Recently I've had many conversations with clients, students and parents about the decision to transition away from allergenic foods.
In my own home, we avoid wheat, gluten, dairy and cassein. We are currently eating eggs only in baked goods.
What CAN we eat?!
For some us, this is simply a lifestyle choice, in response to a healthier, cleaner way of living and feeding ourselves.
For others among us, this change comes in response to unwanted physical, emotional and even spiritual symptoms. These symptoms may include eczema, rashes and other dermal irritations, bloating, gastro-intestinal discomfort, changes in stools, gas, fatigue, a drop in energy levels, and even noticeable changes in moods.*
To clarify very briefly - an intolerance to a food may result in mild symptoms, such as indigestion, gas and bloating and skin irritations. An allergy, however, affects the immune system. Here's a great, straight-forward article about the basics of food allergies and intolerances and how our body's respond: Food Allergies and Intolerances.
As parents, we may find ourselves making changes in our food choices in response to our children's symptoms. Below you'll find a list of 10 Allergienic foods, as cited by TLC's Kids in the Kitchen article. You might be surprised by a few of these!
10 Allergenic Foods: 10. Celery, 9. Sesame, 8. Cow's Milk, 7. Eggs, 6. Peanuts, 5. Tree Nuts, 4. Fish, 3. Shellfish, 2. Soy, 1. Wheat
I often get asked, "What CAN you eat?!"
Perhaps surpsisingly, LOADS of delicious foods.
I must confess that we absolutely LOVE frequenting our local Farmer's Markets. Find a list of local markets here.
In our mild, San Diego climate we enjoy the experince of local, outdoor shopping as often as we can. Interacting with famrers, learning about their harvest and their farming philosophies and filling our basket with seasonal, heirloom produce such as english peas, broocolini, blue russian kale, golden beets, cherimoyas, tiny, candy-like strawberries, sprouted chickpeas and mouth-watering peaches and pluots has become a lovely, weekly ritual.
I will also be candid that I am a working parent. As much as I love to cook and create and experiment in the kitchen, I have a wealth of go-to favorites that stock our pantry shelves. We've spent years fine-tuning our favorites, experimenting and finding the allergen-free foods that satisfy our taste buds and our dietary restrictions. Truth be told, we've invested time, energy and a good bit of money purchasing products with high-hopes, only to taste or bake them and discover that they fall below our expectations.
I truly believe that food is not only fuel but a reflection of how we live our daily lives and care for ourselves. Our list below includes some of absolute favorites and got-to staples that we use regualrly to cook up our nourishing, satisfying and delicious meals.
Here are just a few of my favorite things:**
Arrowhead Mills (Premixed Pancake Mix, Pizza Dough, Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies)
King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Blend
Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal Flour
Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas (Burrito size)
Udi's Multigrain (G-Free Granola, Sandwich Bread, Bagels and Pizza Crust)
Tinyada Pasta Joy Gluten-Free Rice Pastas (especially Fusilli)
De Boles Gluten-Free Rice Pastas (especially Angel Hair)
Daiya Non-(Dairy, Cassein and G-Free Cheeses)
Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk (Plain or Vanilla)
Whole Foods 365 Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce
Navitas Naturals Organic Raw CacaoPowder
OhGave! Raw Blue Agave Nectar
Locally Produced Honey
Marukan Rice Vinegar
San-J Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce and marinades
Annie's Naturals (G-Free Mustards, boxed pastas)
Alter Eco Fair Trade Quinoa
Mike's Organic Curry Love (G-Free, Dairy Free marinades)
Spectrum Naturals Canola Mayo
Earth Balance Organic Non-Dairy Butter Spread
Premier Japan Gluten-Free Hoisin sauce and marinades
Ener-G Foods Egg Substitute
Frontier Soups Gluten-Free Chicken Stew Mix
Conte's Pasta Co. Gluten-Free Frozen Ravioli
Bell & Evans Frozen Gluten-Free Chicken Breast Tenders
You turn. We hope you'll share with us one (or a few) of your pantry staples and favorite, clean-eating brands in the comments below!
*As always, seek qualified medical guidance when changing your diet and consult your physician when symptoms persist. Contact a certified health coach and functional nutritionist.
**Always check labels carefully for allergens or changes to ingredients before purchasing.