About Lois Carter Crawford: A Little Bit About Me
About Me: Lois Carter Crawford
Hi. It's Lois in the kitchen. I am an author, home chef, health advocate, and food coach who fought my way back from several debilitating health issues, including a moderate heart attack! I discovered that inflammation caused by the food I ate was the underlying cause of most of my health problems and developed a method and tools to help others research their food sensitivities. And I wrote two books (one in two different sizes) to teach you what I know. You can learn more and visit my author page here (affiliate link).
I have always loved to cook (read: eat!) and make food for family and guests. Well not always. Some of my family members are pretty picky eaters. So, I'll clarify. I love to cook for people who love to eat what I make. I show my love by doing things for those I care about, especially making them tasty, usually healthy, food.
What Makes Me Happy?
I love spending time with friends and family, especially grandkids. I love coffee, cooking, eating, entertaining, sharing my food with others, learning new things, helping people, and providing a source of inspiration to women. I love to walk, particularly in nature where I can observe the plants and animals, and sit by a lake, river, or ocean. I grew up in Wisconsin, where there are LOTS of lakes and rivers.
I like most animals, especially dogs and cats. (I cannot go to the shelter because it makes me sad that I can't rescue all of the animals, and I hate to see them cooped up.) I enjoy showing my grandkids bugs, worms, and plants, and teaching them how to catch frogs.
I love reading, doing counted cross-stitch, yoga, and science experiments (with my grandkids). Sitting on the porch, listening to the birds and crickets, drinking a glass of wine, and conversing with my husband is relaxing.
I love hosting people from other cultures and I generally do it once a year for multiple weeks through a program at Eastern Mennonite University's Summer Peacebuilding Institute. Don and I have hosted several people from Kenya, Pakistan, and Burundi (a Hutu and Tutsi at the same time!), as well as many from different parts of the United States. We have learned a lot and made many friends around the world.
Mom Didn't Know Best
Instinctively, I know which spices taste good together and which ones should not be combined. This is a blessed gift when cooking; I seldom make a bad meal. I also rarely follow a recipe exactly as it is written. I generally don't rush off to the store to get the perfect ingredients. If I don't have carrots but I do have zucchini, I just substitute the zucchini. For some great ideas, check out our resource, substitutions list.
For some recipes, of course, I measure everything exactly. Cakes, for instance, need to have the proper balance of dry and wet ingredients. My Favorite Chocolate Cake is delicious whether I make it with baker's chocolate or I use cocoa; however, if I substitute melted baker's chocolate for the cocoa, I add additional flour to compensate for the reduction in dry ingredients.
I learned to cook by watching my mom. She was a good, basic cook, but I learned early on that if I wanted it to taste like Mom's recipe, I had to pay close attention when she was cooking. My mom also took a lot of shortcuts. Perhaps it was the period of time when people did that (the 1950s and 1960s). She never made cakes from scratch; her macaroni and cheese started with the Kraft box; and she put Lipton Onion Soup on roasts to flavor them.
I, on the other hand, never make cakes from a box (but I do make Ghirardelli Brownies (affiliate); they are delicious!), make Kraft Mac and Cheese (affiliate) only for the grandkids (because it's all they will eat), and seldom use Lipton Onion Soup Mix (affiliate) for anything (although I still love it on beef or pork roasts).
Rather, I believe in using fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. I love whole grains and fresh-baked cakes, cookies, and breads. I always read the nutrition labels for the foods I buy that are packaged or canned, and I make nutrition labels for all the recipes I post (unless I'm distracted and forget...so if you see one without a label, please let me know!). As I get older, I realize how important this is for good health, especially as I watch my friends and family sicken or die of various cancers and heart disease.
In addition, I have developed some health issues myself over the past many years. After I had a heart attack in 2007 and was diagnosed with diabetes, I began to look more carefully at what I was eating. Although I thought I was eating well, I found that I was eating far too many calories, fat, sugar, and simple carbs. Even though I was eating fresh fruits and veggies, I ate tons of carbs all in one sitting, and that is just not good for anyone.
I also determined that I am intolerant of standard cow's milk and can only use goat's milk or the chemical strain of milk that is known as A2. If I have more than just a bite of commercial cheese or milk, my joints hurt for DAYS. But A2 milk generally doesn't bother me. I can drink as much as I want, and for a while, I owned part of a herd of A2 cows. This meant I could get amazing raw A2 milk every week. So went back to drinking milk, whole milk, no less, and lost weight, even if I didn't exercise. No more inflammation! Yay!
I also found that I definitely should not eat gluten. Although I am not celiac, I am very gluten-intolerant, and when I eat gluten, I get weird symptoms, being extremely ticklish, for instance! And I start not feeling well. But it's so hard to resist homemade French Bread, isn't it? And when I don't eat gluten, I lose weight, even if I eat potato chips, gluten-free bread, and corn chips. So that's a little side benefit. If you are gluten-free and love bread, take a look at my Gluten-Free French Bread recipe.
But I'm Not Giving Up Coffee
I do love, love, love coffee. That's why I named my newsletter Smell the Coffee(we retired the newsletter).
More Reasons I Cook
Another interesting tidbit is that I tend to use baking and cooking as stress relievers. My kids picked up on this pretty quickly (actually before I did). In fact, one time Roni said to me, œWe must not be driving you crazy lately. You haven't baked anything in a long time. Do I have to be bad for you to bake cookies?
When I joined my first husband's family, I was delighted with their mealtime rituals, and my outlook on family dinners solidified. Unlike my family of origin, my new family not only sat at the table together for the evening meal, but they had a conversation! Conversation and food make great company.
I do have many stories that go hand-in-hand with the foods I make. I often tell you a little story about them. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as you do the recipes. I invite you to comment and tell us your stories, too.
You May Like These Posts From Recipe Idea Shop
- How I Healed Myself With Food
- My Favorite Chocolate Cake
- Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- New Old-Fashioned Mac & Cheese
- French Bread
- Gluten-Free French Bread
Disclaimer: The author is not a health professional or nutritionist. She is offering her research and personal reflections about her health journey and is not providing any type of medical or nutritional advice. This post is for informational purposes only. It is offered as a tool for people to discover their own suspected food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. Readers are highly encouraged to read, write, and reflect on the ideas presented. Consult your healthcare professional before initiating any dietary or exercise program.
This page was first published on Recipe Idea Shop on October 6, 2010, and updated on December 17, 2021.