natural foods • dairy-free recipes • GAPS diet meals • heal your body • lose weight • get healthy again • be happy
Begin Within The Kitchen is about how I eat.
I know. It’s fun to look at recipes for gluten-free scones, and low carb donuts and pizza, and ten-step gourmet feasts, and even desserts that don’t pretend to be anything except for wheat-, sugar-, chocolate-, and dairy- laden treats.
But that’s not how I eat everyday. I need recipes that are easy, fast, healthy and don’t cause brain-damage trying to figure out how to make them come out right.
Admittedly, there are a lot of foods I don’t eat. I just don’t consider them to be foods anymore. Was it hard at first? Sure. But, to adapt a quote I love... being healthy feels better than any of those things taste.
And I got really unhealthy for a while there. Everywhere I turned it seemed I was falling apart. I had too many little (and big) aches and pains, and daily complaints. I got sick frequently. I no longer had energy to workout. I always seemed to be tired. My sex drive vanished. I gained weight. My relationships suffered. Life looked bleak.
The rash on my face was the final straw. It stared back at me from the mirror everyday, silently challenging, ‘whatcha gonna do about it?’.
So I did something about it.
I became my own ‘do it yourself’ science project. I became my own holistic doctor. I kept a food diary every day for a year and tracked what changes helped and what didn’t. I tried so many ‘natural cures’, 'health solutions', and dietary modifications that there isn’t enough room here to share them all. (However, I am working on the full story, for those of you in the same boat. I’ll post it on this site when it’s ready.)
Now I eat gluten-free, dairy-free (except for the occasional cheese treat), nut-free, and mostly soy-free as well. I’ve been vegetarian for over half my life, and many days I eat totally vegan. (Though I do eat eggs pretty regularly.) I eat whole foods. Things that grow from nature. I make almost everything from scratch. (Living in Argentina has been a great push in that direction because healthy packaged and canned foods are not the norm.)
As this site will show, I eat a wide variety of delicious and satisfying foods. Such a wide variety that I will be able to keep posting recipes just from my current file for many years to come.
I do eat foods with carbs, like brown rice and potatoes. They work for me. Though many of my recipes end up being low carb and even ‘paleo’, because that’s just what happens on a clean-eating food plan.
In addition to the dietary changes I’ve made, I also quit a job that I hated, and I have done a great deal of work on myself and creating a life I love.
Regardless of what diet you decide works for you (we are all different, no two people will respond the same), I’ve come to realize that my emotional makeup and state of mind are at least important as the actual food choices I make on a daily basis. You are what you think, more so than what you eat.
If you eat with fear and guilt, I believe those feelings will have more of an influence on your biochemistry than the actual chemicals you are taking in through the food. If you look in the mirror with disgust and judgment, that is more powerful than any supposed good benefits to be had from any meal.
I am certain that if you can come to know, appreciate, and accept yourself; and to eat for nourishment and self-love, THAT will help more than anything to heal your body and become the person you long to be.
Might sound kooky, but I am convinced it is true. Every time I prepare a healthy meal I am doing something positive and kind for myself and my husband. And that is powerful self-healing.
We are all creators, whether we are aware of what we are creating or not. Each day we make our lives what they are in the most straight-forward and subtle ways. And that goes for our bodies too, of course.
I think this quote (from Loving Yourself to Great Health by Hay, Khadro and Dane) says it very well:
‘And she developed a love for cooking because it was the first time she was doing something so kind for herself. She was taking the time to heal, and to show herself that she mattered more than the self-imposed beliefs about all the work she had to do.’
By the way, if you can eat wheat, or nuts, or whatever... then do! To me, this is not about gimmicks or fads. This is about doing what works and optimizing your health. Maybe someday I will eat real bread again. Everything changes. The one thing I think will stick to is eating foods from the earth. The farther a food is from it's original state, the less I want it in my diet or in my body :)
My goal is to help you on your path by sharing mine. So follow along, and share with the rest of us.
The journey to health begins within.
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For the past four years I have been living in Argentina. So you'll often read comments that relate to cooking and eating here. That said, if I can make a recipe work here, then you can make it anywhere in the world!
Because imports and shipping are so limited to this country, and because the culture is different as well, I've learned how to make just about every meal I could imagine from scratch. It has been a great push towards even more natural eating and living.
I know there are a lot of other expats out there who are missing their mexican food and other specialty items- no matter how much they love their new international homes. The USA is very unique in the world... which you might not realize unless you leave.
Anyway, at Begin Within The Kitchen you won't find special gluten-free flour blends, or other processed or brand name foods that you have to have to make my recipes.
And if you are somewhere else in the world, but in the same boat as me, then, 'welcome'!
I look forward to hearing from any and all of you. Contact me directly here, leave comments or ask questions on any of the blog posts, or subscribe to get regular updates with any new content at Begin Within The Kitchen.