Yesterday I had a food intolerance test at my local health food store. I’ve been suffering with my stomach for the last 5-6 years, and it has made my life somewhat miserable. I went to the Doctors a few years ago. I was tested for Coeliac Disease, the result was negative. She told me to keep a food diary or to cut all food out and slowly add it in. (Er…wtf?) I cut out a few things, wheat, rice, all sorts really, but nothing helped and I just put up with the daily discomfort of a seriously bloated gut. Last spring my colleague told me about Candida (an overproduction of yeast), and the symptoms it can cause and how to get over it. I thought this crazy diet was worth a try, but it meant giving up sugar, fruit, processed food, bread, everything good basically. I did it, I spent five days sugar free and had never felt so great. My stomach gave me no issues whatsoever! But, I didn’t stick to it – it seemed too depressing. When I became vegan I hoped that it might sort some of my problems out, it helped a little, made me feel healthier but I still had terrible bloating.
Fast forward to yesterday, when I finally went for a food intolerance test, using some weird machine and electrodes*. The man tested all sorts of foods on me and what did he tell me? Well I am intolerant to YEAST, caused by candida and fed by SUGAR! My fear has been confirmed. So for the next three months I am to cut out all sorts of foods that not only include sugar and yeast, but mushrooms, carrots, peas, parsnips, most fruits, and all alcohol (crying into my pillow)! Candida, apparently can be caused by a lack of friendly bacteria in your gut and then your body overproduces yeast and causes all sorts of symptoms, something that can be a result of being on the Pill or taking Antibiotics. It is something that can be put right, so hopefully after 3 months I can reintroduce some of these foods back into my diet. You can find out more about it here, but this is the extreme strict version that I have been told I don’t need to follow.
Sometimes people scoff at people with food intolerances and think it is all in the mind – SHUT UP.
I made these cookies the morning of my food test, turns out they were my last sugary snack for awhile. Over the next few months I will be incorporating Xylitol and Agave Syrup into my baking to ensure I don’t miss my sweet fix, so stay tuned to see what things I come up with. But for now sugar, in all its glory…….
Vegan Chocolate Cookies (Makes 6-8)
1 small Avocado
1 cup of Plain Flour
1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
50g of Dark Vegan Chocolate
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup of Water
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
A pinch of Salt
1. Remove the avocado from its skin and mash it up using a fork in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the cocoa, flour, brown sugar and salt and stir until mixed well.
3. Chop the chocolate up into small pieces and stir into the mixture.
4. Add the water & vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
5. On a lined baking tray, spoon the mixture out to the size of the cookies you would like (they don’t spread whilst cooking).
6. Bake at 180C for 12-15 minutes.
7. Leave to cool on a wire rack or eat whilst warm (that’s my favourite way).
Enjoy and consider them vaguely healthy because they have avocado in!
*Apparently these tests are 70% accurate, so I wouldn’t swear by them for every case – although for me it seems to correspond with what I thought i may be intolerant to.
(If you think you may be suffering from a similar food intolerance I suggest you do some more research as I’ve only touched on the basics about candida here.)