Death Defying Diet: Making “Bubble Life” Delicious.
My name is Julie, and I have many allergies, am a migraineur, and have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and IBS. I live day-to-day by the skin of my teeth, by avoiding the food that could easily kill me…or just make life plain uncomfortable. Some days, it is harder than it looks, especially when it comes to planning my persinicky menu around my day job. I hope to share my death-defying experiences and recipes with other fellow bubble-people. My husband and I married in June of 2013, and navigating a tiny kitchen with food allergies is a new experience for both of us. We have learned to deal with my sensitive diet through humor, experimentation, and supporting each other.
Which is to say, we’re both huge dorks in and out of the kitchen. Every day is filled with laughter, and random commentary about how we missed our calling as Improv Comedians. I happen to dork out about all things related to The Princess Bride, unicorns farting rainbows (which is where Skittles come from), T-Rexes with tiny arms (making a bed among other things), Wonder Woman, our darling felines, and bacon. The only bacon that I don’t like is an undercooked one. Aside from being The Dorky Missus, people who know me well call me a “Saucy Chick” because of my prevalent Irish ancestry and my sauce-rage. Yes; I have sauce-rage, that is, the intense desire to metaphorically punch a hole in the wall because I cooked a dry recipe with improper sauce-to-food ratio! That’s about the only time my friends and family will see me go from the cheerful, calm, dorky woman that I am to a woman very passionate about sauce.
Currently, the Hubster and I are interested in and experimenting with a Paleo-conscious diet, and he’s much more strict about it than I am. I tend to follow a more Whole-Foods approach myself. We’re not nutritionists, we’re not even strict cave-men dieters. We don’t follow the hard rules of paleolithic eating. Instead, we try to eat things that are better for our bodies — more fresh vegetables and fruits, leaner cuts of meat, grass-fed when we can, pastured chickens and pork, as well as little to no gluten, dairy, and sugar.
We began our lifestyle with the intention to calm my body down after a harrowing peanut-allergy experience. The Hubster suggested the diet change because he wanted to see me feel better, and he never wanted to have to worry about me like that again. It took some time to get started, with both of us scouring the web for ideas of what exactly Paleo and Whole-Foods are, then search for the ingredients in our small Maryland town. Although we changed our eating lifestyle for me, both of us have reaped the benefits. The results have been worth it. After years of dealing with intense stomach pains, my tummy has calmed down. I’m off of a lot of medications. My skin is clearer. And even though neither one of us started the diet because we wanted to lose weight, it has been a postive side effect. Our lifestyle change has brought us closer together in our relationship because we are each other’s sous-chef, recipe taster, and inspiration.
Death Defying Diet will show you our successes (and failures because we’re not perfect) as we continue this journey into our personal health excellence. We hope that you’ll enjoy our adventures and feel inspired to try new and crazy things in the kitchen! Living with allergies doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice taste for allergen-free food! Let us know about your culinary escapades and happy, healthy eating!
I can’t claim that all of the recipes that I post will be death-defying for anyone but me. Even then, I might have a few hairy experiments in my culinary journey. This blog is produced for educational and informational purposes. Readers of Death Defying Diet are encouraged to speak with their physician concerning dietary changes, especially if pregnant and/or concerning other health ailments. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Nothing that you read here should be relied upon to determine a course of medical treatment or medical diagnosis. Research, converse with your doctors, and make an informed decision.
I can assure you that the ingredients below in the Major Allergies section WILL NOT be used in any dishes (unless I make them for the Hubster) because I am allergic to them. As for food sensitivities, I limit them as much as I can. For the curious and concerned, here’s my (ever-changing) list of food no-no’s.
Despite my allergies, several recipes are not considered Nut-Free because they contain coconut, which has been classified by the FDA as a tree-nut.
- Lettuce: Yes. Lettuce. Everyone says, “Really? Lettuce? I don’t know anyone who’s allergic to lettuce!” Now you do. Yes, it affects both organic and not. Yes, it’s weird. I’m baffled by it, too, and the allergy is so severe that if I smell lettuce, I have a reaction.
- Pineapple: PINEAPPLE! I love pineapple! This one really stinks.
- Nuts: All nuts, and peanuts have landed me in the hospital. I carry an Epi-Pen for this reason.
- Soy: This also bites because I love sushi. You won’t see edamame used here. Or tofu.
- Avocado: Holy moly, no guacamole?
- RED Balsamic Vinegar and RED wine: The histamines are the trigger.
- Red and blue food dye of any sort. Do you realize these two colors are in practically everything processed? Check the marshmallows that you use for s’mores. The label should say that it contains blue dye. Read your labels.
- MSG: Who isn’t? Besides, it’s bad for you anyway.
- Nitrates and other preservatives: Which is also found in everything processed. This includes BACON & SAUSAGE. Unless you get local, from pastured pigs, and preservative free. Some packages at the store are noted for being nitrate/preservative-free. Bottom line: Again, read your labels.
- Cardamom: It’s a spice that’s used in teas and in baking, for anyone unfamiliar with it. My guess is that most people don’t use this. I still have to watch out for it. Garam Masala, a spice mixture used in Indian food, often has cardamom in it. Between the nuts and cardamom, I really have to be careful with Indian food that I don’t cook.
- Raw Celery: I have oral allergy syndrome. I cannot consume celery raw; I have to cook it. Otherwise, I end up with an itchy mouth, swelling tongue, and hives in my mouth and around my lips.
- Raw Jalapeño Peppers: Same reaction as celery, except let’s add a heaping dose of pain to this one. Holy. Smokes. I can eat cooked and canned jalapeño peppers. I may or may not have issues with other raw peppers.
- Gluten: This one is new. I’m trying to eat as little as possible. My tummy likes this change.
- Foods with lots of oil and butter. This isn’t so bad, because reducing it is one way to watch cholesterol. We’ve changed to healthy oils – olive and coconut – and limit our intake.
- Alcohol: You won’t see me dancing on tables any time soon. However, this only applies to certain ones. All grain based alcohols and red wines are the ones that I have issues with. So histamines and gluten are a no-no.
- Artificial sweeteners – such as Splenda. Man, aspartame does a number on me. But this sensitivity is okay, because I think it tastes gross anyway. Give me raw honey or Grade B Maple Syrup any day. Besides, the artificial sweeteners aren’t good for the body.
- Orange cheese: I don’t have any trouble with white cheeses. Something with the dye induces migraines.
- Mayonnaise: This will make me blow up the bathroom. I feel bad for who has to use it after me. SORRY. I make my own now, where I can control what’s in it. I still keep consumption to a minimum, though.
- Raw Green Peppers: They clean me out within minutes of eating. The same apology as Mayo applies.
- Worchestershire Sauce: Worsh-sh-sh-sh-sh…Well, I guess I don’t have to worry about pronouncing this as I use it sparingly.
- Salt: I’ve found limiting my intake drastically reduces my migraines. So perhaps my body is a tad sensitive to it.