Eat Beautiful: Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, And Loving It
by Megan Stevens
“Our passion for eating well was born out of our health adversities—trials I no longer regret! Healing our bodies of asthma, candida overgrowth, autoimmune diseases and more has spurred us to seek a new way of eating and living that is actually more satisfying than our previous, conventional American diet and lifestyle. We sit down to feasts three times a day. We delight in the cooking process. We have developed lots of easy and fast recipes. And we feel the difference in our bodies every meal, every day,” says Megan Stevens in the introduction of her gut-healing cookbook.
Megan’s story is one of healing and hope. By the age of forty, she had been diagnosed with five serious health conditions, including arthritis, Hashimoto’s and other auto-immune diseases. Six years ago, she was told by a doctor that she didn’t have long to live, so she and her husband said their goodbyes and she wrote memories and adoring thoughts regularly in her children’s baby books—so they’d know her, and know how much she loved them and longed to live. Her children were not well, either. Each of her three children was born with asthma or serious food and environmental allergies.
Then five and a half years ago her eyes were opened to the connection between gut health and overall health. Her whole family started following a gut-healing diet—GAPS. It was their only hope for reversing the auto-immune diseases, allergies and asthma. And today, Megan and her children are well. Their health conditions are reversed or in remission. How? Not only through figuring out how to cook around food restrictions, but also through developing scrumptious recipes that made their gut-healing diet a joy to follow strictly for six years at the time of this writing.
Through these years of navigating restricted diets (often with each family member needing something a bit different), Megan became a connoisseur of the word “alternatives.” She sought them out so she could make their favorite foods with ingredients they could eat and enjoy. The fruits of Megan’s labor were first revealed to the world at their gut-healing cafe in Eugene, Oregon, where she and her husband dished up kefir-based frozen “yogurt” featuring seasonal fruits. Soon, they added Megan’s signature grain-free panini bread sandwiches, where the oh-so-moist and satisfying “bread” was made from soaked organic nuts and seeds. This bread is revolutionary because not only is it free of starches, but it is not made of dry-tasting, potentially rancid, and nutritionally inferior factory-produced almond flour or coconut flour that so many grain-free cookbooks and recipes call for.
And now Megan brings her years of guthealing recipe creation right to us in her grainfree, sugar-free cookbook, Eat Beautiful. Her cookbook is suitable for the traditional food diet, GAPS, or paleo/AIP. She states, “The intention of this book is to impart a new passion in the kitchen to my readers and to provide solutions for those who are overwhelmed by new dietary restrictions.” Not only does her book offer a smorgasbord of beautiful, simple and classic gut-healing recipes, Megan also teaches so that readers will learn how ingredients work in recipes and what ingredients go together. And Eat Beautiful is sprinkled throughout with tantalizing professional photos of the treats it contains!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2016.