I'll learn to cook when I have to.
Growing up my mom cooked the majority of our meals and tried to teach me how to cook our usual dinners. I would always respond with, “I’ll just learn how to cook when I have to, Mom.” I assumed I’d learn when I moved out on my own, or when I got married or decided to have a family. When I did move out years later my roommate loved to cook and I did the cleaning, a perfect arrangement in my mind.
When I met the man of my dreams, I tried to cook for him and failed on numerous occasions. I knew how to make meatloaf and stuffed bell peppers – that was it! Even after we got married we would meet up after work for dinners most of the time or buy frozen skillet meals that were quick to make. The last thing on my mind was spending time cooking.
When Life Gives you lemons
I never thought I would have to learn how to cook when I just couldn’t eat anything without getting sick!
I had always been bloated after eating and couldn’t tolerate dairy, but my gut health was getting much worse at that time! Every night I was nauseous, bloated, constipated, and couldn’t eat much of anything without feeling sick. Most of those nights I was curled up in bed, either crying from stomach pains or trying to breathe through the nausea. Not to mention the brain fog, weight gain, mood swings and fatigue that goes along with food intolerances, gut dysbiosis and thyroid issues that I experienced daily. I knew something was really wrong and I wasn’t getting any help from my doctors for my gut health issues.
And so the Adventure began
If I was going to have to cook, I wanted to heal my gut and thyroid issues too. So I went to Barnes & Noble and looked up Gluten Free Cookbooks, determined to finally learn how to cook healthy food. That was such an overwhelming experience! Most of the gluten free cookbooks had a long list of ingredients I had never heard of, not very many pictures and definitely were not suited for people who were just learning how to cook (even if liver is nutrient dense, I’m not eating it!).
Determined not to give up, I kept searching until I landed on The Healthy Gluten Free Life Cookbook. There were easy instructions, bright colored images and normal looking meals I was familiar with like healthy pancakes, chicken dishes and salads. I left the bookstore nervous, unsure what to expect with this new lifestyle and the myriad changes I had to make to improve my health.
After 4 months of cooking homemade, gluten free meals from nutrient dense food all of my stomach pains disappeared and I lost 25 pounds through exercise and cooking my meals. My mood was lifted and I had more energy. That completely changed my perspective on how food (especially proper nutrition) affected my overall health. Healthy food can be simple and taste great!
I came up with simple, gluten free and dairy free recipes with minimal ingredients to appeal to everyone, no matter your cooking experience.
Since then I’ve grown my cooking skills and even experienced with many different healing diets including Paleo, low FODMAP and AIP (Autoimmune Protocol). I’ve cooked all of my meals from nutrient dense whole food the last several years – quite a transformation from fast food and frozen meals many years ago!
When you’re feeling really sick or fatigued the best medicine is nutrient dense food, but often the last thing you want to do is spend time cooking. I’ve been there, but I’ve also experienced the power of proper nutrition for healing the body. I believe simple, easy meals are necessary to help transition into a healthier lifestyle and work great when you’re busy during the weekdays.
Food is so personal, so you can always add additional flavors or spices that you like to the recipes. Making simple meals reduces the intimidation of going gluten-free or cooking all of your meals. Most importantly, you can make these meals even when you’re not feeling well, which is when I created most of the recipes!
recipes to fit your diet
I like to look at diets as tools to help us achieve our health goal. So there may be times when you want to follow a Paleo diet or do low FODMAP to reduce bloating or maybe you don’t tolerate nuts very well. I made it easy for you to filter the recipe images by healing diet type so that it fits your diet (may need to double click on the diet type in some mobile phones). I’ve had experience cooking with all of these healing diets and now I mostly follow a Paleo diet.
Easy Thanksgiving Dishes
To help make your upcoming holiday more enjoyable and less stressful, I’m sharing my favorite, simple Thanksgiving recipes. Click on an image to view the recipe. You can also find the ingredients I use in the Food section of my Shop. A recipe is only as good as the quality of ingredients you put in it.
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