So, a week ago I promised you a post on going wheat free. Back in April when we took Alvie Bean in for his allergy tests, the test results came back with egg yolk (severe), crab (which we were to extrapolate to all shellfish), and wheat. The allergist said that he suspected the wheat allergy was a bit of a red herring since Alvie’d been eating bread, pasta, and other wheaty products for quite some time without the severe reaction I’d seen from eggs (vomiting, swelling of the face, and hives). He did suggest that if Alvie’s eczema (which he’s had from shortly after birth) got worse we could try going wheat free and see what happened.
After we got back from Atlanta, Alvie’s eczema was horrific. I think it was the combination of the stress of travel, staying in a strange place with different environmental triggers (dog!), and not getting enough sleep. But it didn’t really calm down when we returned so I decided we would try wheat free June to see if that helped.
Although Alvie’s not allergic to gluten, I am looking for the “gluten free” label on stuff, as that’s an easy way to ensure that there’s no wheat. I also decided that the whole household should go wheat free in solidarity – and because it’s easier to cook just one meal as opposed to separate meals for everyone. The architect is not on board with that so much (although it’s not like he refuses to eat the GF dinners, he just adds his carbs after).
So – here we are, almost halfway in to June. Verdict? His eczema is almost completely gone. I can still feel it a bit on his torso, but the horrible patches on his thighs and back are invisible to the naked eye. I haven’t yet put a sweater on my eye to check it out, but I think his skin would still look pretty good.
Which means, I think, the wheat allergy was not a red herring at all.
I wonder if it would make sense to add wheat back in for a couple of days in a month or so to see if that produces the skin reaction, or if I should just stay wheat free with him until at least his next allergy appointment? (When he’s two, unless new and horrible reactions pop up.)
Wheat free June has had other benefits, as well, though: Alvie’s mama has left her weight-loss plateau and lost nearly 6 pounds in two weeks! It’s been interesting, trying to figure out what to eat – especially in social situations – and I have discovered that I hate the following things:
- Gluten free bread
- Gluten free pasta (both brown rice AND quinoa)
- Gluten free pancake mix
However, I have developed a taste for cider (now that I’m off beer, and yes, I know that there are GF beers, but the one I tried was gross, and also I think the 6 lbs might be mostly due to being beer-free). I prefer (and this will surprise no one) the drier ciders generally, although I had an apple-raspberry one last night that was quite good, but so far my favorite is an apricot one I had a couple of weeks ago.
I need to rearrange my entire vision of what meals are. For me, breakfast is eggs and toast, lunches are sandwiches or salads (with hard-boiled egg and croutons), and dinners involve bread, or wheat tortillas, or naan, or pita, or…you get the point. And desserts? Cake or pie.
Since Alvie Bean is allergic to eggs as well as wheat, that really changes a lot of what I will cook, especially as he mostly eats what we eat now. I feel uncomfortable making eggs knowing I could accidentally cross-contaminate (and his egg allergy is nothing to fuck around with).
I am planning on trying to find a website or a magazine or book or something that deals with the gluten-free/egg free world. Most of those things are also dairy free, but I figure I’m good using milk instead of the substitute on that – thanks be to all that’s holy that he is NOT allergic to dairy. If we had to do soy cheese, I think I would cry.
So – people! Can you point me towards wheat-free resources?
What do you use as an egg replacer? I bought some weirdo vegan egg replacer stuff, but is there something with more nutritive value that I could use?
What are your favorite wheat & egg free (also ‘shroom free, blue cheese free, and truffle [the fungusy thing, not the chocolate thing] free) recipes?
Do you or your kids have food allergies? Does the whole family follow the allergy-ridden ones diet, or do you make separate meals?
Have you ever seen anything as cute as this eczema-free toddler?
I imagine that I’ll gradually add wheaty things back into my diet from time to time (like beer, a gazelle cannot live without IPA), but I’m thinking that after my body adjusts to this rapid shift in diet (it’s been a bit rough from time to time) that I am going to be feeling pretty darn good. And if it keeps my little guy healthy, then it’s definitely worth it.
I just hope he doesn’t want to start any other diet trends. We are not doing any raw food or vegan or detoxes…