"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning" - Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A kid in a candy shop

2 blog posts back-to-back!? No way!? This is to all those out there that enjoy gluten-free, as a choice or out of necessity. It's a reminder that we have it really good in Victoria compared to a decade ago, or 2 decades ago.

As a child my mother had to order WEEKS of bread and treats (I say that liberally as 'treats' were limited back then) in advance for my younger sister and I. We are both coeliacs and have been for years - since we were young children. Back in the UK in the '90's I remember coming home to an order of a few boxes of goods that we had to deep freeze to prevent spoiling. Oh the joys of deep freeze - a way to prevent spoiling but you get that free oh-so-lovely freezer burn taste added after weeks of sitting there. The 'treats' that we got were ridiculously expensive sausage rolls, and fruit turnovers. Not many, mind you, because they were not cheap. It was hard to ration ourselves so to have them last all those weeks before we placed another order. Bearing in mind that all this food came from England, and we lived in Scotland. That gives you an idea of how hard it was to get gluten-free food back then. Finding GF pasta was even a chore!

Today, we can all walk into a shop and see increasing amounts of GF food at our disposal on a daily basis. It's a great thing and a wonderful step forward for everybody that is either Coeliac or on a GF diet because of intolerance or personal choice. There is a BIG difference between intolerance and being diagnosed Coeliac, by the way. Some are unaware, or there is a misconception that they are the same. There is also a misconception among many that Coeliac Disease can go away. Well, it is an auto-immune disease and is life-long.

In Victoria there are so many resources for people on a GF diet:

Origin Bakery at the Stadacona Centre (Oak Bay junction), Sante GF Cafe (Between Hillside and Bay on Quadra), GF Pizza at Oregano's (Fairfield Village), GF Pizza at Ali-Baba's, GF Pizza at The Joint (Warf Street), GF Burgers at Jackalope Bistro (On Yates by the cinema).

These are just a few. You can go into Save-on-Foods now and buy Udi's brand bread, pizza bases, cookies, muffins, bagels. This brand is probably the best one I have tasted so far, for pre-packaged mass-produced GF foods. You can buy it at Market on Yates also, but for some reason they freeze all their product.

I'm hoping to find as many resources and places to get GF foods in the city I am moving to. For me, I get a real sense of happiness to see that there is a GF alternative or substitute to a food that I would otherwise be unable to enjoy on a evening out. That smile on my face comes from all those years of not having the treats and foods at such a convenient disposal that everybody takes for granted. I'm like a kid in a candy shop!

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