I was diagnosed in late 2008 with a severe sulfite sensitivity. At that moment in time I was SICK. I mean sick sick – numerous trips to the ER, twice weekly acupuncture, blood pressure stroke high, and a dark outlook on the world that cumulatively was crippling me. I had been sick for years. I was on medication for asthma, IBS, Raynaud’s syndrome and that wasn’t even treating the stuff that made me feel bad! I got sick enough to think I was going to die – and then I got sicker and thought the dying thing might be a relief. I made a list of loved ones and started calling them to tell them I loved them. I was 42. Then, my lovely 5-year old niece, Morgan, asked me on Christmas Day why my hands were so hot and red. I didn’t know – so I did a little research. And suddenly it all started to make sense. Through other people’s anecdotes of their sulfite sensitivities and information from countries where sulfites are considered one of the most common allergens, I came to understand what was going on with my health. Luckily, I have an amazing doctor that is open to holistic medicine. She believed ALL my symptoms – and agreed to let me try the alternative therapies I discovered. I have had a long, tiring, often frustrating, sometimes disheartening path of discovery and growth and ultimately a return to health. I have learned a lot, cried a lot and given up a lot. I have also gained a whole lot in return – support, caring, good health, and lots and lots of good food.
When I write it out, that sounds like one of those testimonials from someone trying to sell somebody something. But I have nothing to sell, I am just trying to find my way. Once I was diagnosed, and starting to feel better, I thought to myself – what about all those people who KNOW something’s wrong but don’t know what the heck to do about it? of course, the only thing you CAN do about is eat really well, but it’s hard to eat well if you can’t cook. But I cook – and I love it. And so – through surprisingly difficult and hellacious website creation learning curve – here I am. To help. But – let’s be serious – I am not a doctor. There are many sensitivities and most people have more than one. I am only focusing on one thing and if you are as sick as I was, it’s likely you have multiple issues. So, take charge of your health here, proceed with caution, only eat what you know to be safe and don’t sue me. Because this is for entertainment purposes only. Especially if you are entertained by eating.
I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t cook. When I was growing up I was in the kitchen every day with my mom, learning how food was prepared – how the flavors mixed, how the textures worked together. So, for me, the idea of never eating prepared foods again seemed like a scheduling issue, but not a hugely daunting task. So – I cooked. And cooked. I made some mistakes and had reactions. I asked questions of people who have walked this path before me. And I cooked some more. The more people I met with this same sensitivity and the more ideas I got from them began to make me realize that I am lucky, because not everyone can take a recipe that is full of sulfites and recreate it to be healthy, delicious and preservative free!
And I am not just lucky because some people have it worse off than I do. I am lucky because ultimately I have come to believe this “problem”, this “issue”, this “thing”, is really a gift. So many good things have come to me on this path – a healthier outlook on life, amazing friends, fantastic health care practitioners, a push to find my path back to natural living.
Ultimately, I created this website to share ideas. It has been so frustrating to find a different answer everywhere you look, to have to troll dozens of sites to find hard information at that one little thing that might or might not be making you suffer. And, honestly, more importantly, I’m doing this for me because I want ONE PLACE for my recipes. All those little scraps of paper are making me crazy. I am also hoping for input from people who discovered things I don’t yet know. There is no place out there that I feel is a comprehensive overview of this beast, and I want to learn more. Feel free to send me thoughts on things I forgot, questions, recipes you desperately want to have but can’t figure out how to de-sulfite or your own fabulous creations. It is all about the sharing. I am willing to admit I can’t eat everything I see, but I am going to figure out a way to have one of everything I want. Hold the sulfites.