The Intole-rant

Food is a pretty big deal these days. Reality cooking shows, food trucks and food bloggers: they’re all symptoms of the culinary obsession that has swept the nation. But while some have become obsessed with knowing the difference between a macaron and a macaroon, or how to pronounce quinoa, I’ve been left in the dust.

I’ve had a large portion of my bowel removed over the past ten years, and what’s left of it is honestly pretty useless.

It was finally found when I was 20 years old that years of severe bowel illness had made digesting a drag, and I had developed a myriad of food intolerances. Not the trendy kind that vary in intensity based on the amount of company present, the severe and life altering kind that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, affect almost 4 million Australians.

Unfortunately doctors cannot explain the rise in intolerance occurrences, and there is no cure. For those affected, the only management is avoiding the problem foods.

Though this sounds easy, in reality the general population’s poor understanding of food intolerances means that eating out is incredibly difficult, and at times impossible.

All this has culminated so that for myself, and many others like me, food is no longer a pleasure. Instead it has become somewhat of a bland and necessary evil.

So that’s what this blog is about; despite my gut’s disliking for wheat, lactose and fructose, I am on a quest to enjoy eating again, and help others like me do the same.

I am going to find eateries where I can order more than a garden salad (with no onions, please), and then review the food right here, discussing taste, price and the way it affects my body.

Through that process, I hope to help the growing number of others living with similar intolerances by providing a comprehensive guide to eating out with dietary requirements.

But I also hope this blog can help educate those with perfectly operating digestive tracts about the facts and realities surrounding food intolerances, and through this understanding, they may become a little more tolerant of those like me.


Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, my name is Claire Varley. I am a 21-year-old journalism student at La Trobe University, and live in the most wonderful city in the world, Melbourne.


When I’m not procrastinating instead of doing my university work, or practicing my journalistic nodding, I am a web television host and boundary rider for the Essendon District Football League.

I’m also part of the leadership team of La Trobe University’s Journalism, Media and Communications Society.

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