Recently, I have finally added (organic) bananas back onto the "foods I can eat" list!! It's day 3 of testing bananas and everything seems fine, yay!
Organic Banana slices and organic peanut butter.
It wasn't until my mid twenties that I was able to enjoy the taste (and texture) of bananas.
It took a LOT of work for me to get used to the texture of bananas, and I am glad to see that work was not lost.
And within the last few years of various allergy tests and elimination diets, I gave up on bananas, because they weren't on the top of my "foods to test/challenge" list.
When "testing/challenging" foods, it works best to be done one at a time, and should wait at least 3 days before testing another.
I, personally, choose to wait at least a week in between each food challenge. Which means, testing goes sloooooowly.
It is also slow because I do not test on days when I have meltdowns. Which means starting over with the same food or ingredient the day after a meltdown. I do that because, at those times I am too unaware of my body.
When REALLY testing/challenging foods, being thorough is important. I have had to retest MANY foods for reasons like:
- it wasn't organic and I had a reaction to something that the food was treated with, like pestisides
- there was MSG, an additive, or ingredient hidden under a broad ingredient such as "natural flavors"
- it came in contact with another food I am sensitive or allergic to, which caused a reaction when there normally wouldn't be one.
There are many reasons.
If you are interested in reading about elimiation diets and food sensitivies, you can visit Bastyr's site:Bastyr: Are Your Food Choices Making You Ill?
Yesterday was a very exciting day for me!
I have many, many food allergies and food sensitivities. For the first time in years, I went out to eat last night, at a restaurant, without having a significant allergic reaction!!!!
The restaurant is called Graces 5
. They serve gluten-free, soy-free, and cow's milk-free food. All their their fruits and vegetables are organic. Their ingredients are organic, local, sustainable, and line caught, when possible. To read more about their restaurant. Click here
. The food was amazing!
And I didn't have to make it myself, from scratch!!!
I am still in awe that I was able to eat out at a restaurant. . . or anywhere! It was definitely worth the money for me, seeing as I never get to eat out. Ever.
Graces 5 restaurant entrance
A small portion of the beef tenderloin bites appetizer.
Macaroni and Cheese: goat chevre, goat cheddar, goat gouda, and romano melted together in goat milk with a touch of Paprika. So yum!
Flax crackers that were surprisingly delicious!
I wish I had taken a photo of the food before we started eating it, but we were so excited that I forgot!
Robbie and I enjoying the food and weather.
juices made fresh from produce straight from the kitchen: Fireade: lemon, maple syrup & cayenn. Bold Passion: beet, lime, kale, chard & apple
Fettuccini Alfredo. From the photo it looks like any other plate of Alfredo, but it's completely gluten/soy/cow's milk/egg/msg-free. Made with goat's cheese, which is much easier for the human body to digest.
On our way home, I was able to capture the sunset. It was really lovely out!
For any of you who have not experienced multiple food allergies, this is a HUGE deal to someone with serious food allergies. This not only made my day, it made my month!
Cooking has always been extremely difficult for me, especially when it needs to be free of:
. . .and more
It definitely feels great when I have a cooking success!I present to you, my homemake chicken strips:
Chicken strips made from chicken, potato starch, salt, oregano, and a chili blend: all organic, and simple ingredients.
I actually really dislike cooking, but because of all my dietary restrictions, I have to cook, or there is barely anything I can eat. Fruits and vegetables, alone, do not have enough calories.
Researching companies and what's actually in
food ingredients, and finding origins of food is just too much. Cooking from scratch is less work. Still very stressful, but less work.
A healthy food lifestyle is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
But it's not going away. So the best way to get through it, is to deal with it.
. . .
BEST. CHICKEN STRIPS. EVER.
BIG NEWS (for me)!
Yesterday. I. ATE. An. Egg! Actually, two eggs!!
For the first time in many years, I enjoyed the taste of 2 delicious eggs, courtesy of my mom.
This was my second deviled egg. So yummy!
And now that I have eaten these, I can confidently say that , with eggs in the past, it was NOT the egg I was having an allergy to, it was the chicken's diet I was reacting to.
I am so happy, that after searching for many years, a soy/corn/wheat/GMO/MSG free egg has been found!
My mom found the eggs at a local food co-op
. She even spoke with a knowledgeable employee to inquire further. Worth the $8 a dozen. Quality food is worth that price. Let us remember that any farmer needs to account for many costs. This includes, but is not limited to, property costs, maintenance and cost of healthy land for the chickens to graze, maintaining quality, collecting the eggs, cleaning, packing and transporting the eggs to stores.
