Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nutrition and Food Allergies *Updated*

It is interesting as I am sitting down to write this post that we found out yesterday JJ is allergic to wheat and peanuts. We knew he was allergic to other nuts but we thought peanuts were the only "safe" nuts. I had suspected that he was allergic to wheat with the particular symptoms he was having. The Dr. did not check him for Celiac but a lot of his symptoms were similar. The good news is that hormonally he is fine no thyroid issues which is what we suspected. The bad news is that his diet has to change! I am so glad I have been gluten free for almost two years to help show him the ropes! When we got home from the grocery store yesterday he went into the freezer and threw out his favorite frozen pizza. I felt so bad for him because it sucks to have food allergies and intolerances but at least we are on this journey together. My MIL said that JJ and I are truly meant to be together and are "two of a kind." Now our house is truly gluten free no worrying about cross contamination here! I will admit that it might make things easier for our house to just plan the same foods to have around the house instead of separate stuff.

When I talk about nutrition I am not talking as an expert. I just talk about my experience and what I have read up on which I will give you the sources and links to. I am not a Dr., naturopath or nutritionist! Always make sure to check with your health care provider before starting any new diet plan. Now that the disclaimer is out of they way here we go.

It is sometimes difficult to find the right balanced diet that works for you and your health conditions. There is so much information and books you can read, each disputing one another; eat soy, don't eat soy, eat grains, don't eat grains, eat raw dairy, don't have any dairy, and the list goes on! It really is about finding what is right for you and what works for your body, no two people are alike.

I started looking into natural nutritional ways to aid us in our fertility issues about 4 years ago. One of the first books I read was Marilyn Shannon's Fertility Cycles and Nutrition found here. I read this book so fast and took a lot of her recommendations. I started making my own bread and making sure our produce and meat was gmo free and organic whenever possible. I made a lot of our homemade treats with organic whole wheat flour instead of white flour. After doing this for awhile I noticed that things were not getting better, they were getting worse! Don't get me wrong the book had some great information but I think she misses the mark in a BIG way about the whole wheat and dairy issue.

Then after that I decided to cut out milk, so I switched to soy milk then to rice milk. For those of you with fertility issues especially for PCOS you are shaking your head at me right now. I know it was a dumb thing to go to soy milk but at this point I had been misdiagnosed and to my medical knowledge I did not have PCOS. You see soy is not a good thing for us women and our hormones because it can create an estrogen like hormone in our bodies and we do not need that. I then attempted to cut out a lot of animal protein, so red meat went out. I would eat eggs, fish and allow poultry once a week. I consumed more soy products than I care to admit. Then I started realizing that the soy was not good, duh!

Then when I finally went to a NaPro Dr. she suggested I avoid soy like the plague! She didn't really give me any nutritional advice until she had a proper diagnosis. Once she gave me the devastating diagnosis of PCOS she suggested cutting out gluten, dairy and sugar. I read Elisabeth Hasselbeck's book and started to take out gluten. I am not a fan of Elisabeth H. in general but I needed to start somewhere and she seemed to be the only main stream person talking about this. She does warn about replacing gluten with other non healthy grains which I recognized that I was doing just that.   

I still had not taken dairy out even after our miscarriage. I love cheese so it was a fight with myself to even just give it a try. Despite my best efforts I was lost at what I should and should not eat and spinning into a tale of confusion and frustration.   I decided to seek out professional help for my diet dilemma because my body was still out of whack six months after our miscarriage. Since I was not getting any help from my Drs. I took a recommendation from a friend to go see her naturopath. I would only go see someone who a friend recommended because this is LA we have a lot of people who think they know what they are doing in terms of nutrition. She put me through a detox phase that lasted a little over 3 months. She also has a book called The Candida Cleanse that lays out her detox program and a little bit about her story.

So this is where I am at right now, I have been gluten free for almost two years and dairy free (she does allow for eggs, mayo and small amounts of organic butter) for almost seven months. I have sugar sparingly, I mainly use agave. I tried stevia but that stuff is nasty! So here goes what is mainly in my diet. I am not trying to promote certain products because as long as the ingredients are good who cares what brand they are.

Main Grains: Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoia, ArrowRoot Flour  
Sometimes Grains/Starch: Organic Corn (minimal), Organic Potatoes (preferably red)

Meats: Red Meat(which I have not added back yet) 1x week, Organic Chicken/Turkey, Fresh or frozen fish 2x a week (canned fish does not count I can only have it once a month). Never pork it is not allowed!

Fruit: Avocados=yum, Green Apples, Oranges 1x a week, All berries, Bananas and Grapes 1x a month. I am not a big fan of fruit so this does not bother me too much.

Veggies: Almost all mainly dark leafy greens. Sweet Potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, squash and peppers are my main go tos. I get them fresh or frozen depending on the price. I throw frozen spinach into almost everything I make to get the extra veg. in.

