“There’s a reason Cookie Monster was my favorite Sesame Street character when I was a kid.”

cookie-monsterThere’s a reason Cookie Monster was my favorite Sesame Street character when I was a kid. As a child, I hated eating. I just never had an appetite. (Oh, how things have changed!!) As a result, I often resorted to eating junk food because it was the only thing I could stomach. Except that I couldn’t really, because I always had an upset stomach. My parents once cautioned me that if I continued my junk food diet, there would come a day when my body – that was already fragile – would revolt. And that day came.

Since my immune system went haywire in my 20s I have tried out various dietary regimens. I stopped eating gluten, became a vegan, followed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and only ate homemade pastries made from almond flour (until routine allergy tests revealed that I had developed a bona fide allergy to almonds). Some of these regimens worked for a time but eventually, all of my symptoms came back.

Today, I try my best to eat a well-rounded diet, though I have been ordered by my doctor to get rid of gluten once and for all after genetic tests and a gluten challenge revealed that I’m at the very least, “in the spectrum” of Celiac Disease. But there are times when I just want to eat a damn cookie.

I also find it extremely difficult to exercise because I’m so prone to injury. Swimming was my savior until I developed a nasty case of atypical perioral dermatitis. So I then resorted to using an elliptical machine, which I hate. And I did that for weeks until I sprained my ankle. I got back in the pool after my dermatologist cleared me, only to have the dermatitis return. Oy vey.

It would be so easy to just give up and eat those cookies. And for a time, I did. When I first moved to Philly I was constantly exposed to those delicious soft pretzels. (They even serve them at work!) I now live near Chinatown where I have almost round-the-clock access to dumplings and hand drawn noodles. I live just a few blocks away from Vetri Pizza. What’s a girl to do?

Well, I haven’t figured it out yet, but I haven’t stopped trying. And as I keep trying, I’ll be sharing my results with you! If you have found something that works for you, please share. For now, the cookies will have to stay in the cookie jar.

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