Gluten-Free Diet Is Not A Compromise: Richa Singhal

My name is Richa Singhal and I am currently based out of Bombay. Although I am a banker by profession, my passion is baking. I find my happiness in the smell of freshly baked goods and love to spend my time in the company of old school ovens, melted cheese, tea, and delicious cakes. To be very honest, I have a massive sweet tooth that has also nudged my curiosity in the kitchen. With every passing day, my soul seeks new flavours, ideas, and places to explore.

I have always nurtured a strong love for food photography. The sight of fresh and new ingredients has always been a treasure for me. It has never failed to bring a smile to my face. Gradually, I started working on photography and one fine day, that love got me experimenting with cooking and social media.

I am married to an adman and with my first step into a Punjabi household, I found my love for food. Be it cooking or eating some delicious Parathas, Chole Bhatures, or Gulab Jamuns, food has been a celebration for me instead of being a mere everyday affair. My husband was detected with gluten intolerance in 2013 and since then he has been following a gluten-free diet. Two years ago, I also made a shift to a gluten-free diet to accompany him.

Gluten refers to a family of proteins found in cereal grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. If someone has a gluten intolerance, the immune reaction to eating gluten creates inflammation in his body that damages the small intestine’s lining and it can cause medical complexities. It can cause abdominal pain, bloating, bowel habit disturbances, and fatigue. The best way to treat these problems is to have a happy, healthy gluten-free meal. But I didn’t shift to the gluten-free diet for this reason.

In the beginning, shifting to a gluten-free diet was just a way for me to prepare the meals easily. It seemed easier to make the same meal for the two of us. But gradually in the process, I was pleasantly surprised to notice an increase in my energy levels after I started following a gluten-free plan. I would never experience fatigue and bloating after enjoying a hearty meal.  It was quite surprising and motivated me to stick to a gluten free lifestyle.

It is a misconception that you have to compromise what you love eating when you follow a gluten-free diet. The heart wants what it wants and you can always find alternatives to gluten-based products to satisfy it with delicious dishes.

Now, Sunday gobi parathas, festive chole bhatures, pound cakes, club sandwiches are still very much a part of our lives. It’s just gluten-free!

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