Jen's Kitchen Blog

Learning to cook the food I like to eat…

Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Adjusting to new allergies… and planning for 2014

Posted by jenskitchen on January 15, 2014

Yes. I’ve not been a good blogger. I started off hoping to chronicle my adventures in learning how to cook for myself. Believe me, I’ve come a long way! But somewhere in the middle of THAT journey, I found myself on a variety of paths that have brought me back to learning how to cook again. This time, I am learning how to cook not only Gluten-Free, but also: Corn-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Fish-Free, Peanut-Free, and Tree-Nut-Free. Oh, and let’s not forget: free of cranberries, cucumbers, bananas, pineapple, cabbage, pears, strawberries, and sesame seeds. That’s only when it’s just the two of us – the little sous chef and me.  Update: The allergist has said no restriction on eggs and fish for now. 

Oh… and, I’m trying to cook every meal, every day, while dealing with the pain, exhaustion, and confusion of Fibromyalgia. Because life is all about the challenges, right?

So, I’m learning new things and cooking in new ways. I hope to have some recipes to share soon – especially some Asian-inspired dishes. I’ve almost figured out my son’s favorite – Orange Chicken. The little sous chef is celebrating his seventh birthday soon, so I should have an allergy-friendly birthday cake as well.


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Why I eat Gluten-Free

Posted by jenskitchen on June 2, 2009

I don’t talk about it in many of the recipes I’ve posted so far – and I probably won’t in the recipes I still have left to share, but I eat gluten-free. All of the recipes I post will be gluten-free as well. That’s how I eat.

Why do I eat gluten-free? I am not currently diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance or even wheat allergy. So, why would I do this to myself, you might ask?

Many years ago I started the Atkins diet. I’ll leave that story to another post. The reason that this is important is that after starting Atkins, I had a revelation: I felt better than I had in my entire life! I’ve been dealing with depression, anxiety, digestive issues, reproductive system issues, weight issues and more my entire life. So, until I started feeling better, I really didn’t know how sick I had been feeling before. I had nothing to reference. That was just how I felt all the time. I was sick – and just thought it was “normal”. I actually remember thinking after a few weeks on Atkins, “So, this is how other people feel normally? You mean, they don’t have horrible stomach pains all the time? You mean, they don’t feel like they’re walking around through a cloudy haze – unable to think clearly all the time?”

Even with this revelation, it took me some time to realize the cause of this. Even with one cousin diagnosed with Celiac disease (and one who was to be diagnosed later), it took some time for me to put it all together. Eating low-carb had significantly reduced (but not eliminated) gluten in my diet.

I stopped eating Atkins in July, 2006. I had just found out that I was expecting a new sous-chef! It didn’t occur to me at the time that I could keep eating the way I was eating (with modifications, of course) while pregnant. And, my ob kept stressing the importance of eating plenty of whole grains. Well, the only whole grains I even knew about at that time were wheat So, I reintroduced wheat to my diet (much of what I introduced I wouldn’t consider whole grains, now).

It was a stressful pregnancy. I felt ill a lot. I felt tired a lot. Where was the energy I had felt during my first pregnancy? Where was the energy I had felt while eating Atkins? Why was I suddenly gaining weight at an alarming rate? My doctor didn’t have any answers for me – just kept telling me to eat my whole grains and sent me to get tested for gestational diabetes (negative, thank goodness!)

After the birth of the little sous-chef, and after he finished nursing (it was his choice – suddenly one day just before his first birthday), I decided to return to Atkins. I remembered the energy. I remembered the feeling of being in control of my weight (I was gaining even while nursing at an alarming almost 1 pound per week!)

Within a few weeks, my energy returned – my health returned – my life returned! Then, I started having strange symptoms again. Some digestive – but something new, too. There was an odd rash – mostly on my wrists and ankles, sometimes other places. I figured I had a food allergy. I dilligently recorded everything I ate and tracked the symptoms – looking for what food was causing it. It was tricky – and it took some time (and finally remembering that my cousin was diagnosed with Celiac and another cousin had just been diagnosed).

Oh! Every single food that I had eaten before the rash had occured had gluten in it. It was the only common theme. I didn’t even think twice – gluten had to go. And it did. And, I’ve never felt better.

I spoke to a GI doc about getting diagnosed. I currently have no symptoms (I haven’t knowingly ingested gluten in over a year now). The doctor thinks I should start eating gluten. I think I need a new doctor. For now, I’ll just keep myself (and this blog) gluten-free. Even when I don’t talk about it a lot : )

Posted in About Me | 7 Comments »

Hello world!

Posted by jenskitchen on May 7, 2009

This is my first post. I would love to make it a great one – full of all my thoughts, dreams, and hopes for this blog. Of course, I’m trying to post in between cleaning, planning and prepping dinner, and getting the laundry done – all during my little one’s nap time (which have been unfortunately short lately).

I’m here to document my journey as I learn to cook so that I can feed myself and my two boys. I’ll be focusing on whole foods that are family friendly and appropriate for those of us on the Atkins diet. That’s just how I eat!

I’ve also joined the Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks. So, sometimes you’ll find something that’s more of an eating adventure – it’s all part of my journey to slow down and learn to cook, while spending more time with my kids.

Posted in About Me | 16 Comments »