When I was growing up, I remember my mother speaking of a friend who would make different meals for each her three kids, because each kid liked or disliked certain foods. My mother frowned on that practice and when I had my daughter, I vowed I wouldn’t become that mother who pranced around the kitchen, singing the Burger King jingle, “Have it your waaaayyyy….” as I prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My kid was going to eat whatever was put in front of her. The line was drawn across the counter, and I wasn’t going to cross it for any reason. What. So. Ever.
I’m not a creative cook. I know how to make a few meals, but I’m not the kind of cook that relishes in new recipes and trying out new dishes. I like to make what I know will be a good meal, one that my kid and husband will eat, and preferably involves meat, sauce, cheese, or breadcrumbs. And a green vegetable, for my own healthy peace of mind. Both of my sisters are great cooks as well as my aunt and mother. Whenever I hear of a meal they are making, I secretly wish I could be more like them, but I just don’t get a thrill out of making a dish that could possibly be a dinner failure. I live with two picky eaters, so that extinguishes any burning fire to crack open a cookbook, gas up the stove, and work some culinary magic.
The joy of cooking was further ripped from my spatula soon after my Lyme diagnosis. I turned into the one who needed separate foods to eat from my family! Oh, the irony of it all! Over the first few months, I was so sick and new to the whole illness and food thing that I was eating pretty much eating what I normally would eat, with painful results. Four months into it, I am still finding out what foods will set off a burning or itchy reaction in my muscles. Cheese, yogurt, fruit, tomatoes, lemons, balsamic vinegar, green peppers, onions, sugar, wheat, nuts…these are just some of the demons that wreck havoc on my frail system. And being married into an Italian family, it’s not easy to stomach this new reality.
Going out to eat or to family events for meals is very tricky, as you can imagine. I am so limited to what I can eat: protein, leafy greens, and water. And I need to also be sure that I eat enough of these to keep my hunger at bay and my stamina up. I’m living like a like a cow or horse, totally deprived of chips and dip, pasta, or even a plain old peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
It really stinks that I can’t get my nourishment from food. I take several different supplements that help me maintain some energy, and I am starting to incorporate more leafy greens into my diet as a result of learning about The Wahls Protocol, written by Dr. Terry Wahls. She pretty much reversed her MS symptoms through a very Paleo diet. It’s a very interesting book and diet, but much of what she recommends to eat, in particular fruits and sulfur-rich vegetables, I can’t eat right now. On top of it, to follow the diet correctly, you need to eat 9 cups of leafy greens, 9 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables, and 9 cups of sulfur-rich vegetables every day. That is A LOT of food over the course of a day. Her guiding principle is to reinvigorate your body at the cellular level and give it the nutrients it needs through plants and not processed foods. It’s an eye-opening concept and one that I am forced to embrace because my body just doesn’t like any processed anything. In another post, I’ll let you know how the 27 cups a day of fruits and vegetables goes….
So now, in addition to continuing to research ways to help combat my Lyme disease, I have also turned into a recipe researcher, someone whom I in my BL (before Lyme) days I’d never, ever met or even wanted to know. I’ve gotten numerous cookbooks from the library, all with their glossy covers that spotlight a happy chef, promising great recipes and securing wonderful health. But they end up being returned after few flips, since the recipes will call for ingredients that I can’t possible eat without feeling like an electric eel. I’m now starting to check into Pintrest more. I can type in wheat free + sugar free + dairy free + nut free and get some kind of food result that should work for me. This morning, I was researching salad dressings, since I need something to add some taste to all those nutrient leafy greens I can eat. Let’s hope for the best! And I don’t mean Hellman’s!
Yours in Lyme Adventures,