What an amazing journey it’s been! It started with the frustration of my chronic gastro-intestinal ailments that no doctor could diagnose and rectify. It wasn’t until I engaged in an elimination food diet (aka–provocative food testing) that I discovered I was suffering from a dairy allergy condition. So I wrote my first book in 2001, Recipes for Dairy-Free Living, to help people who were also coping with a dairy intolerance or allergy.
Inspired by the overwhelming response from readers, I redirected myself and returned to school to pursue a formal education in whole food nutrition. I was so enthusiastic about the health benefits of a whole food diet that I became a teacher to students pursuing a nutrition based culinary career. As fate would have it, during this time I discovered, that in addition to my dairy allergy, I was also gluten intolerant!
To further my passion for helping others overcome their diet-related health issues, I joined Whole Foods Market™ as the Community Healthy Eating Specialist at my hometown store. As a lecturer, and in-store culinary guide, I was able to help customers implement dietary changes for themselves, or for a family member, in response to a doctor’s diagnosis of a disease or condition where diet was a contributing factor. The work was extremely gratifying.
Based on these experiences, I began writing The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen. I could see the growing need for a book that focused not only on eliminating dairy and gluten from the diet but also other potential food allergens. And I wanted to focus on the benefits of healthy and whole food ingredients. For this reason, the majority of the recipes in The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen minimize unnecessary refined oils, sweeteners, and sodium without sacrificing flavor.
This book is based on the rallying cry I always use with my readers and clients facing the challenges of dietary changes – “It’s not about the foods you can’t have, it’s about the wonderful foods you can have!”
Please join me in our collective journey to better health.