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!


55 responses to “The Joy of Food”

  1. Hi Elana! When I stumbled upon your site I thought to my self…WOW! Someone that eats just like my family and I do! We also adhere to a diet without sugar, dairy, grains, potatoes, corn, soy or anything that is high glycemic. But, I was tired of eating the same old things every day. Your site has inspired me to get back in the kitchen and feel alive again! You are doing a wonderful job and your site is nice and cozy. Thanks :-)

  2. May I know how you know that you do not digest corn, potatoes, rice & other grains well? My 3 year old seems to be sensitive to gluten. The pediatrician says he is not a Celiac due to negative blood tests, but his very very loose stools have improved greatly after going GF this last month. We’ve been traveling in Europe this past month so a bit of gluten has slipped into his mouth a few times and he’s gotten diarrhea about 12 hrs later each time. So, now that I’m back in the US, I’ve been pouring through your site as I love well prepared healthy food. It’s a bit overwhelming, though, tryiing to decide how to go about changing the diet for my family. My husband has AS (ankylosing spondylitis – an autoimmune disorder) and I’m tired all the times. So, do you recommend eliminating gluten, potatoes, corn, rice, grains, dairy & soy for a long period of time and then gradually adding back one by one for each person? I’d appreciate any tidbit of advice you have!
    Take care,

    • Hi Elisabeth, I know I do not do well those foods well as I cannot digest them –think stomach ache and other associated symptoms. I really like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I have not added any of those foods back into my diet as I feel so good when I do not eat them. I hope this helps and good luck with all that is going on in your family :-)

  3. Tracey -Indeed! Cake made by a joyful child, who is proudly preening over it in the photo.

    Maria -Yes, you are correct, arrowroot is a starchy food. I do ok with it. If you go to my sidebar and click on the link for “arrowroot” in the purchase section, you will be taken to a site that discusses the healing benefits of this powder. I started using it back in my Ayurvedic days and love it.

  4. What a great site you have, Elana! Thank you for that! You have a few recipes with arrowroot powder but doesn’t it contain a lot of starch? Are you able to tolerate it?

  5. Hi Elana,
    I’m new to your site, but have fallen in love with it! I, too, have discovered that my body doesn’t react well to the processed foods, mainly corn products and sugars for me, that are so prevalent now. These so-called restrictions are what allow me to be free and, like you, I have become passionate about cooking and love the challenge of preparing healthy, delicious to the taste, meals for my husband and myself. I recently moved to Philly and love shopping for fresh produce and making that a staple in my diet. Recently, my husband and I have decided to become gluten-free and dairy-free. This is a new, but exciting journey for us, and I’m grateful for your site, and others like yours, that have great advice, recipes, and encouragement for people like me who want to improve their physical state. Thanks again!

  6. I love your positive article on what some of us CAN eat instead of focusing on what we can’t eat. The only thing that is different with me is that I only eat the olives when they are vinegar-free, as vinegar is also on my list.

    And one of my favorite snacks is a cooked yam – sweet and satisfying with nothing added!

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