Hi. I’m really glad you’re here. Thanks for taking time out of your day to visit.
I’m Jane, a gluten-free, Paleo chef, health practitioner, MBA, CBP, CRM, author of Paleo Desserts and Good Morning Paleo. This blog is for you and every-body. If you’re on a special diet, welcome home. Perhaps you’ve found that gluten, carbs, dairy, or refined foods are not what you need. Here you’ll find health tips, exciting new methods, and luscious original recipes for a new way to live.
All of my recipes are gluten-free, celiac-friendly, Paleo, low-carb, diabetic friendly, hypo-allergenic and luscious. They’re also all free of dairy, soy, peanuts, and nightshades. Many are vegan and tree-nut free. They’re designed for those on special diets, and delicious for every-body.
I come from a long line of nature enthusiasts, artists, and foodies. I’ve done many creative things in my life – this may be my 9th serious career – I lost count (Chef, healer, Chief Financial Officer, costume designer, author, accountant, restaurant manager, business owner, Venetian glass importer, MBA, opera diva, yogi, jewelry designer, broker, property manager, world traveler, qigong teacher). As a child I was very robust and healthy. However at the age of 30 I began to feel seriously challenged with adrenal exhaustion, allergies, digestive problems, and the deep emotions that are involved.
This has been an interesting journey of giving up a lot of things, one at a time.
The first thing I had to give up was gluten, about 30 years ago. That was hard. No bread, cakes, cookies, sandwiches. But I felt so much better! My sinuses cleared, my energy was balanced through the day. I slept better and lost weight. I assumed gluten would be all that I’d have to eliminate, so I created a recipe file of quick and delicious gluten-free meals. Soon after that I had to give up coffee. The withdrawal period was pretty tough, as coffee is highly addictive. My body WANTED its caffeine every morning. I moved over to green tea, and later I had to completely give up caffeine for pure water and herbal teas. My stress level went down, my jangled nerves relaxed, and my health improved.
I lived in Venice, Italy and sang opera.
I learned to shop “Venetian style”, which means every day of the year is a farmer’s market. What fun! I just scanned the array of fresh fruits and vegetables picked that very morning using my subtle eyes, to find the perfect elixir for my body that day. Whatever was shining with the most delicious light and life, I bought that. And my health improved! This taught me the importance of freshness and life force in the food we eat. It showed me that listening to my body’s desires each day, as opposed to my unhealthy cravings, would lead me toward optimum health. I learned a lot and – Oh, was it fun! Click to hear me sing opera.
I traveled the world singing opera, and ate mostly in restaurants.
I noticed my food reactions were much less in other countries. Yet every time I returned to the USA, my digestive problems flared up again. Why was that? So I began to search out the myriad other factors contributing to intolerances, such as pesticides, farming methods, preservatives, molds, and hidden ingredients in packaged food. Soon after, I eliminated GMO corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, and all genetically modified foods from my diet. I felt a huge improvement in my equilibrium on a cellular level, and my endurance came back. Each change was a radical re-adjustment in my diet and daily life. I began to see a pattern of refinement in my body, so I was more willing to accept and embrace it. Soon after I had to eliminate dairy and cheese, except for fermented goat products. Without dairy, my colds stopped altogether and my edema, or water retention, disappeared completely.
With each dietary change, my recipe file had to be re-written.
I’m an experienced chef, and this was no small task. Slowly over a period of 3 decades the pile of original recipes grew to fill several noteooks of delightful treats, like Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling, Blueberry Pancakes with Berrylicious Sauce, and Instant Chocolate Mousse. These recipes taste just as satisfying as the standard formulas, but the ingredients are quite different. Some would say my diet is ”very limited”, but I certainly don’t feel deprived. My diet is limited to healthy foods only. Every day I enjoy delicious – no – incredibly luscious – gourmet meals that are quick and easy to make. I’m 64 now, and I eat 3 meals a day. You can do the math and that’s a lot of recipes. This is a really fun job.
By far the hardest thing for me to give up was sugars.
