Monthly Archives: November 2011

Giving Thanks

There are many things I am thankful for this year.  My family has been very supportive through this allergy challenge diet.  We had a nice and easy Thanksgiving meal with my honey and my folks.  Every one mostly stuck to the allergy challenge diet as well.

My honey and my dad got Oreos for desert because I don’t want them to feel they have to go all in with me on this diet.  My mom and I had a pie she made.  She used the cookie recipe for the crust and did a pumpkin with banana as the binder (no eggs).  It was a bit different at first but I finished almost the whole thing by my self over the next two days so I would call it a success.

I had a nice time with my family and did not feel too deprived on this diet.  I did not attend my honey’s family thanksgiving. It was a hard choice.  I did not know if I could be around a whole mess of food I just cant eat at this time and his family is far to large to have everyone stick to my own diet to make me feel better.  I don’t know if his mom understood this choice.  My head pain had a lot to do with not making the trip but the food was a big issue for me.  I am still trying to stick close to home and stay away from foods that I used to eat.  I swear I can smell a cheese burger being cooked from a mile away now.  I am thankful that his family understood in their own way why I made my choice to stay at home.

I am still worried. I worry about the challenge phase of this diet a lot and keep putting it off.  I like feeling better and I like feeling physically healthy.  Healing has improved on this diet.  My body heals faster than it has been in a while.  I got a new tattoo and it healed up in record time.  I worry that my body and this nice even feeling I have will disappear when I start adding foods in. I know I cant live very well on this limited diet forever but its been nice to have a good  bit of time with my body that feels good.

 

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End of Week Three

Here we are in week three of the allergy challenge diet.  I don’t really know if much has changed.  My skin is better and the rosacea is better.  The headache is no different at this point but we keep on going.

I have been enjoying some of the foods on the diet.  I found that I enjoy lamb more than I thought I would.  Squash as become a favorite of mine.  Spaghetti squash is a really fun veggie to cook and its tasty as well.  I also tried a veggie soup tonight that turned out well.

Next week is thanksgiving which is normally okay but seems very trying this year.  I cant have pie.  I could give up everything else but pie.  I miss pie.  The sugar cravings should stop on this diet. I hope they will stop soon.  I feel pretty good about how the diet is going and maybe even helping me detox a little but the cravings for sugar are still bad.

‘creamy’ cauliflower and leek soup

1 head cauliflower

1 large leek

2-4 TBSP Olive Oil

1/2-1 TBSP Sea Salt

Steam veggies until soft, blend veggies and olive oil in blender, season with sea salt

Serve with Sea Salt and fresh Pepper if desired

Why…

Why am I doing this allergy challenge diet?  Every one changes their diet from time to time but why do this major change? It has to come from somewhere.  I have been experiencing extreme pain in my head.  I have been to many doctors, had pictures of my brain, and many different medications prescribed for this.  Sadly none of that has worked.  I am struggling with pain every day and this has been very detrimental to my life. So it was suggested by a doctor that I do the allergy challenge diet to see if there was an underlying cause to this pain.

I still ask my self why I am doing this three weeks in.  Its hard most day and I feel like I am getting no where.  Its a slow process and frustrating at times.

Things I have learned in week three….

pineapple – affects my rosacea some thing big.  This is the first food I had a reaction to so far.

Cookies – I thought there was no way to have cookies on this diet but mom figured out how to make up a cookie that fits in the restricted diet so I don’t have to feel like I am living without

Lamb – I am starting to actually enjoy lamb

Thanksgiving – This diet is actually pretty perfect for Thanksgiving.  Turkey, sweet potatoes, veggies, rice, and maybe some allergy challenge cookies will be on the menu for Thanksgiving this year.  We don’t have to do too much different to stick with the allergy challenge diet and eat a normal type of Thanksgiving meal.  My whole family will be eating allergy challenge for Thanksgiving to support me.

Cravings – Cravings for foods I used to eat are less this week.  Not totally gone but more livable.  I think that even the idea of having a cookie I can eat has made me a lot less grumpy about this diet.  I have a little bit of fruit or honey most days and that helps.

Add In 

Next week I get to start the process of adding in foods to the diet to ‘challenge’.  If I have a reaction to a food I might have an allergy or intolerance of the food.  I am not going to start with any of the big 8. I have  yet to decided what food I should start with.  It feels like rocking the boat.  My body is just getting used to this type of diet and I am feeling physically well except for the pain I experience all the time.  I worry about rocking the boat and adding a food in.

Week Two

I have been trying to keep a record of the allergy challenge/elimination diet.  I have been trying to keep track of how my progress has been going in my head but that has just been too confusing.  A written recored need to start so I could keep track of how difficult / easy this was.  That is why week two is being posted so soon after week one.

