I was born and grew up in Finland, where rye bread, coffee and potatoes are everyday items and must have foods and drinks. Also, sweet breads, cookies and cakes made of white flour were always available. We made pancakes, donuts, cookies, and breads ourselves and indulged on homemade goodies. I grew up eating rye, wheat, barley and dairy products, foods that I should not have had. And I love foods made with wheat flour. But I can’t have any of them anymore. Then later I realized I could not have any kind of onion either, be it green, yellow, red or any other, or garlic.

It is ironic that it took so long for me to figure out what I can and cannot eat since I am a Dietitian and my role is to advice people about healthy eating. You would think that I would have been able to spot what my issues were much earlier. However, food intolerances are notoriously difficult to decipher and not one doctor I went to was truly able to help me with my intestinal/skin issues. Yes, they treated me, but not for the actual issues I had.

Because I cannot have any of the foods I mentioned, I have had to learn to cook without them. It has taken some getting used to because most meat, fish, and poultry recipes call for onions and/or garlic. It is exceedingly difficult to replace wheat in any form we use in cooking and get a good product, and milk and dairy products add rich creaminess that is also difficult to replace.

I am still working on making a good gluten free bread, and my bread is getting better every time, but I do not have a recipe to share yet.

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