When I was in 6th grade, I used to run – no, sprint – home from school to watch a television program called The Urban Peasant on PBS. Mind you, I am not a runner. The show started at 3 p.m., about two minutes after I got out of school. I would throw my backpack on the couch, out of breath, anxious to catch James Barber for a blissful half hour of what I thought was the ultimate in after-school programming. When my parents finally got cable, it wasn’t long before my Food Network obsession was born. I slowly went from watching on the couch to creating in the kitchen, indulging my ever-expanding interest in all things culinary. While I was eager to start inventing new recipes and trying out wacky flavor combinations, my mom was always the one teaching me the basics: leave the lid slightly open when you are roasting chicken in the oven so that the chicken will brown; only sift the flour for cakes, not cookies; don’t keep opening the oven when something’s cooking!
A few years ago, however, after suffering from an unidentified bug that left her not wanting to eat much of anything, my mom saw a doctor. She had blood work done and received a diagnosis of several food sensitivities, including sugar, wheat, egg, dairy and yeast. Being that food sensitivities are supposedly hereditary, and that I had been having some health problems myself, the doctor wanted to see me next. I put off the visit for months, imagining the awfulness that would be finding out I couldn’t eat the things I loved most in the world. When I finally did go, the doctor confirmed what I had long suspected: I had become my mother – well, I had inherited her food sensitivities, at least.
My mom survived the first Thanksgiving of her new life, eating plain turkey and boiled potatoes with no complaints (though she didn’t seem entirely happy about it, either). I feared I would not be so strong. How did I – the girl who lived and breathed for food – become plagued with something that would force me to quit food as I knew it and start fresh? I felt defeated. That is, until I realized, thanks to my non-professional training, that I had the tools in the kitchen to adapt my favorite foods to my new diet.
And so I started over. I began to put my knowledge of cooking into discovering new, delicious recipes that I could eat without harming my health or wreaking havoc on my stomach.
But that’s not the end of my story…
In 2010, I took an Animal Law class during my final semester in law school and it changed my life (here’s why). Now, my blog is 100% vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I am on a mission to create healthful recipes for people who, like me, cannot tolerate gluten and still want to eat a healthful vegan diet (Pssst, it’s not that hard).
I should also mention that in my “regular life”, I am an attorney. I practice Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability in the Detroit area. I am also a huge musical theater geek and could listen to Broadway musicals for hours on end. I am a University of Michigan alum and love Michigan sports, so — GO BLUE!