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Old 07-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
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My life in the kitchen got significantly more complicated today

Dh went to see my naturopath last week. Today he called with the results of his allergy panel. It wasn't good.

He's off the charts allergic to milk, and mildly allergic to eggs. This one's no biggie. I've got those and have figured out the substitutions, so he'll just eat what I do.

But he's also allergic to almonds, coconuts, pinto beans and navy beans.

The beans I could care less about. He hates beans and I never cook with them. Ever.

But I use almond and coconut milk, almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil. I can't do grains due to blood sugar and digestive issues when I have them. So all my baking is done with alternative flours--like almond and coconut. I use coconut sugar to manage my blood sugar issues. Coconut oil instead of butter. UGH!

I guess I will just have to bake 2 versions of whatever "bread" or dessert item I make. I usually have rice milk on hand as well, but it doesn't do as well in baking since it's so much thinner.

Allergies are the pits.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
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Aw, man!!!
That's really difficult!!!

If he is ONLY allergic to coconut & almond, not all tree nuts, there are other nut flours that are very delicious. I've used pecan meal and hazelnut flour; I found sesame flour at an Asian market.

When I worked as a vegan chef, I really liked using cashew butter as a "cream" in soups & other recipes. Sometimes as a butter in baking. Sigh...I know it won't work to fry an egg in, like coconut oil would. But it's VERY creamy...more so than almond butter or coconut butter, IMO. Makes a great milk, too. Oh, and I've used it to make an UNBELIEVABLE gravy!!!

And if you're not allergic to seeds (sorry, I don't remember all of your allergies), you would have tahini & sunflower butter to work with, as well as sesame and sunflower oils, which I have heard are pretty healthy.

Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the flower, not the coconut itself, so is it possible he wouldn't be allergic to it?

Have you ever tried ghee? I know some people who are allergic to dairy (casein and lactose) can handle ghee because all the milk solids are strained out.

Sorry for these complications. I hope your DH experiences some nice improvements in his health, though, once he eliminates these allergens.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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Oh ick! It's difficult enough preparing foods special for yourself. I still prepare most of my foods separate from the rest of the fam. just because I can't afford to do otherwise. I'm working on it though. I'm sure you'll figure it out. Maybe try once a week cooking fixing your foods one day and his on another?
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:17 AM   #4
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:21 AM   #5
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I know you will figure it out. But, YUCK!
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:25 AM   #6
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OH Tina, that does stink! Does he eat alot of your baked goods? Relearning things is always tough!
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:08 AM   #7
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for you Tina. That's overwhelming to think about at first, I'm sure. I know these new kitchen challenges won't get you down for long.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:16 AM   #8
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Wow sorry to hear this! Allergies suck - speaking from first hand!

I love Pirate Jenny! She is Schmarty McSchmartipants!!! Great ideas girl!!!

Another thing they should have told you, to add to complications...is if you are allergic, it helps TREMENDOUSLY to follow a rotation diet. That means you don't eat the same family of foods within 3 days of the previous exposure. So you can eat the same thing every 4 days. That is ALL foods, not just the ones you have allergy or sensitivity to (you omit those foods entirely).

The easy way I figured out to do this is to use a Food Rotation List:

1. Came up with a minimum of 4 protein families I could eat without sensitivity or allergy (I came up with more, but you need to find a minimum of 4.)

2. Come up with a minimum of 4 plant families to eat without sensitivity or allergy
(i.e. Legumes, Mustards, Parsley, Potato, Grass, Lily, Gourds, Palm, Citrus, Cashew, Nuts, Beech, etc)

3. Come up with a list of oils (at least 4)

4. Come up with a list of fruits (at least 4)

5. Come up with a list of grains (at least 4) (optional and would be better to omit entirely)

6. Come up with a list of starches (at least 4) (optional and would be better to omit entirely)

Once you have a complete list of the groups he can eat, then to keep it simple at first you make a rotation chart and plug in the groups. At first I just kept it easy:

1. Monday = Beef, Olive Oil, Summer Squash and Lettuce Day (I would have 3 meals in that day with various parts from those groups. Then I would wait a minimum of 3 days in between before repeating anything from those groups.)

2. Tuesday = Chicken, Ghee, Mustards (I would have 3 meals in that day with various parts from those groups. Then I would wait a minimum of 3 days in between before repeating anything from those groups.)

