Live like no one else, so later you can Live like no one else....in our family having quality time, creative fun and living out biblical truths and principles is key.. I am a work in progress but I love being a wife, mom and now foodie!
Hannah (6), Joshua (10mths) and Cate (4)
Who was I before Healthy Eating:
My name is Janice and I wore and wear many, many hats! I love God. I love my family. I was in the Air Force for 10 years. I am a disabled veteran. (Hoorah..Air Force!) I resigned from my corporate career life and have been focusing on raising my family and creatively applying my "MBA" and "managerial" skills to my two toddler girls and newborn son much to their amusement. (As if they know what any of that is- Ha Ha!!).
How I discovered my food passion...a little history:
Prior to children, I couldn't boil water! I was allergic to any child under 9 and was very self absorbed. Its funny how marriage and children will shake up the "Me" and turn it into "We". But you know what, it was the best thing to ever happen to me.
So after I medically retired from my Air Force career, I had a lot of medical issues. During my first year of marriage, I could barely walk. I had to use a wheelchair just to go into a grocery store or even an art gallery. I couldn't stand for more than 5 mins without extreme pain. My health was declining. Throughout the military, I had seen what seemed like 100s of doctors, chiropractors, physical therapist and wasn't getting any better. I was repeatedly misdiagnosed and given pain meds to just function. After many years of this pattern, I was blessed to meet an awesome Christian Pain Management doctor, Dr. Debbie Holubec of Regional Pain Care in Allen, TX. It was through her and the care of a Manual Physical Therapist that I started to feel hope in beating whatever was wrong with me. A couple years later, after 2 children, my symptoms worsen and I started having issues with my hands curving in as well as my feet. I couldn't hold a pencil or even push a stroller.
At 33, I was finally diagnosed correctly with an autoimmune disease, Anklyosing Spondylitis. I also have osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. At one point I was on 17 different meds, but I was feeling better than I had in 15 years. I was doing things that most people take for granted. I was able to stand for more than 15 mins without pain so that meant, I could actually cook a meal, clean and just hold my children without pain. I hadn't even realized that I had been in pain every single day since I was 19. That was my normal. So to be mostly pain free and to be able to go a couple of days with no pain was like winning the lottery! So I thanked the good Lord and decided to take advantage of my new found energy...I came home full time from my job to manage my children and I took on this attitude of "Why Not?". I wanted to learn how to cook..Why not?, I wanted to learn how to sew...Why Not? I wanted to be more creative...Why Not?... I literally became the Minority Martha Stewart and Paula Deen. It was so fun learning about my family and being creative...striving toward that Proverbs 31 woman... I was able to even sit through my Women's bible study group without my back hurting. It was great!
One of the many passions I discovered was that I LOVED making Gourmet Soul Food!!!! I LOVED soul food and recreating my grandmothers and mother in laws old recipes. I had a great fried collard green recipe (wonton wrappers, diced collards, cream cheese-YUMMY!), cobblers, pies and cakes. My hubby and I tagged teamed on some awesome Barbecues and I made and sold my own Barbecue sauce. I had a DELICIOUS sweet potato cornbread recipes that people just loved. I even thought about opening a restaurant called: Nona's Kitchen. (Nona was my grandmother) The reason the restaurant idea couldn't work was because I still wasn't quite 95% even with the 17 meds.
The downside to the meds:
The downside to the meds was that if I missed a day...my pain levels would shoot right back up. If I missed more than 2, my back would start to curve over again and my mobility would become more limited. I had to find a solution that was better. Within this process, I discovered Saladmaster cookware. I went to a dinner party at a friends home and tasted the freshest food ever. It was a full 3 course meal cooked in 15 mins and the health benefits of cooking on Titantium was excellent compared to all the research I had started doing on heated metals and toxins we ingest daily through cookware. It was mind opening to me this style of cooking and eating. So my husband and I decided to try out this new diet of healthier cookware, fresh veggies and meats. No eating out. It was life changing...within 3 mths, I went from 17 meds down to 3. I lost over 25lbs and my hubby lost even more. The Gas, bloating, the indigestion was gone. In this process, I also discovered an intolerance to Beef. Every time I would eat beef or anything with the ingredient, including juice or broth, I would throw up, have bad stomach pains or bad diarreah. So we eliminated that from our diet. So far, we had eliminated cancer causing cookware, processed foods and now beef. I was doing well and then became pregnant with my 3rd child. I immediately had to go off of the last 3 meds as they were potentially harmful for the baby. Although, it was a high risk pregnancy, it went well until the last few weeks...I was induced at 36 weeks. After delivery, my hormone shift amplified my symptoms to which led to a gradual increase of my meds again. Not wanting to go this route, I started doing research on food....
My 6 year old has ADHD, severe allergies and asthma. She was having a really rough time in school due to her ADHD. Her allergies were growing (treenuts, eggs, Mountain Cedar, dogs, cats) and her asthma was getting worse. I had to come up with a plan as an alternative to so many meds for her. A friend of a friend told me about a book called Healing the Childhood food epidemic: The 4 As: ADHD, Allergies, Asthma and Autism. I read the book in one day. Was it possible the food could be a trigger to all of our problems? Then my husband and I watched the movies, The Future of Food and Food, Inc. I was horrified at all the extra's that was in our food. Was it possible that diet could help acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, auto immune diseases, cancer, adhd, allergies, autism, asthma, IBS, inflammatory diseases and so on...? Was it possible that we were all responding to the extras, additives, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and not the actual food? What would happen if we just stop and took control over what our families ingest? What would happen if we just tried this crazy, unconventional Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free and Non processed food diet for just 2 weeks? What would happen?
What did happen?
Our lives have changed. I am not giving myself weekly injections anymore, I am down to 2 meds. My inflammation and swelling is gone. My daughter is ALOT more calm and focused. The stomach issues for my husband are gone. We all have more energy and just feel healthier. We have been GFCF for almost 3 mths and our bodies and we feel fantastic. We all can tell a difference when we cheat. So to assist in eliminating the temptations, it has now become my mission to keep my passion for food but to provide the comfort style of cooking just in a healthier way. Hopefully, this blog will be useful in sharing the resources that I find as well as giving you some recipes for those picky eaters in your family. All of my recipes are Gluten and Dairy free. I am striving to get as close to the old flavors as possible if not just all out WOW your taste buds.