|| Food is fuel ||
Why “gluten-free,” Dee?
To someone who does not fully understand the “why” to my tagline rhyme, it may seem that I have fallen victim to the pervasive marketing ploy.
I know, “gluten-free” is “the way to be” these last several years. From gluten-free, wannabe Oreo™ cookies to GF menu options, the compound word is everywhere. To each his own; however, I personally avoid rye, barely, triticale, and wheat/wheat varieties, which are all whole grains, because they adversely affect my body and my immune system. I won’t elaborate on the way that I am affected; however, you can email me if you are interested to know. Coincidentally, these grains mentioned above all contain gluten–an ambiguous word used to describe the proteins found in rye, barely, wheat, et al.
If you are not sensitive to these whole grains and/or you do not have Coeliac Disease, then you are actually depriving yourself of the beneficial nutrients that are naturally found in these grains by consuming solely “gluten-free” products. Moreover, Coeliac Disease is a serious condition. I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. Think twice about self-diagnosising yourself as a “celiac.”
Be a mindful eater. Eat for vitality. Consume nutritious foods and reap their benefits. Do not follow the masses just because.
I’ve always eaten nutrient-dense foods. I snacked on spinach in my highchair. I had a thing for parsley, and also liked that it was a natural “breath freshener.” Throughout my elementary school years, my mom packed mini ziplock bags of parsley in my lunchbox. When I was eight, I ate plates of broiled mollusks (i.e. mussels and clams) by myself while visiting family in Italy. Sardines were, and still are, a weekly treat.
I clearly have an extremely odd palate, but I also thank my mother for teaching me about the value of nutrition at such a young age. My mother always talked to us about the foods in the grocery store and the nutrients found in our food.
When I entered college in 2011, I developed my food blog as a way to connect with others that live with food allergies/sensitivities (learn about my allergic rhinitis by clicking here). In my freshman year of college, I lived on campus and never ate in the dining hall. Instead, I cooked quinoa (and many other foods) in the utility room. Hence the blog’s title, “Cooking Quinoa in the Utility Room.”
In the past, I used my flip phone camera to capture all of my creations. The food pictures posed as evidence to support the fact that I did not need the expensive meal plan that all residence hall students are required to have. After I successfully defended my case, I no longer needed to be on the meal plan. In the process, I subsequently fell in love with food photography and decided to maintain my blog.
Out of nowhere, roughly two years later, in my little brother’s senior year of high school, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The initial diagnosis shook up the entire family. It was a very difficult time in my brother’s life and his pain affected all of us. In hopes to alleviate his pain, my family experimented with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). This diet has certain tiers, but essentially eliminates all grains, sugars (besides honey and fruit), and complex starches until the inflammation has subsided. You will find SCD-friendly recipes aplenty which adhere to these guidelines.
I want to share my story, and my brother’s story, with open-minded individuals who are going through similar hardships.
I still carry my inhaler and Epipen with me, just in case. I have yet to use them since I have altered my diet, though. Although I strongly believe that the food we consume can contribute to our overall health, I absolutely do support and encourage the use of Western Medicine when it is needed.
I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or even a dietician. I graduated with a B.S. in English, and a minor in Spanish. Now, I am a certified teacher in my state.
As a former English major, I learned to look at things very critically. I also learned how to “properly” research topics that interest me.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, the fault is not in our genes, but in ourselves and what we eat.
I’m just a silly, little English teacher with an overwhelming interest in nutrition and vitality.
Therefore, I want YOU to think critically about what you read and what people tell you. Don’t just accept something as mere fact because someone told you so, or because you saw it on my blog or Pinterest.
I photograph everything you see on my blog, albeit no longer with a flip phone (thanks to my fiancé). In fact, one of my recipes was featured in the Purely Spring Magazine in 2015 :).
I encourage anyone to “borrow” the photos and/or recipes on my blog; however, please give me credit if you do so.
I am always open to new ideas, recipe suggestions, etc.
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org