Being Gluten Free is a lot easier than most people think, especially in a health conscious city like Vancouver. For me, this new diet was a major challenge until I made a mental shift – I had felt entitled to eat all the tasty foods in the world and that I was being deprived of an innate privilege that was given to so many others. I had a pity party for the first few years, then one day it hit me: The truth was, I COULD eat anything I wanted, I would just feel terrible afterwards (like my stomach was full of cement and nails). I was making a choice to eat things my body knew how to digest because I didn’t want to deal with the discomfort of eating that flaky, buttery chocolate croissant *drool*.

After that, my whole outlook on food options changed. I stopped wasting my energy on being angry and started unleashing my creativity on any kitchen that would have me. I discovered many foods from different cultures and experimented with new ingredients I had never even heard of. Yes, cooking traditional North American foods felt natural and easy for me, since I’d been eating them my whole life, but this new food adventure was exhilarating and made me feel all grown up… actually I’m still pretty childish, just ask my 3 year old nephew about my unrelenting accents and silly faces.

The first time I walk into each little neighbourhood grocery store, I feel like an archeologist starting a new expedition. “What will I unearth in aisle 5? Will this fuchsia cauliflower taste even better in my ‘couscous’ recipe? Why does this fruit smell like a goat’s butt?” It’s exciting because I don’t take it too seriously! This new combination might taste great – or I might spit it out and quickly drink as much chocolate almond milk as it takes to rid myself of all memory of that icky bum-tasting fruit. Either way, life is good.

For me, the most important part is that I feel good after I’m done eating. That means doing a bit of research, taking food with me when I head out the door, and planning my meals so I always have something in a pinch. I’m willing to do that because it feels like it increases my quality of life. I’m an actress with a busy schedule (oh yeah, forgot to mention that) so I need all the nutrition and joy I can get to keep me going. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made mistakes and given in to temptation… but I always get back to eating what my body likes (which happens to be gluten free foods that are usually vegan too). This is where I want to share all of my tips and tricks to living a gluten free life, easily. Enjoy ☺

 

Jennifer Kobelt-0595