Hello, I’m Elvira from Budapest. I’m a Hungarian vegetarian girl. And – it’s not a surprise: I’ve celiac disease. First, let me tell you my story. I would like to tell you, why is it important to show my gluten free city.
Early years – with gluten
I was a very skinny girl in my childhood, and after then, My parents went with me from a doctor to doctor: why is our child so skinny? – She doesn’t eat enough. Then came the teen-years. It was horrible. My school mates teased me – skeleton, and so on. It was horrible. I was not able to be a little fatter.
In my 20s, I went to doctors my own, too. One of them asked me knowing anorexia, bulimia? No. I have not been an anorexic! How a stupid question? Anorexic people go to a doctor to help them get fatter? I don’t think so. This kind of question was offensive. They thought me being skinny just for fun? I don’t know.
I had gripes many times. Doctors said: it’s a peptic ulcer. So I got medicine for a non-existing disease. My stomach had hurt me again, again and again. And the other problems: bad tooth – it was said, something hereditary. That hair loss, skin-problems, than osteopenia (first stadium of osteoporosis), high cholesterol (with my skinny form).
At the end: Hashimoto – kind of thyroid disease. And I was just 37 years old. Many diseases were diagnosed except the original one, the cause of my every problem.
At my 39, there was the big break-through! A naturopath had an idea: maybe celiac? I went to a DNA testing for celiac. It was positive!
The big change in my life – the gluten free life has begun
I have a genetic disease. But my celiac was diagnosed in 2015. It was a shock to me – I think as to you When the dietetic said what can be eaten and what is forbidden, I was shocked. I can cook at home, but what to eat outside? What to eat on holiday far from home? What to eat on a trip? I like to travel. I like to know new countries, lands, and cities. But what to eat? Where to eat?
I’m vegetarian. So, I don’t eat meat, just milk, and egg. It’s hard to find a good vegetarian restaurant abroad, but a gluten free one? And a gluten free one in a country, which language I don’t know? It seemed an impossible mission task for me. I felt lost.
I made my gluten free kitchen. It was simple: I threw every nongluten free thing. My boyfriend has no celiac disease, but we won’t like any cross-contamination. So, we both eat gluten free food at home.
But what about eating out? Where to eat with my girlfriends-talk? I’ve started to ask for gluten free places in Budapest. So, honestly: it was not as simple as I thought. First of all: there are very few gluten free bistros and restaurants. There are others offering gluten free menu, too. BUT: there can be cross-contamination. I tried it. I went to a McCoffee, I tried a gluten free cake, and I had terrible gripes. It was made without wheat flour, but it was cross-contaminated. Never again McCoffee cake!
Some people think gluten free depends on only gluten free components. But it’s a very big misunderstanding. It depends on the transport, storage and of course: serving.
What can I do? I know my city. I can explore gluten free restaurants, bistros, coffee shops. I can try it instead of you; I can be your human litmus paper.
I can help you!
Can I do this? Yes!
Can I help foreigner celiac travelers? Yes!
Can I go back again and again and again for checking places? Yes!
Can I help you in your gluten free life? In Budapest: yes!
It’s my city! Why not? Let’s start!
You are welcomed in my gluten free life!