The first thing people know about me is that I am the mama of 4 lovely children. We also all have an insane obsession with anything Disney. Well…yea, I am THAT person who has the little hand towels in the bathroom with Mickeys. LOL! MOST OF ALL…I love to cook and (EAT)…when you come over to my house that’s what we do!
About 8yrs ago, we discovered one of my little ones has severe food allergies. We are not talking about 1 or 2…try 6+ (wheat, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, food coloring…eggs too, but she outgrew that recently). I was devastated, I wondered if I did something wrong…all these questions were whirling in my head. Then after much wallowing (and unfortunately emotional binge eating), I realized I had to pull myself together. Let’s face it, it wasn’t helping ANY of my children by me gaining weight and getting depressed.
The first thing we did was clear the house of all the offending allergens. We were newbies, first timers learning how to manage the food situation. Sure we made a TON of mistakes but life is about learning. I did what most people did, I got pre-packaged foods that mimicked our old food. Sure, it didn’t have the allergens but it was loaded with sugar, preservatives and all those other fun things. There were no allergic reactions at least we didn’t think so, but the kids and I weren’t getting healthier. It wasn’t until a unexpected allergic reaction to red dyes. A glass of red fruit punch caused a reaction so severe that it scared the whole family to its core.
That was it! I was going to clean up the whole family’s eating. Even if it meant that I had to make the food from scratch. This time no kits from the store, no little packets…we were going to do it the old school way. Get the basic ingredients and go from there! It turns out getting back to basics was easier than I thought. Eating clean wasn’t scary, it just took a little more prep work. Myself? I also learned that eating healthy wasn’t a chore, that a bag of gluten free cookie wasn’t the solution to my problems. Cooking clean became an outlet for me, it gave me the time to think through my family’s and my own needs. Eating cleaner was what we needed to do to stay healthy and for our kiddo to survive.
Nine years later, all the kids and I are healthier and happier! Little kiddo still has her allergies but we are managing it well and she is active. And Me? I learned to BALANCE our foods, what can be made (80%) and what can sometimes be bought (20%). If we bought something pre-made like a granola bar (or even a mix), it has to be the best allergen free quality. Its been almost a decade and I developed a huge library of clean eating gluten free recipes…its finally time to share with others who has similar struggles to our family.
I hope you enjoy them.