Eating With the Enemy: Mother of the Year Award

Food.  My whole life has always been surrounded by it – bread, pasta, cakes, and so much more.

Cooking and feeding others both professionally and at home is what I do best. How was I to know it would make one of my children deathly ill?  We never expected to have to consider a gluten–free lifestyle.

As a mother and cook, staying informed on nutrition has always been important. Rewind 3 years ago.  After a push from a good friend, Dena Mendes – an advocate in cooking and eating unprocessed, whole, and natural foods, I decided it was time to purge my home of all chemicals and processed foods. Taking it one step at time, I successfully conquered what I like to call “My First Kitchen Renovation”.  kitchen revolution

These changes didn’t come without complaints from my family.  I still remember my youngest son Todd, then 10 years old, proclaiming in the back seat of the car that he “just wanted chemicals back.”  I of course drudged forward with the cause, continued to improve the nutritional value of my pantry, and unknowingly removed much but not all of the gluten in our household.

Fast forward to school starting for all three of my kids.  Sarah (my middle daughter) was entering Junior high and experiencing what I diagnosed then as anxious pre-junior high stomachaches. After attending her annual back-to-school physical we discovered she had lost five pounds since her previous visit in April.  She was complaining of sore throat, body aches, nausea, and diarrhea.  The Strep test came back negative; we were a bit concerned with her weight loss as she was already a fairly petite girl, and left with the diagnosis of a virus.

Holiday season officially began.  Sarah didn’t feel like going trick-or-treating on Halloween and I began to notice the dark circles under her eyes and pale and gray color in her skin.  She opted out of our family tradition of working at the Restaurant the day after Thanksgiving and her complaints continued.  Being a mom and knowing how sensitive my daughter is, I ignored them and focused on getting through the craziness of the holidays.

We continued our family traditions with a trip to Florida at the beginning of January.  The first night there Sarah woke me up complaining of her stomachache and saying “I think I’m dying”. Okay a bit dramatic I thought but asked her the normal question “how long has this been happening?”  Sarah proceeded to explain to me that this feeling had been happening all month and felt as though it was never going to end.

All I could think was – Yes.  Mother of the Year Award.  For sure! trophy




Powered by Facebook Comments

Please be respectful – unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission is prohibited. Feel free to excerpt and link, just give credit where credit is due and send readers to our website – Cheers!


  1. Hi Carlyn,
    As a mom, I laughed at your “mother of the year” comment! I’ve been there a thousand times with my kids too. I think though that you are more than making up for that month with your daughter by all of delicious food that you making for her–and others. Bravo! Aloha, Lori

    • Carlyn Berghoff says:

      Thanks Lori,
      It’s one of those things I’ve been saying forever – forgot to send your kid to camp with water and sunscreen “mother of the year award” 🙂 You know how hard of a job it is! I really enjoyed your blog by the way and am excited to read more.

  2. My son was diagnosed a few months ago with celiac–he’s two years old. I’ve been kicking myself, because I spent SO long rationalizing away his now-obvious illness. He was always just “a little off this week,” or maybe he hadn’t gotten enough sleep, or maybe he was just a skinnym cranky, whiny kid by nature? Now that he’s healthy, I can see how truly sick he was, and it’s heartbreaking to think of the time he lost literally starving to death when he should have been growing and playing.

    Celiac really is such a mixed blessing of a diagnosis. I enjoyed reading about your experiences, and I hope you’ll check out my blog at

Speak Your Mind



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers