Hi Friend! We are so happy you found us here. We met two years ago through a wonderful mutual friend, and we’ve been discovering every day since then how much we have in common.
In 2019, we were both diagnosed separately with alpha-gal syndrome, a tick-borne disease that results from the bite of the lone star tick. Alpha-gal causes an allergic reaction, often severe, to mammal products, including beef, pork, lamb, venison, and sometimes dairy.
As self-identified foodies, our diagnosis was devastating. So we decided to make the most of it and work to develop a lifestyle that accommodates our diagnosis and still brings us joy. We hope that we can help you find your joy again, too, and in the meantime, provide as much information about alpha-gal as we can collect.
When I couldn’t figure out why I felt so bad a couple of years ago, I cut gluten out of my diet. Although it helped me feel better, it wasn’t until my alpha-gal diagnosis in 2019 that I cut mammal products, and I finally started feeling better.
If I’m not messing around in the kitchen, you can probably find me hiking or paddle boarding with my husband and two kids. We live on a small farm in the New River Valley of Virginia where I also take care of my other children – ironically, sheep. I love all animals, even the mammals, and I’m also the momma to several other four-legged friends. I love my people, dabbling in writing fiction, gin and tonics, and books that come on recommendation. I also have plans to make “sheep mediation” the next big thing to goat yoga.
After my diagnosis with a wheat allergy in 2009, I became even more passionate about the food I was eating and preparing for my family. My passion spilled over into helping others in the community newly diagnosed with food allergies so I developed The Blooming Kitchen blog. In addition to the blog, I hosted local cooking classes. During that time, I perfected my gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe which has become a local tradition among my friends during the holiday, gluten-consuming and gluten-free alike.
When I’m not cooking, I’m dancing in the kitchen with my husband and three kids. I love a glass of rose, going to the gym, rocking out to any music from Dave Matthews to Dave Brubeck, and creating new experiences with the people I love.