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There are two things this family does best…COOK & EAT! When we get together, you can be sure that no one goes hungry! When I changed my eating habits and lifestyle, I didn’t give up cooking! I enjoy cooking and look forward to any opportunity there is to cook for others. Yes, I still cook traditional meals, especially Italian meals!

I must say, at the end of the meal when others are moaning & groaning and saying how full they are, and perhaps just a tad bit guilty that they just ate “all that”… I just sit back happily gratified, and smile. It must be the little demon in me! LOL! It’s always a good feeling when I walk away from the table guilt free, knowing that I ate some really good, healthy food, and that my body will be thanking me!

The other day I cooked my traditional Sunday Sauce for the family. I put a lot of meat in my sauce; boiled eggs, chicken, Italian sausage and meatballs. I cook it all day long and prefer to serve it the ‘next’ day – all Italians know it’s better the next day! I also cooked a pot of meat free sauce for those of us who do not eat meat, or egg, and prepared both gluten free spaghetti and regular spaghetti for those who can tolerate gluten. So basically, there were two meals on one table, along with a beautiful and delicious salad. Of course everyone wanted to taste the gluten free spaghetti and they all agreed that it was unbelievably good and couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

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The gluten free pasta I cooked didn’t have a product name on the package, it just says Europe’s #1 and it’s by a company called Schar. I found it at Safeway. The funny thing is that the package offers no cooking instructions. Perhaps you can find them, but I sure couldn’t. However, I figured it had to be like most others, and cooked it for about 10 minutes, and it was perfect. Just pay attention to it when you’re cooking it and give it the taste test anytime after 8 minutes.

I choose to eat gluten free, meat free, dairy and egg free, but I certainly can and will cook traditional for others – I enjoy it. I find that most people get their curiosity up when they see what I cook and eat, this is when the questions start:

Why don’t you eat gluten? Why don’t you eat meat? You don’t eat eggs? So on…

…and then I tell my story. Health dictated a new lifestyle for me, and I’ve never been happier. If I could help anyone else to accomplish what I have, I’d be ecstatic.

For the times of our lives, such as family meals and gatherings, it simply doesn’t matter how you eat, what matters is that you share good times together and make memories for future days! However, I do stress to all that everyone should eat as healthy as they can. Think about your body as a temple, and only put the best into it. Fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and all the wonderful healing foods, herbs and spices that Mother Nature has provided us, truly are the way to go. An optimal mind and body is what we should all strive for.

Love Mary