3. Wednesday = Pork, Palm Kernel Oil, Gourds (I would have 3 meals in that day with various parts from those groups. Then I would wait a minimum of 3 days in between before repeating anything from those groups.)

4. Thursday = Bison, Avocado, Lily, Nightshades (I would have 3 meals in that day with various parts from those groups. Then I would wait a minimum of 3 days in between before repeating anything from those groups.)

5. Friday = Fish, Beet, Citrus, Grass Family for Rice Bran Oil (I would have 3 meals in that day with various parts from those groups. Then I would wait a minimum of 3 days in between before repeating anything from those groups.) OR Repeat Monday's Rotation

6. Saturday = Repeat Tuesday's Rotation

7. Sunday = Repeat Wednesday's Rotation

See where I'm going with this? AT first, don't try to be too tricky. Just pick one family and eat from that family - all the different members of that family for 3 -5 meals during the day. Then avoid that family for a future 3 days before having it again.

It's hard but the improvements you see are crazy awesome!

Also, allergies are cumulative. Sometimes if you can break the worst ones, you can break the cycle and then tolerate lesser allergens and sensitivities down the road.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
I guess I will just have to bake 2 versions of whatever "bread" or dessert item I make.
I want to help but am not good in the kitchen.

However, it dawns on me that breads and cakes freeze well. Maybe it wouldn't be so much trouble if you doubled a recipe as you made it? Maybe you could bake yours and your husband's favorite breads alternately, but freeze half each time you bake, so that on a day that one of you had fresh-baked bread, at least the other one would know they could still reach in the freezer for their favorite, too?
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:35 AM   #10
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PJ, I'm allergic to cashew and sunflower. It's not like we could have lined them up, lol. I asked about ghee, and he said he'd rather we not, because while in theory all the milk solids are strained out, there could still be some in there. But that once we are healed from the damage from the allergies, it might be an option. Earth Balance Soy Free spread is pretty good, and I can get it locally at my WM, so I'm really not too worried about subbing butter--I just really like coconut oil. And I wondered that about the sugar too, since it's from the sap and not the fruit. I'll have to ask.

But I will check into the other nut flowers.

And I may just have to do baking for me on my UD's and him on my DD's. LOL DD made muffins with regular wheat, no egg or dairy last night, and I ate it, but this am my feet hurt when I got out of bed and my hands are puffy. My body just doesn't like wheat, so just using reg flour isn't going to work.

I JUST (as in Monday) got a new cookbook in the mail that I was SO excited about because it had lots of almond flour/coconut flour recipes in, with great info on subbing out other flours/milk subs/egg subs. I'll still be able to use it as a base, but not just pick up and use.

Thanks for the hugs and sympathy. I know I'll figure it out. I just miss the days when I could pick up a cookbook, fix anything that sounded good, and not give it another thought. It's hard on the kids too, because a lot of their old favorites are off the menu now, since they are too hard to make with all the substitutions.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:40 AM   #11
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Pooticus, that sounds completely and totally overwhelming to me right now. I've read about doing that, but I can't wrap my head around it right now. Thank you for the detailed info on how to do it though. When I'm ready, I'll revisit that.

I could live without any bread items and dessert only occasionally. But I have a really hard time getting my UD cals in without a grain free muffin or sandwich roll at at least one meal. And my 14yo daughter LOVES to bake. She's been great about learning all our substitutions, and dh loves when she bakes for him. So maybe I'll just let her do his stuff, and then make and freeze things for me.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #12
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special diets are difficult...in the beginning but it really does get easier as you both get used to it. My autistic son was GF/CF (wheat free, milk free) plus peanut free (he's sensitive but not dangerously) for the last 11 years of his life. We are in the process of changing his diet to low glycemic and possibly Atkins in the future to help deal with his seizures. There are lots of good milk and egg free cookbooks out there (check Amazon). Best of luck, it will all work out.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mykidsteacher View Post
PJ, I'm allergic to cashew and sunflower. It's not like we could have lined them up, lol.
Oh my goodness!!!
That is...just...unfair!!!

It sounds like neither of you are allergic to soy, though?
Or sesame? Tahini is so good...

I have heard of a wondrous Black Bean Chocolate Cake, that could perhaps be made with black soy beans instead.

