Food Allergies and Our Diet Changes

This year alone, Matt has been sick three times. When he caught a cold, he would be out of commission for an entire week. Which is not normal. This clued us into the possibility that there might be something going on, health-wise, of which we were unawares. So, on the recommendation of a friend, Matt went to see a specialist who tested him for food allergies. As it turns out, he is allergic to A LOT.

food allergies post it

His allergies are as follows:

  • Mild allergic reactions to corn & tomatoes
  • Moderate allergic reactions to egg, milk, potatoes, wheat & baker’s yeast
  • Strong allergic reactions to rice & soy

We were given a program to help treat the allergies. Basically, we need to eliminate all these food from our diet for three weeks, so that the symptoms they are causing have time to disappear and we can get a grasp on what it feels to be like, normally, while not eating them. Then we will slowly test out each food to see if it causes allergies on its own, starting with the lowest allergens and testing one food at a time, every four days. So, for instance, after three weeks, Matt will eat a large portion of fresh corn to see if there is a reaction. A reaction could be any number of symptoms: headache, joint ache, acid reflux, gagging, gas, upset stomach, etc. We wait four days until testing the next food because sometimes symptoms can wait that long to show up.

The goal is to not only figure out which foods are the culprits, but also to “detox” from the foods long enough so that he can handle them again, in moderation, without adverse symptoms. In the long run, we hope to be able to eat all of these foods again, but they will have to be consumed in moderation and only after a long hiatus.

We still have a lot to learn about Matt’s food allergies, but this is just a post to let you know what’s going on in our lives and to share with you how we’re dealing with it.

I did not get allergy tested, but chances are that I share some (or many) of the same food allergies. So, I am going on the diet with Matt, as is Phoebe. And because I can tell I have a sugar addiction, we are getting rid of processed sugar in our diet, as well (honey and pure maple syrup is ok).

Today is the day we started our three week “detox.” And it was a little overwhelming. We are oatmeal cooked with almond milk for breakfast. But we didn’t realize that the snap pea crisp we brought for Phoebe to snack on at church has rice as an ingredient! So we’ll have to find something else. We snacked on a banana and some prosciutto instead (we went grocery shopping on the way home). Then we grilled asparagus, chicken and mushrooms for lunch. I got hungry AND started craving chocolate, so made an almond-milk-and-honey-hot-cocoa, then (an hour later) mashed up a banana with honey, shredded coconut and cocoa powder; however, the heaviness of the carbs caused my blood sugar to spike fiercely, so I polished off the rest of the prosciutto to help level it off (I struggle with insulin resistance and have to be careful about balancing carbohydrates with proteins). We also snacked on an avocado. Then, for dinner, ate lentils cooked in chicken stock and a salad with a homemade mustard dressing. And for dessert? I’m trying a crisp recipe that I threw together out of raspberries, pears, oatmeal, coconut oil, honey and maple syrup. It’s runny, but sweet. And the oats kind of help to soak up the juices!

raspberry crisp

Our next obstacle? The MOUNTAIN of dirty dishes. Oy vey!

dirty dishes mountain oh my!

There isn’t much in our cupboards or fridge right now, but I hope to pick up more foods this week: fruits, nut butters, meats and veggie snacks. Without spending money on dairy and grains, we have a lot leftover to indulge in more meats and fruits. I plan on making hummus in the next few days, and perhaps trying my hand at homemade almond milk!

By ekwetzel
2012-04-22

6 Responses to Food Allergies and Our Diet Changes

  1. The Blue Wren April 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Its really kinda fun starting a diet like that. I find that it opens up opportunities to things you wouldn’t normally have. I’m on a similar diet for candida – except no honey and only 2pcs fruit a day and you know what, I’m loving it! But sugar cravings to the extreme! I sympathise with you there!

    I hope the allergies clear up 🙂

    • ekwetzel April 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

      I am definitely excited about the opportunity to experiment with new foods. We definitely have our “good ole standbys” that we eat every week…which is probably what got us into the food allergy rut in the first place! The best lesson I’ve learned so far is: switching things up and trying different foods is vital to your overall well-being!

  2. @maydossu April 23, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Good luck with the changes. Food allergies can be rough, and affect you in so many ways. I became allergic to dairy & wheat after an extended period in Asia without either followed by an immersion in Turkish cuisine, rich in both. Hives was my symptom and boy did i scratch! Cutting both from my diet was really tough, but after a few months, i felt great. Slowly i reintroduced both & now tolerate both, though I gained a fewkilos back since because i was much more health concious when allergy watching. Hummus rocks dairy free diets 🙂

  3. Lea April 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    This sounds exactly like my mother – always sick and not feeling well. When I was 13 she finally was tested for food allergies, and the easier list to follow is the “what i’m NOT allergic to list”. This was 15 years ago, before TJs, Whole Foods, and natural sections in regular grocery stores, so it was a challenge! If you’re looking for ideas for foods, shoot me an email I’d be happy to share! She is ‘strong reaction’ to dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, and green beans (random, I know), ‘medium reaction’ to gluten, yeast, sugars, almonds, green peppers (only green ones….another random thing).

  4. Britany Stuckey December 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Hey Erin!! How are you guys doing with the allergy changes?? Turns out my Matt has a TON of food allergies… in addition to nearly unbearable airborne allergies he’s always had. Our safe list is tomatoes, rice, potatoes, meat, fish, eggs and dairy. He is highly allergic to soy, wheat, nuts, corn, shellfish, and seeds. And with oral allergy syndrome he’s got high sensitivities to nearly all fresh fruits & veggies. 🙁 Corn syrup is in everything!! And so is SOY. 🙁 At least the wheat one is more obvious along with nuts, seeds, and shellfish. Could you email me (britany.stuckey@gmail.com) any good snack recipes you might have? It’s been so tough making nearly everything from scratch, but yet it’s forced us to be resourceful and responsible. But poor guy can’t eat chips & salsa which was his Favorite! Ugh but looks like you guys went through this same thing. How’s it going? Can he eat any of these off-limits foods at all anymore? Thanks for humoring me. I am so lost with this. 🙂

  5. Shavon Shand March 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Food allergy is thought to develop more easily in patients with the atopic syndrome, a very common combination of diseases: allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, eczema and asthma.[3] The syndrome has a strong inherited component; a family history of allergic diseases can be indicative of the atopic syndrome.^

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