PLUS, healthy eggs taste much better. Quality over quantity.
The eggs come from a farm called Biocento Eco Farm
The chickens on this farm eat a CLOVER diet. Just clover. No cheap substitutions like grain feed. And they get to roam around in pastures.
A Biocento Eco Farm chicken
One of the biggest issues about meat and eggs is trying to find out what the animal ate. The reason this is important is because we are also eating what the animal ate. For example, the food the chickens eat is what helps create the eggs they lay.
That means I have to be very picky about meat I eat (and now eggs). Otherwise, I end eating soy, corn, wheat, GMO, and who-knows-what-else, through the animal's diet. Then I have an allergic reaction that could have been avoided if food regulations required that information should be listed for people to be aware of. People should be allowed to know what they are eating.
If we are eating eggs/meat/dairy from an animal that was fed really cheap, lousy food, then we, too, are eating that cheap food.
It really is "we are what we eat."
Anabelle is on a very restricted diet because of her food allergies and sensitivities. For the most part, she is able to keep away from foods that she cannot ingest. Yesterday, she at some organic potato chips. In this case having the list of ingredients didn't help.
- All the ingredients listed, were on her safe list
- It was organic
- She had eaten this product before (but not this brand)
It wasn't a serious reaction but it has definitely affected her ability to be fully functional today. We suspect, cross-contamination at the food processing plant or that the other two ingredients were not truly organic.
(Yes, we are 100% sure it was the chips. Anabelle keeps very thorough track of all foods she comes in contact with.)
Any of you who read my blog yesterday know that I am having some unpleasant behavioral and emotional issues due to my sensitivity to a hidden ingredient in a capsule that I was unaware of for several days.
Luckily, my mom is great at doing the research to narrow down what causes these sensitivities when it is too hidden for me to figure out.
I am still struggling with some agressive behaviors, pain, hives as well as a heightened sensitivity to everything.
Many autistic individuals have many other life challenges such as gastrointestinal (GI) issues, food allergies/sensitivities, ADHD, sensory processing issues. . .
. . .the list is long, for many.
One of the great parts, for me, is when someone tells me that they are proud of me for continuing to keep going, even when life is just "too much" and I feel like I am from another planet.
It is also wonderful that over the past few years I have gotten better at asking for help when I need it.
This seemingly innocuous item has caused such great torment in the last 48 hours.
Anabelle is soooo sensitive to some ingredients that when she ingests them she becomes very aggressive and erratic. We read and research every ingredient before she ingests it or applies it to her body, so it is extememely frustrating when she displays these behaviors because there is an ingredient that is not on the label or has a misleading label. THE most serious reaction for Anabelle is "processed free glutamic acid
". It is known by most people as MSG but it has many other legal names that it can be listed as to disguise it.
It has taken us 48 hours to realize that her reaction was to a capsule we bought to fill with an organic herb. So for last 48 hours Anabelle has been struggling to control angry and aggressive behaviors.
What really frustrates me is how many years it took for us to realize that Anabelle's aggresive behaviors were related to extreme food sensitives. With her diet very closely monitored, and ALL food prepared at home from scratch, these behaviors disappear. How many children and their families are suffering because there are hidden additives and chemicals in our food disguised under harmless sounding names
Fortunately, once the behaviors start we have learned how to methodically isolate the source. We investigate EVERYTHING she has eaten or applied to her body during the previous 72 hours. Sometimes this takes a few days. We have also learned that for Anabelle Oregon's Wild Harvest Milk Thistle Blend
help lessen the severity and length of the reaction.
I have MANY dietary food restrictions due to allergies/sensitivities. Including the following:
MSG (and related strands)
additives on produce (like pesticides)
and many other very specific additives...that are added to many foods I can otherwise eat.
It is a rare treat that I ever get to have pizza. Recently, my mom gave me the best gift EVER. Homemade mini pizzas!
She made the bread from potato, potato starch and arrowroot flour. On top is a basic pasta sauce, sheep milk feta and turkey sausage. All organic. And all wonderful!
I hope to learn how to make these tiny bread treats in the future! It will take me some time to process through it all before I am calm enough to do so.
Until then, I dream of mini pizzas all day long :-)
Most-tasty mini Anabelle-friendly pizzas!