Friday, April 29, 2011

The Allergy Elimination Diet

Our family has embarked on an allergy elimination diet that will (hopefully?  or not?) help pinpoint a cause for some chronic health issues.  For 6 weeks, we are eschewing gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts, citrus, shellfish, beef, pork, sugar, and chocolate.  Nearing the end of week 1, I can say that it hasn't been as difficult as I feared.  We're eating a record amount of fresh produce and no one has really experienced any cravings for "illegal" foods. 

I spent the week after the physician's recommendation preparing, which was the key for success.  During that time, we had easy, favorite meals from foods that were perishable and not included in the allowed list, which resulted in a bare refrigerator.  I removed other items from the kitchen and stored them in a bin in the basement pantry.  I found some remarkable blogs with recipes that were doable or modifiable and created a binder of starting places.   I realized that dinner would be the easiest meal, but that breakfast and packed lunches might undergo a substantial facelift.  I bought some grocery items I'd never heard of before, such as coconut aminos, a replacement for soy sauce.

I planned meals, as always, and created a "menu" that I posted on the refrigerator for my husband Herb and daughter Lavender to reference when they were hungry, with the warning that all baked items would be highly experimental.   I was pleased to turn out some remarkable banana muffins as well as almond-meal based shortbread for occasional snacks, and returned to the chickpea cracker recipe I have made on occasion.  However, the abundance of fresh fruit and prepped veggies in the fridge has resulted in those being the easiest food to grab - a good thing all around.


Fruit and Nuts
Granola with almond milk
Brown rice porridge with cinnamon

Lentil Soup and chickpea crackers
Chicken slices with lettuce wrappers
Beans or chickpeas
Almond butter and jam on gluten-free bread
Salad with beans or nuts
Roasted sweet potato sandwiches with almond butter

Sides and Snacks
Carrot sticks
Red bell pepper
Rice cakes
Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Chickpea crackers or bread
Hummus or bean spread
Homemade popsicles

Rice pudding
Fruit-nut-coconut treats
Blueberry tart
Baked apples
Fruit crisp
Sweet potato pudding

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