Oh, and I *love* chick pea flour!!!
Can you guys eat chickpeas (garbanzo beans)?
It is used quite extensively in Indian cooking, including pancakes and fudge!

Bob's Red Mill has a lot of the alternative flours I use, including soy, hazelnut, and chickpea.

Again, sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed and I hope these suggestions aren't adding to that feeling.

Last edited by piratejenny; 07-11-2012 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:47 AM   #14
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I have nothing but and a question. What's a kitchen? Obviously, I am NOT a cook!
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #15
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I have nothing but and a question. What's a kitchen? Obviously, I am NOT a cook!
Finally, someone who "gets" me!
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #16
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I have nothing but and a question. What's a kitchen? Obviously, I am NOT a cook!
I cook 99% of the meals we eat. And dh works from home, so that's 3 meals a day, every day. We rarely (as in almost never count on 1 hand in a year rarely) eat out. I LOVE eating out, I could eat out 4 times or more a week if we could afford it. I do not love to cook. But I do it because I must.

PJ, keep the suggestions coming. I do have some garbanzo bean flour in my pantry. It has a bit of a strong flavor, but is ok if it's not the main flour in a mix. I also got a Bob's general gluten free mix. Not sure what flours are in that, but it will probably work. I'm just going to have to probably give a little on my no grains and at least do rice flour, and likely potato. More carbs than I would like, but it's not like I eat it every day and in mass quantities.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:57 AM   #17
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Pecan meal makes awesome chocolate cake!

I would try a pecan, hazelnut, flax, soy mix to bake with if he needs low carb. Sounds like wheat is okay for him so you can add wheat gluten too.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:35 PM   #18
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I would be careful here, accepting this stuff without question.

I had a very reputable allergist do all the tests on me years ago. I am allergic to various tree and grass pollen, which I know. Fine.

But I am also off the charts allergic to both kinds of dust mites. He says. This should lead to trouble in bed, using pillows, etc. Supposedly you have to put special covers on your mattress and pillows, wash all bedding in very hot water often, never have carpet in your bedroom, etc.

Well, I never did any of that. I hate those pillow covers. I have carpet in the bedroom and don't vacuum under the bed well. My mattress is 20 years old. And I am never bothered with allergies in bed. Well, not never, maybe 5-10 times a year, when my pollen allergies are kicking up.

In other words, I am sure I am NOT allergic to dust mites, no matter what the tests said.

And the tests said I have NO mold allergies at all, and I know that's not true either. I have always had a reaction to some molds.

So pay attention and get him to pay attention and check this out. Does he believe those results? If he does all that, does it make any difference that he can tell? If you reintroduce things, do they bother him?

You know, if he can't tell the difference, I would seriously think about ignoring some of those instructions.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:51 PM   #19
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That sucks! I'd be frustrated and out of ideas. You will find a way!

I like sunflower butter way better than almond butter, so there is something to try?
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #20
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ravenrose, I agree to a point with what you are saying. But allergies can cause issues in our bodies that we can't see or feel, and yet that doesn't necessarily mean they are not affecting us. Inflammation (systemic, chronic) is one of those things. My dh has heart disease and has NO observable risk factors. When he was 44, he survived a 99% blockage in the "Widowmaker" artery (so named because it governs blood flow to 40% of the heart, and not many survive a blockage there). He had a stent placed. At the time, his cholesterol was 126, blood pressure normal, crp normal, weight normal, activity greater than normal, etc. His only observable risk factor was stress. But if allergies were causing inflammation, that could have been enough, along with the stress to cause damage in the artery allowing the clot to form.

I know for me, when I cut out the allergenic foods, even though I had no overt symptoms and really saw no improvement without them, my inflammation markers dropped significantly and my cholesterol went down 40 points. And that's the only change I made.

So on the one hand, I'd love to be able to say that since it doesn't seem like those things bother me, I can eat them anyway. On the other, well, the test results are pretty compelling.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:18 PM   #21
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:27 AM   #22
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Tina, dear, dear, tiny Tina. I am sorry that you have this additional burden to deal with.
I know you well enough to know that you will find a way to make this work, tough though it is initially.

I think your clever DD will be a wonderful help. How lovely that she enjoys baking. You must be a great mother.
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