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Archive for May, 2010

I spent the day grocery shopping and baking (including another batch of blackberry/blueberry/strawberry Wondie bars). My new fruit for the week is grapes and my new veggie is bok choy. Surely, my daughter can’t be allergic to these.

I’ve been trying to find ways to mix protein powder into different foods so we don’t need to drink 2 smoothies a day. For breakfast, I tried sneaking a tablespoon of protein powder into each blueberry muffin before baking them. I’m not sure who I thought I was fooling, because my daughter took one bite into her muffin and said, “I know what’s in here: protein powder.” By the end of the muffin, we both agreed we were used to the taste and liked it. Hooray – and – yikes!

I also baked a loaf of Orgran’s bread. It came out bread-like, but it’s really plain. I’m hoping to make sandwiches on it for something different. As a side with my soup, I dipped some bread into olive oil with salt and pepper, and that was good.

bread

I had a realization today. When my daughter had a reaction to black beans, I assumed I should just take away all beans. My reasoning was that I didn’t want to risk feeding her other beans and having her go through more skin reactions, and I didn’t want to delay her schedule for testing foods, thereby making the ED even longer. The result was, I had even fewer meal options without actually knowing if she could eat other beans. Today, I found myself frustrated that I had put myself in this position.

So, I decided to add all beans except black back into her diet and see what happens (which is what her Dr. suggested we do in the first place). She had pinto beans with brown rice and avocado for lunch, and it was the quickest lunch I’ve prepared in weeks (hallelujah!). So far, no strong reactions from her. I’m so happy to have beans back as an option. And, so glad to have figured this one out sooner rather than later (with a little help from my husband – thanks!).

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I realized last night that one new thing I’ve introduced into my daughter’s diet in about the last week is vitamins. She had been out for a while so she wasn’t taking them when we started the elimination diet. Because they are vegan vitamins, I never even thought to look on the label! As it turns out, they contain a long list of ingredients, including soy and pineapple. So, I’ve discontinued them. Hopefully I’ll find a good replacement vitamin for her soon.

My daughter was supposed to start testing cheese today, but we are holding off until she is feeling 100%. In addition to some recent skin flare-ups due to either vitamins, squash, pineapple or beans, she also has had a persistent stomach ache and sore throat for about a week. I’ve also had the sore throat, and her doctor told us to wait on testing her as a virus could interfere with the allergy testing.

We made some pizza tonight for dinner, which was pretty good. We used Orgran’s gluten free pizza and pastry multimix (the mix also makes scones). We made our favorite combinations, sauce with kalamata and black olives, mushrooms, as well as one of my favorites, pesto with sundried tomatoes. I think I ate too much. If we make this again, which I think we will, I will roll out the crust so it’s thinner. Also, I noticed baking on a regular baking sheet gave a crispier crust than using a pizza board (the dough made enough for 3 small pizzas), which I liked a little better. My daughter ate about half of her pizza, then stopped liking it.

pizza

Also, she made it through her second movie without crying or getting so scared that she had to leave: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. She was pretty antsy, moving around during quite a bit of it, but she made it all the way to the end. I know that seems like an ordinary thing for many parents, but this really is only the second time it’s ever happened for her. So, hooray for her! I guess there may be some connection between her food allergies and her emotions.

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First, the freak-out
My daughter ended up having another reaction to food last night, and it made me wonder what new foods I had introduced in the past day or two. The answer: yellow squash and pumpkin. I had to search online to see if it’s even possible to be allergic to either of these foods. Surprise! Yes. That’s when I started having my first mini freak-out of this elimination diet. Soy allergy, I get. As a vegetarian, she has had a lot of soy since she was born and it’s possible her system has been overloaded. Maybe an allergy to dairy, ok. But then beans (possibly the whole bean family), pineapple, and now squash and pumpkin? It’s starting to feel as though she’s reacting to new foods as quickly as I can introduce them, which isn’t supposed to be happening, since we are still in our cleansing weeks.

I’ve removed all squash now too (butternut, zucchini, yellow and pumpkin are really the only ones we routinely eat). My husband reassured me that we’re moving in the right direction, and that we won’t know for sure which foods she is actually reacting to until we do her testing weeks. So, for now, I’m back on track. Whew.

Also, I realized that pineapple isn’t part of the citrus family, so I’m not adjusting anything there as I had been for a day or two. I’m just learning all kinds of things on this diet!

***
And now, banana muffins

banana muffins

Inspired by my baking neighbor, I looked up a recipe for banana bread. The recipe only has a few ingredients, and I traded out Canola oil for butter, brown rice syrup for brown sugar, egg replacer for eggs (it has some citric acid in it, so that’s my first known breaking of the rules for ingredients, but I’m ok with it). I used Orgran gluten free all purpose plain flour. The result was great! I made muffins instead of a loaf of bread because I didn’t have enough flour to make the full recipe.

