Rachel is a gluten free recipe guru! Seriously, her recipes are unreal! I first connected with Rachel because we are both gluten free and both have Crohn's. She is one of the kindest people and I am so lucky to call her a friend. Her instagram is not only full of amazing recipes, but shows the ups and downs of real life.
How did you get started? Were you always a great in the kitchen?
I learned how to cook and bake at an early age from my mom and grandmothers, but it truly wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease that I began to experiment and get creative in the kitchen. When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, you really do go through a grieving process; you go through stages and waves of grieving your old self, what you were, what you thought you would be. You shed parts of your past self, but you also discover new pieces of yourself to rebuild that puzzle. For me, cooking and baking were new pieces that I picked up as a way to find solace and passion in the midst of it all.
What is your go-to rule when ordering at a restaurant?
My go-to rule when ordering at a restaurant is that, as intimidating as it can be at first, you truly do need to advocate for yourself when it comes to communicating your dietary needs. Getting out of your own head and recognizing that you deserve to have your voice be heard and your health put first is the most difficult yet most important step. If you’re just learning how to order food at a restaurant with dietary needs, you can start off by having a pre-made card that you hand to the waiter and chef that notes your intolerances or allergies. Then, eventually, when you’re comfortable, you can begin to verbalize those needs. It’s not easy, I know, but the more you do it, the more confidence you’ll gain.
Which is your favorite recipe?
My favorite recipe is definitely my homemade SCD yogurt. If you know me, you know about my love for yogurt bowls. This was one of the first things I began to make when I first transitioned to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and it’s been like comfort food to me ever since. My Salted Caramel Pancake Skillet is a very close second favorite!
What have you learned throughout your journey?
The most powerful lesson that I have learned throughout my journey is that what lies inside of you is greater than anything that lies ahead.
What advice do you have for those struggling to find balance between taking care of their body and still having a life?
You know your body best, so really tune in and listen to what it’s telling you. Doing so will make all the difference when it comes to finding balance in life and distinguishing between what you think you “should” be doing according to certain preconceived expectations or standards vs. what you really need. Taking care of yourself isn’t just about the food you eat - it’s the words you tell yourself, it’s what you do when no one’s around, it’s the people you surround yourself with, it’s the moments that make you feel alive and light up your soul. It’s everything all together. If your body is telling you to rest, that’s taking care of yourself. If your body is telling you to go and enjoy time with friends as you’re able, that’s also taking care of yourself.