About why the website name of Wandering Free Gourmet

So there are a few things leading to this name.   The first is that I love to travel or wander to both find new foods and methods of food preparation as well as seeing things I don't see every day (all the beauty that nature has to offer in different areas).   I then take those methods, spices, methods of preparation back to my kitchen and enjoy them all over again.   Second I love to replicate high end restaurant meals in a simpler methods using cheaper ingredients where I can to make them accessible on a budget.   Also years ago a friend of mine once said to me that since I have no ties to any one place, it must be nice to be able to wander freely through life.   With my current life changes I figured I would bring this back to use.

About Me

My name is Michael Huber and I have chosen to do a blog and website on my journey with food and health.   I have had a few medical issues over the last 20+ years that as I have started to get away from the processed foods common in the American diet and back to making meals from scratch my medical issues started to resolve themselves.
During my journey I have seen a ton of posts on the gluten free and whole foods eating groups about:
  • How difficult it is to eat healthier.
  • How much more expensive it is.
  • How much more time and effort it is to cook meals.
Through this website and blog, I would like to work on changing mindsets and dispelling these myths.    I spend far less time in the kitchen now and a lot less money, then I did in the years before I started my current food journey.
To be clear I am not a chef (never went to school for culinary arts), nor am I a nutritionist. I am just someone who loves to cook and learning to bake.
I will be posting recipes I make for myself, my family, and those fortunate souls who happen to show up for one of my parties I like to host occasionally.

My Back Story (Why I got back into cooking and knowing what food I was putting into my body)

Around the year 2000 I started to feel pain in most every joint of my body, and it hurt to breath and walking up a flight of stairs could take me 10 minutes or more on a bad day.  For 10 years I just dealt with it and ignored the symptoms and just worked around the limitations that were growing by the year.    Around 2010 I decided to start working with doctors to find out what was causing this problem.   After 3 years of random testing and considerable money out of pocket the doctors were no closer in finding out why the pain, though they were prescribing stronger drugs.

One day around 2014, I read about how fibromyalgia sufferers were improved by simply removing gluten from their diet.   I figured I could try it for 6 months having nothing to lose at that point, and I was surprised at the results.   I never believed something as simple as the foods I ate would work where doctors and 3 years worth of every test they could think of and almost a dozen different medications tried, at least not until after these 6 months.   It's all I did remove a few foods, I didn't work out I was still a couch potato though not as restricted as I was.  All I did was remove a few foods and I had reduced pain and was able to walk and breathe again without wincing or crying out in pain.   At the time I hadn't read much beyond that one article on fibramyalga, but I started to read more and by trial and error on myself figure out more.   Even had my now ex cook for a week while I stayed out of the kitchen so that she could 'slip' a gluten product into a meal without me knowing it.  Next day I woke in pain and I asked her about it and yes she had.  After that I never did another test of that sort since it was really unpleasant couple of weeks to clear out my system again.  I spent the rest of that year doing an elimination diet looking for other inflammatory causing foods/ingredients and then settled on the lifestyle diet I have been on for the past 3 years.   Though starting in 2018 I have eliminated all grains for 99% of meals.  I still have an occasional GF item made from rice flours or a bowl of rice or sushi, but those are now irregular treats.

So after eliminating a few additional foods/ingredients and not just gluten and 1 year of physical rehab:

  • I am now running up stairs when I want
  • Practicing the martial arts again
  • Go on 20+ mile mountain bike rides
  • Go on mountain trail hikes
  • In general working out every day (at least walking 5-10 miles, if nothing else)
  • I never  have any pain that stops me from doing what I want when I want to that comes from anything other than the sore muscles of my workouts.

The recipes I post will be gluten free, grain free, nightshade free, dairy free, and completely free of processed sugars.   I found over the years that I have issues with many inflammatory causing foods and have eliminated quite a few.   As for nightshades the only ones I can take in small amounts are potatoes, sweet potatoes, and spicy peppers.

These recipes will be simplified and geared toward reducing the money and time that is spent in the kitchen actively doing prep or actively cooking.   I will also be posting recipes geared to a more active lifestyle as well (trail snacks, cooking over campfires, etc)

I will also note in the recipes any allergens typically listed at restaurants to ensure that people can search for recipes that meet their needs.

I will occasionally cross-link to other blogs that may have good recipes that contain one of those ingredients purely to share a great idea or explain how to modify the recipe based on food sensitivities unique to me.

In short I will add this note.   This is what worked for me.  I am not saying it will work for anyone else.  To be honest I am still working with nutritionists and naturopathic doctors to look at some ancillary symptoms I had that were not as crucial for me to eliminate.  Just so I can become even healthier and do more of what I love which is be out in nature.