Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gut Issues

I guess something a little unusual about our family is that half of us are living with health issues that effect our daily lives. I have Crohn's disease and Miss Munchkin can not eat gluten or dairy. I'll talk about Crohn's in the near future, but today I'd like to touch on what is like to be a teenager on a restricted diet.

Almost 2 years ago, we learned that Miss Munchkin had food sensitivities and they were affecting her mood and behavior. The main offender was gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and it is everywhere! Image if you're a teenager. No eating delivery pizza with your friends. No snarfing down fast food hamburgers. Nothing from the local bakery. School lunches? Nope. It was a huge lifestyle change for us. We learned to make bread and pizza dough using rice-based flours. She packs a lunch everyday for school. I send food or snacks with her to parties or overnights with her friends. It's become "normal" for us.

The good news is that it is easier than ever to eat gluten-free these days. You can buy prepackaged mixes for bread, brownies, cake and pizza dough at the grocery store. Our town even has a restaurant with gluten-free items on the menu. Miss Munchkin has learned to prepare her own food and can whip up a loaf of bread or pizza easily in the kitchen.

There are a few main items that she eats on a regular basis that she loves. I think these things help her from feeling like she's missing out. In fact, these are so good that her friends and family are often begging her to share! :)

Chebe pizza crust with soy cheese
Namaste Brownies
Pamela's Gluten free bread
Homemade Reeses PB bars
Silk chocolate soy milk
Chocolate Coconut Larabars
Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese

Other staples include beef, fish, fruit, pastas made from rice, Rice Chex cereal, and Earth Balance Butter.


idreamicanfly said...

Oooh, that's no fun. Andy and I have more obscure food allergies. I'm allergic to oranges, which sounds like it wouldn't be a big deal. But people like to sneak orange peel into things without labeling it. I think they consider it a spice. Also, try reading the back of bath and body products - orange oil or sweet orange oil seem to be in most of them. Combine that with Andy's allergy to almonds and almond oil, and I spend a lot of time in the bath and body aisle reading the back of bottles.

Andy's allergic to stone fruit - peaches, plums, apricots, and almonds (which are actually a stone from a fruit, not a nut). Oh, and he's allergic to chilies. I had to learn Spanish before we could visit Mexico, just so he wouldn't die of anaphylactic shock.

Kenya, my younger dog, has the worst food allergies. That dog is *expensive* to feed. She's allergic to grains (so no dry food) and fowl. So she can only eat the most expensive raw food. She is *not* a cheap date.

Having said that, I'm quite happy to not have gluten and dairy allergies!

kpf said...

Have you ever heard of NAET? It stands for Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique. We had terrible allergies resulting in horrific asthma and acne. We're cured! And I'm not kidding. We were gluten and dairy free for 2 years. So glad those days are behind us. There's a NAET web site and a NAET cured me web site with testimonials.