Food intolerances are what are described when we have difficulty processing / digesting something in our body and it causes an adverse effect on our bodies like bloating or tummy pain.
It is important to note that they are different from allergies. Allergies are when immune system has a response to a food which is often more series. Intolerances on the other hand, usually involve the digestive system.
They are often not life threatening but can make the sufferer feel rather unwell and have a negative impact on general life if not identified.
What are the common foods that can cause intolerances?
The most common food intolerances tend to be related to the following foods:
Food colourings and preservatives
The two most common tend to be milk and gluten.
Milk (Lactose intolerance) – What is it and how is it treated?
Milk is also known as lactose intolerance.
This is when people have an inability to digest the sugar found in milk – which is lactose.
Specific symptoms for lactose intolerance tend to be the following:
Abdominal pain and discomfort
It is usually treated by following a low lactose diet. Most people with intolerance to milk can tolerate a small amount in their diet. A low lactose diet means removing milk based product from your diet or eating products which are lactose free – like lactose free milk and cheese where the lactose has been removed from the products.
Gluten intolerance – what is it and how is it treated?
There is quite a lot of controversy around gluten intolerances and sensitivity and whether it exists. It is unclear whether it is an intolerance or whether the immune system is involved.
It is different to coeliac disease which I spoke about in a blog post here. It is unlikely to cause severe symptoms which require emergency medical care unlike coeliac disease which can be very serious.
It is unclear whether a gluten intolerance is a result of the gluten or another protein found in wheat.
The symptoms tend to be as follows:
Irregular bowel habits
Nausea / feeling sick
But it can also be linked to symptoms which are not to do with the gut such as
General lack of wellbeing among other things
Treatment often involves eliminating gluten through wheat elimination to see if symptoms subside then slowly adding it back in to see if symptoms reappear. So eliminating things like bread, pasta cereals, pies, biscuits, cakes etc.
What happens if I have a food intolerance?
Often when people experience the effect of a food intolerance, it happens a few hours after eating and can cause discomfort.
There can be many symptoms you could experience if you have a food intolerance including the following:
How do I know if I have a food intolerance?
You might experience the symptoms or just feel a certain way after eating certain foods.
If you think you might have a food symptom – the best thing to do is to keep a food diary writing down what you are eating, any symptoms you experience after eating these foods and when the symptoms happen.
Once you have an idea of which foods might be causing an intolerance, you can try cutting them out one at a time and seeing if this makes a difference to the symptoms you experience. It is recommended to cut them out for 2-6 weeks to see if when you start to add them back in symptoms return. You might find you can tolerate a certain amount of the food before the symptoms come back.
It is always worth discussing with your medical practitioner to ask for the best advice if you are worried you might have a food intolerance.
Quick eats: Overnight oats
A really quick, yummy and highly nutrious breakfast is overnight oats. And as the name suggests, you can make them the night before so they’re ready to devour when you wake.
Here is a lovely recipe with some good topping ideas from feel good foodie. Where it says 1 part oats + 1 part milk that means us the same quantity of each. You can always use any type of milk – whatever your preference. Enjoy
Ice cream, gelato whatever you wish to call it, lets not beat around the bush, is delicious. We all know that. The sweet, soft, reminder of our childhood flies back in an instance every time the cold creamy substance enters touches our lips.
Mr Whippys, Ice cream and jelly, strawberry splits, raspberry ripple soft scoop, Neapolitan – you name it, nostalgia is rife when ice cream is the main event for pudding.
Here is a simple and crazy delicious recipe for a homemade lemon meringue ice cream. You’ll do well to stop yourself from eating the whole tub in one sitting!
Quick eats: Lemon meringue ice cream
Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
3 lemons, grated rind and juice
6.oz icing sugar sifted
3/4 pt. double cream
6 meringue nests roughly crushed
3 tbsp. iced water
Beat lemon rind, juice and icing sugar together until smooth.
Whip cream to form soft peaks - so it's just holding its shape (be sure not to over whip!)
Fold in lemon mixture, crushed meringue nests and iced water.
Pour mixture in to a tupper ware or serving dish, seal and freeze ideally overnight.
Then - devour! (you might need to bring it out of the freeze 5-10 mins before serving).
When it comes to food – the Italians know how to deliver. On every level! Sweet, savory and everything in between!
The home of pasta, pizza and the most delicious doughy goodness! However not all Italian food has to be heavy and sleep inducing.
A lot of Italian food is made on using principles of good quality food and making meals out of very little and of course cooking with all the heart and soul that you can muster! It is cooking based on simplicity. Few ingredients and straight-forward techniques – what could be easier!
Quick eats: Simple homemade pasta
Surprisingly easy to make and tastes infinitely better than your supermarket equivalent. IF you don’t have a pasta maker to roll it extra thin – don’t worry – a good rolling pin or heavy wine bottle will suffice.
It’s a fun thing to make with children, en famille or with friends. And always tastes best when mixed up on the counter top!!
100g (ideally 00 Grade flour)
1 large egg
(to make more – simply double the recipe)
Add a pinch of salt and maybe a smidge of water if the dough is too dry.
Weigh your flour then pour on to the flour on to a surface and make a well in the middle. Crack your egg in to the well.
Slowly start to mix the flour in to the middle of the eggy mixture. Pull it from the outside in until all the egg is incorporated in to the flour.
Then start to knead it working the dough – it at first will be quite tough. Before you begin kneading this is where you might need to add a little more water if the mixture is too dry.
Flour your work surface so the dough doesn’t stick and use a kneading action back and forth to start working the dough.
It will gradually get softer. Once it has been kneaded for about 10 minutes – if you have the time – pop it in the fridge and leave it for about 30- minutes if you can.
Roll it out either using a pasta maker or a wine bottle.
Get it as thin as you can in a long thing rectangle– and if you don’t have a pasta maker – roll it up and then cut in to ribbons to make your tagliatelle.
Cook until just done in boiling salted water. It will take about 2 minutes!
When we think Indian – a lot of us think big heavy, gut stuffing takeaways – curry, naan, rice, poppadums, chutney, raita – delicious! The Saturday night takeaway that we decide to treat ourselves to because we’ve been good all week and we know that when we decide to make the plunge – the calorie consumption after eating it will likely amount to that which is recommended for our entire weekend (I jest, but often it feels like the case).
So I’m going to pop below a recipe for a delicious roast carrot dahl that can be made vegan or fully meat-eater friendly – it is nutritious and delicious and goes brilliantly with a tasty, buttery naan.
You can substitute the yoghurt for normal Greek yoghurt if you don’t want to use coconut yoghurt
And to make it super tasty – I always use stock as a substitute for the 1.2 litres of hot water. Either proper stock or use a stock cube – vegetarian or chicken will do! It just helps add a little extra flavour.
I always find the chutney is a great addition – but the dahl is just as good without it and you can add a dollop of Greek yoghurt, some mango chutney and sprinkle with a hearty dose of fresh chopped coriander.
To make it meaty – you can always add some chicken sliced up in to the lentils at the stage you add the water as they slowly cook.
Quick Eats - Carrot Dahl
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
3 Cloves of Garlic
Knob of Ginger
1 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
300g Split Red Lentils
1 Green Chilli
Bunch of Coriander
3 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
6 Tbsp Coconut Yoghurt
For the method head to the originally recipe from mob kitchen: https://www.mobkitchen.co.uk/recipes/curried-carrot-dahl
Mob kitchen are the experts in doing budget friendly, tasty recipes which don’t take long to prepare.