Thursday February 13
When I was a little kid, my mom used to send me to the local bakery (Blak's Bakery on Langlois) just before dinner to buy a loaf of freshly baked white bread. When I got it home, we'd cut it, spread some real butter on it and watch as the golden cream soaked into the warm, tender dough
Somewhere along the way, mom started buying our white bread from the supermarket. Wonder bread. I knew it was good because more and more important people kept telling me that it 'helps build strong bodies twelve ways' (quite an odd claim when you think about it)
Of course, these guys were professional athletes…All-American, healthy, clean living (Mantle & Hornung, clean living? gawd, were you gullible)
I was young. We all were. We didn't know and we didn't know that we didn't know. In fact as Yogi would have said, 'Know…I didn't even suspect'
One day, most of the food we were eating got bad. Really bad. Too much sugar, chemicals, preservatives, and pesticides. Even the natural ingredients weren't natural anymore ('now genetically improved')
We didn't know that either. And like the old saying goes…
“What you don't know will kill ya”
If you're older than your mid-twenties…it was probably much the same for you (sorry Emmer…we didn't know)
Wendle was the same
She ate fries with gravy and ketchup, coconut cream pie and chocolate milk, at lunch, all through high school
When she got home, she'd either have some Kraft Dinner or a can of Heinz Pork and Beans with bread and butter (that sounds ghastly) and for a snack…bread with Nutella or dipped in Corn Syrup (i think i just threw up in my mouth)
For morning juice…she drank Coca Cola
Needless to say this was taking a toll on her body
No, it wasn't anything that you'd notice outwardly…it was an inside job and whatever signs there were…(difficulty gaining weight, inability to focus, low energy, migraines)…went unheeded
After a four year stint as a vegetarian (and eating tons of pasta and rice) Wendy's body had finally had enough and rebelled in a more…noticeable way; painful bloating, joint pain and the occasional poop smoothie
Then in 2002, Wendy was diagnosed as having a gluten allergy and being lactose intolerant (since changed to dairy intolerant)
Ahhh the Summer of aught two…who doesn't remember the fun of watching Wendy order food at a Denny's while we were on the road with our Baseball team
No more Bob Evans sausage gravy and biscuits…no more junk food…no more McDonalds
Grocery shopping back in Oakville was a little better but I can recall hunting all over Southern Ontario for loaves of gluten free rice bread (there was no Gluten Free aisle in your supermarket in those early days)
Whenever Wendle would find something she could eat, she'd buy as much as she could and stuff the fridge or freezer with it. Every item that was safe for her to eat was marked with a large 'W.F.'
(what's the W.F. stand for?)
It meant that this food was Gluten and Lactose Free…or…'Wendy Friendly'
After several years of eating hard, tasteless bread made of rice, Wendle discovered that these supposedly 'safe' foods were still made with yeast (another allergen of hers) and she had to stop. She eventually just gave up eating any bread, pasta, rice…basically all the crap that tastes so darned good and makes up such a large part of our diet. She just did without
For a long while she had no sandwiches, no pasta, bunless burgers, no milk chocolate (stop…i'll tell you whatever you want…just don't take away my junk food)
One day, while she was shopping at our local independent grocer in Oakville ('Organic Garage'), Wendle spotted a pack of six wraps…not of bread, or rice, or corn, or even quinoa…but made of raw, dehydrated vegetables
She was thrilled. They were completely Wendy Friendly and, as a bonus, no one else in the house would eat them (no one else had to)
Wendle didn't care…she was thrilled. Imagine finally being able to eat a sandwich after not having one for almost nine years. What a joy. Wendy was in culinary Shangri-la (it was “heaven in a tube“)
She was even more thrilled when she discovered another tasty, raw veggie wrap from Live Organic Raw
And it was green…and Wendle saw that it was good and with great satisfaction…she consumed many
Then we drove out West and despite the number of people eating healthy and local, organic produce, Wendle could not find her beloved wraps
Well…Wendle was not going back to 'doing without'. She was determined that she was going to continue to eat healthy, even if she had to make it herself
So she did
And best of all…
They're 'Wendy Friendly'
Today Wendle was at the Roberts Creek Market selling her wraps publicly for the first time. The journey from being a desperate but determined healthy eater to 'Wrap Master W' has been interesting, educational, daunting, scary, frustrating and fun and we'll tell you all about it on our next post (thank gawd we can finally talk about it)
In the meantime, you can check out the first Wendy Friendly product…an organic, raw, veggie wrap (free from gluten, grain, dairy and yeast) at the Wendy Friendly Facebook page (just click on the pic to enter)
Moose and Wendle
Happy Valentines Day Wendle
(he only remembers because Yankees Spring Training starts tomorrow)
Oh yeah baby!