While a vegan diet is pretty straightforward (no animal products including dairy or meat,) coeliac disease requires Irena to cut out all foods containing gluten too. This means staying away from pasta, bread, cereals, cakes and pastries – even gravies and some sauces.
“If you have coeliac disease, you'll no longer be able to eat foods that contain barley, rye or wheat, including farina, graham flour, semolina, durum, couscous and spelt,” the NHS website reads.
“Even if you only consume a small amount of gluten, such as a spoonful of pasta, you may have very unpleasant intestinal symptoms. If you keep consuming gluten regularly, you'll also be at greater risk of developing osteoporosis and cancer in later life.”
Coeliac disease is something sufferers are born with and is diagnosed via a blood test. It can cause a range of symptoms, including fatigue, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, constipation and absorption issues, to name but a few.
So, what does Irena eat, you ask?
“Because of my work schedule and shift work, my routine is different every day,” the anaesthetic and recovery nurse previously told Body & Soul.
“I always start my day with my almond latte - I’m a total caffeine addict. Then I don’t really eat until lunch. Lunch is always my biggest meal, typically rice with Mexican beans and salsa, and dinner would be a salad with some tofu that I dress with my quick go-to satay.
Being constantly on the go, the 31-year-old is also a sucker for snacks.
“I’m always eating and I always carry nuts and fruit,” she added. “I never leave the house without a snack in my bag.”