Week two is harder than week one by far.  I have way more craving during week two.  During week two I start to hate TV commercials that have any type of food in them.  Any time I see food on TV I get angry.  Its totally irrational but I think of throwing some thing at the TV during a KFC comercial.   I don’t even like KFC.  My body has adjusted to the new diet better than my emotional state concerning food.

I have not really planned my meals for the last 5 or so months.  I would eat some things from our weekly grocery run but more often than not I would pick up dinner from one of three places when I was too tired to cook.  The staff at 5 Guys, Chipotle, and Pei Wei all got to know me by name.  This was not very good for my weight or my health it seems.  Cutting out my nightly dinner stop at a take out place was much harder than expected.

One night I was coming home from a conference and I had no dinner made.  I had been out all day.  I was exhausted and crying.  I called my folks and asked for help.  Asking for help is an important thing to do when starting a major life change.  My dad is Iron Chef Dad and in the time it took me to drive from the city he had cooked a fantastic meal.

Iron Chef Dad’s Lamb Burgers with carrot and cabbage slaw

Lamb Burgers

1 lbs ground lamb

4-5 cloves garlic minced

1 TBSP orango

1 TBSP Honey (This is my addition)

1 tsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients, cook in cast iron skilled with olive oil until browned and internal temp is above 160 degress

Carrot and Cabbage Slaw

3 carrots pealed and shredded

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 TBSP honey

1/2 tsp sea Salt

1 TBSP olive oil

heat oil in large skillet or wok, saute carrot and cabbage until just softened and warm, add honey and cook for 1-2 min, sprinkle with salt

Week One

I have been living gluten free for 3+ years now.  It was a huge change in my life to go gluten free.  At the start of gluten free I felt like I could not eat anything.  I would come away from the grocery store empty handed and feeling sure that I would never eat food I liked again.  It took a lot of experimentation and quite a few unexpected gluten reactions but I got the hang of it.  In the last three years I have found restaurants and bakeries for my gluten free needs.  Life and diet were again feeling normal.

Starting this diet feels a lot like that time.  I don’t know what to eat and it feels like there is nothing I like on this diet.  I have never had lamb before.  I like turkey but the idea of lamb was going to take some getting used to.  In theory I like veggies so I was okay with that.  It was mostly the things I cant have any more on this diet.

Previous to this allergy challenge/elimination diet my eating habits had gone down hill a bit.  I can admit that to my self now.  I was eating a lot of fats and yeast every day.  I have a sweet tooth and love gluten free baked goods.  I am lucky in that I have a gluten free bakery near to where I live.  On the new diet baked goods were totally out.  Refined sugars were out as well.  I feel deprived and unhappy.  I want to quit and get a burger.  I craved dairy and sweets like never before.

Lucky I have support.  My father is a master in the kitchen.  He can take unrelated ingredients from the list I could eat and make full meals I wanted to eat.  I felt less deprived but still unhappy. Week two comes before I get too unhappy and quit.

Menu Items

Steamed sweet potato slices with tiny amounts of honey and cinnamon, brown rice with olive oil and sea salt, steamed broccoli with olive oil, Turkey soup with squash, and lamb stuffed yellow peppers with brown rice, and grapes.

I have no reaction to any of these foods.

A new diet

What is an allergy challenge diet?  

That is just a fun way of saying you eliminate foods from your diet until you are down to the bare minimum of foods.  As it goes on you add in foods slowly to see if you can identify food allergies.  You cut out big 8 allergens totally (Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Shellfish, Fish, Soy, and Wheat/Gluten)  The diet goes on under doctor supervision usually.  Most doctors encourage patients to keep a food diary to record the foods you eat and how you react to them.

After following the allergy challenge/elimination diet you and your doctor will determine foods to gradually reintroduce into your diet and what type of reactions these foods cause.

Like most things in life this is not a foolproof way to diagnose allergies.  I have never had severe allergic reaction to foods, only mild reactions so this was suggested as a possibility.

 My Allergy Challenge Diet

Life is unexpected.  Life can bring unexpected challenges.  These challenges don’t always come in a form that is likable.  I did not like the idea of an allergy challenge diet at first.  I don’t really like the idea of an allergy challenge diet still but its some thing that I have to do.  This blog is my attempt at a food diary in the process of this allergy challenge diet.  I have had to get used to the idea of not having a specific food when I want it.  There are few foods on the diet to start out with so being creative in the kitchen is very important.

Foods I will eat in the first few weeks

Meats: Lamb (whole cuts and ground) and Turkey (whole cuts and ground)

Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cabbage, squash (butternut and spagetti), cauliflowers, avocados, celery, garlic, radishes, spinach, kale, parsnips, green/yellow peppers (nothing hot) rutabaga, and others

Rice: Long grain brown rice

Fruits: fresh grapes, pears, pineapple, melons, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, mangos, and cherries. Only small servings per day

Condiments: Honey (small amounts), Sea Salt, olive oil, cilantro, and almond butter