// August 23rd, 2010 // 4 Comments » // Candice's Corner
What do you get when you combine organic ground pork, pears, and a bag of roasted pumpkin seeds?
No, that wasn’t an incredibly lame joke. That was the question that I asked myself as I sat in front of my computer after arriving home from a trip to my lyme literate physician, my new list of “safe and unsafe foods” in hand. I scratched my head as I tried to map out a 4 day rotation diet that excluded all unsafe allergens but only used each of my safe foods once. I desperately wanted to rip the list to shreds and go back to my large book of crossword puzzles, because those puzzles were surely less complicated than the one sitting at my fingertips. As if having Late Stage Lyme Disease alone wasn’t perplexing enough.
Yet, I shook it off and started googling. I googled my little fingers off. I searched a countless number of terms, some of which included “dairy free smoothies”, “eggless breakfast ideas”, and “tomato free soups”. All of which had to also exclude gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, nightshades (tomato, potato, bell peppers, eggplant), most grains, eggs, corn, onion, garlic, chocolate, nuts, fish, and citrus. If one of those ingredients happened to slip into the recipe, I know my taste buds wouldn’t mind but my body would be quite an unhappy camper.
Needless to say, I didn’t come up with much.
So, I started experimenting myself with recipes and ideas, coming up with a few tasty successes here and there that soon became my staples, but also conjured up some pretty awful concoctions. I don’t think my taste buds will ever forget the heaping mass of slime that I called “Coconutty Okra”, or the disaster that I dubbed “Jicama and Parsnip Mashed Fotatoes”, a dish that has left me with absolutely no desire to ever toucha parsnip again.
Then one afternoon, after I was nearly googled out, I struck gold. I had set out to search for some recipes for turnips, since after my parsnip experience I was determined to never mash a root vegetable again. This time, I decided to type nearly all of my food allergies into the search along with the word “turnip”. I didn’t think I’d come up with anything, but to my surprise, “Affairs of Living” popped up onto my screen.
After leafing through Kim’s delectable gluten free, corn free, soy free, egg free, yeast free, citrus free, tomato free, potato free, peanut free sugar free recipes, I then explored her blog roll and came across a few other chefs that catered to folks like me. I explored their blog rolls, and before I knew it I had a collection of recipes that could not only be tweaked to work for my needs, but sparked the creative chef that resided somewhere inside of me (way, way deep inside, most likely). As I showcase some these newly discovered allergy friendly foodies, I’ll share a few of the treasures that I discovered on their blogs, in hope to help someone else who may have the “What to Eat When You Can’t Eat Anything” blues too.
Affairs of Living
Kim is a kickass cook. She also happens to be a lyme patient too, who I find to be incredibly inspiring in her journey to heal naturally and eat for wellness. Aside from her recipes being nutrient dense and free of gluten, corn, soy, egg, yeast, citrus, tomato, potato, peanuts and sugar, she’s recently gone grain-free for health, and it’s been pretty fascinating to see both her physical results and the resulting recipes that pop out of her kitchen.
Turnip and Carrot Fries Recipe
Now turnips don’t usually thrill me, but I was excited to come across this recipe. My previous root vegetable trial and error had me sort of scarred, but Kim has officially turned my “augh, turnips” turned into “yay, turnips!”. Being nightshade free (that means no white potatoes) left me relying heavily on sweet potatoes, but after roasting turnips I’ve officially been cured of my sweet potato monotony. Funny thing is, I haven’t even roasted them with the crust yet! I plan to coat them in pumpkin seeds tomorrow night and have myself some potato free fries.
Diets Dessert n Dogs
Ricki rocks. This woman wears a lot of hats, but wears an apron along with them. Her recipes are primarily geared toward the anti-candida diet, but she’s also vegan and caters to those who are gluten free. Pretty perfect for a good majority of lyme patients, right? It also doesn’t hurt that Ricki is exceptionally kind and will answer yourquestions about how to solve your seemingly impossible ingredient issues when trying to recreate one of her recipes. When I contacted her wondering how I could make this recipe work for me, since I can’t do most of the grains on the lists, she let me in on a little secret…coconut flour can be used as a “List C” ingredient!
Pick Your Own Pancakes Recipes
THE ultimate pancake recipe for someone who is allergic to more foods than they can count on all ten fingers. With this recipe you can pick yourown flours and ingredients off of her carefully categorized lists to create a tailored pancake recipe that suits you and your needs. Pretty brilliant, if you ask me.
Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Amy has quite an inspiring story. She struggled with weight issues for nearly her entire life before making the connection between allergies and sensitivities and her difficulties with food. By admirably dedicating herself to eating both gluten and sugar free, she not only achieved and maintained a 60 pound weight loss, but discovered a newfound passion and sense of peace and balance.
Gluten Free Socca
After coming across Ricki’s recipe, I was really in the mood for pancakes. I hadn’t figured out the logistics of her recipe yet though, since figuring out what to use for baking powder and such is a tad complicated in my case. In the meantime, while I sorted things out, I needed something to satisfy my pancake desire. This is when I discovered Amy’s recipe for ratatouille and Socca. I nearly scrolled by the recipe because I knew the ratatouille probably wouldn’t work for me since I’m nightshade free (but it’s a beautiful recipe for someone who is gluten, dairy, sugar free, and vegan!), but I was curious as to what on earth “Socca” could be. It sounded like it could be the singular form of “socks”, but to my surprise, Socca is a big chickpea pancake! I was delighted to discover this, because not only was the recipe simple and the ingredient list concise, it was free of all of my many allergens.
Elana’s history is an eclectic one, one that I find myself a tinge envious of! It ranges from studying ayurvedic cooking to running an environmental consulting firm. It wasn’t until she and her son were diagnosed with Celiac disease though that she ventured into the world of gluten free cooking. Her recipes have been such a success that she continued on to write a well known cookbook, “The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook”. Since she therefore primarily cooks with almond flour, you will find that most of her recipes are grain free as well as gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and soy free.
So at this point, I felt like I was definitely set in the pancake realm, but I soon realized that I had nothing to put on my potential pancake-type creations. I definitely couldn’t use maple syrup, at a whopping 50 grams of sugar per tablespoon, and I couldn’t quite use store bought jellies and jams due to both their sugar content and tendency to sneak in ingredients derived from corn. Upon a little searching, I discovered a delectable solution: Elana’s apricot butter. I’m going to use lactose/casein free Ghee to make it, and see if it works with fresh apricots rather than dried. I have an inkling that I’m going to be tempted to just dig into it with a spoon.
Hope For Healing
Though Stephanie is not a lyme patient, her story is a bit similar to my own. At 22 years old, just one year older than myself, she found herself in such bad condition digestively that doctors spoke of invasive tests and drastic surgeries. She decided instead to take matters into her own hands and eliminated gluten, dairy, sugar and soy from her diet. Her health improved leaps and bounds. She is now a Holistic Health Counselor and guides people who find themselves in situations like the one she once knew. I hope that someday my story ends as similar to hers as it began! It’s a dream of mine to be able to heal, then turn around help others follow in my footsteps.
Leftover Brown Rice Porridge
Stephanie’s leftover brown rice recipe is the recipe behind what I eat for breakfast every day. I can’t exactly use almond milk and agave syrup like her enticing recipe calls for, but her recipe is what ignited the lightbulb in my bewildered brain. After walking away from my doctor’s office and realizing that I could no longer rely on my packaged brown rice hot cereal every day, I was grasping for ideas on what else on earth I could possibly eat. Thanks to Stephanie and her brilliant yet delightfully easy Leftover Brown Rice Porridge, I now keep a tupperware of brown rice and a tupperware of wild rice in the fridge so I can create all sorts of delicious leftover rice hot cereals. I even created a recipe of my own. Thanks Stephanie!
I want to thank all of these food allergy friendly bloggers for their hard work and willingness to share their kitchen creations. I know that it takes a whole lot of time and effort to come up with these recipes, experiment with the dishes, and then turn around and write about the results. The efforts definitely don’t go unappreciated though, especially by people like myself. When you have a complicated, disabling chronic disease that is affected so dramatically by the food that you choose to consume, things can become quite overwhelming. It’s hard to find both the physical capacity and the brain power to resist just laying on the couch and munching on popcorn and potato chips. I know though that doing so will just make me feel a whole world worse and feed the very disease that has taken hold of my ever-so allergic body. In fact, it’d probably even send me straight to the emergency room. It’s bloggers like you though that inspire patients like us to accept that fact and forge ahead, spatula in one hand and pill bottle in the other.
I hope this post also inspires some patients who have been told to go gluten free or allergen free to go ahead and take the plunge. I know it may feel as though your legs are as jelly-like as your apricot jam, and that you may collapse into a heap as flat as a pancake, but if I can do it in all of my dysfunctional glory, I bet you can too. These food allergy friend foodies and I will be here to cheer you on.