Here is the transcript of the episode:
Welcome to The Sensitive Kitchen where home cooks are inspired to “Cook to Enable Those You Love to Flourish.” I’m Cindy Sullivan, registered dietitian, passionate nutrition educator, and accomplished home cook. Whether you’re changing, how you cook for food sensitivities allergies, intolerances, or just trying to eat healthier on a budget, you’re in the right place.
Most episodes I will share favorite recipes as well as modification, tips and nutrition benefits. Occasionally I’ll have a guest or special episode like modifying holiday favorites. My favorite foods, raspberries and homemade chocolate chip cookies. My latest cooking project was long fermented sourdough bread.
My son was lying on the couch in pain. My second grade son was having two to three migraines a week. Over the next couple of years, as we tried to get to the root of the problem, he was on four different restrictive diets.
I had already learned about cooking for food sensitivities years earlier when my husband had brain fog, abdominal bloating and fatigue. After testing, an elimination diet, and many months, he knew what he could eat to feel good. And what would make him feel dysfunctional.
Now I had him to feed as well as an eight year old and a 12 year old. And the diets kept changing.
I would tired. I was tired of constantly looking for and modifying recipes only to have them taste bad. It took a lot of time and energy to cook all the time. I was starting all over again with few meals we could eat.
One day I was in the kitchen of my good friend, complaining to her about how the dinner I made the night before tasted bad.
She turned to me and said something. I will never forget. She said, I can’t think of a better person for this job.
Did I hear her right? I don’t want this job. Part of me did not want to do this anymore. But when you have an eight year old in that much pain, giving up is not an option.
So I combined my dietitian hat and my mom hat went to the grocery store, rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I began to find new recipes. I cooked extra so I always had meals in the freezer for busy days. I found meals that my family enjoyed and felt good after eating, but this was not a quick transformation. It took me several years to put everything together, but the results were worth it.
By the time my son went to high school, he was down to one migraine a month and he preferred the meals I would bring after his ski meets to the food, served in the lodge. After being away, my family looks forward to eating at home.
Every day we have food we enjoy together. Let me help you on your way.
This is what I do for the members of my community. I have a vision for a masterclass with coaching and a brand new membership, The Kitchen Table. We will walk together on this challenging road. My husband had brain fog, abdominal bloating, and fatigue. My son had migraines and food allergies. Maybe you have allergies or fatigue or arthritis. Maybe you’re on a restrictive diet for other reasons.
Come walk this journey with me. I can help you modify recipes and find foods your family can eat Every week here on the podcast, I’ll share a recipe with you and I plan to have guests monthly.
Part of what I’ve discovered is that it’s all about choices. What option do I want – to find new ways of eating and cooking or having family members who are not functional?
Do I want to live with no peanuts? No soy, no olive oil, no onions, no raspberries, little wheat, little cinnamon, or have a husband who can think clearly and has energy??? A son who stays out of the emergency room and alive? Who has fewer migraines so he can go out and change the world, instead of spending three to four days on the couch in pain,
Every choice will cost me something.
If you choose to cook from scratch for your family, there will be shifts in your family life. You will have to spend more time in the kitchen, cook more, spend more time in the grocery store and on hold, waiting for food companies to answer your questions. You will spend more time and money. You will do more dishes.
You will spend more time packing food for taking with you to the zoo, to a soccer game, dinner after a ski meet, a softball game, or on vacation. You will spend more time explaining to friends and family, what you can and cannot eat.
But the rewards are great. You’ll eat dinner together most nights. You will have family members who feel good so they can do whatever it is God is calling them to do.
You’re teaching your kids life skills – cooking, shopping, doing dishes. And you’re teaching them flexibility, resilience self-discipline and perseverance.
I like to use CHOICES as a framework for this new cooking you’re doing.
C stands for choose simple foods. The other night we had grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, microwave, baked potatoes, and sliced kiwi. Simple and delicious.
The H in choices stands for Help. Help simple foods taste good. Whether that’s trying new herbs or other ways to flavor your food, how can you make it taste delicious?
The O in choices stands for overcook and no, I don’t mean overdone here, but I mean cook more than you need for one meal. That way you’ll have something in the freezer to pull out on a busy day.
I is include all food groups, at least as much as you can. There are a couple different reasons for this one is because variety is important for getting all the nutrients you need need. Secondly, eating same food over and over and over, when you’re more prone to food sensitivities, you could develop more food sensitivities. So it’s best to vary your diet as much as possible.
C is to challenge yourself, to find a new recipe each month it’ll help keep things interesting and fresh.
E is to expect changes. You probably will not be eating this way for the rest of your life. You’ll be able to add some foods, take some foods away, perhaps, and hopefully expand your repertoire. But right now this is how you’re eating.
S is to smile and be thankful. You have food to eat and dishes to do.
It’s really all about perspective. Focus on what you can eat. It will likely not be forever. The skills you learn now, will serve you well in the months and years to come.
So let’s recap that CHOICES:
C is for choose simple foods.
H is for help foods taste good.
O is for overcook for one meal,
I is to include all food groups.
C is to challenge yourself, to find a new recipe each month.
E is to expect changes.
And S is to smile and be thankful.
Thanks for being here today and listening to my story. If you would, please do two things for me: First hit subscribe to this podcast. I will be here weekly, usually sharing recipes from my kitchen. All recipes will not work for your family, but many of them will.
Second head over to my website, foodsensitivitykitchen.com and take the Cooking Framework Quiz to help find your cooking framework and how it can help you on your journey.
In closing, I have to leave you with my second grader. This past August, we dropped that former second grader off to college.
He is part of an elite research program and on a full tuition scholarship. Last year, he was trombone section leader for his marching band, where he won the leadership award and was voted best marcher. He was on the varsity ski team. He broke his leg freshman year and came back to be the second best skier on the team his senior year, even though he had skied less than 10 times before high school. It was perseverance and dedication.
I wish I could tell you, his migraines are gone. They are not. But now he has about one a month. It was a very slow improvement, but it taught him important lessons about perseverance, pain, and empathy.
He had an amazing high school career, but behind the scenes, it took years of work and time and not giving up.
I hope I’ve encouraged you, that you can choose to do this for your family. It is not easy, but come walk together with me on this journey. Join me and let’s cook together. The theme of my podcast and the theme of my business is “Cook to Enable Those You Love to Flourish.
Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.