Our (un)Nourishing Life: Foods Part #2

So last Friday I broke the bomb shell that we can’t consume Dairy products. And let me tell you that was one BIG unwelcome bomb shell. It was really hard to not eat something that we had consumed our whole lives.

But nevertheless we decided to remove dairy products from our diet. NOT an easy decision at all, but one that significantly improved our quality of life. In fact, the severe stomach cramps for the hubby almost completely disappeared. That is for a while, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  We switched to Soy Milk first. But it turns out I’m allergic to soy, and I am highly suspicious that little man is too. (It probably didn’t help that almost all of the soy crops that are produced in the US -94% in 2011- are GMO’s and soy isn’t really safe to consume unless it is in it’s fermented form.) So then we realized that we now had to avoid two food items that are in maybe 60% of “foods” that are available today.

-Detour- Wait a minute you think. Soy?  Like soy sauce and icky tofu soy? In a large percentage of foods that I eat?  Yeah right, this lady is off her rocker.
Well, start checking your food labels. You would be surprised just how often dairy and soy products pop up on food labels, I know I was. Even if it is in the “processed in the same plant as” section it more then likely has dairy or soy in it. In fact, dairy and soy products are just two out of the eight most allergenic foods. They are, in no particular order: Milk, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp), Soy,  Wheat, Peanuts (which are actually not a nut but a legume), and Tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews).
Milk, soy, wheat, and eggs, I would say, are in 70% of the “foods” we eat in the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Why are we so allergic to these foods? Do we eat them too much? Why are they continually so prevalent in our diets when they are so allergenic?
But, I leave that to you. That is not our focus today. -End Detour-

Continuing on with our new “milks” that we were trying. We then tried hemp milk.  Icky, not for us.  Coconut milk, good but too sweet for certain things like gravy. Then finally we have settled on unsweetened almond milk. So far that has been the best for us and it works comparably for the hubby’s milk and cookies treat, which he loves.

-Another slight detour- During these new “milk” trials I started reading about the evils of dairy. Now before you start thinking I am going to agree with that I want you to know, from the beginning that I don’t.  I think that man kind has historically been dependent upon dairy products for a reason.  They can be a healing and nourishing food. However, I do think that any dairy (as with all other foods) that we consume should be a living food. Meaning it has not been altered from its orginal state when it reaches the consumer. All of the original vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are intact and unaltered. Raw milk is a living food with many health benefits, including the enzyme lactase, which helps those who are lactose intolerant break down the milk. Click here to learn about the history of milk and why milk had to be pasteurized. We have not tried it yet but we are seeking out a certified raw milk seller and will update you how we handle it. Again we may have a dairy allergy which is very different from lactose intolerance and would make any milk impossible to drink. -End Detour-

Then because we had to read the food labels on basically everything we ate to identify if dairy or soy were in it, we started noticing just how many ingredients in our foods we did not recognize as food items, seeming to be something instead from a science experiment. Because of this experience we now want to know what we put into our bodies. We are very careful about not buying processed foods with who knows what in them. We are buying foods that are organically and preferably locally grown using sustainable agriculture and farming methods. Topics that I will cover more in subsequent postings. We try to make as much from scratch as possible but fill in where and when we need to. Life does not always go according to plan.

So for now we are feeling better probably about 93% of the time, but we still have symptoms occasionally which leads me to believe we have one or more unknown allergies that we still need to identify. I am hoping it’s not gluten, a conditioner and structural builder in several grains, but I think it might be. We shall see what happens next in this food journey, shan’t we?

From my Family, to Yours…

Thank you for letting me share my stories with you. Please feel free to share yours below, I would love to hear them!

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Our (un)Nourishing Life: Foods Part #1

Can I just first say life is a beast? This was going to go up on the 4th, until I had a super scary lump show up on my body in an area that often is related to cancer. So with a day of doctors appointments, medicine runs, worrying, and planning my exit from this world (what can I say? I guess when the C(CRAP)HTF I become a pessimist… a prepared pessimist) lets just say that my mind had room for little else then the essentials.
Then the 5th arrived (my birthday! Eek! 25 years!) with the gift of the lump basically disappearing and tons of birthday goodness to go along with it. *Sigh* Thank you! Though I’m not fully out of the woods yet, the trees are definitely sparse. And though I do not believe that modern medicine is always the best answer; i.e. treating the symptoms instead of the root cause and the over use of antibiotics creating “super” bugs that are very hard to kill, to name a few;  I am very thankful for it and it’s ability to save lives and fix things that even 50 years ago were unfixable.
So that brings us to today. And our first real step into this new way of life and thinking. Diet.
And this is not like a “diet” diet but a life style of healthy eating.  Make sense?  Hopefully.
Even before we were married we have always tried to eat healthy. Health has always been very important to us, though our understanding of what is healthy has changed. Back then we were drinking at least a gallon of milk a week, most of the time more, cooking up scalloped potatoes, lasagna, quesadillas, tacos (you know, with a mix. ‘Cause how else do you make tacos?) and eating pizza all the time, especially when I was pregnant (Little Ceasers was the only thing I could eat with my terrible morning sickness. Weird and gross right?). Sure we would have tons of white bread, salads, snacks, and treats (homemade ice cream and cookies anyone?) to go with that. We would also have fruits with the occasional veggie but our food choices were oh so delicious.
And generally healthy using the food guide pyramid.
Yet, fatteningly unhealthy.
So much so, that together my hubby and I gained 60 lbs in our first year of marriage. And we continued gaining weight into our second year of marriage, though me being pregnant kind of skewed that measurement, by a lot. And we were not healthy, true we were not exercising or even very active, but more then that, we were sick, in many ways. We often experienced:
Cold’s often.
Being tired all of the time.
Seeming to constantly be in a brain fog.
Aches and pains.
Leaky gut (Though we still aren’t 100% we have this now, we have most of the symptoms, click on link to see what leaky gut is).
My dear hubby was getting stomach cramps and pains more and more often. Though many told him he was being too sensitive (not me!) and to take some pepto and get over it. His pains continued and once were so bad that I took him to the emergency room! Only to have the diagnosis be, “Well, we really don’t know what’s wrong with you.  Here take this ‘cocktail’ of medicine and hopefully it will stop whatever is going on.” Though it did alleviate his pain, it only did so for the day. He continued getting debilitating stomache cramps.
Then the first sudden change came during my pregnancy. I very suddenly was becoming very sick every time I drank milk. Other dairy products seemed to be ok so I hoped and prayed that it was just some obscure reaction and that neither the little man nor I were lactose intolerant nor had a dairy allergy. Because if I didn’t make this clear before, I loved milk and yogurt and ice cream and cheese (especially cheese) and would never ever give it up.
Turned out that even after little man was born, dairy was still making us sick. Though it took me several months to figure that out. During that time, I was experiencing all sorts of gastric distress and little man was having projectile spit-up and acid reflux, stuffy noses, burps like it’s nobody’s business, and he even broke out with terrible eczema all over his body so we would have slather him up with Aquaphor several times a day.
I eventually decided to try taking dairy out and we both immediately improved so much, that hubby thought he’d try it as well and also noticed a dramatic change. He was devastated (What about my milk and cookies?).

Wouldn’t you be? Stay tuned for Part #2 and what we decided to do next.

From my Family, to Yours…

Do you have any foods that you are sensitive or allergic to? How did you find out?