...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


My New Reality

Raw Local Carrots, Kohlrabi, Black and Watermelon Radishes
I may have eluded to the fact that I've been trying to focus on gluten-free alternatives, especially when it comes to baking.  I've been seeing a nutritionist for a couple of months since hearing him speak at a monthly Holistic Moms Network meeting.  I've not been completely satisfied with my overall health, especially my digestion, for a few years now.  I've had chronic aches and pains, trouble sleeping, chronic fatigue, abdominal discomfort, trouble losing my pregnancy weight (to the point where several people asked if I was pregnant again), and a number of other ailments.  I decided it was time to act; I wanted to feel the best that I could, especially as I try to keep up with Vera, now 21 months old.  My initial thought, based on what I'd read along with some client testimonials from my nutritionist, was that I had a gluten sensitivity.  Of course, that seemed "tragic" at first, but I quickly adjusted and learned to bake with alternative flours or avoid carbs altogether when I could.  I'd found some great online resources, cookbooks, and friends experiencing the same problems.  I decided it would be no problem; after a couple of weeks observing this plan I was already sleeping well, losing weight, and not craving carbs or sweets.  Yesterday I went to get the official results of my GI test and learned, not only that I'm some sort of anomaly, but that the challenge has only just begun.  It turns out I had several other problems with my gut including allergies to dairy, soy, eggs, and, in fact, gluten.  Wow!  I was just saying two days ago, "I can handle the no-gluten thing, but what would I ever do if I had to give up cheese?"  The irony!  Having spent most of my life behind "The Cheddar Curtain," today was probably the first day of my life I haven't consumed a dairy product.  I also have to watch sugars--including fruit (and honey, of course) for just a couple of weeks.  "So what can I eat?" I asked.  All the meat I want (another initial recommendation was to increase my protein, especially in the form of meat), nuts, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, good fats, and avocado (technically a fruit).  Thank goodness I have culinary knowledge because I can imagine feeling lost and overwhelmed if I didn't know how to cook when I now have to be more creative than ever.  After a few months of staying away from these foods, I'll get retested and perhaps be able to add a little bit (minus the soy) back in, but in the meantime it's like being a vegan, but a meat-eater at the same time.   Gone are the days of rich, French-style cooking a la Julia with tons of butter and cream, but I'm willing to go straight at this and discipline myself, approaching holidays and all (thank goodness I'm cooking for a couple of the big meals.)  I've already been challenged with breakfast at which I would usually eat a bowl of plain yogurt, honey, and fruit or a plate of scrambled eggs.  Smoothies will now be supplemented with non-dairy coconut kefir; my weekly pizza "cheese" will be cooked, pureed, and highly olive oiled white beans;  and I'll quickly teach myself how to make a vegan mayo using avocado (too bad these aren't local b/c I picture myself going to the hispanic grocery once a week to buy case lots of them.)  One of the hardest things so far has been figuring out snacks when I'm so used to grabbing a piece of cheese or an apple (though the fruit ban is very temporary.) Nuts are my pals, beans are my buddies, and I suppose easy to munch veggies like celery, carrots, and radishes will also be my good friends.  One thing I will say is that if I thought I was thinking critically before about what I was eating (though more from a "where did this food come from?" perspective), now it will be even more intentional.  How cool is that?  I'm extremely optimistic and actually very excited--mostly to see how great I can feel as soon a month from now.  And my nutritionist suggests I hop on the cookbook writing circuit.  You heard it here first.

Breakfast Hash (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free)
Serves 1

2-3 small to medium potatoes (various colors and varieties), scrubbed, diced, and steamed
2 T. chopped bell or hot peppers
2 T. diced onions
3 mushrooms, sliced
2 leaves Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped

Spices such as cumin, curry, etc. (optional)
Salt and pepper

1/2 avocado
2 T. raw pumpkin seeds

Heat a large skillet and add the ghee.  Saute potatoes, peppers, onions, and mushrooms until soft, 2-3 min.  Add the swiss chard and continue to saute until chard wilts.  Season with spices, if desired.  Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.  Add avocado and pumpkin seeds and enjoy while hot.

*Dairy-free b/c the milk solids have been removed.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This sounds difficult, but I must say that I'm impressed with your ideas so far! It's going to be worth it, though. You'll feel *so* much better, and you'll be doing it naturally (no pills!).

    Good for you. I'll be interested in your posts about this.

    Best of luck!