The photo in the corner is a tiny glimpse through my kitchen window and since I spend a whole lot of time at that window it seemed appropriate. I love to cook for my family and friends (and the sweet little boy who calls me chacha) and in doing so I make sure our food is gluten free, additive free and tasty! Before I get to recipes, I want to back up a few years to the beginning of better health for us.
The Feingold Association was our first step in 2005. It is an elimination diet that helps you discern what foods and additives (if any) are problems for your family. In removing artificial dyes, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners we got rid of migraines, headaches, and a host of other issues. With the knowledge of other parents on the member's support and keeping a detailed food diary I was able to figure out just what caused problems for us.
This was a new term for me. Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals in fruits and vegetables. Feingold breaks the program down into two stages. You start out removing the stage two (higher salicylates) items along with the artificial ingredients. We quickly found berries, for instance, cause one of us to go a little bonkers. They are very high in salicylates. Even so, we are not terribly salicylate sensitive and can enjoy most all fruits and veggies.
Feingold began a journey of educating myself on nutrition and supplementation. Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Body Ecology Diet, Nourishing Traditions are just a few of the books that have found a way into our diet and I look forward to sharing about them. By no means am I an expert - what I have done is to study and apply principles that made sense for our family.
But back to Feingold and the foodlist - the items that make the list have been researched and are free of the offending FG additives. Mac & cheese with yellow dye gets traded for Annie's all natural mac & cheese. Ice cream with artificial colors and flavors get's traded for Breyer's all natural choices. Easy switches - no deprivation. List updates come in newsletters throughout the year to easily stay on top of the latest additions or deletions.
Now that I finally apppreciate that our bodies were remarkably created to process food, not chemicals, I would never go back to our old way of eating even if we could do so reaction free.
In 2006 I began to have issues with gluten and a year after that one son did too. My digestive issues stopped when I stopped eating it. The eczema he battled all his life, among other things, stopped when he gave up gluten. Now three out of the four of us are gluten free. That's where the fun begins....