Thank you for taking the time to drop by my site! I have so much I would love to share with you, and most of all, I would love to learn from you as well.
My name is Zoe (Greek for "life"), I'm a freelance writer who loves to cook. My specialty is cooking meals that most people would consider restrictive--dairy free, gluten free, and refined sugar free, a type of eating I have coined as Sugludair free (pronounced shoe-gla-dare).
After my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2010, my curious self ventured out and made the healing of this autoimmune disorder a priority. It was normal to start off the experience of being newly diagnosed in a depressive and dark state, but after a few months, I gave myself permission to view the situation in a different light. Through lots of research and coming into close contact with people that had been diagnosed with the same ailment themselves, I found guidance and comfort through food.
Now this was not the mac and cheese with fried chicken kind of comfort food. This was the kind of comfort food that not only warmed my stomach and made me feel satisfied, but it also made me feel very very good!
Other than cooking, I also improved my quality of life through yoga, dancing, and writing. Now I’m here with you to share my journey.
At first, I was heart broken about giving up fettucine alfredo, chicken fingers and chocolate cake, but I eventually realized that giving up my favorite foods didn’t mean that I could not enjoy eating anymore. Once I came to this realization, my love affair with healthy food began. I said good-bye to all those fatty, starchy and sugary foods like a relationship that I needed to break from.
Four magic things happened once I let go of this toxic relationship:
1) I lost a lot of weight. What came next may not have been surprising to others, but it shocked the daylights out of me! The extra pounds started to melt, actually, they dissolved, and a few months later, I had to clean out my closet to give away what fell off of me to goodwill and shop for a brand new wardrobe.
2) I felt better. I had a burst of energy that resurfaced after ten years of feeling drained and tired. I no longer needed to take any ibuprofen or acetaminophen multiple times a day and the need to call out sick from work happened less and less frequently. As I paid more and more attention to my body, it didn’t need to scream or cry out for help as it did for a very long time.
3) Cooking became my passion! Once upon a time, cooking was boiling a pot of pasta or throwing a bag of frozen vegetables in the microwave. Because health was not my priority for the longest time and I wanted to put my time and energy into other things, I didn’t make time to cook. Instead, I made my rounds of the take-out masters in my neighborhood: Chinese, pizza, local deli and cheese steaks (I am from Philadelphia). Whatever I craved, I hunted down in the evening as a pit stop on my way home from work. So you can imagine how little I knew about cooking--I just did not know what to eat! How was I going to cook something that had no gluten, no sugar, no soy, no dairy, and no corn! It was a time of discovery. I was not just discovering new foods to eat but also how to cook them and I had a choice. I was either going to be mopey and miserable about the tedious chore of cooking, or I was going to have fun with it. Of course, I chose the latter.
4) People started to call me different synonyms for the word “alluring”! It was the first time since my mid twenties someone had called me anything like that. Dealing with a diagnosis was earth shattering and the normal reaction was to dwell in a depressive state for some time, but the decision to be healthy had a domino effect on things that happened in my life since the diagnosis. First I started eating better, continued to exercise and suddenly, the little things did not seem to bother me anymore. Feeling better physically as a result of a Sugludair free diet and fitness regimen made me thankful to feel healthy again, confident and hopeful. Mix that in with some skinny jeans and a slimmer figure, people will start calling you “alluring”!
My journey started with a diagnosis of MS, but that is not where my story begins or ends. Health, confidence and happiness are constant explorations that are meant to be not only experienced by one but shared among others.
To Your Health!