I really should be out running, but like, right now. Up and away, with my trainers properly tied up, my rain-proof jacket and a decent playlist. Alas, I’m indoors, and not even wearing proper socks, just those thick ones with rubber on the soles to prevent you from slipping.
Running is not happening today mainly because gut troubles. Stomach unease that I’ve had for almost a week now. I’m still getting to grips with my chronic disease, but one thing I have managed to ascertain is that my diet has a profound impact on my health. As soon as I overdo it with dairy, sugars, and bread… it’s game over for me.
A few weeks ago I came across One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane. I bought the book purely because the author is a fellow endometriosis sufferer, and while I’ve already been tweaking my diet, I figured this could be the next step.
The book is mostly about veganism, but it recognises that not everyone can go completely vegan, so it mostly focuses on the small changes you can do to help you live better, even if it’s eating just one plant-based dish per day.
Right now that is my aim: to be able to create a completely vegan meal a least once a day. Years of taking painkillers have made me develop a strong gluten intolerance, my love for dairy also requires curving, and anything that can cause inflammation will make me regret eating it at some point. Symptoms include belly swelling like a balloon, nausea, severe tiredness and pain in my gut like being poked with a dagger. I sleep badly, I can’t function right and I become a very miserable person.
Murnane’s book can be quite daunting. The ingredients she lists can be in some cases pricey, and/or hard to find, but there are ways to play around with this, substitute one thing for another. Some of the recipes sound a tad scary, but every single one I’ve tried until now has been surprisingly easy. Just yesterday I made a nut butter and chocolate tart from scratch, crust included, and I was shocked by how effortless – and incredibly delicious – it turned out to be. The book also stays away from refined sugars, but its dessert section is pretty decent.
Another book I go to a lot is the super complete River Cottage Gluten Free cookbook. This one is jam-packed with gluten-free reinventions of dozens and dozens of recipes. Their pizza recipe has been life-changing to me. The introduction section is long, and extremely informative, with long explanations on wheat alternatives, and a good amount of science in a very readable style.
I don’t think I will ever be able to go fully vegan, and just yesterday, seeing friends devour hamburgers – tasty buns included – made me feel a bit like an outcast, but I have to recognise that if my gut is rejecting something, there is no point in going against what my body is telling me.
Today I feel bloated, tired and slightly depressed. The energised version of myself will be making an appearance soon, I’m sure. Until then, peppermint tea – I could kill for a latte right now – buckwheat pancakes and raw honey are my friends.