The Joy of Food

Up until now, I have kept my posts short and (mostly) impersonal. Today I want to do something different. I am going to explain a few main components of my diet.

Yes, I do have celiac disease. And yes, I am gluten free. However, I consider my diet to be far beyond gluten free. I do not eat grains or sugar. I do not eat potatoes, corn or soy. I gave up dairy a few months ago, though you will find recipes with it on this site as I do use dairy in dishes I make for my family.

As I usually say when asked about my diet, “let me tell you what I DO eat, this will far simpler.” I eat a combination of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish, chicken, buckets of olives and of course a bit of agave. While many people think this is a restrictive diet, I have found it to be one upon which I thrive. I feel good when I eat these foods, beside which, not only are these ones my body can absorb and digest, I can make so many fun combinations from them –think sorbet.

People often ask, how do I know if there is gluten in this food or that? These questions always, without exception, regard processed foods. My answer –I don’t use a lot of processed items as there is no way to be certain that they are free of gluten and other hidden ingredients that my body rebels against.

Many of the foods that are commonly allergenic did not exist in their current, peculiar, omnipresent forms a century ago –think peanut oil, high fructose corn syrup and soy –cheap, subsidized products pervasive in today’s processed foods.

Flavoring? Lemon juice and garlic make great marinades. Once in a while you will find a processed condiment on this site such as toasted sesame oil , dijon mustard or ume plum vinegar –I have found these to be pure, with few ingredients, all of which I can pronounce. However, I do steer clear of tamari sauce (even the wheat free type), Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and all those other of flavor makers. I like to make my own combination and find that mother nature provides amazing ingredients.

I love preparing my own food. First, I know what’s in it, which eliminates the fear factor and increases the pleasure of eating. Next, I like to flavor things exactly to my mood, the time of day or the season. Most of all, I believe that digestion starts in the eyes and hands, not just the mouth. Touching my food lets my body take it in on many sensory levels before it even hits my tongue.

Simplify. Satisfy. Eating the old fashioned way, shopping for good organic food, in season, touching and preparing my food is a passion of mine, not a restriction. Although many items are not on my meal plan, I am overwhelmed at times, such as when I walk through our farmer’s market, at the cornucopia of things that I can eat!

Comments

55 responses to “The Joy of Food”

  1. Hi Elana,

    I’m enjoying your site and recipes very much. Do you have a source for the almond flour that is organic? Also, would it make a difference in your recipes if I just ground my own flour out of almonds with the skins on?

    Thanks.

    Mary

  2. Elana-
    What a sweet and encouraging post. I find myself feeling left out on days like Thanksgiving and family gatherings because I am gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and soy free due to severe allergies. This was a good reminder that I should be happy to be eating so healthy and with exciting options and food combinations! One question for you; why do you avoid corn?

  3. Lisa,

    I haven’t tried sprouted wheat berries as I am one of those people that is so wheat/gluten intolerant that I don’t even do well with wheat grass –it makes me quite ill.

    Thanks for the idea though, it might be of help to others.

    Elana

  4. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and information you share at your website. Have you considered sprouting wheat berries to be used in your recipes. I believe sprouted wheat does not contain gluten. After I sprouted wheat berries, I dehydrate them for 4-6 hours. Then I grind them into flour to be used for baking cakes. However, sprouted wheat flour causes my cake to be quite wet. Also when I bake bread with sprouted wheat flour, the bread turns out very tough(100% whole wheat flour). I want to use sprouted wheat flour as they have more nutrients. Thank you.

  5. Hi Elana~

    Thanks so much for all the great recipes and ideas on your site. I’m working in Korea with my husband who’s celiac and we’re trying to go off dairy right now too. I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately and was really encouraged by this upbeat post. It’s so inspiring that you focus on all the delicious foods that are still available to you. I’m excited to try some of your recipes soon :)

  6. Theresa,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

    I hope you are enjoying the recipes and staying safe with all of this weather.

    Elana

  7. Dear Elana,

    I recently came upon your website searching for gluten free recipes. I have tried several after ordering the almond flour that you suggested. I have cooked with various nut and coconut flours in the past and many times were disappointed — I am encouraged after reading your response about RedMill flours and am looking forward to spending the weekend in my kitchen. I don’t have celiac’s but I believe that I have some sensitivity to gluten and dairy. When I eat gluten and/or dairy I get bloated and feel achey so I have now eliminated these items from my diet and am feeling much better. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful recipes — I go on your site everday and print a few.
    May God bless you and your family,
    Theresa (Merritt Island, Florida — yes it is raining and raining and raining)

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