Food: An Unrequited Love From the very first time I helped my mom in the kitchen, I knew I loved food. Unfortunately, it hasn't always loved me back. I view my relationship with food like a one-sided obsession that isn't always reciprocated. I've constantly had to adapt and tweak my preferences over the years. Despite eating like a horse, I have always been of slight build. Throughout my teenage years I used to experience severe abdominal pain and bloating, but it took collapsing at work with what was suspected to be appendicitis, before I was finally diagnosed with IBS 13 years ago. The Pain Worsened As the years went by, I adapted my diet to suit my IBS, but despite cutting out all my trigger foods, I kept vomiting and had horrible burning sensations in my stomach. Though grateful I was no longer sitting on my porcelain throne, I found myself in worsening pain. I got diagnosed with an under active thyroid shortly after, but my health declined so much that I was sent for an endoscopy and colonoscopy. The endoscopy showed the start of an ulcer in my stomach, so I unfortunately had to add acid reflux to my lengthening list of ailments. I tried three different medications for the reflux and eventually the vomiting, pain and coughing subsided. I Stopped Getting my Period I was at last happy with the way my life was going. I had just married the man of my dreams. I thought, life was finally looking up. But would you believe it!?!? The pain was still there! Doctors turned me away, saying it was simply my IBS and reflux creating the pain. However, after 5 months without my monthly friend, and no positive pregnancy result either, I decided to go for some fertility tests. What I found out, (only 3.5 months ago), burst our little happiness bubble, and still breaks my heart. I was told I have severely cystic ovaries and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). A baby may no longer be in our future unless my body starts to respond positively to the meds. Finding Food Again I am trying daily to give fertility my best shot with my strictest diet yet! I have cut out all caffeine, alcohol, soy, processed meat and refined sugar. I also now only eat whole-grain pasta, bread and rice, and often try to replace these as accompaniments to food with pulses such as lentils. I have always adored flavor and cannot stand bland dishes. Taste is key to the food I create now. I have been fortunate to travel all over much of the world, where I have participated in cooking classes and realized my true passion in life...food. Asian flavors have always been kind to me, so I use them a lot in my dishes. I cannot use soy due to my PCOS, but it makes experimenting with flavors all the more fun. I love the tang of fish sauce, the heat of ginger and chilies, the floral notes of coriander and the zing of lime. I long to involve food in my career somehow and am hoping my nutrition course will help me along with that. I hope you enjoy my recipes! Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.