Food? No, thank you.

I’m in the midst of the longest love/hate relationship of my life. And I can’t end it. If I ended it, it would be the end of me. Literally. After a few interventions, I’d guess.

Food is such a glorious villain.

I love cooking. I love baking. I love socializing over a good meal. I just can’t eat.

I can’t eat gluten, dairy, eggs, almonds, pineapple or asparagus. Yes, asparagus. I’m a special kind of awesome. My throat won’t close I ingest any of these foes, and I won’t die, but I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t trade my soul to the Devil after accidentally eating these foods if such a transaction was offered. I’d do anything to ease the pain.

And I don’t just mean the physical kind. I’m a total pain in the arse to have as a dinner guest, and I know it. I ask to read labels. I have to turn down dishes that well-intentioned hosts think I can eat, or worse, have prepared especially for me. Did you know that margarine still has dairy in it, or that Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes contain gluten?  I wish that I didn’t know either, but I do. I have to.

Going out for a meal is a completely new challenge. Rarely do the “gluten-free” and “dairy-free” menus overlap, especially when egg and almond are thrown into the mix. I can count on one finger the amount of times that I’ve been able to eat a bun or pizza crust alternative, and I’ll soon have to tuck that solitary finger back into my hate-balled fist.

My favourite restaurant is closing this week. The one place where I could order a pizza and beer right off of the menu, where I could actually get the day’s feature without scaring the server with my list of restrictions, and it’s closing.

It’s shutting down while my new condo is scheduled to go up only a short walk from where it currently stands. And I was really hoping to make that walk. To order in pizza. To not be the “she needs to go last, this might take a while” girl when out for dinner with friends.

To forget – if only for a meal – that my body hates food, even if I want to love it.

It’s draining, this love/hate thing that I have going on. Bringing rice cakes or leftovers to catered lunches, going hungry in France, pressing my ever-tolerant husband to “use adjectives” when I make him eat something that I desperately want to taste – I don’t like it. But I can’t change it.

What I can change is my favourite restaurant. So, you if you know of a gluten, dairy, egg, almond, pineapple, and asparagus free restaurant in Vancouver, where I can eat without contemplating a meeting with the Devil or frustrating the wait staff…why haven’t you told me about it yet?