a note about cooking for special diets

Vegan - All of my recipes are vegan (no meat, dairy, eggs, honey, or other animal products). Please note that there are some ingredients I call for that are sometimes vegan, sometimes not - such as chocolate chips or worchester sauce - so always check to make sure that your specific brands are vegan.

Gluten-free - I have only been gluten-free since May 2013, so not all of my recipes are gluten-free. Some of the recipes that I tagged as gluten-free, you will need to make sure yourself that the ingredients you use are indeed gluten-free (such as, make sure you use gf-certified oats, and use Bragg's instead of soy sauce).

Soy-free - Lots of my recipes are soy-free, just be sure you use products that fit your diet (soy-free margarine, canola oil instead of vegetable oil, etc). Also, there is miso paste made out of chickpea that you can use as a soy-free alternative.

Nut-free - The recipes I tagged as nut-free do not contain tree nuts. Some include seeds and coconut though. 

Raw vegan - I don't have many raw recipes up yet, but I just want to mention that I may include ingredients that are sometimes raw, but not always (such as non-dairy milks, which can be raw if you make your own).

Sugar-free - Many of my dessert recipes are free of cane sugar, especially now that I've completely cut cane sugar out of my diet. Some substitutions include medjool dates, date sugar, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and stevia. Another option that I occasionally use is agave nectar, because it's really the most affordable, but some sources claim that it is as unhealthy as high fructose corn syrup, so do your own research before you decide to use it. 

NOTE ABOUT SUGAR: There is some confusion as to whether or not cane sugar is vegan. Sugar is processed using bone char, so while there's obviously not animal ingredients in the sugar, they were used in the refining of it. Because the bone char processing is not organic, all organic sugar is vegan; or look for sugar that is either raw unrefined or certified vegan. Besides, unrefined sugar actually contains some fiber and nutrients. 

Gut-friendly - If you have IBD, IBS, or just a sensitive stomach, it's important to monitor what you eat to prevent flare ups. There are special diets recommended for those with IBD (specific carbohydrate diet, paleo diet, the Maker's diet, etc.), but I personally have had best luck maintaining my Crohn's through a whole food plant-based diet. Because everyone's different, you need to learn what foods are triggers for your own body. Besides meat, dairy, and eggs, spicy ingredients and cane sugar seem to be my worst foods, so I don't include them in recipes. Other foods that are sometimes irritants include gluten, citrus, tomatoes, other highly acidic foods, and cinnamon (cardamom's a nice substitute). 

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