Monthly Archives: September 2012

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Allergy Elimination Diet: Reintroducing Eliminated Foods

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This is the fourth post in our allergy elimination diet series.

Hello a.e.d. participants.  Congratulations!  You made it through 28 days of massive diet upheaval, intense hunger and cravings, and pull-your-hair-out confusing trips to the grocery store.  Well done!  Now, the time has come to slowly and carefully reintroduce the foods you have eliminated.

No, that does not mean you go and grab the first double stack cheeseburger  you see.  In order to accurately  determine which foods may be problematic, each type needs to be tested in its most basic form.  Wheat- not bread, because that could be gluten, wheat, soy, yeast or an additive (if you use a prepackaged bread).  Instead buy some cream of wheat and eat it plain.  For dairy products, reintroduce basically and individually.  Milk, cheese, yogurt (unflavored), and ice cream should all be done separately and days apart.  Cow, goat, sheep and other milks should also be tested separately.  This allows you to determine if one type of dairy is problematic and not others, if all dairy is problematic, or (for the lucky among you) no dairy is problematic.

You get the idea; every reintroduced food, from Almonds to Zesty lemons, should be in its simplest state.  After eating, carefully observe the effects each food has on you.   Consider keeping a record of the results for your doctor and yourself. Give yourself roughly a day with each food, and have that food two or three times over the course of the day.  If you have a bad reaction to a food, wait until you are symptom free before moving on to a new item.

Also, if you find a problem, educate yourself.  Don’t wander through the rest of your life a victim to this allergy or sensitivity; find out if there are treatments,  make sure you have a clear enough understanding of the problem to keep yourself safe and healthy.  Look for or create alternative favorite recipes; educate your loved ones, patiently and graciously.  On that note:  after this intense a.e.d. experience, food and your personal restrictions are looming large in your mind.  Don’t assume that they are in everyone else’s;  you friends and family have their own problems and health concerns and, simply, lives to keep up with.  If they offer you a problematic food, don’t melt down; calmly decline and explain.  You may have to do this a dozen times with the same person.  Also, for group meals and parties:  it is easier (and safer) for an individual with allergies to make provision for themselves than to expect others to do it for them.  So take a dish that fits your dietary needs, and make it so fantastic that others want the recipe! If someone does go out of their way to cater to your allergy, show them how much you truly appreciate that consideration.  Bottom line, extend a little grace to those around you.

I sincerely hope that the allergy elimination diet information provided here on One is Hungry has been helpful.  I will be continue to post new a.e.d recipes and stories of other people’s a.e.d. journeys from time to time.  The more accurate and in depth information that is made available, the greater the chance that someone with find the answers or help they are looking for!  If you have completed the a.e.d. journey and would like to share your story, tips or recipes, please contact me.

Green salad with white beans, boiled eggs, veggies and a champagne vinaigrette from http://www.oneishungry.com

Simple Food: Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg and Champagne Vinaigrette

I can almost hear you thinking, “Simple!  What is simple about soaking and cooking beans, boiling eggs, and preparing a homemade dressing?”  but I promise it is true!  Let’s break it down.  The beans can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for several days, or they can be pre-cooked beans from a can (drained and rinsed, of course).  Boiled eggs take roughly 10 minutes from fridge, to pot, to ice bath, to peeled and quartered, ready to be eaten.  The Sauce, otherwise known as champagne vinaigrette, takes 2 minutes and a mason jar.  So toss up some leafy greens, throw in a generous handful of vegetables and you can have a gorgeous, healthy meal in well under 30 minutes.

green salad with white beans, boiled eggs and veggies

Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg

Ingredients

salad greens (be adventurous and hop off the Iceberg; try green leaf, red leaf, romain, butterhead,arugula, or get really crazy with kale, chard, dandelion or escarole)

cooked white beans (aiming for toothsome, not mushy)

boiled eggs

suggested options:

zucchini

carrots

onion

tomatoes

red bell pepper

avacado

goat cheese

pecans

apple slices

loading up with goodies

The Sauce|Champagne Vinaigrette

adapted from  The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

2 Tbs. champagne vinegar

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 to 5 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

(try this, and then play around with the ratios.  Jason and I love a vinaigrette with a bit of a bite and a lovely, well-emuslified consistency.  You may like something milder, or just different.)

Combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a mason  or jelly jar.  Swirl, or shake, to combine, then add oil.  Now put the lid on, and shake what your momma gave you (and the jar, too).  Continue to shake until oil and vinegar have emulsified (combined in such a way that they are not separate from one another).

