Jeri Mills, M.D.

Jeri Mills is a physician, veterinarian, certified Reiki master teacher and author of the book “Tapestry of Healing: Where Reiki and Medicine Intertwine”. In her integrative medicine practice she combines Western medicine, energy healing, herbal medicine with discussions of diet and nutrition.

Going Gluten Free

When I found out a couple years ago that I had to go on a gluten free diet, I knew that if I were to succeed, it would have to be an exercise in creativity (I do love to bake) and not a punishment. So I started doing research. First I read the usual articles that contained lists of unacceptable foods and a few recipes. I knew that the over the counter gluten free breads I’d tried (mostly rice flour) not only tasted god-awful to me but were heavy as bricks and acted like cement in my digestive tract.  Then I came across a book filled with almond flour recipes. Now THAT sounded appealing and also much healthier than filling my poor innocent digestive tract with the gluey horror of rice flour! I found a book of coconut flour recipes. I love coconut! Now this was starting to sound interesting…

While waiting for my new books to arrive I started doing searches on the internet learning about the properties of coconut flour, almond flour and other gluten free and, as it turned out, low carb, options. Along with lots of basic information, I found hundreds of recipes and started trying some of them out. Who ever said you lose weight when you go on a gluten free diet clearly does not have a love for baking and creative cookery!

Being a “creative home cook” I have rarely found a recipe that I didn’t think I could improve upon. I soon found the same to be true of the gluten-free recipes. After  reading about the different cooking properties of the alternative flours, I started playing with recipes. First, I made small adjustments to some of the recipes I’d found on the internet and in books and then I decided I simply MUST figure out how to transform all of the favorite cake and cookie recipes I’d created over the years into the gluten-free marvels I knew they could be. My testing ground, besides myself, were the staff at the hospitals where I worked, people at classes I attended and the folks at Dances of Universal Peace. Besides being a great testing ground for my recipes, what better way to make new friends than to feed them? When the NON-gluten-free folks in the group started telling me they didn’t care whether there was gluten in my cookies or not, they were just good, I knew I had succeeded!

Besides being born with an overwhelming need to feed my immediate world, I’ve always shared recipes with friends, co-workers and patients. In my holistic medical practice, discussion of diet and eating for health as well as for weight loss and better control for diabetic patients and patients with high cholesterol and heart disease has always been a priority. Simply telling someone to eat healthy food often goes in one ear and out the other. Showing them how by passing out recipes that are healthy, delicious and easy to prepare gives them the tools to start making changes. And so I passed out recipes.

When I had to go on a gluten free diet myself, the impetus to share was no different. I had a favorite little patient in one of my hospitals in Minnesota who suffered from Celiac disease. Her mother was frustrated because she could not come up with enough healthy, appealing recipes to satisfy her child. So I brought them a pile of my recipes the next time I worked at that hospital. When I mentioned what I had done to one of my favorite nurses, she told me that HER daughter was also on a gluten free diet and was always looking for new recipes. So I made a copy of my recipes for her too.  It soon became clear that where ever I went, someone I met was on a gluten free diet or had a family member who was, so I got into the habit of carrying a pile of recipes to every hospital and ER where I worked and sharing them with any one who was interested.

After years of sharing recipes with friends as well as patients, many have suggested that I write a cook book. Having published one book, Tapestry of Healing: Where Reiki and Medicine Intertwine, I know how much work goes into the process, and I am not yet in a place where I feel ready to tackle such an enormous project but sharing recipes continues to be one of my favorite pass times, and so, the gluten free section of my Blog is born.

I hope you will find my recipes both delicious and inspiring.

Happy Eating!

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