Tag Archives: allergy elimination

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).

 

Allergy Elimination Diet: Introduction

(I intended this to be a video entry but I have yet to regain my voice following a bout of bronchitis.  So, no pictures or video for the moment.)

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

One of my primary goals in starting One is Hungry was to provide information and encouragement for those struggling with their health as I did. Beyond sharing my own story, I’ve yet to provide any real information.  I thought this would be a great time and place to start.  Two years ago this month I threw myself, desperate and ignorant, into an allergy elimination diet.  It was ultimately such a worthwhile experience that I have no regrets, but I do wish I had started out a bit more prepared and better informed.  Because of that, for the next six weeks I’m going to be posting some in depth information for those looking for a.e.d. help for themselves or a loved one.

Week one will be preparation:  we will discuss the reasons for and potential outcomes of the diet, determine a course for the next two months (deciding if you will be doing the a.e.d. alone or with family/friends), talk about the importance of an informed support system, learn what foods are and are not acceptable on our a.e.d. and do some pantry and fridge cleaning and restocking!

Weeks two through five (28 days) will be elimination:  there will be suggested/optional menus with shopping lists, recipes and lots of encouragement on the great job you are doing from yours truly.

Weeks six and onward will be about reintroduction and evaluation, in which you will start slowly reintroducing the previously eliminated foods, evaluating you reactions to them, and using this information to, potentially, make some permanent diet and lifestyle changes.

However, before we get into any of that, the first thing to do if you are seriously considering an allergy elimination diet is to speak with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding,  or being treated for any health problems.  For most people this diet will constitute a huge change in eating habits; depending on your specific condition this could have unexpected repercussions, and, anyway, it is best to keep your doctor in the know about the health and times of you!  Let him/her know why you feel the need to explore this option and ask if they have any objection to it.  If you decide to jump in without a doctors okay, well your are an adult (probably), bully for you, and don’t blame me if anything feels funny!  This would also be the time to take a look at any over the counter medicines or supplements you take and see if the ingredients include wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, or food dyes, and if so, see if there are substitutions that do not contain these items.

 

Cumin Crusted Steak

Note:  I have tried to photograph this recipe at least three times since November.  Every single time something goes wrong, without fail.  So this time I am simply putting up the pictures I was able to get and asking you to trust that this recipe is worth trying!  I’m dedicating this post to two of my friends: Mr. W. Libby, who said o.i.h. could use a bit more meat and potatoes (I aim to please), and Mrs. Kelly Oliver, who questioned the possibility of a really great steak without a grill (I believe it can be done!).  If you are participating in the allergy elimination diet, this is a great steak for you.  Simply substitute a high heat oil anywhere butter is indicated!

Growing up, the best steaks I ever had didn’t come from a restaurant.  Restaurants produced flavorless slabs of hard to chew meat, never cooked to the customer’s specified degree.  The great steaks of my childhood were found at home.  My dad cooked them, under the broiler, covered in garlic and glistening with butter, and I thought they were the best.  My technique as an adult is a bit different, but its origins are definitely inspired by my dad; my dad, who ingrained in me (among other things) the idea that meat cooked properly does not require sauce.( The fact that my husband did not grow up with that mantra led to some severely hurt feeling  while eating our first meals as newlyweds!)  So this steak is jam packed with flavor, no sauce required!

we use N.Y. Strip, but sirloin, filet, flank. . .most any cut would be fabulous with this seasoning

I started with a beautiful 1.3 lbs. of N.Y. Strip; in our house that makes four servings.  We all know by now that we are not supposed to consume large quantities of red meat.  So, let’s assume we are all pretty heart-smart and this is an occasional treat.  Do yourself a favor and buy the very best quality and cut of meat you can for this indulgence; the meat makes all the difference.  For the sake of cooking time I cut this in half to make two 1 1/4″  thick steaks

seasoned. . .still needs a bit more cumin

Season liberally with ground cumin, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and, if desired, rub with fresh or powdered garlic.  Rub seasonings into both sides of steak and allow it to rest at room temperature while you  preheat oven to 425 degrees and begin heating a cast iron skillet over medium on the stove top.  For your cooking fat I strongly recommend butter (sounds super healthy, I know) but you can also use ghee (butter with milk solids separated and removed) or a high heat oil (using h.h. oil instead of butter makes this recipe great for the allergy elimination diet!  See our a.e.d. Food Guide for options).  Once your cast iron pan is thoroughly heated–flick some water from you fingers and listen for intense sizzle–add roughly 1 tbs unsalted butter to the pan and melt.When butter begins to bubble and brown place steaks in pan and LEAVE IT ALONE.butter makes it better

 You want to develop good, crusty browning on each side of the steak to lock in juices and create good texture. . .this will not happen if you constantly move the meat around.  Around the 1.5 to 2 minute mark, raise one of your steaks and check for browning.

checking for browning. . .still needs a few moments

Once color is good, flip both steaks and continue to brown on stove top for another 1.5 to 2 minutes. Transfer pan from stove top to oven and continue to cook to desired doneness.  In this house that is medium (that is our compromise between my vampiric tendencies and Jason’s medium-wellness).That means for this steak we do about 5 minutes in the oven before removing and setting the meat out to rest (either spooning pan juices over the meat or putting a little pat of butter on each).

rest meat for 5 to 10 minutes to let it re absorb it juices

If you are uncertain about meat cooking times here is a handy, dandy chart I found on the Canadian Beef website.  Now, you may be thinking, didn’t she promise meat and potatoes?  You are absolutely right.

Spicy Sweet Potatoes with Feta-Olive Salad from The Traveler’s Lunchbox.  Image property of Melissa Kronenthal of The Traveler’s Lunchbox

This is the most perfect meat and potato marriage I have ever experienced.  The flavor combination is beautiful and I strongly encourage you to step outside the Idaho potato box and try something new over at The Traveler’s Lunchbox.  Doing the A.E.D?  Try substituting avocado for the feta!  I’ve now made myself thoroughly hungry, so I’m off to my left-overs.  Bon appetit!