Starting in 2007, as Brody and I gradually built our relationship, I slowly became aware of his sensitivities to certain foods. After our wedding in 2008, I began experimenting with different ingredients in an attempt to lessen his suffering due to eating. In 2009, when he became extremely ill, we knew we had to take an even more rigorous approach to our cooking and eating. He was losing weight at a frightening rate and he became so physically weakened that I wondered if he would be able to continue working full time.
Since our wedding, I had been trying so hard to cook in a way that helped him, rather than harmed him, but I still could not solve the problem of which ingredients were making him so ill. When we went to the doctor for testing, his lab test results were generally in the normal range, so the doctors generally were baffled. Some friends suggested that we take a very strict approach to avoiding gluten, and so we decided to give that a try. I knew I had to try something different because if I didn’t solve Brody’s problem with respect to nourishment, he would end up in the hospital, on an IV. Besides Brody’s health difficulties, we were facing other trials at the same time, creating a wonderful opportunity for me to grow in character in many ways.
After three years of additional experimenting in our kitchen, we have seen the best results in Brody’s health when he avoids gluten, corn, potatoes and onions. I have some tasty recipes designed to be gluten-free as well as a step-by-step approach for converting “normal” recipes to gluten-free recipes. Many friends and family members encouraged me to write a book to assist others facing similar trials, and so, with Brody’s hard work in coordinating the production and marketing efforts, we now have a book available for purchase: A Recipe for Survival: Persevering in the Transition to Gluten-Free Cooking. Our hope is that the book will provide practical assistance to the special diet cooks who are struggling to prepare food for their suffering family members. More important, we hope that the reminders from the Gospel will encourage many who are facing any kind of suffering.
On the left is a photo of Brody from January, 2008; at that point, he only knew that something about certain foods made him feel quite uncomfortable, and a few times per day, the food he ate would send him to the restroom frequently and with extreme urgency. In 2009, the frequency and urgency of the restroom needs began to dominate his life, he experienced extreme abdominal pain regularly, and he lost so much weight that I was thinking I’d be a widow before I was 35. After a few years of carefully avoiding the troublesome ingredients in his diet, he has experienced an increase in physical strength as well as improved mental clarity. On the right is a photo of us from December 2012. Now that he has avoided the troublesome ingredients for an extended period of time, he knows immediately when he has deviated from the diet that works for him. He says that remaining disciplined and exerting self-control to eat only what works well for him has been a good object lesson for him in his spiritual life. Maintaining a steady diet of good spiritual nourishment gives us increasing spiritual strength as well!
How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
Psalm 119: 103-104 (NASB)