Welcome to The Almond Flower, thanks for stopping by!
This is a site dedicated to gluten free, grain free and sugar free baking and cooking; and a few other things here and there.
A little about me:
I just moved to a cute little row house in Alexandria, VA where I live with my husband Chris and our three-legged dog, Clover. My parents grew up and met in Waynesboro, VA, nestled in the Shenandoah Valley. We visited my grandparents often and I have a deep-seated love for the small towns, Amish cheese, farm land and mountains. I’ve been artsy and creative since I can remember, and for years I’ve taught elementary art for Fairfax County. Lately I’ve been working more on my side projects- hoping to turn them into bigger things. I cook and bake gluten free, write and illustrate children’s stories, and paint and sew various things.
Take a look at items for sale through my Etsy shop: Tumblewild and stop by Tumblewild.blogspot.com to view past work and current collections.
The Almond Flower began as a place for me to have a voice and to connect to others. I love baking with almond flour and honey because it’s simple, satisfying and tasty. Eating gluten, grain and sugar free helps me feel really good, encourages my body's healing process, and allows me to still enjoy life through food.
In September of 2008 I was diagnosed by an antibodies blood test with Celiac disease. I finally saw a Gastroenterologist after my general care doctor advised me to just take Immodium. Dr. Kuperschmidt asked a bunch of gross questions, all things that were affecting me but I hadn’t thought to notice. He changed my life! I went gluten free immediately and then got an endoscopy, the biopsy results came back negative. However, feeling better after eating gluten free and getting severely sick when I did happen to eat gluten was enough proof that I should stick to the diet.
For a year before my diagnosis, and triggered by food poisoning, I suffered from symptoms including severe diarrhea and constipation (a strange combination), bloating, gas, weight gain, fatigue and especially migraines. I also had very thin nails, yeast infections, sinus pressure, ridiculous emotional swings, and was borderline anemic. I think it's important to share this information, however unpleasant, because my symptoms finally made sense with a diagnosis of Celiac disease, yet could all be explained by other causes.
Going Grain and Sugar Free:
In my quest to find what foods work best for me and not feeling very healthy even after eating a strict gluten free diet for over a year, I credit Elana's Pantry for planting the grain-free seeds that have led to my current following of the SCD and GAPS diets. For three years I've cut out sugar and grains, limited my dairy intake, eaten homemade yogurt, added lots of natural fats, eat free-range meat and take high doses of probiotics. The results are crazy amazing. I have tons more energy, lost 20 pounds (then gained back10- that’s another story), rarely get headaches, my muscle aches and pains have mostly disappeared and my stomach is pretty normal. My nails are back to being strong and I can donate blood again with total confidence.
Eating a Limited Diet:
Surprisingly, eating gluten free, sugar and grain free actually makes it easier for me to eat well. It does limit what I can eat, especially when I eat out and it certainly is a pain for my friends who are nice enough to cook for me. But I've always wanted to be a natural and healthy eater. The food I choose to eat now is real food made from whole, natural ingredients. Now I'd rather skip the UTZ cheeseballs and eat a handful of almonds and raisins. I never thought I would say that! Knowing that the food I eat continually makes me feel good usually holds sway over the foods that don't. There are still days of course when I go out for GF pizza, eat those cheeseballs and enjoy a Haagen-Dazs chocolate almond icecream bar. Remember those 10 pounds I’ve gained back?
Living with Celiac Disease and autoimmune conditions:
I meet more and more people who have Celiac Disease themselves, or know someone who does. I am much more aware now about food intolerances, allergies, alternative nutrition and natural remedies. It is very important for me not just to eat gluten free but to eat the best for my body. I’ve seen what eating the right foods for my body can do and while changing foods and eating habits can be very hard and frustrating, I want to put what I learn out there so that other people can find answers, support, and recipes.
I’m an art teacher, not a doctor. I am not certified to give nutritional or medical advice. Information found on this site is a compilation of personal experience and research using the internet, websites, magazine articles and books.