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salad with tahini

I usually mix up an avocado dressing for my salad, but tonight I was craving, strangely, tahini. So, I mixed some tahini with a little lemon juice, some olive oil, dried dill, water for thinning, and a clove of fresh garlic (I use a garlic press). I love fresh garlic (and its benefits!), and thought it would be nice to give my system a boost by eating some raw. The result was a really strong dressing. So much so that my mouth was burning towards the end. Not a dressing for everyone, but for me, it hit the spot.

For dessert, I made a protein shake separate from my daughters, so I could use up all of the remaining pineapple in the house. I’m not sure how it didn’t occur to make my all-time favorite cocktail before – a Pina Colada!

pina colada

Blend the following:
1 1/2 cups pineapple
1/2 cup rice milk
1 TB coconut milk
1 cup ice

When I was done, I kind of wished I hadn’t used all the pineapple. This makes a perfect end of day treat. Strawberries or orange juice would be a nice addition too.

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Today we tried some pumpkin soup for dinner. My daughter wasn’t too excited about it at first. I had her try one version with coconut milk and one without, and she preferred the version with coconut milk. She liked it enough to eat most of one bowl. I loved it and went back for seconds, adding some rice to it for more substance. The little chunks are carrot and apple.

pumpkin soup

The recipe comes from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. I quartered the recipe and used canned organic pumpkin as it’s the wrong time of year to find actual pumpkins. I didn’t have any celery. I added more maple syrup than recommended (about a tsp per bowl).

My daughter is feeling better now that we’ve removed pineapple from her diet, and I’ve greatly reduced her intake of orange juice in case citrus in general is problematic (I hope not! She loves both orange juice and lemons).

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For fun and something different, I picked up some coconut (from the bulk section at PCC) so my daughter could sprinkle it atop her fruit.  Both kids love it and are eating it straight, as well as adding it to other foods like baked potato and oatmeal. I keep it in a spice/sprinkle container.

shredded coconut

Pasta primavera is quickly becoming one of my daughter’s favorite meals for lunch or dinner: rice pasta (we use mostly Trader Joe’s) mixed with oil, salt and pepper, kalamata olives, and veggies (here, just carrots). She does a great job eating her broccoli, and prefers it on the side rather than being mixed in. This was for lunch, so those are some kettle chips on the side.

pasta primavera

One of my favorite meals is sun dried tomato pesto pasta:

sun-dried tomato pesto

Here’s my recipe – its a basic vegan pesto sauce with sun dried tomatoes added in:

1 container fresh basil
2 TB olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I use a garlic press)
handful of cashews
1 heaping TB sun dried tomatoes
sprinkle of salt and pepper

Add everything to the blender and blend. Add more oil if needed to keep the blender moving. Scrape down sides with spatula as needed until everything is crushed into a pesto paste.

Once the pesto is done, I mix it in a bowl with some rice pasta, then add another tsp (or more) of sun dried tomatoes from the jar (I use Trader Joe’s Julienne Sliced Sun Dried Tomatoes in olive oil).

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My daughter had another reaction to food today, this time I think it was because of pineapple. We hadn’t had any pineapple in about a week.  I sliced one up and gave some to her on the side last night with her dinner, and then again for breakfast this morning with strawberries. As it turns out, last night she cried twice, and this morning she was forwarding through scary parts in her cartoon. Today, within an hour of eating the pineapple her skin had a reaction.

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We watched Horton Hears a Who! last night, and my daughter sat all the way through it without getting upset, which is saying a lot for her. She covered her head with a blanket during a few scary parts, but even then she was laughing. I’m wondering if her fearfulness before was in some way related to food allergies as her Naturopath had suggested, or if this is just an unusually tame movie? She agreed she’d like to watch another movie next week, so we’ll see how that goes. Interesting!

This morning we started out with our favorite breakfast – Flying Apron’s “Berry Oat Wondie Bars”. They’re like granola bars with fruit. This batch we made with mango, peach and blueberries at my daughter’s request. I probably should have peeled the skin off the peaches, but they are these little organic white peaches that didn’t seem to have much on them as it was. I think they taste good, but I prefer just berries in this dish. My daughter liked this combo, but suggested no peaches next time.

mango wondie bars

One more week of cleansing to go, and then we can start testing foods for allergies. I’m feeling so good eating this way that I’m starting to think about what parts of this I’d like to continue once the allergy testing is done. But, I do miss coffee. Not sure if I want to give that up permanently or not.

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