 

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Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Boardwalk|via One is Hungry

You know that saying, ”  If you can’t say something nice. . .”; well, this will be a short post!  Virginia Beach was a work trip.  We were looking at it as a nice segue from full, flaming sun, southern vacation to the realities of home.  This was our first experience of the mid-Atlantic ocean and ocean front.  To be brief, we found it was not for us.  I have lots of pretty, cherry-picked pictures from the boardwalk, but they are not an accurate representation of the place or the experience.  However, let’s focus on the good things:  We had a room immediately on the beach (that was a treat), and saw the sunrise colors spread over the ocean each new day.  The food offerings, in town, not the hotel (Hampton Inn, you really need to work on your breakfasts!) were quite good.

The first night we took a leap of faith on an Urban Spoon recommendation, wandered into what appeared to be a biker’s dive bar, and were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves eating some of the best Mexican food we’ve ever had.  Hello tuna tacos with mango-passion fruit-chipotle dressing!  Everything at the Side Street Cantina was fantastic and really reasonably priced.  A few nights later one of Jason’s co-workers introduced a group of us to Mojito Cafe…fantastic!  Thank you, Chris!!  They are open from 5 til whenever they feel like it; the staff is great and the food is truly outstanding.  Jason highly recommends the fried banana cheesecake!  Almost forgot, Sunnyside Cafe and Restaurant has gluten-free pancakes and waffles, enormous portions, and roughly five pages of reasonably priced breakfast goodness (bad news- real maple syrup is by request and $2.50 extra).

Other good things, hmmm. . .dolphins.  So many dolphins at Virginia Beach; at least three separate pods of around ten dolphins each.  They come incredibly close to shore on a somewhat regular schedule.  One day while I was watching the water, a wave began to form about 20 feet ahead of me.  As it approached and grew, overtaking the couple in my sightline I saw a large grey form riding along inside the  translucent amber top of the wave, staying just ahead of the break.  After a few heart-stopping moments in which I was the only one aware that this sizable, unknown entity was eight feet from the swimmers ,it became comfortingly clear that it was a dolphin.  I’d never seen one so large (about 10 feet) and so close up. That moment had all the elements of my worst nightmares (sharks!) and best dreams (swimming with dolphins) rolled into one!

Finally, the airplanes.  We were near the Oceana Navy Base and received CLOSE, LOW fly-overs about ten times every day.  Once used to the almost sickeningly loud sounds (and I mean really, so loud as to nearly make one’s stomach hurt), it was amazing to see the various planes in flight.  We got to see quite a bit of the Blue Angels, in town for the air show, F22s, helicopters and more.

Those things were really the highlights of our time at Virginia Beach.  On our final morning, Virginia Beach bid us farewell with pelting sand like bee stings and a car that had been very carefully broken into and relieved of its hidden GPS.  More about that here.  So, my final words on Virginia Beach are these:  if you find yourself headed down the Virginia coast with time to kill and hankering for a good meal, by all means pull up at one of the fantastic restaurants this city has to offer.  Then get back in your car and out of town, preferably before 10 pm :).

Fun Slide, Virginia Beach Boardwalk | via One is Hungry

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reenactment at the Castillo de San Marcos

Back Down South: Part Two

courtyard fountain in Saint Augustine, Florida|via One is Hungry

St. Augustine.  I wasn’t born there, and my family only stayed for a year and a half, but it holds in my memory a strong sense of home.  I’ve been boasting of its riches to Jason since we were in college, trying to convince him that there really is one magical place on the eastern shores of Florida’s coast.  Though often we’ve talked of visiting (Jason with a lesser enthusiasm), this vacation presented the first real, and for Jason, inescapable, opportunity of going.  The siren song of that Spanish Colonial treasure lured us away from Fernandina Beach at the obscene hour of 7 a.m. (obscene by vacation standards).  By nine we had wrestled our way through the wilds of outer Jacksonville and were hoofing it in the historic area.  After a bite of breakfast at the Bunnery (don’t drink the lattes!) we were off down my memory lane, and joyously creating one that belongs to the both of us.

early morning on St. George Street, Saint Augustine|via One is Hungry

reenactment at Castillo de San Marco, Saint Augustine|via One is Hungry

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Oh the faces you make when you forget to worry about the camera your photo-happy husband is holding! Potential internal conflict-   insane fear of sharks meeting intense love of ocean, desire to be a mermaid and hug dolphins, manatees and sea turtles :) or why, WHY did I wear jeans in 100 degree heat!

jasonsanmarco

guardian, Flagler College, St. Augustine|via One is Hungry

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  in the gardens of the Lightner Museum

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I was actually the tiniest bit worried about revisiting this gem of my childhood, worried that maybe I had idealized it, that it wasn’t as fantastic as I seemed to remember.  What if I was wasting a day of Jason’s much needed vacation rest?  Now, after the fact, I can safely say that my 11 year old self’s love was not for naught; St. Augustine is amazing .  Sure, just like any other town it has its run down bits, tourist traps, and mundane everyday necessities.  But it also has gorgeous red brick and cobble paved streets hiding dozens of jewel-like courtyards overflowing with heady bougainvillea, palms, roses, oleander, aloe, moss hung trees and vibrant green grasses.  It has cool-tiled, melodious fountains, shady lanes, museums, colleges, bays, bridges–beauty abundant for those who would find it.

