Spotlight ON

I decided that it was high time that I started a monthly feature on an individual {or local company} to whom I owe some gratitude. This month I'd like to begin by honoring those people who helped encourage and inspire me to start this blog.

First and foremost is my fiancee Jon Jockers who has been my coach and pillar of support throughout all of these crazy past few years, especially as of late with the radical dietary and lifestyle changes that came with my testing and diagnosis. A brief history of us begins back in college where we were rivals vying for top of the class in our physics classes; we started more as competitors whose obsessive over-the-top work would serve as motivation for the other. Of course, this is not the best start to a relationship, but we eventually bonded through many years of intense homework assignments which, as you physics majors know full well, require all of your time and much of your soul :) In fact, reminiscing back to those days makes me think of an old note my friend left me on my stereo once: "Have come for soul, will accept cash." Man, what I wouldn't have given to have the guts to revise that quote and say to my professors "will trade soul for no homework."

Jon and I came to graduate school together and both study nuclear astrophysics (but do vastly different research). He has become my best friend who supports me no matter the circumstances. Throughout the past few years I noticed progressive deterioration in my body despite actually starting an exercise program and eating healthier, all of which prompted me to research my symptoms and eventually get all the canvas tests run. After months of misery and unpleasant testing, I received my celiac and dairy-intolerant assessment from a conventional doctor (thanks, but I already innately knew these facts long before based on just paying attention to my own body). This diagnosis was a relief, surprisingly, since I no longer had to wonder what the heck was going on; it also prompted me to become serious about a permanent lifestyle of gluten and dairy free (at least gluten free). Jon has been wonderful with adapting to me and my radical dietary change. He was one one who encouraged me to make our whole apartment gluten free since I was still getting ill off preparing his wheat bread, oats, and remaining gluten products. He doesn't take "NO" for an answer and after many weeks of "you should start a blog about what you've been through" talking about the harrowing experiences and the personal and family stress that stemmed from this whole ordeal (I was accused of or it was implied that I was just anorexic by doctors, co-workers, and family members on may occasions ... I wanted to strangle them since they had no idea how I continuously overate to the point of nausea every meal and still had the pounds fall off).

So the creation of this blog is thanks to Jon. The recipes, experience, and art is all me; the formatting and behind-the-scenes grunt work is mostly him. We have grown together as a couple and a team thanks to this experience and blog. If you are in a similar place, start your own blog! It is a great way to vent and help others; share your knowledge, I know I need the company sometimes...

And speaking of art and blogging, artistic talent runs in my blood. My mother's side of the family goes way back as great artists and painters; my mother is a fantastic nature painter, by the way (I'll be putting up a slide show of her paintings sometime in the near future). I can sketch and sculpt, but I've never liked painting and I've felt like a outcast to the "talented" group in the family... that is until I ran across the blog of someone you may all know:

Karina Allrich (aka the Gluten Free Goddess)

Her gluten free goddess blog is amazing if you've never seen it- check it out. I have a link to her blog on the right hand side of my blog which is a cupcake picture. Karina's blog was what inspired me to start this blog. I was hesitant to make a blog even after Jon convinced me to do so since I felt like I had nothing to offer which wasn't already out there and, more importantly, I thought I couldn't make it artistic. Art and harmonious balance are at the core of my being, and if I cannot "make it pretty" or appealing then I think it isn't worth the effort. Karina's Gluten Free Goddess blog showed me that YES, you CAN make a blog which is practical (recipes, advice) AND elegant.

I have revived my inner artist and find bliss in not only making up my recipes (usually done on the spot standing in the kitchen with a mug of coffee with my foggy brain stammering "want good food... must use rice bran this time. What else can I add?"... that or laying in bed thinking that bamboo shoots would be nice in something.), but also in capturing their essence by digital camera (I love you my sweet impulse buy , Polaroid i832, on sale at Walmart). Thank you Karina- your recipes and blog are true art and you provided my inspiration. Now I remember why I loved to cook in the first place: it can be healthy, tasty, and ARTISTIC. I know you've had some rough times lately and more allergies crop up, but keep chugging along- you have changed my life and are an inspiration to many others, I am sure.


  1. Working together on cooking, cleaning, improving our health and blogging has definitely been a blessing. I highly recommend anyone under similar circumstances to take a similar approach - have fun :) gluten intolerance/celiac disease is a great opportunity to be creative and discover new, more satisfying foods.

  2. Hi Cindy!

    Wow - I am honored by your words. Thank you for such a lovely shout-out. Your blog has a definite artistic flair. It's a pleasure to *meet* you!

    My son Alex (he's 22) has just started a gluten-free dairy-free blog - Stir of the Moment; and he is interested in paleo-style recipes. I will send him your link.

    Be well and have fun - you're doing a beautiful job.


  3. what a neat post. I am also not an artist...except in the kitchen. Visual presentation is just something I never cared about until I was inspired by the many blogs out there! I can't imagine if I had to do this 15 or 20 years ago, before Gore invented the internet... =)


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