Sunday, March 20, 2011

What we miss...

I think that prior to the discovery of my own food allergies it was easy for me to tell someone not to worry about making something special for Hubs, he didn't need it.... And this is still true, for both of us now. However, there are things we miss -

Going to church, the routine of Sunday: getting up having breakfast attending church with our friends and being in a class. We have chosen to attend on Saturday nights because here in the South, ladies and gentleman put on their Sunday best prior to arriving at church. This includes loads of perfumes, colognes, body powders, body sprays, deodorants, hair sprays, hair gels, nail polish and so on...... all of which contain corn. And sitting in, even our larger auditorium, amongst all that corn makes my husband sick. Enough to effect his ability to participate in worship and reap knowledge from the sermon.
Communion, while we can still participate in the Spiritual aspect of remembrance and self examination we are unable to partake of the elements. I've yet to see corn free, gluten free, soy free communion elements and probably won't in this life time.

Monday - Friday
Fast Food, while we have never been a family that lives on fast food it is nice to have that option! Mondays always seem busiest and it would be nice to simply pick something up on the way home.

MOVIES in the theater at night! As a couple we have never gone much (David used to see one every weekend or so before we were married) but it was fun to do dinner and a movie from time to time. Now we have to sneak in at an early showing and avoid the popcorn maker. In the evenings there's too much popcorn floating around and wiped on handles and such.

Life in General
Quick Grocery Shopping Trips, I used to be able to shop for a week in less than 30 mins. Now it's an hour minimum if I should up super early and only scan my regular items labels. Buying something new adds at least 5 minutes - there's no spur of the moment let's try this for this family!
Eating meals at friends homes without crazy advance planning and worrying, we entertain more in our home to avoid accidental contamination. We have wonder friends and family that work hard to accommodate us but it's hard to host us.
Whole What Flour, I'm not going to lie. I feel better for avoiding whole wheat (gluten really I'm not eating gluten because every thing I have tried that was supposed to be wheat free has made me feel sick) but I miss knowing how to bake with out corn while still having wheat. I'm getting there. I've done gluten free, corn free pancakes with success. And brownies.

So while we do work to keep a good attitude and not worry or complain, there are things we miss. They aren't huge but come up from time to time. Over all we are both healthier and happier for living with out and so we smile and say "no thanks" to the free breakfasts or lunches at work and agree with our coworkers that we eat super healthy. Some people will never understand that food allergies are medical conditions and if one continues to eat the foods that make them ill the worse their medical issues will be.

PS - there are more but this is an insight to those that might not have considered the things that we avoid or do with out as a result of our allergies.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Learning about beef by products. Wow, it's quite prevalent in everyday foods. It can be found in many every day items such as:

chewing gum
clarification agents for juice, wine and beer
sausage casings
gelatin in salads/desserts
head cheese
ice cream

YIKES! It's pretty easy to eat gluten free but it's been challenging to do gluten and beef free. Example. Yogurt. I eat some nearly every day and had researched to make sure that one was gluten free. It was. But it had gelatin. Which was from beef. I usually feel pretty horrible for two days when I get contaminated by beef. It's not fun. And it's stinky. It oozes out of my pores gives me rotten egg gas and S.TA.N.K.Y. bm's. Yup. And those are just the things that you would notice. The pain and discomfort is what really bothers me. So now I'm constantly checking for gluten free first then doubling back to make sure it's also beef free. And thankfully I've found a yogurt that's both. Stonyfield plain organic. It would be Stonyfield, it's the most expensive in our market. =) Thankfully it's also very tasty and has simple ingredients, no additives or other misc. things.


Road tripping with (multiple) food allergies....

David and I loaded up the pups and made a long loop out to the Grand Canyon and back in a 13 day trip. The details of the road trip can be found here over the next few days or weeks. This post is going to be about eating on the road (literally) for nearly 2 weeks while avoiding BEEF, CORN, MUSTARD, PEANUTS, SOY, WHEAT and a handful of other misc. food allergies.

What I packed:
*One mid sized cooler
*Wide mouth jars full of ice, wrapped in brown paper bag to prevent "sweating"
*Canned beans
*Irish oats
*Safe maple syrup
*Brown sugar
*Home made trail mix
*LARA Bars
*Safe potato chips
*Sweet Potato
*Sea Salt & Pepper
*Rice Chex
*Canola oil
*Apples (pre-washed wrapped in safe paper towels and in zip top bags)

What we did while we were going from one stop to another:
While we were on the road moving from home to stop one from stop one to stop two and so on was:
1. Eat at Whole Foods where we could go in and each purchase something we could eat
2. Cook roadside at rest stops. We did this more frequently because there aren't Whole Foods in the middle of West Texas and we limited our Whole Foods spending to gift cards David had received as Christmas presents (thanks!!) It's amazing how quickly one can set up a single propane burner & cook a pot of rice and heat some beans. That's what we did. A long long time ago my little faithful rice cooker bit the dust. I kept the pot and lid, for which I endured much teasing from Hubs. However, happily, it is brilliant for propane burner rice cooking! I didn't take any pictures but it's amazing. I guest-imate the rice and water and ignore it. The rice has been perfect every time. Then we heat up a can of beans and wallah a gluten free, corn free dinner on the road. Literally on the road. Then we'd take a little walk and get back to the driving.

While camping and in hotels we:
1. Cooked. Of course. =) We mostly camped but even while we were in hotels for a night we'd cook out front. One evening David made dinner in the Grand Canyon outside the laundromat while I ran a load of laundry.
Breakfasts: Eggs, bacon, potatoes, rice, steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are fantastic. More filling than regular oats and here is a little trick. If in the evening you bring your oats and water to a rapid boil for five minutes then remove the pot from the heat and allow it to sit out, in the morning you need only cook the oats for about 5-10 minutes. We did this several times and even when the pot sat out in AZ when it was less than 30 degrees the oats cooked up perfectly. (Typically steel cut oats simmer 45 mins)

Lunches: One of the days we did purchase fries and a milkshake (the two items we thought would be safe) from IN & OUT Burgers. Because we had to eat something from there. In & Out is the stuff of legends. Happily, David consumed both the chocolate shake and the fries with salt and had no reaction for corn or soy. It was fantastic. I believe I had a reaction to beef. Probably a cross contamination as they are a burger joint, or as a gelatin in the shake. Except for that day we camp fire or propane cooked food. Also, we ate cereal. David Wheat Chex and me Rice Chex. Sometimes we had granola with yogurt if we had found a grocery store between camping stops.

Dinners: Our anniversary was 03.05.2011 so we ate out at a pretty nice place in NM - Albuquerque I think. We were both able to order something to eat with out a problem. With that single exception we cooked. Typically we found a grocery store where we could purchase meat and we would grill that with potatoes or rice. We could find eggs almost anywhere, even gas stations, so if we really wanted protein and couldn't find meat we'd fry eggs for dinner and eat them with rice and beans or potatoes.

We ate well. That's what I really want to re-assure other allergy suffers. And for no more than we would have spent had we been home.

*Pack lots of filling, safe, foods!! You don't know when you'll find a market you can purchase safe foods in so pack nuts, hearty fruits & veggies that won't spoil like oranges, apples and root veggies
*Plan at least a little. Know where you'll be able to eat out grocery shop at least to some extent.
*Be flexible. Cereal for lunch is an option!