You may have a friend who you’ve recently experienced as annoying. This friend suddenly couldn’t eat dairy products, and then, soon after, gluten; eventually, she began having trouble digesting onions, and raw vegetables, and alcohol, and starts saying things like “leaky gut” and “healing energy treatment.” She complains constantly. She gets teary-eyed at restaurants.
You can’t help this friend. Sometimes, it seems as if no one can, not even her gastroenterologist, who is like, “idk!” She is alone in a smoky abyss of unsympathetic first-world problems. But you can give her a nice holiday gift! Here are some ideas.
At this point, your friend has leaned all the way in to the bougie side of life. She is her own worst enemy, and she doesn’t care anymore. Gwyneth Paltrow, whose trendy and restrictive dietary life once puzzled and amused your friend, has now emerged as one of the only cookbook authors with recipes insane enough to match her eating requirements. (Amazon, $19.27)
The bar is admittedly low for your friend’s taste buds by now, existing, as she does, on brown rice pasta and extremely bitter chocolate—however, Lucy’s Cookies manage to taste almost normal without using milk or wheat products (or eggs?!), which is frankly almost impossible. (Lucy’s Cookies, $10.62)
Your friend misses cheese. Wouldn’t you? Luckily, vegan cheese is booming business these days, and it’s becoming less and less disgusting. This sample cheese box from Dr. Cow, whose cheeses are made from raw cashews, got high marks from Food & Wine. (Dr. Cow, $85)
Your friend needs to be distracted from her own stupid problems. Myths to Live By, a collection of fascinating lectures delivered in the ’70s by legendary mythologist Joseph Campbell, will give her something to talk about besides her colonoscopy results. (Amazon, $11.05)
She just wants one, okay? (Pax, $199.99)