Being on the low-FODMAPS diet can be a struggle – especially when eating out.
Sure, more and more restaurants are catering for those who are gluten-free, but they are still throwing onion and garlic into everything. And GF desserts still contain large amounts of dairy, meaning that those who are also lactose-intolerant are unable to indulge after their meal. So basically I’ve found myself resorting to a simple steak and salad (with some sneaky fries, because it seems that I don’t react to them) and being one of those difficult customers that places a million requests with my order – ‘What does that come with?’ ‘Is it cream or tomato based?’ ‘Please ensure there’s no onion or garlic.’ ‘Just balsamic vinegar please’ ‘No, no gravy…no sauce…just plain. Thank you.’ I once even pre-ordered my meal a few days before a Hen’s Night dinner at an Italian restaurant, knowing that it would be far too difficult to shout my difficult order over a noisy table.
But the idea to open a cafe that catered for people with a range of food intolerances came to me the other week as the result of a few factors.
Firstly, a colleague of mine was talking about his multiple career endeavours over the years; which included opening a dog grooming salon (with no previous experience) and a restaurant, which he ran for 8 years. When we asked him why he had had so many career changes, he simply said “Well, I’ll never wonder ‘what if’, will I?” I thought that was a very fair response. My husband and I have talked about starting our own business, but we’ve never agreed upon an idea that really inspired us. So it’s definitely something that has been on my to-do list – and I’m not the type to like the ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ scenario.
The other thing that happened was my craving for a stir fry. I’m now unable to purchase stir fry sauces because practically every single jar contains onion or garlic on some level. So I googled some GF recipes – as a starting point. Upon finding a peanut satay recipe, I swapped the garlic and onion for cayenne pepper and the honey for maple syrup, making it a FODMAPS friendly meal. The result? An absolutely delicious meal! It made me think – if only cafes and restaurants could do this!!!
So the idea sparked from there. Wouldn’t it be awesome to open a cafe where people like me could dine and safely know that no sneaky onion or garlic, fructose or lactose would appear in my meal? I could source a whole bunch of recipes, adapting them where necessary, and put together a menu. Putting my idea on Facebook, many friends with intolerances or coelic’s disease said that I had their support!
I know there is much to do before opening the doors to my cafe, but I’m feeling extremely inspired and it just feels right. 🙂 I’ve now established this blog and a new Twitter account to get ideas from people and make this dream a reality one day.
Wish me luck!! 🙂