gluten sensitivity diagnosed via blood test
all legumes (green beans, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans)
The corn allergy is the toughest in day-to-day circumstances. Corn-derived ingredients are everywhere. It means no benadryl for allergy sniffles. No paper plates. No baking powder. No powdered sugar. Nothing made with white distilled vinegar. Nothing labeled 'natural flavors'. Gah! Corn is everywhere.
The most difficult to deal with in the kitchen is eggs (although there are some great substitutes!) and the grain allergies. We can't grab a gluten-free mix off a shelf because the first ingredient is usually rice flour. The other ingredients are usually xanthan gum (from corn!), garbanzo (bean) flour, and often almond flour. So, also can't use any 'paleo' recipes. You can only make so many substitutions in a recipe and have it still be recognizable as food! (trust me. we've had some pretty incredible failures here over the past few months) Rather than telling you all about the failures, here are some things that work for us.
Breakfasts and snacks:
- Appropriate fruits: we do lots of frozen berries because everyone can have them.
- Our girls eat peanut butter power balls (pb, oats, honey - mixed and rolled into balls)
- The rest of us eat larabar copycats (usually rolled into balls). I make multiple batches with appropriate 'safe' nuts for eat of us: they include things like dates, dried cherries, organic cocoa powder, sunflower seeds, almonds or cashews. The batches get labeled in the fridge so nobody eats the wrong ones.
- Pistachios (or 'pi-cashews' as our youngest calls them!). Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, etc.
- Cheese ('regular' cow cheese for those who can have it. Others, like me, have goat cheese.) We actually eat a limited amount of dairy since we cannot currently purchase grassfed dairy. (it is possible that some of us could actually tolerate grassfed dairy where we cannot consume 'conventionally farmed' dairy.)
- Boiled eggs (chicken eggs for those who can and duck eggs for those who cannot do chicken eggs. So far we have had no reactions to the duck eggs. Due to the cost, we buy these 2x a month. We will be raising ducks in the spring.)
- Lunch looks a lot like breakfast. Or like leftovers from dinner. No more pb&j in our house. A food the kids never tire of is hummus. Those who can, eat it with organic corn chips; those who cannot, eat it with sweet potato chips. Or veggies. Or a spoon.
Dinners (just the main dishes. a few sides are listed)
- Meatballs with sauce and salad. The sauce is homemade from the tomatoes I canned from our own garden tomatoes. It cannot include garlic. The meatballs are made with ground pork/chicken/turkey/venison (whatever we have), flax (egg replacement), real salt, oregano. That's about it.
- Roast/steak, fried or baked potatoes, carrots, homemade applesauce (which seems to be safe for everyone so far... except me. Beef triggers my migraines so I just eat everything else.)
- Whole roast chicken. (these are the chickens we raised this summer) - usually we have salad, peas, broccoli, or cauliflower. I make bone broth after we're finished and the broth is used in soup, rice, quinoa, etc.
- Soup - usually from the chicken on the second day. We found we really like amaranth in it as a substitute for rice or noodles.
- Sausage and squash - sausage is made from ground meat and seasoned with salt, fennel, and sometimes maple syrup. I LOVE butternut squash. Hubby doesn't mind it. The kids aren't fond (yet!). Everyone likes spaghetti squash so that's slowly becoming a staple. (sometimes I make sauce if we do 'spaghetti')
- Taco night - this one is tricky. I make both beans and meat and we eat what is 'safe' for us. Sorghum tortillas (that I'm still perfecting!) and regular toppings like lettuce, olives, sour cream.
- Homemade pizza - another tricky one. I have to make individual pizzas. Sorghum tortillas again, homemade sauce (canned sauce has garlic, citric acid that is often corn-derived, sugar which isn't labeled as cane/beet/or corn. bad sauces have soybean oil), cheese if you can have it, olives or mushrooms, leftover sausage from another night or bacon (there are only a few 'safe' brands without corn ingredients). Our youngest only likes to eat the toppings so I don't actually make her a pizza.
- Beans and rice was a previous favorite of ours. So we modified it to beans and quinoa and that made one little boy very happy! But now someone cannot have beans... so we've been doing rice or quinoa and shrimp. But the kids are getting tired of shrimp. I don't know how. I love shrimp. So, I'm still working on this one.
I make our own safe chocolate now, based on the one Katie from Wellness Mama makes. This is our main source of 'junk' or sugar. But it's only three ingredients. Organic food grade cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder, and organic cane sugar (I would use honey from our bees but we have 2 people healing from a honey sensitivity). And after trying honey we found that we enjoy the 'crunch' of the cane sugar. As far as 'junk' food goes, it could be worse. :)
So, you'll notice that there are no chips, cookies, cake. No more popcorn. No more sourdough bread. Lots more fruits and veggies. I admit, it's tough. Especially when you think you were trying so hard to feed your family well. (free ranged chickens in our own backyard. homemade sourdough bread. homegrown popcorn. canning all our own tomatoes, beans, peppers, and jam. eating organic. avoiding soy and other GMO foods.) But it doesn't matter how good or healthy something is if you are allergic.
Signs of food issues may include: IBS, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, headaches, rashes like eczema, hives, breathing trouble, asthma, joint pain, sinus congestion, allergic shiners (dark circles under eyes unrelated to sleep), ears that turn red on the tops. If you suspect a food allergy or intolerance, you can do an elimination diet. Keep a food journal and monitor how you feel. After 30 days, add the food back in (slowly!) 1-2 days per week and see how you respond. You or your doctor can order the lab kit from Alletess labs. (I'm sure there are others, but we have personal experience with them) Take note. Most likely, this will not be covered by your health insurance.
**these statements are my opinions. nothing here is intended to diagnose, treat, or provide medical advice (since I am not a physician). **