from what I’m aware, happy hour happens in the States too, so check out your country’s Starbucks website to see when your happy hour begins!

 

Enjoy!

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DON’T LET GOOD VEGGIES GO BAD: Tomatoes don’t go in the fridge?!

Lately, I’ve noticed the coolest food hacks flying around on Facebook, from quick meal fixes to how to separate your egg yolk from your whites using a plastic bottle (I’m yet to try this one) and most recently, how to store your vegetables correctly to ensure freshness and longevity!

I found the video posted below super insightful; I for one keep my tomatoes AND my cucumbers in the fridge! Continue reading

COMIDA FEST REVIEW!

Sunday 17th April was the day I got to head down to the highly anticipated Comida Fest at Southbank and it was certainly worth the wait!!
Not only was it a dry day with beautiful sunshine (this is an achievement considering the rainy and dare I say it SNOWY British weather we’ve been having, believe me) BUT! it was matched with great vibes, great music but MOST importantly- GREAT FOOD.

Packed with stalls showcasing various foodelights, from Venezuela, Peru and Colombia, it’s no wonder folks came out in their droves for a taste.

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REVIEW:Pesto Ice Cream

pesto again

Back centre- pesto ice cream, back right- peanut butter, front right- pistachio, front centre- cookies and cream.

I think it’s important to try new things and as an ice cream fiend, it’s imperative for me to try new flavours, so when my curious mind encountered pesto flavoured ice cream; despite being a little disturbed I figured “meh! guess I have to try!”
Odonno’s is an Italian Gelati known for creating award winning fresh, natural gelato and living by the motto: “Life is too short to eat bad ice cream”.
For the most part, I agree! And Odonno’s has made me very happy with it’s wonderful offerings of Alphonso Mango Sorbet, Sicilian Pistachio and Black Cherry ice creams; but this pesto one definitely left me confused. Continue reading

RECIPE: Oat Milk

If you read my “What’s the deal with dairy” post over on Foodiscussion, you may be swayed into trying out a dairy free milk.
I’ve tested out lots of dairy free milk variations and although they do not taste like the cow’s milk I’m used to (they can be a quite an acquired taste) some do make for a pretty tasty alternative.

I’ve come to learn that it’s less about trying to find something that tastes exactly the same and more about being willing to try and adjust to something new…and healthy!
It doesn’t take long to adjust to either.

The biggest issue I found, once I opted to step away from drinking cow’s milk, was just how EXPENSIVE other plant and nut based milks are!!! Continue reading

What’s the deal with dairy?

 

 

I noticed this video flying around on Facebook last week and it echoed the exact same things I used to get laughed at for saying.

I once referred to a glass of milk as cow juice (I know, how appetising), but when I actually thought about it; that’s exactly what is was.
Like Doc  in the vid says, cow’s milk is produced by a lactating cow specifically for her calf. The milk is designed for her calf, in order for it receive all of the nutrients, fats, hormones, etc needed for it to grow into a healthy cow.
It isn’t designed for humans.

We humans, wouldn’t feed our newborns cow’s milk, as human breast milk is designed to give our babies all they need in order to grow. If we fed our newborns on a diet of cow’s milk they would probably suffer malnutrition and become very ill.

“It’s important to bear in mind that mother’s milk is excellent nourishment for human babies, but its composition is very different from cow’s milk.”

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April: FREE ICE CREAM!!!

The month of April appears to bring with it the month of free ice cream with both La Gelateira and Ben & Jerry’s announcing  ice cream giveaways!

La Gelateira  (2015’s Great Taste Awards winners) will be gifting customers with free ice cream to celebrate their new store opening in Stratford.

La Gelateira is renowned for their unique artisan gelato flavours such as honey, rosemary and orange zests, peach bellini sorbet (vegan) and basil and chilli- although if these are a little too adventurous for your palette, they still have classics such as Mananara vanilla, Sicilian pistachio and Alphonso Mango Sorbet (vegan).

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Africa at Spitalfields: African Street Food Fest!

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On 30th May (Bank holiday Monday!), Spitalfields Market will house the annual African Inspired- Africa at Spitalfields Pop Up Retail Event hosted by Pop up Africa, celebrating the beauty of African Culture as well as showcasing talents from Africa and the Diaspora.

Although the day will deliver stalls catering to African Music, Film, Fashion, Interiors, Art and Literature, all of which I am hugely interested in, I’m most curious about sampling the Street Food that will be on offer!!! Continue reading