Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guest Post by Sarah, the Gluten-free Vegan

Good evening m'dears! You might have noticed that on Adventures in Veg I try and have as many gluten-free posts as possible, as though I'm not a coeliac I like the blog to appeal to as many people as possible. I read lots of great gluten-free blogs and have so much respect for coeliac bloggers because they are often the most important source of gluten-free information for their readers. Plus in a world that is not coeliac-friendly, it must be so hard to go out to eat and not know if you're going to be 'glutened' or to have to give up your favourite foods because they are making you ill.

I hope to have lots of guest posts in the future, and this is the first one - it's written by Sarah, who runs the Gluten Free Tries Vegan blog. It's a lovely positive blog and is great for those who are coeliac, gluten-intolerant, vegan and/or have IBS. Take it away Sarah! 

Hello there!
My name’s Sarah and I write a little blog called Gluten-free tries Vegan.  A couple of months ago (or possibly longer, oops) lovely Aoife asked me to write a guest post.  Since I have finally gotten around to it, here it is.  I thought I’d share a little bit about how my diet’s evolved over the years to not only help me gain greater health, but also learn about how it is possible to celebrate a love for food by following a vegan diet.  

Firstly, let me just say, I love food.  I love eating it, reading about it, thinking about it, creating it, and writing about it.  I’ve almost always loved food and am fortunate enough to have been brought up in a family where food has had positive connotations.  However, food hasn’t always loved me and we’ve had an interesting time together.  I’ve suffered with chronic digestive problems for most of my life.  I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance during childhood (but was too young to pay any attention to this and continued eating dairy products), was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome at 20 years old, was anorexic between the age of 20-23 years old, and then diagnosed with Coeliac Disease at 25 years old.  I also adopted a vegetarian diet as a teenager.  So food and I have had a diverse journey so far!  But it has been one where food can have a positive effect on the body (and mind) as well as a negative one.

I would say that there were two major turning points in my journey with food so far: needing to follow a gluten-free diet and choosing to adopt a vegan diet.  Whilst eliminating all traces of gluten from one’s diet can seem like a daunting and miserable task for me it was one of liberation, and even pleasure.  Food became a source of healing, nourishment and creativity.  I chose to see the challenge as a positive one.  I thought about all the new foods that were gluten-free I could have in order to diversify my diet.  I thought about all the fresh produce and tastes that could be cultivated through a bit of time and effort.  I became reacquainted with my kitchen since many quick, go-to meals were no longer available.  I found my true love of food again that anorexia had stolen from me.  Thus, through anorexia and Coeliac Disease I learnt of food’s ability to both harm and heal, and in both cases I had to take the healing routes.  The former was through including foods, the latter through eliminating foods.  Happily, both gave me certain degrees of wellness.

Veganism was the next step to wellness.  For me, as a former vegetarian and lactose intolerant, it was almost an organic evolution in my diet.  Eating a vegan diet is one of the best decisions I have made.  Initially I was worried about whether I could give my body all the nutrients and energy it needs in order to thrive.  And, for a while, I fell into the stereotypical way of thinking that a love of food cannot be synonymous with a vegan diet.  How wrong I was!  Hopefully, you have already seen this on Aoife’s blog.  And this is what I seek to show on my blog; that it is both possible and fun to follow a gluten-free and vegan diet.  I truly see this way of eating as a pleasure rather than a limiting hindrance.  Whilst I love salads and loads of vegetables in my diet, I also LOVE sweet treats.  I have a massive sweet tooth!  For example:

So that’s a snapshot of me and how I came to veganism.  Thanks for reading!

I asked Sarah a few questions to give an insight into her life:

1.  What's the best part of being vegan?
Vegan food blogs/bloggers and dark chocolate (love it).  The hardest part is eating out, for sure.  Catering for a gluten-free vegan = a nightmare (for the uninformed/inexperienced).

2.  What's your best advice for someone wanting to go veg or vegan?
Educate yourself as much as possible and transition into it slowly; be kind to yourself.  Some can make the transition overnight, but most have to take it gradually so don't beat yourself up if you have some cheese or chicken.

3.  What are your three dessert island foods?
(Chosen for the pleasure they bring and the ability to almost never get tired of them) dark chocolate, peanut butter, and apples.

4.  Who are your vegan heroes?
... hmmm... in terms of food philosophies I most resonate with, along with their delicious recipes, I would say Gena from Choosing Raw, Tasha from The Voracious Vegan, and Averie from Love Veggies and Yoga.  

5. What's your favourite album?
Oh no!  Not a music question!  I am deeply uncool when it comes to music, deeply uncool.  Ok, fave album, it changes all the time but one of them is Stevie Wonder ~ Song Review A Greatest Hits Collection.  He's just amazing. 


Raspberry Stethoscope said...

Thank you for the positive blog comment, I really appreciate it:)

Kelsey said...

Sarah, you have it right! youve worked with what makes u the happiest and now it comes so naturally for you. educating ourselves is so important and there is always room to grow, and when u find something that ur passionate about that lets you express who you are and make u feel good about it, then all the power to ya. amazing post!

xoxo <3

kelli said...

great post! i love sarah!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Great post, Sarah! I love your outlook on food and life, so healthy and balanced and beautiful! You are inspiring. And WOW, I'm so flattered you mentioned me. THANK YOU! x

Mihl said...

Hi Sarah,
I live your blog!

Candice @ ChiaSeedMe said...

Great post Sarah! I loved learning even more about you and your journey! So inspiring:)