My name is Claire Harrison, and I live in Ottawa, Canada. I’m also a wife, the mother of two grown daughters, and grandmother of three teenagers.
I am also a semi-retired professional writer and editor. I say “semi” because I feel about writing the way I do breathing. It’s necessary to my life. So when I faced a major dietary problem, I automatically turned to writing as a way to handle the challenge.
My Culinary Conundrum
In the fall of 2010, I hit the Food Trifecta. I was not only lactose-intolerant and dieting to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, I had also become gluten-sensitive!
Here’s what happened, culinarily speaking. Most of my cookbooks and favourite recipes were now verboten. It was hello rice cakes and good-bye pasta, cake, bread, bagels, graham crackers, ginger cookies, and many other favorite foods. Even though I increased my fruit and vegetable repertoire, I was bored by bland and repetitious meals. And restaurants? I couldn’t eat most of the appetizers, entreés, or desserts. It wasn’t even worth going.
I began searching the Internet for recipes and discovered lots of interesting sites and food writers. But I was stymied again. Although I could find gluten-free recipes, non-dairy recipes, and diet recipes, it was rare to find any that combined all three.
Becoming a Food Refashionista
I decided it was time to take things into my own hands. Time to re-fashion favorite dishes and those with potential, search out the alternate-ingredients universe, and go boldly where I’d never gone before—creating my own recipes.
This blog is a report that focuses on recipes, along with information about my flops and failures, successes and triumphs. It’s a work-in-progress as I am constantly learning from my own experiments and the cooking adventures of you and others out there who are faced with similar challenges.
It’s also a full-disclosure report. Where possible, I’ll identify all sources of refashioned recipes—not only to acknowledge them, but also to give readers the opportunity to find the originals. Some of you may not be trifecta-challenged and can use wheat, cow’s milk, or sweetening products.
In the process of working on the blog and trying to develop a new diet, I have also become interested in issues that involve food and health. For example, when I found out that researchers had found a biological basis for gluten-sensitivity, I wrote “Gluten Intolerance Goes ‘Legit’” And, after getting sticker shock over the price of a gourmet sea salt in the grocery store, I wrote “The Salty Truth,” a post about the table salt vs. sea salt debate. I want to keep myself and my readers informed.
And the never-ending diet…
Finally, I’m also in the Weight Watcher trenches and must know and track the points value of everything I eat. Since I was gaining weight on the new PointsPlus program, I’ve reverted to the old Points program, on which I lost 30 pounds. But I still have the booklet and handy-dandy calculator. Therefore, I’ve put both the Points and PointsPlusvalues on every recipe. For more about gaining weight on Weight Watchers, click here.
However, please remember that I’m not affiliated with Weight Watchers in any way, and I can’t promise that the point values are 100% accurate. I’ve done the math as well as I can but you may consider checking to be sure.
Diet Update (December, 2011) : For 2 weeks, I tracked my food on both plans and discovered it was “six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.” In other words, my problems wasn’t the new plan, but a general overeating of fruit and not enough exercising. I am now just following the PointsPlus plan and will only be posting points for that program.
Diet Update (May, 2012): I have discovered that my thyroid, stable on medication for about 20 years, has been askew for months. I know this is affecting my weight problems and am working with the doctor to find the right dosage of synthroid. To read more about thyroid issues, please go here.
Eat well • Eat healthy • Enjoy!