Hey there! I’m Kyra (though you probably guessed that), and this is the place where I think out loud, often bake, and always eat. And this is my story:
I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when I was 20 years old. I spent 8 years in and out of the hospital, whenever I’d get really stressed out and have a flare up. Much of this time I was taking steroids and Nsaid drugs. When those failed to control my symptoms (and provided a whole host of side effect, like clumps of hair falling out, drastic weight gain in a period of hours, and chronic digestive distress), I began looking for a long term solution.
I spent several years on Class D drugs, getting my brain and liver panels tested to ensure the drugs hadn’t shut down my organs. I spent 6 hours every 6 weeks in the chemo ward getting drug infusions. Despite all this, I had no energy and my autoimmune symptoms were running amok.
In the middle of a particularly rough flare, my GI wanted to schedule surgery to remove a diseased portion of my intestines. I suggested I try going gluten-free and begged him for a chance to get my inflammation under control. My mom has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and her doctor had told her that anyone with an autoimmune disorder might benefit by going gluten-free. That’s the only reason it was even on my radar. I figured if I went gfree, I could get the inflammation under control enough so the drugs would work, and I might be able to stave off the prospect of surgery.
Luckily, it worked. Within three days, I could stand up straight for the first time in months. The longer I adhered to eating gluten-free, the more I continued to improve. But this came with a new set of concerns.
After being disappointed in the gluten-free products that were available on the market, I thought I’d have to live without birthday cakes and scones and doughnuts. I attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave me a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques, which I applied toward baking gluten-free.
By craving, and by necessity, I began experimenting with alternative flours and developed a handful of cake recipes that taste as good, if not better, than traditional wheat-filled cakes.