Confessions – Days 11-14

Mayhem

Sharing lunch with Mayhem (from FBO Cats.) 

So I have a confession… I cheated.

The first time was mostly by accident.  During the first week of detox Dad and I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and I’d avoided the nacho chips because I wasn’t sure whether  they were made with flour or not…. Well, Dad and I went there again for our weekly Father/Daughter lunch…. and I thought, “what the heck, they’re probably all corn”… and I ate the nachos.  Afterward I got that pain in my side again.  (It’s not my tummy, exactly… more like just off the edge of my hipbone… I had no idea what was causing it and was pretty surprised when it went away after I started the whole detox… it was another one of those good “side-effects.”) I got a tiny bit of a “buzz” in my head and a bit of stomach upset…. nothing huge.  I did not eat the sour cream or the guacamole this time since I was already concerned about the chips.

The second time was totally premeditated.  My little sis is engaged (eep!) and we’re doing the whole Wedding Show thing….. I was NOT going to miss out on trying all the delicious wedding cake samples!   So, I learned two things: 1) I am a cake snob.  2) I didn’t really want it as bad as I thought I would.  The first, I already knew, really… If it’s not amazing, why eat it?  The second was a HUGE surprise!  I expected that I would CRAVE cupcakes (one of my particular weaknesses)… But, I haven’t really had any bad cravings, except for the chocolate in the beginning… and I found milk-free chocolate, so that’s no big deal now.    I ate the first piece of cake (we’re talking about 1.5″ square…. not a PIECE of cake, by any means…).  Oh!  I was so delighted with the first taste…. Oooooohhhhh…. cake!  Then I drug myself out of my sugary daze…. and actually listend to Skye talking about the cake and how she liked the icing….. Ummm… wait a minute…. I didn’t actually like the icing (gritty)…. hmm….  The second sample was actually better and I really did like it….  Skye didn’t (this is going to be difficult)… by the third sample… Enh….. and when we got to the ice cream samples… I didn’t even bother… it wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d convinced myself it would be… Gee!  A revelation.  Afterward I had a bit of a headache, but that could have had something to do with having skipped breakfast (Brian made my oatmeal really soupy and I didn’t eat it…) then cake for lunch… and no dinner until 6:30….. (I told you this wasn’t going to be super scientific.)  The big thing was I didn’t sleep well that night and my hands hurt the next day.

The third cheat was yesterday.  Since today is officially my last day of the two week detox, I didn’t think it would be catastrophic if I had chicken for diner.  (Remember, poultry has the same proteins as eggs, so chicken and turkey are out too.)  I didn’t have anything else with wheat, milk or egg, so I thought a piece of chicken would be a fine.  What I really wanted was the Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce that we’d had the night before with the rib… so good!  and I thought the chicken would be a good surface for the BBQ sauce.  It didn’t bother my head or my stomach, but I didn’t sleep well last night and my hands hurt today.

It was good though.

So as the two week detox comes to a close I can say that it seems like I had a lot more bad side-effects from the food allergies than I realized:  Stomach upset, killer joint pain (hands and knees), headaches, bloating, weight gain and sleep disruptions.  Wow! That is just what I have recognized in two weeks.  I won’t be surprised to discover there are other side-effects that I just haven’t caught on to yet.  When I started the detox, I’d hoped to be able to work wheat, milk and eggs back into my diet a bit more.  Taking them out of my diet really wasn’t as bad as I had expected.  I’ve found a numer of great substitutes and I’m enjoying experimenting with all the new recipes.  Frankly, anything that screws up my sleep, I can do without.  I’m planning to stay as gluten-free as I possibly can.  I’ve found some great substitute flours  and milk is so easy to replace (as long as I’m doing the cooking).  Eggs are a bit harder to replace… and I miss cooking with ground turkey.  I’d like to have mozzarella cheese back…. That’s really about it.  Of course if my hands are going to swell up and I won’t be able to sleep after I eat those things…. maybe I can do without.

BBQ Chicken

No measurements… just kind of eyeballed

  • Chicken Breast
  • Corn Flakes, crushed
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce (I like Hickory Smoked)

Combine the corn flakes and spices in a medium bowl.  Place the chicken in a small bowl and coat with the BBQ sauce.  Next, squish the sauce coated chicken in the corn flake mixture; cover completely.

Transfer coated chicken to a greased baking pan.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (depends on the thickness of your chicken).

Taco Seasoning – Day 9

Taco Seasoning

When my doctor put me on the allergy diet the first time, at six years old, one of the (many) things that I wasn’t allowed to have was Caramel Coloring.  Of course, caramel coloring is found in all sorts of things. Brown sodas, canned soups, seasoning packets… brown things…. lots of things!

Today, a tad bit older than six, I’ve googled and I see that a number of places are saying that caramel coloring is now gluten-free and doesn’t have any listed allergens…. umm… I dunno… and I still think the crap is bad for you.

