The Food Machine

I love to read. I always have. I was one of those kids who had their nose in a book all summer long. My Mom would send me out to play instead I would go under a tree and read. I would read in bed with a flash light. I would read in the bath tub. Only thing is when I was growing up we only had one bathroom. :0(

My Mother loved to cook. She loved to watch HGTV and the Food Network. When our local cable provider added these channels to the line up you would have thought she had won the lottery. She was not much of a reader but loved to collect cookbooks, and cooking magazines. She dreamed of someday writing a cookbook.

In our house you were not allowed in the kitchen when Mom or Grandma were cooking. Both had very small kitchens, "Blair Lynn, there is not enough room for you to be in here!" They would both shoo everyone out. They would run the meals themselves. By the time the meal was served they were exhausted.It is no wonder that I had no interest in cooking growing up.

One of the first meals I ever cooked was for a boy. That poor boy. The meat was tougher than my shoes, the mushrooms were burnt and the baked potatoes hard as rocks. I was so embarrassed and he was so hungry! Needless to say we did not date long and I NEVER cooked for him again.

A couple of year past before I cooked for a boy again. This time I was a little wiser in the kitchen and he KNEW how to cook. At that first meal we cooked together. I had no idea that more than one person could be in the kitchen at one time, let alone a man. I knew this man was special! Two years later he asked me to marry him.

As I got older I too developed a love for reading cookbooks. I guess that came naturally. I loved learning about spices, fruits and vegetables that I had never heard of and dreamed of the day when I would be able to experiment with them.

Growing up my diet was based on southern Appalachian cooking. Lard, butter, white bread, sugar. Dinners consisted of breaded meats, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a canned veggie. Most meals were still scratch cooked. Mom serving rice made a meal very special. Pop tarts were consumed only on Saturday while watching cartoons. The older I got the more processed meals appeared on the table. The microwave revolutionized cooking~ but at our it was used for re-heating food. A frozen package cooked in the microwave seemed almost magical!

I have raised my children to the best of my abilities. I must be a fairly deceit cook. No one has ever gotten sick after a meal. No one has ever found a foreign body in their food. They do not joke when the smoke alarms goes off~ Mom must be cooking or dinners ready! I have had a few of our oldest daughters friends tell me they like a certain dish I have cooked. Course we all know that when your starving something on a shingle is good and teenagers are always starving!

My one claim to fame in cooking occurred at one of the first chili cook-offs I ever entered. It was called  "Nehlen Chili". I was hoping to score with the WVU theme (Don Nehlen was the head football coach at the time). My chili was so hot it was guaranteed to make you beg for someone to put out the fire! It worked. I won best chilli, most popular chili, and WVU themed.

I tried GFCF diet once before and failed. I never really gave nor had the opportunity to succeed I keep telling myself. Our resources were limited. Our finances were limited. But the hardest thing was we saw great results with the boy. I never really gave up the diet. I still bought snack GF and as much as I could afford thinking that some were better than nothing. Let's face it. With the GFCF diet it is all or nothing. When the youngest daughter developed server GI issues became a necessity. Her health depended on it.

We were in a different city, financial situation and need. So instead of tip toeing at the edge of being GFCF, I dove in. Full committed. To the point my husband thinks it is over kill. Not only has the children's diet changed but ours have as well.  Someday there will no longer be white bread, white sugar or rice in our house.

"If I lead by example maybe it will be easy for her" the oldest said referring to our youngest daughter. Now a full fledged vegetarian she felt that removing gluten from her diet was a step in the right direction for her as well. I must tell you it really did ease the youngest to transition. The youngest went cold turkey. She stopped immediate with gluten and casein. it was really rough in the beginning I will not lie to you it was rough. The mood swings, the anger, the crying and the begging for the food she liked. That was just the first day! Just kidding! She still has her moments when she will beg for gluten. I gently remind her of that horrible day in the ER or the 4 days of stomach's she had from Daddy's pancakes. She covers her mouth and says "never mind!"  Heck I cannot begin to even be remotely close to being good on my diabetic diet as she is. She puts me to shame as she should.

Now she helps her Daddy read labels. She is the label Queen. Any doubts she will ask. I have taught her how to goggle items to check the gluten and casein status. She does a great job helping with meal planning and prepping. She plans to be a chef someday. My Mom would be so proud.

So know you know why we became GFCF. Why did you?

Our youngest daughter has lost 10 pounds. The boy has lost 6 pounds. The daughter reports that she feels better. She has more energy and can focus better. She does not scream in the bathroom any more. she still has belly pain but nothing like she did. Baby steps, Baby steps.