Finding Positivity in Cooking

Finding Positivity in Cooking
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As I wrote in a recent column, one upside to all the extra time spent at home is that I’ve gotten to spend more time on activities I really enjoy but usually get squeezed out by the lack of time in my busy life. Two weeks ago, I discussed finding more time for reading. This week I’ll share about the joy I find in cooking.

I love to cook. Like many people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), I have digestive issues. Last year I realized I’ve become extremely lactose intolerant, which led to a shift in my eating habits. While some dairy products don’t actually contain lactose (the type of sugar in dairy), for the most part, I find it easier to simply not eat dairy at all, especially when I’m at home and have found many other easily accessible options. I’m amazed by how much better I feel now that I’ve eliminated lactose from my diet; I had no idea just how much of a problem it was.

I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, and this change has only pushed me to be more so. I’ve had the chance to explore a variety of options recently and have found some recipes I really enjoy that don’t trigger EDS pains or lactose intolerance symptoms.

I especially love pasta, but we all know that’s not necessarily the healthiest thing to eat all the time, especially if an unhealthy sauce is tossed in. I’ve found that whole wheat pasta quality has come a long way in the past few years, and now I honestly can’t tell the difference in taste between it and regular. While whole wheat doesn’t magically make pasta great for the diet, it’s a start.

Then, for a change from the traditional tomato-based sauces, I found an amazing recipe for a sage butternut squash sauce. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was add dried sage to the sauce for extra flavor. For an awesome shortcut, get butternut squash noodles from the grocery store; it’s a lifesaver for me because cutting tough vegetables can really aggravate my bad shoulder. As an added bonus, it’s a great time-saver that makes for an easy weeknight dinner when fatigued.

Pair it with salad and a slice of whole-grain garlic bread: Voila, you have an amazingly delicious and easy dinner that rates not-too-horrible on the healthy scale. It does well as leftovers, too, meaning that I can get another dinner out of it on a busy day during the week. Double win!

I’ve also really gotten into healthier baking recently, but we’ll save that topic for another column!

What are your favorite Ehlers-Danlos-friendly recipes?

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Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.

An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2009 after a years-long search for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses, Cherry and Spotty, and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her work with BioNews.
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An avid equestrian and educator, Karen has been a columnist at BioNews since 2019. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2009 after a years-long search for a diagnosis that explained her symptoms. Karen enjoys working with her students, riding and caring for her two horses, Cherry and Spotty, and connecting with others in the rare disease community through her work with BioNews.
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