Baked on the Bright Side

Gluten-Free Fresh From the Garden by Guest Blogger, Jennifer Corbin-Carson

September 20, 2011

When my Mom was diagnosed with colon cancer, the doctor told her to watch what she was eating. He told her to cut out processed foods and go as organic as she could. I went to stay with her for a little bit and I would do some of the grocery shopping. Well, that started me thinking. Why would he tell her not to eat processed foods? Why would he tell her to go organic? Those questions and many more started racing through my head.

When I started shopping for her, it initially took a long time because I had to start reading labels. I found shortcuts and started knowing where to look on the labels, etc. Then I found the organic section and really had a ball! Holy crap was that a lot of information in such a short time! Well, little did I know, it was a precursor to what I would go through about a year later.

Like more and more people today, I discovered I was gluten intolerant. A year later, it still is difficult. But I have a great family support system that has made it a little easier. We adjust our eating habits and get fresh ingredients to cook with. But it’s a family affair, it’s not just a lifestyle taken on by just one member of the family. So now, I have found grocery stores that I can go right to the gluten free aisle, look at labels and know what brands I can buy. Well, I have come to the conclusion that buying fresh and going back to the way Grandma cooked is the way to go! Right out of the garden, fresh, no pesticides, proven good stuff!! My Grandmother, Mother and Aunts were awesome cooks. Grandma and Mom would be in the kitchen canning from Grandma’s garden on the hottest of hot days in the summer.

More and more people are starting private and community gardens. Grab a friend and start one! It really doesn’t take that much of your time. I had a community garden as well as one at home when I was a kid. I LOVED to watch things grow, especially the seeds I planted. If you and your friend both have a private one, you can each take seeds and grow different things. Then when the harvest comes in, you can share or plan a canning day and you won’t have to do it by yourself.

We have gotten to be a rat race. The digitally connected, always on the go, always have to be doing something society. REALLY?! Why can’t we turn off the television, grab your kids, put them in the kitchen with you and COOK SOMETHING TOGETHER! Good, quality family time has been getting more rare as the years go by; let’s get it back.

Get your fresh fruits from a co-op and pay less, plus you will be able to can them if you aren’t able to eat everything. I got 12 pounds of organic plums for $10 at the co-op. I made preserves and jam for the first time! It is daunting, but if you make bigger batches, you will have them on the shelf for your emergency kit, when you can’t get to the store, time saving dinner addition or as Christmas gifts for your neighbors, kids teachers or co-workers! Your kids will beam with pride when they tell their teacher they made it! It will make it extra special too.

So come on! Get off the couch, turn off the television, put away the phones and laptops and get outside and get growing!!

Happy Eating Everyone!!

My name is Jennifer Corbin-Carson. I am gluten intolerant and have been for 10 years…just didn’t know it officially until about a year ago. I have a wonderful and supportive family. My 40 hour a week job requires me to be a Senior Field Engineer. I love to garden and spend time with my family. I volunteer in the community as much as I can by way of the Colorado Balloon Classic and El Paso County Planning Commission. With an active daughter and husband, that is quite enough to keep me busy. Being diagnosed with gluten intolerance turned my world on its side, not to mention how it affects my family. With that said, it’s not just an individual or familial journey, it’s a community journey. That is why I have reached out to blog and get the word out through as many media venues as I can. Projecting the importance and getting information out to the public on different gluten conditions and diseases is my main goal. I hope you enjoy the recipes and blogs I have written! You can also visit me on Happy Eating Everyone!

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