The Sensitive Kitchen

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shifting sands

The last five years have been difficult for me as a cook, an epicurean and a mother. Faced with my children's multiple food intolerances, and an existing vegetarian background my husband and I were unwilling to abandon, I found myself eliminating entire categories of food from my diet: dairy, soy, peanut.

This blog began as a way to chronicle the incredible freedom still to be found within such a limited diet. Or, as I once heard someone say: "I may be in a very tiny box, but I'm going to explore every corner of it." But now my younger daughter is two, and my older is almost five; and they have both outgrown the majority of those intolerances - and I am reveling in my culinary freedom.

During Sara's pregnancy I also learned so much about how my body works. I wouldn't say I was gestationally diabetic, but if I hadn't controlled my diet (fewer sugars and processed carbs, more protein and vegetables), I could have ended up so. Now, two-plus years later, I am discovering that my body seems to work this way in general. I feel healthier eating a higher-protein, low-fat, restricted-sugar diet.

Vegetarianism doesn't always jibe with this diet for me. I find myself uncomfortable eating on a regular basis many of the processed soy-protein options, let alone feeding them to my children. But I need to watch my glycemic load. And so I find myself in the curious position of experimenting with eating fish and shellfish again.

In a sense, this makes me the family pariah. My husband and children still won't touch it, and my older child peppers me with questions whenever she finds me eating fish (who killed it? how did it die? did it hurt the fish? how do they take the bones/eyes/gills/etc out? where's the blood? and so on). But I feel better, at least physically; and so the experiment continues.


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