I was not a happy baby. Although I don’t remember that time in my life, my parents’ stories paint a picture in my mind of a screaming baby, a baffled mother and a frustrated father.
When I was four years old, my grandmother read an article in a “ladies’ magazine” about cow’s milk allergy. She gave my mother the article, my mother recognized her crazy daughter, dairy exited my life, and within 24 hours I was a different child.
Because of that, from the earliest I can remember, I have been aware of my relationship with food. I’ve always known that certain foods can negatively affect me.
At age 7 I stopped eating lamb. Lamb negatively affected me emotionally. I couldn’t bear the thought of eating a soft fluffy baby sheep. Within a few years, no more veal (baby cows have feelings too). By the time I was 19, I was a vegetarian.
It was at this point that I began to learn in more depth about healthful cooking. I subscribed to Vegetarian Times, which not only had recipes, but also nutritional education. I was fascinated, and absorbed it like a sponge.
I learned I enjoyed cooking. I also loved the challenge of cooking delicious food despite health driven constraints.
When I had children, this “hobby” expanded exponentially. I became more focused on whole grains and alternative sugars. The latter was even more driven home when I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia at age 30. After 11 years of being a vegetarian, I started eating meat again. Now I knew that certain foods could positively affect me.
At 35, now with two children, the second of whom had been born with a sensitivity to dairy and chocolate, we moved to our homestead, where we hoped to grow as much of our own food as possible. Once again my cooking repertoire expanded.
Our bonus baby, Little Warrior, was born when I was 37, and he came out chock-full of food sensitivities. My diet was pretty crazy when he was a baby, but boy was I thankful that he was exclusively nursing so that I could control what was going into his body! He was sensitive to dairy, chocolate, tomatoes, wheat, eggs, soy, coffee, citrus and strawberries. My miserable, rashy 2 week old became a smiling, peaceful 2 month old. And I learned how to cook with extreme food restrictions.
What does all this have to do with joy?
Food is a huge part of my life... as an eater, a preparer, and a grower. I spend hours each day dealing with food, and I (mostly) love it. The closer I get to eating foods the way they were made by God, the more delicious they are and the better my body feels.
Since food is such an important part of my life, it seems only natural that it would play a role in this blog. Every so often I will post a recipe that our family enjoys, that is simple and healthful. Some of them are my own creations, others are favorites whose source will be noted. My recipes may not fit your specific dietary restrictions, but I hope you will find something here and there to try.
Most of all, I hope you will find joy in your kitchen!