Hi, I am Wendy! I grew up in Centerville, Ohio and moved to Colorado about 10 years ago with my husband and our first daughter. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati in Interior Design and I worked in the industry before becoming a mom. After having my second daughter, I found a creative outlet with graphic design and opened an Etsy shop. I have always loved design and travel (my husband says I never met a vacation that I didn’t like!) and over the years I have developed a love for cooking and entertaining. As a lover of all things design, I grew up focused on the beauty that surrounded me. My husband, a son of two accounting professionals, grew up focused on all things practical and thrifty! Through our past 17 years of marriage we have learned to level each other out and meet in the middle. Our life together as we raise our children can be characterized by balancing practical and beautiful. Inspired by the view of Pikes Peak and bright yellow aspens just outside my window was the inspiration for my name: Aspen Leaf Lane.
Why gluten free and dairy free? I come from a family history of autoimmune diseases so was not surprised to be diagnosed with subclinical Grave’s Disease, causing hyperthyroid a few years ago. After all, I grew up with asthma, eczema and allergies and my mom has severe Crohn’s Disease. Fortunately I heard about the Autoimmune Protocol Diet from an acquaintance who wished she had given it a try to see if it helped her thyroid problems. After a visit to the Endocrinologist who said my options were to either 1. Remove my thyroid or 2. Damage or kill part of the thyroid using radioactive iodine and then take hormone replacement therapy for the rest of my life, I determined I had nothing to lose by trying a special diet. I started out on a strict AIP diet and felt improvements right away. After a year or so I met with an excellent Naturopathic doctor (I have always been an MD kind of person so this was completely new territory for me). Together we figured out my food sensitivities (I was able to add more foods back in from the original AIP) and did a few rounds of treatment and I have never needed any sort of traditional medical treatment for my subclinical Graves! I am able to maintain a diet that is about 90% gluten free and keep my symptoms under control.
My husband on the other hand, has severe seasonal allergies. After my success he decided a food sensitivity test would be worth a try. His results came back with reactions to almost everything in the dairy category. He has cut out dairy and has seen improvement…not as drastic as mine but enough for it to be worth the trouble of eating dairy free! I have found that it is really hard to find good tasting, traditional dessert recipes that are dairy free. That is my new challenge – to figure out how to accommodate our needs while still eating food that tastes good, and doesn’t use a whole lot of avant garde ingredients.
I would love to hear from you! If you have great recipes, or have questions, please contact me at email@example.com!