No soy sauce at all! We get Bragg's  liquid aminos and apple cider vinegar and use that in salad dressing and stir fry's.

Nuts: I mainly stick with almonds since JJ is allergic and almonds give him the least reaction. No peanuts, they are inflammatory! 

Seeds: Sunflower seeds are my main go to. I use unsweetened sunflower butter in place of peanut butter. Other seeds like pumpkin and sesame seeds are in snacks that I have. Flax seed is a BIG one too! I can not rave about flax seeds enough, I put flax seed meal in most all of my baked goods and pancakes.

Legumes: Black, Pinto, Kidney and Garbanzo beans. All of these are not to be had every day and peas are to be eaten sparingly.

*Oils= Mainly olive, grapeseed and coconut is what I use. No canola oil!

*No caffeine via coffee or tea during detox. All teas are herbal and chamomile is best.

*No alcohol whatsoever! Which was not a problem for me because I do not like the taste. It was harder to stay away from chocolate and cheese!  

*64oz. of water a day. You could also use tea to subsitiute for some of the water intake.

"Milks"= no animal milk while on detox. Coconut, Almond and Hemp milk all unsweetened.

After the detox she does allow for raw dairy products like cheese and milk in small amounts. She prefers raw goat and sheep products to cow products. 

This is the plan that she has for me it might be different for others and the main gist of this is to not have too much of one thing. Also to eat a lower glycemic index diet as PCOSers tend to have or get diabetes. I eat the way my naturopath has directed 80-100% of the time the other percentage just gives me some wiggle room. Although I do not want to chance eating gluten, cheese or milk!

I am going to create a recipe tab eventually so that y'all can try them if you want. What have you found to be your food go tos or no nos?


  1. This is almost identical to my path :)
    PCOS is so tricky to navigate, especially when it comes to the foods we eat (or don't eat).

    I am reading one of the books I bought DH a while back and really enjoying it - Real Food, by Nina Planck. She really shares my mentality about nutrition, and interestingly, the books she talks about are all of the other ones I bought DH! I think she does a good job of making it all simple.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. This is a helpful read! I think you are so right regarding nutrition needing to be tailored to individuals. One thing I noticed: Agave. I read that this sweetener is associated with increased risk of miscarriages? Granted, there's a lot of junk out on the web, so that may not be true, but just thought I'd speak up just in case.

    1. Thanks for the heads up Sarah! I asked my NaPro Dr. and she said that she hadn't heard that. She said she has read some info. that says agave can give you a fatty liver though which is not good either, so she told me to stick with cane sugar or honey. She also said I could try yacon syrup which is a prebiotic so it is good for digestive. health.

    2. Kat - ah, good info! A fatty liver doesn't sound good. I read about the miscarriage issue online in several articles. I figured that just in case it's true, I'd stick with sugar and honey as well.

  3. I agree - this is very helpful. Wow, I am so impressed at your diet! Seriously - I'm sure it's a big challenge to stick to.

    Do you feel like going gluten free has made a big difference? I ask because I hear a lot of women struggling with IF going gluten free and I've never myself noticed any problems from gluten but it just makes me wonder whether it would be helpful.

    Also, have you read any of "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon? It's basically the Weston A. Price philosophy, if you're familiar with that. A lot of what she says resonates with me, especially because she repeatedly says how following her suggested diet helps for childbearing. It's stuff like soaked grains, raw milk, fermented vegetables, that sort of thing.

    In general, I just feel so lost when it comes to nutrition. I agree with you - every body is different. But it irks me to think I could be doing something wrong that's messing with my fertility. I don't know, I guess I just have to do my best. It's not like the only people who get pregnant have immaculate diets, anyway! (Speaking of jealousy...that's another one - I get jealous of people who seem to eat whatever they want and then get pregnant.)

    Anyway, thanks!

  4. This is really interesting. I have been on a diet/food journey too. I followed the Anti-Inflammatory diet for awhile (helps with Endometriosis)... I still follow it, but I've loosened up a little bit (I do eat chocolate, and occasional red meat). But I do notice that I do best with NO grains. Which is challenging, but not impossible.

    I'm glad your DH got an answer about his allergies/intolerances. It makes a big difference when you follow your personal food rules. :)

    Ecce: I love Nourishing Traditions. I read it a few years (it blew my mind!) and by changing my diet I was able to greatly improve my health. I am considering starting the GAPS diet, because I think that will help me be healthier still. Both the Nourishing Traditions and GAPS dove tail actually.

    Crows Nest: It is amazing how little most doctors know about nutrition. It is such an individual thing, yet is so important. Our diet is the building block of our health. If we put junk in, we get junk. If we put quality food in, we get quality.

    I too miss my cheese! It used to be its own food group for me. lol

  5. Such great info!!! I do need to do much better about my diet, and am looking forward to the recipes you post. It is hard without recipes to make a change. I am weak. My diet is poor. I GREATLY commend you for sticking to this for two years!!!