Sunday, November 2, 2008

Life without chocolate is unthinkable

So approximately 4 weeks ago, I was diagnosed with having a "leaky gut." Which basically means that I'm "allergic" to certain foods that are causing my body to attack itself--resulting in asthma and weekly migraines (one lasted for 35 days) among other problems. In other words, I've been pretty darn sick for the last year and if I want to get better, I can't eat certain foods for at least 6 months. While I'm excited about the prospect of finally getting better (I've official had the first migraine free week in over a year. Yay!) it also means I am forbidden from eating any dairy, eggs, or wheat for 5 more months. Which--gasp--means NO CHOCOLATE!!

Seriously, I can live without pizza, pastries, all baked goods, milk, omelets, ice cream, toast, sandwiches, soups, pretty much any and all prepackaged food etc, etc. . . (basically all I'm allowed to eat are fruits, veggies, meat, corn tortillas, and brown rice) But no chocolate?! That has been sheer torture. My hubby was watching a documentary on the history of chocolate the other day, and I almost had to go running from the room. I wasn't even able to celebrate landing an amazing agent with a big old bowl of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice cream!

(Um, confession: I'm a chocoholic in case you didn't figure that out on your own.)

Seriously, I've been dying. That is until Wednesday . . .

I was at home working on my latest round of revisions for Ted when the doorbell rang. Much to my surprise, there was a UPS truck idling in the street and large box from World Pantry on my doorstep. My first thought was, "Dang, I haven't started ordering stuff off the Internet in my sleep again, have I?" I also thought about the news story I'd seen that afternoon about hoodlums stealing your identification and ordering stuff online and then stealing the deliveries off your doorstep when you're not home. Maybe there was a gang of culinary minded thugs hiding in the bushes just outside my house! Or maybe the unibomber has a cousin who hates blogging YA writers. . .

After about thirty seconds of debating, I opened the package and found this note:

And this is what I found in the box:

Yep, your eyes do not deceive you. That is indeed dairy and gluten free chocolate!! After thanking Valynne profusely (you so totally rock!) I ate half a bag in one sitting. And how does it taste, you ask? Glorious. Wonderful. Divine. I can't even taste the difference--and I know chocolate. I'm a big fan of dark chocolate, so perhaps not everyone would love it as much as I do (and not everyone is as desperate as I am) but I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who suffers from chocolate deprivation caused by dairy or gluten allergies.

And don't worry, I'm learning to pace myself: only 2 tablespoons of chocolate a day for me. Have to look good for that author picture that will someday adorn the back of my book ;)

P.S. I'm hoping to find a dairy, egg, wheat free recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Got any ideas? Or would that just be too gross to even attempt?
Any other recipes would be appreciated too. I'm getting tired of corn tortilla tacos with no cheese.


brickhouse79 said...

I'm sorry, but that documentary was just too fascinating to turn off. I mean seriously, how did they figure that if you pulled the beans from a funky looking pod, let them ferment for a few days, dried them in the sun for a few more days, ground them into a powder, squeezed out all the fat/butter, added sugar and some of the butter back, that you would end up with one of the greatest and MOST IMPORTANT discoveries of all time!

Anyway, I've "sampled" this chocolate of which Bree speaks, and I must agree. I can't tell the difference at all. Very tasty.

Trudy said...

Oh Bree. At this point in my pregnancy, if someone told me to stop eating chocolate I think I'd loose a few hundred calories from my daily diet. Definitely not a vice I've ever attempted to give up. Way to be strong!

Mrs. Organic said...

I'm glad you found a substitute - I don't know if I'd be strong enough to go without any.

Check out "In the Trenches" blog - she has similar diet restrictions and posts recipes at Work It, Mom.

I'm curious how you were finally diagnosed?

Anisa said...

Valynne is totally awesome!!!

I'm glad that they have figured out the problem, but what a sacrifice!!! I'll think about some recipes for you.

Kim said...

Hi Bree. That was so sweet of Valynne. I've been thinking about you and trying to think up recipes. I know my friends kids can't have gluten, so she cooks with Spelt instead of wheat. I don't know how to go about taking out the eggs and other things you might not be able to have, but if you look into spelt, that might expand your diet a little. Have you tried polenta? I just boil cornmeal till it's thick, fry it up in a little coconut oil (probably any oil would do) and drizzle it with honey. I'll try to think of a few more recipes for you.

DrTylerT said...


that is a wonderful story. Life w/o chocolate would be horrible for me too, as i believe it, along with other candy, makes up a good portion of my meals in a week. i've enjoyed looking at your blog. Things seem to be going well. I love you guys.

Nicole said...

Oh what a nice friend. Congrats on finding chocolate you can eat.

Patrick said...

I'm sorry, but I don't believe it. It's like all those vegetarian types who claim their tofurky tastes just like the real thing! I'm sorry but tofu will NEVER taste like turkey!

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Okay, so I hear you on the tofurkey. That's just like abomination of nature wrong. But I swear, the chocolate really is good stuff.