I have a question for all the parents reading this post, especially ones with children who have food allergies. How did you find out that your child was allergic to peanuts, gluten, dairy, etc.? I came across an interesting blog post this week on the subject. Part of the reason I love researching nutrition and how we can use food to prevent and heal illness is because I want to have a strong foundation in healthy dining/cooking before I have children. My mother was always very health conscious. We were not even allowed to eat Jif peanut butter growing up, just the kind made from 100% peanuts. At times this was annoying, but I am so grateful that I had the importance of nutrition instilled in me from a young age. Anwyay, back to the interesting blog post I read this week. It was called Change Your Diet, Skip Surgery. I have included a link, http://barefootessence.com/blog/2012/06/20/change-your-diet-skip-surgery/, but I have also copied and pasted some parts below that I found most interesting.
“Part of my journey into allergen-free cooking was when Jacob was about a year old. He constantly had a stuffy nose and was always breathing through his mouth. I thought a lot of kids were just mouth breathers, so I didn’t think much of it. Then one winter, he had pneumonia twice, and a series of coughs and that would last for a month. His tonsils were constantly red and swollen; I was amazed that he was able to swallow his food. Although, this probably had something to do with the fact that he eats like a 13-year old boy. Jacob’s pediatrician at the time referred him to an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist who recommended removing his tonsils and adenoids, and planting tubes in his ears. He was only two years old!
I couldn’t fathom signing him up for an elective surgery. The specialist couldn’t tell me why his tonsils and were enlarged and wasn’t at all interested in investigating why. His hearing was checked to make sure it hadn’t been damaged from sinus drainage. His hearing was fine – I knew he could hear me when I was telling him ‘no’ for the fifteenth time. The ENT said I had two choices, put Jacob through surgery, or take a wait-and-see approach. He said some kids grow out of it and some kids just have enlarged tonsils. I couldn’t accept this explanation.”
Instead, the mother decided to take her son to a naturopath, who conducted allergy testing and determined that Jacob was allergic to milk, cheese and eggs, and somewhat sensitive to soy, asparagus, oranges and cod. Once the mom cut out all of these from Jacob’s diet, she noticed a change in just a few weeks and reported, “he could breathe through his nose and went from five bowel movements a day to two or three. He has also avoided antibiotics for over two years. After several months with these foods off of his plate, his tonsils were visibly smaller. He never went back to the ENT. He still has selective hearing, but I’m pretty sure that all kids do.”
The family now includes another child, a daughter named Talia. What is interesting about the daughter is that since the mom had also cut all of the foods out of HER diet, she says, “I had a healthy, easy pregnancy and she was a very healthy baby, she was perfectly regular, and had flawless skin. While nursing her, I would occasionally eat a baked dessert or something made with milk or eggs. She would almost instantly get a diaper rash. I completely removed it from my diet, being more diligent to avoid it and she is 10-months old now and basically diaper-rash free.”
I have never had such an experience as this mother. However, I do remember one of my younger sisters on my dad’s side of the family having seeminly constant ear infections when she was very little, and I cannot remember if she had ear tubes implanted. I assume stuffy kids are not uncommon. If any moms or dads reading this have experienced anything similar, please comment below. I would love to gain insight from your experiences. What I can take from this blog is how important it is to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Never assume that a runny nose or congestion is “normal.” There is a reason your body is kicking your immune system into overdrive. Feeling sick is not a natural sensation. It is a sign from your body that something needs to be changed. The change however does not need to be as drastic as medications or surgery; the solution may be as simple as omitting something from your dinner plate. How fascinating!
Following my own advice, though it is still technically August my body has decided it is time for apple picking, orange and red leaves, that crisp “autumn” smell in the air, scarves, and hot chocolate. Maybe I will have to wait a few weeks for the weather to catch up with my cravings, but I can certainly start fall in the kitchen any time I please…and that time is now!
One of my favorite things about fall is breakfast. I love making the most of every chilly morning with something warm and toasty to wake me up and get me ready for whatever will happen that day. I am not a person who can wake up and be out of the house in 30 minutes or less and eat breakfast on the way, or at work/school, or skip it all together. I have to allot at least 20 minutes every morning to enjoy breakfast, relax, and wake up slowly. This week I am going to share with you a fantastic fall breakfast recipe I tried for the first time this week. I love it! It is so yummy, filling, and surprisingly healthy. You will feel like you are getting away with eating dessert for breakfast. Also, it is gluten free for anyone who is or has kids who are gluten intolerant!
After last week’s protein post I decided to actually try cooking quinoa. I had eaten it before in restaurants, but for some reason I had put off actually making it myself. I have no idea why. Maybe I was intimidated by its odd name (KEEN-WAH)? Maybe? In reality, it was probably because I thought it would be complicated since it was something new that I had never tried. Well, I am pleased to tell you that I was completely wrong. Quinoa is very simple to make. You make it exactly like rice; if you have a rice cooker add 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa and flip the switch to cook. If you do not, you just follow the directions on the package, basically boiling the quinoa in water until all the water is absorbed (10-15 minutes). Very simple and it tastes great! Instead of giving you a mega lecture on why quinoa is the best pseudocereal ever, I will share with you this link. If you want to know how quinoa can help you shed some pounds and get over migraines, give it a read.
Here is this week’s recipe. I hope you have a lovely weekend!
PB Cup Quinoa from Happy Herbivore (Serves 4)
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
¼ cup peanut butter
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
ground cinnamon, as desired
4 tsp dark chocolate chips (make sure they do not contain milk because it inactivates the antioxidants in the dark chocolate…what a waste that would be!)
1. Cook quinoa in water according to package directions or in rice cooker, making sure quinoa is fluffy, fully cooked and water has evaporated.
2. Mix hot quinoa with applesauce, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. Add dashes of ground cinnamon as desired.
Helpful Hint: The longest part of this recipe is cooking the quinoa (~15 min.). I made mine the night before so in the morning all I had to do was warm it up in the microwave and mix in the rest of the ingredients!