Good article about Caramel Coloring: Much Ado About Caramel Coloring

The FDA says its okay (and you know we can always trust the FDA….), and California says caramel coloring will kill us all (paraphrasing a bit, maybe)…. I’m with California on this one. Gluten-free or not… I’m going to cut out all the caramel coloring and additives that I possibly can.

I’ve been wanting nachos since Dad and I got Mexican for lunch last week and I couldn’t figure out if the nachos were made with flour or not.  Dinner wasn’t the best tonight… we tried out a few new recipes and… they kinda sucked.  So we thought we’d have nachos for a movie snack.

Taco Seasoning 

  • 1 Tbs Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Stir spices together.  Store in an airtight container.

We combined the Taco Seasoning with ground hamburger, taco sauce (Taco Bell – Mild), sheep’s milk cheese and nachos. YUM!

Taco Nachos

Day 6 – Whole Foods Heaven!

I have found the Disney-Land of grocery!  Whole Foods Market!  Now I was pretty excited by Global Foods Market, but Whole Foods is so Semi-Pescetarian-Vegan friendly!   I kept wandering the isles going “look at this” and picking things up… and adding them to the cart.  Fortunatly for the budget, Brian kept an eye on what I was putting in the cart and asked… frequently… “Do you really want this?” and “What are you going to do with this?”  I did manage to get quite a few items into the cart…. a number of them I even had an idea of what to do with them!  At first it was just so exciting to find things I could eat…. then I was trying to find things I could COOK and turn into dinners.

Whole Foods Market has this amazing bakery… all sorts of bread and muffins, scones and cakes…. Brian had to drag me away.  Around the far side of the bakery, we found gluten-free breads.  I couldn’t find any bread without milk and eggs too, but I did find tortillas.  Brian was so excited… Taco Night!  We found a gluten-free flour (weird, huh?).  Brownies, maybe?  You can find it here on Amazon.com – King Arthur Flour Multipurpose Flour, Gluten Free, 24-ounces.

The cheese section was pretty amazing too.  There were all these different cheeses and these really nice signs over them stating clearly what kind of milk they were made from… Cow, Goat or Sheep.  Woo Hoo!  (NOTE: When I had the food allergies as a kid, Mom was told that I could have sheep or goat’s milk.   There is a protein allergen known as Alpha s1 Casein found in high levels in cow’s milk. The levels of Alpha s1 Casein in goat’s milk are about 89% less than cow’s milk. I have not been retested for food allergies, I’m just going with what I was allergic to as a kid, eliminating them for two solid weeks and then slowly adding things back in and seeing how I feel.  Not super scientific…)  

I found chocolate too!  You have to find a Dark Chocolate and READ the label.  It’s a lot easier to find milk-free chocolate in the health food stores.  I came home with four different chocolate treats.  You should SO try these: Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate — 3.2 oz

Oh! The meat section!  OMG!  Tons of fish and seafood…. we got Mahi Mahi and Tuna… OMG!  I can’t wait to have them for dinner.  Brian is a killer-griller.  I was lost in the seafood section, but Brian wandered off into the beef and pork area… As I said, I’m not usually a fan of pork (I dunno why, I just don’t like it!), but I like sausage and bacon… I know, I’m not consistant.  We found these blueberry pork breakfast sausages….mmmmmm.  Those are for breakfast tomorrow morning…. I’m thinking Brian can give the Gluten-Free waffles a shot too.

If you have a Whole Foods Market in your neighborhood…. you are SO lucky!  Our closest Whole Foods is about an hour away… sigh… but Brian and I are kind of odd…. We think a great Friday night involves going to a fancy supermarket and finding new things to cook.  I can see us having wonderful date nights at Whole Foods.  Find a new fish, a bottle of wine… go home and cook together!

Whole Foods Market Loot

We are odd, but I couldn’t ever do this without Brian’s support.  Food allergies act like an addiction… it’s so bad for you, but you want it.  Since I’ve been off my allergens I’ve had headaches, dizziness, mood-swings… and killer cravings.  It helps being able to see the improvements already… My joints feel better, much of the achiness and stiffness is gone… not totally, but I can feel a real difference.  Lost some weight already.. woo hoo! And I am sleeping better!  I may crave the allergens, but the improvements that I am feeling already are making it easier to ignore those cravings.  Luckily for me, Brian loves cooking (and me) and he’s been really brave about trying new recipes and ingredients.

I’d like to actually maintain this lifestyle…. maybe not to the extreme level forever…. but a semi reasonable level.  Right now I am trying to make sure that there isn’t a drop of wheat, milk or eggs in anything I eat.  I’d like to get to the point where I don’t have to worry about a little bit of one of my allergens in my food…. like butter.  I miss butter….. it’s a major pain to cook without butter!  I’ve found sheep’s butter, but it’s pretty expensive (they way I used butter, anyway…).

Day six… almost a full week in… I’m beginning to think I can do this!