Growing up I always loved to bake. For most of my childhood my knowledge of baking consisted of following the directions on the box, or a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Slowly but surely I started looking up recipes and learning how to follow them. I ended up becoming quite the baker. Until I found out I wasn’t supposed to eat gluten, grain or dairy anymore. I stopped baking all together because it was too frustrating baking for everyone else, when I couldn’t enjoy anything that I had put so much time and effort into making. It was upsetting and saddening that I couldn’t eat like a normal person anymore. So much so that I wanted to cry, and did cry on many occasions when I got back home, whenever I went out with friends. I didn’t feel like I was normal or a part of the group. I felt like I was all alone and no one else understood what I was going through and dealing with. I hated having to say no every time someone offered me something to eat or drink, because I didn’t know what was in it. I hated being looked at with pity or like I was weird. I hated everything about it to be honest. I came to the point of being so sick of not feeling normal, that I decided to change how I was handling things, and figure out a way to eat the way I needed to, while being able to feel normal again. That came from teaching myself how to cook and change recipes so that I was capable of eating them. It was a lot of work, super frustrating and disappointing at times, but when an idea/recipe actually worked and tasted good, it was so exciting! I could have cookies! French fries! Cake! Brownies! Tortillas! Slowly but surely the list of things I could eat, started getting bigger. I wasn’t missing out on as many things, and my friends ended up wanting to eat what I brought, rather than what they had ordered off of the menu.