A Dose of My Own Medicine

Ten years ago my new best friend Steven was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after years of intestinal misery and progressing allergic reactions to gluten then a severe allergy to all dairy products. Food in Stevens life, from then on was changed forever. One of our favorite things to do together is cook, entertaining our friends with fresh, vibrantly delicious fare. Information about Celiac Disease was not widely available, so grocery shopping to remove gluten and dairy in all the many forms from recipes was a herculean process. When I entertained my friends, I saved all the packaging for Steven to read to make 100% sure I had prepared safe food. I honestly could not bear causing him a life threatening allergy reaction to something I had prepared.

I was so inspired by this “new” way of cooking creatively that I began a catering company specifically focused on providing high end food for other people who experience food sensitivities and allergies. The response was better than I ever imagined and my catering company was off and running. I was invited to cater for a group of attendees at an IBS lecture. The response to my clean food was so exciting and I felt so fortunate to have the opportunity to meet other people like Steven and share our experience and our mission. What I didn’t share except with Steven, was my life long issues with IBS: the pain, the diarrhea, the daily stress of not knowing if I would awaken to a good day or a day that was spent close to home. Holding a full time job and suffering IBS was such an embarrassing challenge. I didn’t consider my IBS to be the result of food allergies or extreme sensitivities. Honestly I don’t know what I considered to be the root of this problem. I buried my head in the sand.


Now these so many years later, I have finally taken a dose of my own medicine. My daughter-in-law is a Nutritional Therapist, helping so many people with digestive health. I finally found the courage to open up to her in hopes I could get some relief. She has helped me so much to understand my body’s needs nutritionally. Steven is and always will be my source of strength and encouragement to stick with as much of a GFDF diet as I can.

Now, I get plenty of exercise, take probiotics, eat food rich in fiber and drink lots of water. I avoid the foods that I know trigger my IBS episodes: milk and cream and fried foods, all the biggest culprits of my intestinal misery. I avoid sugar in all forms, I buy organic produce, farm raised natural meat and poultry, naturally nested cage free eggs and use healthy oils for cooking: avocado oil, sunflower oil and olive oil, limited butter and Ghee. My kitchen is devoid of artificial flavorings, nitrates and nitrites.

There are still times I crave a delicious bowl of ice cream, or a yummy restaurant menu item with Alfredo or rich creamy sauce on pasta and oh yes, I love, love fried chicken. Most of the time I can pass these things up but there are occasions that I think, “Oh what the heck!” Then as you might guess, I pay the price. I am learning to make GFDF ice cream and desserts, and use GF flour in cooking and I am finding healthy alternatives for my favorite foods. My cookbooks are now mostly focused on clean (and yes very delicious) eating. I know there is more I can learn and improve in my cooking. I like taking a dose my own medicine. I am a work in progress.

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