About Me

In front of a great restaurant in Carmel, California
My name is Christina Casad and I decided to begin this blog because I love two things: cooking and writing. This seemed like the best way to combine them. (Becoming a food writer for the L.A. Times.....not so easy).

I was very lucky as a child to have a grandmother and a mother who cooked very well. I am probably addicted to cooking shows now because of those early days spent watching Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet with my mom!

I remember being in the kitchen often, watching, helping, doing a great job licking the whisk and the bowls clean. I have no memory of her ever making anything from a box - everything was made from scratch. Sauces, cakes, dressings, you name it. I find very few people do that any more and I think that's a real shame. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after creating something from start to finish, with real, fresh, whole foods alive with flavor. For me, it’s also therapy.

I admit it wasn’t always that way. I spent many busy working years eating out frequently and not putting a lot of effort into cooking at home. But I realized I didn't always like what I ate at restaurants and a lot of it was pretty expensive. I decided I could probably make better meals myself for much less money. So I got out my favorite cookbooks, bought a few new ones, and started learning. I took a 12-week cooking class and watched LOTS of shows on the cooking channels!

I made my weekly meal plans as varied as possible, always centered around what I'd brought home from trips to the farmer's market, so I thought I was pretty healthy, even though I had always had some sort of digestive trouble for the past 20 years. I was diagnosed with a “functional disorder” (e.g. IBS) around 2008 but had never received any information on what I was supposed to do about it. I kind of ignored it and pretended nothing was wrong. Things took a dark turn in 2015, however, when I developed abdominal pains like I’d never experienced before. I was in agony 24 hours a day, losing weight and hardly eating and sleeping. I was a mess. I started the usual routine, having the requisite GI tests done, but they were inconclusive. It was a frustrating experience, learning that the medical community could not help. So I embarked on my own, doing a ton of reading and landed first on the Low-FODMAP Diet and then eventually the GAPS and Specific Carbohydrate Diets. I finally found relief from the debilitating pain following the GAPS and SCD Diets, eliminating starchy foods like grains and legumes. Nothing else had worked!

Fortunately, I had always liked to cook, but never before was this more important than in 2015. Everything I ate had to be prepared by me, so I would know exactly what was in it. Over time, I’ve come to know a little better what I can get away with, but sometimes I still eat out or eat something that triggers a flare-up. When that happens, I know exactly what to do - go back to the SCD!

I try not to focus on how restrictive my eating has become, and instead remind myself to enjoy the creative outlet the kitchen provides, knowing that my health is entirely within my power.

Regardless of whether you are on a special diet, be it Paleo, Gluten-Free, SCD, GAPS, or Low-FODMAP, or none of the above and you just like wholesome, healthy food that’s easy to digest, I welcome you here and hope you will be able to take something away from it.

If you ever have questions about my journey to digestive wellness, or have any cooking questions at all, please contact me. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have or just share experiences. You can reach me at apassionforflavor@gmail.com.

Thank you for spending time reading my story. Now, let's get back into the kitchen!

Print Friendly