Warm weather has officially returned to Minnesota. Translation: Road construction has officially returned to Minnesota.
Orange construction signs and cones on the road used to make me grip the steering wheel and start to hyperventilate a little. Sh**! I’d swear in my head. Here it comes.
“Mom, go that way!” Logan would scream, pointing to the normal route.
“Sorry, honey, there’s a detour,” I’d say through clenched teeth as cheerily as I could.
And then came the screaming.
One day last fall on our drive to Sunday School the screaming lasted the entire 45 minutes it takes to drive there. And any parent knows how hard that is–the screaming making you tense, not being able to reach back and do anything for your child making you tense, the worrying that all the tension will cause you to make a driving mistake and crash making you even more tense. I don’t know how we made it to church that day — but that was the last time we went for months. We were just beginning the GFCF diet back then, and I couldn’t handle the added pressure of driving through construction to Sunday School on top of daycare, preschool, therapy, and learning to cook.
But this spring, as we’re in a pretty set pattern with our diet, and Logan seems to be doing well, I thought I’d try church again. Maybe the drive wouldn’t be so bad. Construction on the highway had picked up right where it left off last fall, but maybe it’s time to try it again, I thought. An ironic way of living dangerously these days, I guess.
I steered the van down the frontage road to the intersection and glanced left. Just like last spring, bright orange diamond informed me my ramp was closed. I braced myself and turned right instead of left.
“Mom, where are you going?” Logan asked from the backseat.
“I have to go around the construction!” I sang as happily as I could force. “That on-ramp is closed for now.”
“Oh,” he said. I could almost hear him shrug.
And we almost made it through May without a single major meltdown. Of course, I have to say almost: The last two days were pretty disastrous, with aggression at daycare once again. But we’ll chalk that up to the sudden heat and continue our attempt at treating Logan’s autism with dietary changes. I even tried to make meatloaf this week–it’s hard to exaggerate how big of a step this was for me. In my pre-kid years, I refused to eat meatloaf because I was a vegetarian (a fact I think my husband sorely wishes he’d given more thought to before proposing to me). Even in my own kid years, I refused to eat meatloaf because I thought it was gross (and–sorry, mom–it totally was.)
But in the spirit of embracing diet and trying new things, I found a meatloaf recipe that called for quinoa instead of bread crumbs, and it seemed easy enough to make. Well, it seemed easy until I realized I actually had to shove my hands in the raw, slimy hamburger and mash everything together. That thought alone brought me to near tears–thank God my husband came to my rescue and did the dirty work for me.
I admit I was extremely hesitant to take my first bite. It still looks like gross meatloaf, after all, and anything with the word “loaf” even sounds loathsome. But–honestly! It was delicious! The recipe is from The Candida Free Cookbook (with our minor tweaks):
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the quinoa as directed, then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Oil a loaf pan, add the mixture, and bake for 1 hour.