I mean ALL sugars. Since I crave sweets, I moved to so-called “natural sugars”. I bought granulated fructose by the case, indulged in date sugar, coconut nectar, agave, and maple syrup. But eliminate all sugars? No way. I love sweets, and I resisted this change for many years. My naturopath kept mentioning fructose, fruit sugars, and the complications sugar causes with bacteria in the intestines. She showed me undeniable evidence that sugar destroys the metabolic balance in the body and accelerates ageing. It robs calcium from the bones to maintain a life-sustaining ph in the blood, leading to arthritis and osteoporosis. She showed me proof that sugar exacerbates food reactions. Sugar cross-reacts with gluten, grains, coffee, and yeast, creating a vicious cycle of metabolic ups and downs. She showed me that fructose, natural fruit sugar, is actually far worse for the body than table sugar because it is digested in the liver, causing arteriosclerosis and high triglyceride fat deposits that are an invitation to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Finally I became very ill with chronic fatigue, total adrenal failure and almost died.
At that time I owned a successful jewelry design business using hand-made Venetian glass. The stress was enormous, and I experienced 2 frozen shoulders, total digestive failure, and cancer. During that critical period, each moment and each breath was about healing my body. I studied every healing modality I could find, including traditional, modern, and energy medicine. Finally I gave in to overwhelming evidence and stopped eating all sugars. Since sugar is highly addictive, it was like getting off a drug. All the bacteria in my body rebelled. The withdrawal period was a slow process of re-orienting my body and reminding it who is in charge. For six months every afternoon was a battle of wills. I survived the transition with a fitness routine, yoga, qigong, and lots of unsweetened chocolate. Now my metabolism is balanced once again, and that’s a miracle.
When I gave up sugars, my health took a quantum leap forward.
It was immediate. I’ve been off sugar for 10 years now. I avoid all sweeteners that are high in carbs, such as agave, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, and even honey. But I still craved sweets! I bought every sweetener I could find and studied them all. THAT was exciting – my kitchen was filled with odd packages, and my body was the laboratory. Find my research here: What are the Best Paleo Sweeteners? and 300 Sweeteners – Which is Best? Well, the final results were that there were very few natural sweeteners that resonated well in my body, and difficult to find them in a pure, unadulterated form. One was pure stevia leaves (which have a strong aftertaste). However refined stevia drops and powders did not register well. My top three natural zero-sugar sweeteners are Lo Han Guo, Erythritol, and Chicory root. Chicory root? What’s that? Well, it is a delicious natural sweetener called Just Like Sugar Table Top, which has zero calories, zero carbs, and zero glycemic index. It feels like winning combination to me. My metabolism is now in balance. Hooray!
I recently found I’m intolerant to nightshade vegetables. That’s the solanaceae family which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. So now I’m developing a line of delicious Italian menus that are nightshade-free. Such as Paleo Pizza, Paleo Lasagna, and Spaghetti with No-Tomato Sauce. Like I said, this is a fun job!
To make a long story short – I made a total change in my life. I sold my business, got certified in all the healing modalities that had been instrumental in restoring my health, and opened a healing practice. I specialize in intuitive energy medicine such as BodyTalk, Reiki, EFT and Accunect. I work on the staff at Blue Lotus Integrative Healing Arts in Santa Fe. I offer energy healing, dietary consultations, cooking seminars, and qigong classes.
My first cookbook is “Paleo Desserts – 125 Delicious Everyday Favorites Gluten and Grain-free”. It re-creates all the classic American desserts everyone craves, in a Paleolithic, or hunt-and-gather version. These desserts are low carb, truly delicious and healthy for most everyone. My newest book is “Good Morning Paleo – Over 150 Easy Favorites to Start Your Day, Gluten and Grain-free”. It’s all about luscious flavor and real food breakfasts that are low in carbs and sugars. I get to invent amazing recipes – and taste everything. Yum! Like I said, this is a fun job.
Thanks again for stopping by. Enjoy the site. Buy my books. And contact me anytime: jane (at) paleodesserts (dot) com.
contact me at jane (at) paleodesserts (dot) com.