Friday, February 05, 2010

Completely Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Whew! Talk about learning courage! Admitting to a problem publicly takes one heck of a dollop of courage. Then attacking the problem with ferocity builds enough to stand on a platform of confidence.

I'm writing a cookbook. Sounds simple, those words, writing a cookbook. R-i-g-h-t. Well, putting the words on a page isn't that hard. But a few other things have turned out to be a challenge.

Here's the big reveal, if you didn't already know. This last year I was diagnosed with microscopic colitis. Embarrassing, frustrating, stupid condition. Basically, I have a collagen layer blocking food and water absorption and a second layer of lymphocytes flaring up that also blocks nutrition. Try finding good information on food and treatment. Uh huh, not so easy. Websites don't agree, doctors don't agree, and even the Mayo Clinic isn't sure about the disease. Medical treatment is trial and error. What works for one person probably, maybe, might work for another.

After being really sick for a long time, the not so fun colonoscopy at least told us what was the problem. But not how to fix it. I've been on a wild ride trying to discover what I could eat that didn't make me sick.

But I have dreams and goals and a purpose. Microscopic colitis is a diagnosis I have to learn to live with and manage. So off I went on the adventure of discovery.

Last week I began writing tips and recipes for people like me. People who want to eat without fearing their food (sounds crazy, but it's true) and want to be able to eat with their families. The birth of Creative Cooking for Colitis begins with 20 tips. I now have several recipes and am working on more.

The challenges: Sharing publicly in order to help others, photographing recipes and figuring out the right size and resolution for food photography, and finding out how to format a cookbook.

The potential: The opportunity to help others with this same condition really engages and inspires me. Friends are already asking for it and it's only about half done and I'm learning new skills along the way.

The humorous: My family now knows they cannot cut into a dish until I take a picture. LOL, you should see them standing over dinner like vultures circling. I'm planning some very strange combination menus just so I can get a certain recipe or photo. One night steak, but the side dish was another main entree. Another night home made egg drop soup with stroganoff, lol.

I've been caught with a measuring tape trying to figure out which size I want to make the book. I'm opening and shutting all sorts of cookbooks looking for the kind of binding I like best. Don't you hate a cookbook that won't stay open in the middle of cooking, especially when your hands are gooey???

I've never written a cookbook before, but I can tell you that I'll know how when I'm done. Courage comes from doing even when you don't know how. Confidence comes from realizing that you now know, from what you've learned, while being courageous.


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