We eventually tore ourselves away, taking the A1A back up to Jacksonville and, in the end, “home” to the Hampton.  The remainder of our time at Fernandina Beach was spent exploring Fort Clinch, enjoying (or in one instance enduring!) leisurely meals, trying not to think about the upcoming return to reality.

Just a few quick notes, since this is a web site about food, on the difficulties of eating on this trip back down south.  It can be very, very challenging to find well-rounded, gluten-free meals (or even familiarity with the term gluten-free) outside of large cities in the south.  In restaurants, ask about the ingredients in your food, even if you are ordering something you have found to be a safe bet elsewhere in the past.  Even things like tomato soup, french fries, sauteed vegetables, fudge, ice cream and some salads may be prepared with a wheat component.  Luckily, the south is also home to some of the friendliest, most accommodating people on earth!  Most restaurants will do the best they can to make sure you leave happy and FULL (portions typically run large) once they understand your needs.  That said, do yourself a favor if you have allergies, and pack some supplies.  Breakfasts, snacks and desserts can be especially difficult to manage if you want anything other than fresh fruit.

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goofyshy

Camera shy = Goofy

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Jason finally made a friend who spoke his language

Sunday morning it was time to move on.  We stayed in town just long enough for Jason to shoot the footage for this video, then set our sites 547 miles north to Virginia Beach.  More on that next time.  Ciao!

basking in the morning rays

Back Down South: Part One

Hi there!  Jason and I are half way through another mammoth trip, and I figure it is about time for an update.  Our first stop on the southern stretch of I-95 was Charleston, home to the world’s best best friend/sister (that is fun construction, huh?) Heather, and her husband Jeremy.  They took us out to dinner at Fleet Landing on the waterfront.  We spent the evening, under a blue moon, watching dolphins play and ships sail in, indulging in fantastic seafood and a fabulously Frenchie crème brûlée!

Fleet Landing Restaurant, Charleston, SC
photo property of Fleet Landing

The next morning we were on the road again, Georgia bound.  Jason had an opening day date with a dove field, and I got to really play with our nephew for the first time (every visit before now he was too little to really rough and tumble with).  It is often hard for me to immediately loosen up  when we go home, but this trip, with my amazing sis-in-law’s equally amazing baby to ease the way, and the promise of the ocean in the offing, I was able to overcome much of the prissy Miss who so often carries the day.  And so we relaxed ourselves into the love and craziness that is family: hunting (Jason), playing, talking and, of course, eating.  We spent three days soaking up parents, siblings, nephew, aunts, uncles and cousins before continuing south to soak up sun!

morning at the farm
photo property of Crystal Baird Pope

riding the tractor; BXP at the wheel
photo property of Crystal Baird Pope

Come Tuesday morning, not bright, but very early, our bags were packed and we were ready for Florida.  Hello, vacation!  To start the trip off right, and avoid getting to the hotel hours before check-in, we built in a side trip:  Savannah!  Savannah is one of our favorite southern cities; it is where we went for our honeymoon, and where we return constantly for honey. . .Savannah Bee honey, that is.

Savannah Bee at Broughton St., Savannah, GA

sweet nectar!!!!

We browsed the Broughton St. store, then headed down to the River St. location to pick up my five pound jug of Tupelo perfection.  I know, I know, I have a problem!  We had lunch overlooking the Savannah River, picked up some ridiculously good teas at The Tea Room (vanilla jasmine green, creme brulee, and black currant), perused some shops and eventually got the heck out of dodge (of course making a Sonic stop before we really got rolling).

Jason had a love affair with this tree. This is the only photo out of five in which I am in focus as well as the tree.

Then it was us for little old Amelia Island, more specifically Fernandina Beach.  All that travel we’ve been doing lately has paid off in hotel points, giving us five free nights at the Hampton Inn in the old town!!  We spent the first two full days going to the beach in the mornings, returning to loaf about the historic area in the afternoons.  It was wonderful, especially the beach!  Dazzling white-hot beaches call to me.  Most of my friends in D.C. and my family in Milledgeville, accustomed to my ever-present pallor and insistent use of sunscreen, would be surprised by that notion.  Nevertheless, tis true.  I glory in the heavy, humid, languid lushness of it all.  And after months of sickness and flipping summer, to winter and back again, even Jason was longing for some searing sunshine and time to play with his metal detector (that’s right, we have nerd love, and are proud of it!).

marina behind hotel

basking in the morning rays

this is my love nerd

Coming soon:  St. Augustine, more Amelia Island, and Virginia Beach.  Stay tuned!