STOP THIS SHIT, my friend Amber shouts over chat, after I write that I’m considering renewing Sakara Life for another week. I’m not a millionaire, a supermodel, or someone who is trapped in a cage that is an office, rather I’m proudly indebted to Sallie Mae, a consultant on the hustle, a writer who is praying to varying statues and cats that someone will publish my novel, a deft cook, and someone who’s maybe a little scared (maybe lazy) to invent meals on my own.
Let me tell you what it’s like to be Felicia (an addict, a lover of routine) living a gluten + dairy free life. IT IS VEXING, OFTEN A CRATE OF BANANAS.
Friends who know me well know that when I immerse myself in something, I go deep. I dig, burrow and settle in the innards of the thing I’m trying to uncover. In that way I’m able to wrest the fear away from the thing that’s nebulous–in this case, it’s living a radically different lifestyle when it comes to food. Actually, scratch that. I’m living a radically difficult lifestyle, period. End of sentence. So I spent the past two weeks ordering over a dozen gluten-free books, medical books about my GI tract (sexy, isn’t it?), and essays from other women who’ve had food sensitivity issues. And while I’ve put on the gluten + dairy free outfit from time to time, I always knew that I could inch my way back to a bowl of pasta.
There is no inching, no crawling, no groveling back to a bowl of spaghetti, rather there’s a life filled with discovery. There’s a life of adopting new habits but not getting stuck in them. It’s a life of feeling okay with sitting temporarily in discomfort. It’s a life of being mindful about my body, inside and out. This means plating my lunch in the office and sitting down to a table and eating it, rather than shoveling food down my throat in ten seconds while I refresh Twitter. It’s a life of redlining contracts controlling how many hours I work so I don’t fall into the trap of stress. It’s a life where I tell people, that, yes, I’m free tomorrow, but it’s time for me. It’s a life where I haul three huge boxes of food into the street and find the strength to rebuild my kitchen, the way I eat, my life.
So while I was eating these extraordinary, million-dollar meals from Sakara, and re-training my body to cover 80% of my plate with vegetables, I thumbed through these gluten-free books and wanted to hurl them against the wall. Because guess what comprised 90% of the recipes?
And we’re not talking about a simple swap-out of non-dairy milk (almond/coconut) and butter (Earth Balance/coconut oil), but these are recipes that I’d have to gut-renovate. We’re talking cheese, yoghurts, sour creams, creams, and creams, goddamn it, as the foundation of the recipes in terms of binding and flavoring/thickening agents. In short, I’d have to create and test all new recipes, and who has time for that? In Gluten is My Bitch, the author talks about how the market for gluten-free and vegan is HUGE, however, there’s this small, niche market for folks like me, who can’t eat dairy, gluten, sweet potatoes, turkey, bananas, lemons, and yeast, that my only option is vegan + adding back the meats + poultry I love.
This weekend, you’ll find me in the kitchen trying to figure it all out. If you have any vegan cookbooks in the vein of the meals you see here (I mean, Sakara is like eating the rainbow! I got so excited to eat VEGETABLES. Crazy, right?!), PLEASE, PLEASE, DROP THEM IN THE COMMENTS.
Next week I’m back to seeing Dana, and I have to say that I’m really seeing results. I snapped this bad photo while at Brooklyn Body Burn this week, and I can SEE the change, and more importantly, I feel so good, it’s unbelievable.