By Danielle French

Christine’s Story

My story, though still unfinished, began in a doctor’s office almost seven years ago when I was diagnosed with IBS, lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity and a torturous colon… just a few mild ailments.

As it turns out, my years of tummy troubles arose from the perfect storm of food sensitivities, unhappy entrails and extra curvy innards. Thankfully my gastroenterologist, the ever knowledgeable and up beat professional that he was, assured me that all I would have to do to keep my symptoms at bay was invest in some powerful laxatives and drink ‘Milk of Magnesium’ three times a day until I developed colitis or cancer at which point he could “cut out” my diseased digestive organs. Shockingly, I wasn’t convinced that his “treatment” method was my best option (I was 21 and nowhere near ready for a colostomy bag) so it was here, that my search for alternative answers and passion for nutrition began. Food became my medicine, a way of keeping my symptoms at bay. It wasn’t easy at first, I have a list of kitchen catastrophes to prove it, but through inventive substitutions and a willingness to take culinary risks, I feel like I finally have this food thing under control. I am happy to report that my intestines are still intact and I am happier and healthier than ever.

Today, it seems that I am not alone in my struggles. As a member of the South Pond Team for almost five months now, it is rare that we have an event where there isn’t a food sensitivity, allergy or intolerance to gluten and/or dairy. We recognize that cooking gluten free and dairy free is a topic of growing interest! Moving forward, featured recipes that are dairy free, gluten free, and plant based will be labeled as “Christine Friendly Foods” (CFF for short). Additionally, we have decided to put together a skills class on November 30th where we can delve into cooking for a variety of intolerances. Whether you are an individual who suffers from food sensitivities or someone just looking to shake things up in the kitchen, this skills class is not to be missed.

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Danielle French - Ash Naylor Photography

About Danielle

Looking for a simpler way of life for her four daughters and herself, Danielle moved from Toronto to this farm in the Bethany Hills of Southern Ontario, and over time together with her family and her partner Shawn, restored the barn, the iconic heritage silo and the land.

Danielle loves to create unique settings and menus for the many events she offers at South Pond Farms, such as authentic farm-to-table gatherings, bread-making workshops, culinary classes, and weddings. Danielle’s vision is to inspire others to share her vision of a traditional life and way of cooking and to feel the sense of history on this beautiful land.  

Danielle was also the host of a television series called Taste of the Country

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