Yes, that's my pan. A lot of scorched food has led to a few good cooking lessons

Back in October of last year I finally found a way to eat that wasn’t so crazy and the pounds started to come off.

However, just two months later I was doubled over in pain wondering if I had stomach flu till I realized that the flu doesn’t tend to come and go. About an hour or two after I ate something, even the smallest bites, I was curled up, unable to do anything else, wondering what had happened. A couple of tests later and I found out I had Celiac and my body was fed up with the way I was treating it. No more gluten, which means wheat, rye or barley and in my case, and a lot of people with celiac, no more soy.

I’ve made the joke more than once that God was doing for me what I had refused to do for myself. Nothing like pain as a motivator to get my hand to stop reaching for that cupcake or cereal or cheese-filled pretzels. Instead, I was reading labels down to the last ingredient and ranting about soy being in chewing gum. Trader Joe’s has become my favorite place to shop because unlike Whole Foods they have gluten-free options that don’t include soy. I’ve discovered the web site www.glutenfreegoddess.com and read up on the topic while finding some recipes. I’ve gone out for tea with a gluten-free friend, Jess who smiles at my frustration and then calmly makes suggestions about how I can do things differently. She has an ingenious way of ignoring my sighs and getting me to believe this too will be okay.

At first, I burned a lot of food or at the least dried it out till it was pretty inedible. I’ve also rolled the dice on some salad dressings that said ‘canola or soy’ hoping for the best and realized that occasionally it’s going to be soy and bad things will follow. But over time I’ve turned down the flame on the stove and found the store, ‘Oh Olive’ that has unbelievably good oils and balsamic vinegars that make cooking so much easier. And, I’ve discovered that another friend, Ashley can cook and is willing to come over and teach.

One of my hope-to-do items was to learn how to cook better but I never had much real ambition until I had a good enough reason. Boring green beans and plain chicken is apparently my breaking point.

The good news is, Jess is rubbing off on me and I seem to be more excited about learning to cook with natural ingredients and expanding my repertoire than focused on being unable to pick something up quickly and just eat it. Makes me wonder how that new way of looking at life – some things are worth doing right – will pay off in other areas. I’ll let you know. More adventures to follow.

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