Cooking was not always something that came natural to me.
As a child, I naturally wanted to be in the kitchen.
I loved the smell of food.
I was curious about the connection of food from farm to table.
I enjoyed using my hands to create things.
Naturally, I loved watching my mom cook and wanted to learn myself.
However, my mom always shooed me out of the kitchen because of her own fears (My dad worked late so he was never home to cook).
I was told I have no business being in the kitchen.
For the next 2 decades, I numbed myself with copious amounts of junk food due to my lack of understanding of nutrition.
Junk food gave me a temporary sense of relief throughout all the pain I experienced.
Food became about the convenience.
If my mom was too tired to cook, which happened more frequently as I got older, we would get fast food.
Fast food became a weekly staple because it was a cheap way to feed the family.
I slowly gained weight throughout my life while I denied the fact that it was the junk food doing it to me.
I was resentful over my body and I hated looking at myself in the mirror.
I would look down and squeeze my fat rolls in the bathroom praying they would magically go away.
Once I hit college, shit hit the fan.
With alcohol readily available, I now drank AND ate my feelings of stress.
Before I knew it, I was 21, I gained almost 20 lbs in one semester, AND my clothes no longer fit me.
Guilt... Shame... Regret... And many tears later, I drew my line in the sand.
I was ready to change the relationship with food and my body.
I had a burning desire to learn how to cook my own food and change the way I felt about food.
Luckily, I had a friend who cooked herself 60 lbs lighter. She was my source of inspiration.
She would cook me her favorite boxed meals from scratch.
At that time, I was cooking meals from a box.
It was like a light bulb went off in my head.
That summer, I immediately began collecting all of my favorite recipes online to bring back to college.
We lived together senior year and she would drive me to the grocery store on a weekly basis.
I was determined to learn how to cook.
At first, I followed the recipe verbatim.
I had my roommates guide me on how to make sure I knew when the food was done cooking in the oven.
They were my taste testers!
I got the rhythm down pretty quickly.
By the end of the year, I lost 8 lbs on my own.
Sharing my food with my friends and peers brought joy into my life.
Cooking gave me a creative outlet away from all of the stress.
Cooking gives me something to look forward to.
Cooking allows me to use my 5 senses as an art.
I visualize what the food will look like, I feel myself making the food in excitement, I imagine what the food will taste like and the food touching my taste buds while it sends signals to my mind like "Yaaaaaassss!!!!!"
Most of all, cooking allowed me to see food as a healing mechanism instead of poison.
I get excited every time I share a recipe with family and friends.
I fall in love with cooking more every day because I easily think of awesome, delicious creations that I get to eat.
6 years later, I cook almost daily and I have made it a part of my lifestyle.
I now surpassed my goal weight and I love my body more than ever!
Now, I desire to give back and help others change their relationship with food from addiction to healing.
What is your why?
PS: Looking for recipes to combat your food sensitivities, but don't know how to prepare them?
I have 55 all-new recipes that I've modified to be gluten-free and dairy-free.
Each recipe can be modified to fit your dietary needs.
Contains recipes for appetizers, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and crockpot.
As a bonus, I have included tips for some food swap ideas.
Ditch the takeout and bring the food back to your kitchen with my easy, healthy, affordable meals.