Hi there! Welcome to A Dash of Megnut!
I’m Megan, or Megnut, as many of my family and friends call me. I started this blog in 2010, during my college years at the University of Wisconsin – Madison as a way to learn to cook and bake. I made recipes from other blogs and took pictures of my food and posted them here, mainly as a way to share great recipes with my friends and remember recipes that I liked. Gradually, I began making changes to recipes and eventually creating my own recipes to share with my friends.
Back then, I didn’t know what I know now. The fact that eating certain foods would make me so sick. It all started in my early high school years, when I just didn’t feel well all the time. I went to doctor after doctor and was told there was nothing wrong with me, it was all in my head, it was just my anxiety, etc. No one would be able to tell me what was wrong. I was frustrated and constantly would give up. I began to just think it was all in my head.
It wasn’t until I moved back to Chicago after finishing grad school in Wisconsin that I figured out the first of my problems. I was feeling nauseous, dizzy, lethargic. I could barely make it through work some days and could not go out with my friends because I felt so sick. I found a new doctor that took a lot of blood tests to try to find the source of the problem. She then suggested I see a gastroenterologist and get tested for celiac disease. I was diagnosed by biopsy with celiac disease in October of 2013. I immediately started eating gluten-free and gained some digestive relief.
But still, I wasn’t feeling completely better. I still did not have any energy and would constantly find myself doubled over with abdominal pain. I knew then and there that gluten was not my only nemesis. I began seeing a nutritionist in late 2014 to see if we could pinpoint what other foods were making me sick. Lo and behold, I found out I had a candida overgrowth in my gut, as well as sensitivities to dairy, yeast, and eggs (as well as a bunch of other random foods). I began a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, yeast-free, sugar-free diet. Phew. Is that enough free’s in there?
Guess what happened?
My energy started coming back immediately.
I can stay up past 8pm and not fall asleep.
I have not missed a day of work in 4 months.
I don’t feel nauseous every single day.
Do I still feel sick from time to time? You bet. I know I’m not completely healed but I do know I’m on the right path. So what does this have to do with my blog? Well, this blog has been a journey. Over the past five years, I have figured out what foods make me feel good and what makes me feel bad. And you’ll see that here. There are recipes here for everyone. In my earlier years, you’ll find recipes without any acknowledgement of food allergies. Now, you’ll see a ton of allergy friendly meals, ranging from gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and sugar-free. I’ve gone back and forth with starting a new blog for my allergy friendly recipes, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to keep it the way it is. This blog is who I am. In a nutshell.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog and trying my recipes. I look forward to connecting with all of you in some form or another. If you have any comments, questions, feedback, critiques, funny stories, whatever, you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top and bottom photos taken by the amazing Chelsea Bliefernicht (www.chelseabliefernicht.com)
Middle photo taken by my super talented sister Kate Hastings