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Sunflower Butter MuffinsBeing injured in any capacity as a dancer is incredibly difficult, not only physically, but emotionally as well. Several weeks ago, I was injured and pulled from Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s fall performances of A Dangerous Liaisons. I was devastated; this was the first time I had missed at-home shows due to an injury and, soon after the initial diagnosis, I learned I would be out of commission until the spring.

Up until then, my days were filled with rehearsals, yoga, Gyrotonics, gym-time, and writing projects. While I still have my writing, my physical activities are greatly limited. Now, I have to rely on my crutches just to go from the couch to my kitchen.

With all this free time on my hands, I’ve decided to get involved in activities I’m always bitching and moaning that I don’t have time for. Number uno on my list: take a cooking class. So, I attended a Gluten-Free and Vegan Holiday Pie baking demo at the Whole Foods in Cherry Creek. The demo was led by Bree Argetsinger, also known as Betty Rocker. Argetsinger is a tatooed, rocker foodie with a love for healthy eats and fitness.

Argetsinger took us through both gluten-free and vegan pie crust recipes. She also demonstrated pumpkin pie and chocolate pecan fillings for the specialty shells. Along the way, she showed some tricks of the trade–like using a grater when adding butter to pie crusts–and fed us delectable samples, mini tart versions of the pies. The chocolate pecan in the gluten-free crust was out of this world, making it hard to believe each teeny treat was free of both gluten and dairy and chop full of wholesome, unprocessed goodness. Additionally, she talked at length about various types of gluten-free flours (she gave us a gluten-free flour guide) and gave hints on how to make certain foods more digestible–try sprouted foods or soaking raw nuts to assist your tummy in the process.

I’m a total foodie myself, but have a dairy allergy and a soy intolerance. On top of that, my sister has a gluten allergy. It’s a challenge to bake a healthy treat that the both of us can eat happily. This is why I was initially draw to this demo/class. And, now, I might be hooked to Betty Rocker and her schmorgesborg of healthy recipes. I’m down with her alternative baking and alternative personality. I just might have to make another visit to one of her classes. In the meantime, I must try her recipes for gluten-free pumpkin protein muffins and sweet potato chocolate chunk cookies.

Nutrition has always been of great importance to me, but now, more than ever, it’s on my mind all of the time. How can I add more calcium to my diet? What vitamins, minerals, foods, etc can I add to my diet to quicken the healing process? So, I turn to my kitchen: for nutrition, to occupy my time, to escape my own thoughts, for salvation. Can’t dance…will bake.

Written by Stephanie Wolf

Stephanie Wolf

An Atlanta native, Stephanie Wolf has performed professionally with the Minnesota Ballet, James Sewell Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, and Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado). She has a BA in Liberal Studies from St. Mary’s College of California. Her writing has been published in national and regional media outlets, including Dance Informa, Indianapolis Star, and the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Currently, Stephanie lives in Denver, where she is a public radio producer and reporter. She loves bluegrass, cooking, Netflix, and owls.