Friday, April 24, 2015

Allergies Have Changed Family Mealtime

Do you remember childhood mealtime? Everybody ate exactly the same thing and you had to eat it (or eat some of it) whether you liked it or not? Oh, boy, I remember having to eat a small amount of beets (makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it) and sauerkraut (I finally uncontrollably gagged when I was in high school and my mom let me off the hook after that) and who knows what else. I didn't have to eat it all, but I had to have at least a couple of bites of everything being served.

My, how things have changed, haven't they? With food allergies and sensitivities becoming so commonplace, it's no longer the same situation.

I've been dairy-free for sometime, but that doesn't mean our meals are always dairy-free. Casseroles, including lasagna? One with cheese and a smaller dairy-free one gets made. Quesedillas? Ditto. Macaroni and cheese? I'll just have the macaroni. Pizza? Have to make a cheeseless or Daiya one for me, or if we're ordering out, it can only be ordered from certain places and I pretty much need my own individual one because they aren't usually very good at keeping half the pizza cheeseless. There's a stir fry recipe my husband makes with cream of chicken soup; I need to get a portion pulled out for me before he puts the sauce in the veggies. Or the tortellini sauce he makes: a mix of Italian sauce and cream of mushroom. Again, I get served first and what's left is all mixed in with the dairy.

Now my daughter is gluten-free. Not celiac, but definitely sensitive to at least wheat, but looking up things online, it's more consistent with gluten sensitivity than just wheat sensitivity. I'm finding I feel better gluten-free, so I'm almost not eating any at all. So, it adds another wrench to the everybody-eats-the-same-supper. Spaghetti? Well, my husband and son aren't prepared to eat gluten-free (and, to be honest, it's much cheaper for them NOT to), so a batch of wheat pasta is made and a smaller batch of gluten-free for her and me. Taco night? Have to make sure to have more hard corn tortilla shells or have wheat flour tortillas and gluten-free tortillas. Casserole? Haven't gotten there yet. Am I really going to make 3 different ones? My daughter isn't dairy-free and isn't at all interested in trying the Daiya (they all say it smells weird). I suppose I'll make a "regular" one and then a gluten-free cheeseless one that we can each add on cheese as desired. Or maybe put a divider in a baking pan with gluten-free on both sides and each our own desired cheese. Bread? Do I dare use up some of our bread flour in delicious bread that my daughter can't eat? Or that will tempt her to eat and then she'll be ill afterwards?

Allergies have definitely changed mealtime from the way it was when I was a kid! What about you?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Has Your Eye Colour Changed?

I'm sitting here watching the film Food Matters (fantastic movie, by the way! I should do a proper review) and Charlotte Gerson of the Gerson Institute is in it. She has a light German accent and these blue eyes, both of which bring me back to my childhood and time with my Grandpa. This had me thinking of my own eyes. I was born with blue eyes. They remained blue until sometime in early elementary school. Mixing those blue eyes, thoughts of my grandfather's eyes and mine and all of this information about food and its effect on us, I was reminded of people's eye colour supposedly changing after eating a raw food diet for a while. A quick search online confirmed that I wasn't remembering incorrectly: there are people whose eye colour has changed from going raw. One of the articles mentioned about the eye colour being affected by toxins and such stuck in our liver or colon. My diet has not been anything close to optimal my entire life. It started on formula, then I lived on prepackaged and canned foods my entire childhood with few fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of dairy products which I'm allergic/sensitive to, lots of sugary foods. Having watched Supercharge Me yesterday and now Food Matters today, I do wonder what's stored in my liver and colon--and now wondering if this has affected my eye colour.


My eyes now are typically a kind of greenish blue, not like any of the colours in that chart. But they were blue enough, plus I was blonde enough, when I was about to turn 6 that my mom was stopped in a shopping mall by a woman for the local German language program who said, "That child must be German!" But they've been this kind of greenish colour for many years. I'm starting to now wonder: Are my eyes their natural colour or did they become more green due to diet?

I've looked up online when a baby's eyes normally change if they are going to change. One site said that babies eyes will change by the time they are 9 months. Another site said usually by 9, but you might still see some change up until 12 months, or rarely, up until age 6.

So... What's going on with me? Unless my information about myself is incorrect, my eyes became green after age 6. My mother was surprised to see how green my eyes were in high school; they're actually not that green anymore. But this is the mother who didn't notice my eyebrow scar until junior high--a scar I got before turning 5. Then there's my daughter, who we've in the past couple of weeks come to realize she is definitely gluten-sensitive and needs to get that out of her system and has likely been gluten-sensitive since her early years. I wonder about her eye colour: she has an unusual amber/hazel colour, nothing from either side of the family. Is this amber her natural colour or is it the result of things in her system that are blocked, possibly due to years of damage from consuming gluten?

I want to see what photos I can find of my younger years and see what I can tell about my eye colour and have a look at my daughter's pictures and when her eye colour started changing. And while I do that, I will be increasing as I can my consumption of raw fruits and vegetables and encourage her to do the same.

What about you? Are your eyes the same colour as when you were a child? Or have you changed your diet and noticed a change in eye colour as a result? I would love to hear more!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

That Time of Year--Allergies

It's that time of year: seasonal allergies time.

The change of seasons is gross here:everything is dead and brown and dirty, not to mention garbage everywhere, and no pretty white snow to cover it all.

Add to that insane winds the past weekend left me sneezing and stuffed up and sinuses super unhappy.

So, my diffuser has been running a lot. Mainly lavender and whatever else I feel in the mood for. Lavender is calming to both mind and body, so it's one I choose for when allergies are getting to me and will diffuse it or even apply it topically. I also ended up applying RC on my chest.

What do you use for your seasonal allergies?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Awesome Gluten-Free Cookbook

I have talked about this cookbook before, but I'm going to talk about it again:

I bought it sometime ago when my daughter was eating gluten-free, or trying to and made a few recipes and they turned out really well. Then she stopped going gluten-free and things started acting up enough that she decided she would try to go gluten-free again, or at least mostly gluten-free. She ended up being very sick (not from gluten) this past Monday and only at a little and that was when she decided she wanted to try mostly gluten-free, then Tuesday, only ate a small supper of gluten-free pasta and sauce. She ended up unintentionally falling asleep on the couch for the night, but I was next to her for a while and I realized her stomach wasn't gurgling like it had been daily for months. I mentioned it to her the next morning and she nodded and said that her stomach was flat again for the first time in a very long time. That convinced her to not just try to be gluten-free most of the time, but she's been gluten-free since.

But that has meant that she's finding it hard to find things to eat in the house. It's very convenient to grab this or that that has gluten in it or make this or that for lunch that has gluten in it (we make our own individual lunches). So, I've been doing what I can to help. Yesterday, I made the waffles recipe from Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen and today, the macaroni and cheese. The waffles recipe was easily made dairy-free, so I was able to taste it, too. They weren't half bad. You add strawberries, powdered sugar and syrup (she added strawberries and whipped cream), you wouldn't even know they were gluten-free. I did not make the dairy-free version for the macaroni and cheese, but I asked her how it was and she said she liked it.

And to add that in here: Many or all of the recipes actually have dairy alternatives listed, so you can make things that are both gluten-free and dairy-free.

While the cookbook says it's cooking for your teen, these are really just basic things a lot of kids and adults like. The recipes are fairly simple and so far, there isn't a single one we've made that we didn't like.