The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Dear Readers:

I was going to post the following under my Babycakes comments, but it's so darn long, I decided to post it here instead. I know I promised a PAMELA'S PRODUCTS review, and it's coming (in fact, I'm baking bread from their bread mix right this very minute!). But first my response to an insightful and helpful comment from Anonymous. Also, below, I've included a couple of posts from a Vegan who is on an allergen-free diet and had some great tips for getting protein from sources other than meat! Hope this is useful info.

Dear Anonymous:

Re: Lennon's extensive allergy testing

Thanks so much for writing in, and for your concern. You share some really useful info! And your comment makes me realize it's time for an update on his allergies, and mine.

But first, thanks for that info on hives. This is very important readers!! In Anonymous's comment, he/she says that "According to FAAN, about 90% of IgE reactions include the person having some hives so reactions that don't begin within two hours of ingestion and reactions that do not involve any hives are not as likely to be IgE reactions." I'll go one step further and point out that according to The Parent's Guide to Food Allergies, "It's common for food allergies to make themselves known within TWENTY MINUTES or so of eating..." I concur that most IgE reactions occur within several hours, and if I said that allergic reactions can occur up to 24 hours after ingestion, I was not referring to IgE reactions, but rather DTH reactions. See
for more info. And cross reference with FAAN, please, because Wikipedia is not ALWAYS accurate.

However, IgE allergic reactions can certainly occur for 24 hours or more, which leads me to answering your question about why Lennon was tested for so many allergens. I had a severe allergic reaction to Walnuts last Thanksgiving. I broke out in total body hives about 30 minutes after eating walnuts, and continued having horrible total body hives for an entire week. My eyes swelled shut, I had shortness of breath, my lips swelled, it was terrifying. So I knew I needed to go in for allergy testing. Additionally, I get hives from many types of fish, and several types of shellfish. I also get rashes from wheat within a couple hours of eating it. I had a lot of symptoms, and just wanted to cover all my bases and get tested. Which brings me to Lennon. Lennon also gets hives, and rashes, and has horrible environmental allergies (he has such bad eye allergies it impairs his vision), so I wanted to see if I could pinpoint where the hives were coming from. As many know, he had been severely allergic to Dairy and Soy as an infant. He outgrew his soy allergy at about 2 years old, and was still moderately allergic to dairy, but nothing like he'd been as a baby (very very very sick baby). Anyway, it had been a couple of years since he'd had allergy testing. So I took him and myself to Dr. Eitches and Dr. Baum at Cedars-Sinai, whom many consider to be the best Allergists in LA, and we got tested, across the board. My testing just confirmed all my suspicions, that were already based on symptoms. But none of the foods I'm allergic to are foods I can't live without. And the ones to which I have a mild allergy, and I have no fear about, like pineapple, I still eat on occasion. I strictly avoid the fish, shellfish, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Lennon tested positive to shellfish, walnuts, soy, wheat, and egg whites. (And a zillion pollens, epidermals, and molds, but these are all backed up by symptoms). Shellfish and Walnuts were a no-brainer. His allergist told me to keep him away from these foods (which I always have anyway). And he has tested positive to these allergens a second time around (I had him re-tested 4 months after the first test), so I think it's safe to assume he really is allergic to them. However, he didn't seem to be allergic to soy, wheat or the egg whites despite the positive skin test. I hadn't been noticing immediate reactions. There were the hives, but I wasn't sure where they were coming from. And I agree to take a child off all these nutritive foods just based on a positive skin test alone, without any symptoms, makes no sense (Unless we're talking about a food allergic infant or toddler, which is a whole other ballgame, and avoidance is thought to be preventative)

But in order to make an informed decision, I took Lennon off these foods, to see if it would make a difference, and then slowly reintroduced them one at a time to see if there was a reaction. PLEASE NOTE, DO NOT DO THIS YOURSELF WITHOUT THE GUIDANCE OF YOUR ALLERGIST. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME FOLKS! Long story short, I have noticed no reaction to wheat, so he's back on it, in moderation. No reaction to eggs, so he's back on them. And no reaction to soy, so he's back on that too. So these days, all we have to avoid in our food allergic household is:

DAIRY (my husband is allergic, and Monte has been advised to avoid it due to asthmatic reactions)
FISH (I'm allergic)
SHELLFISH (Lennon is allergic and I'm allergic)
WALNUTS (Lennon is allergic and I'm allergic)
HAZELNUTS (I'm allergic)
WHEAT (I'm allergic, but I still eat it sometimes, and ignore the rash!)

So we still avoid 5 out of the big 8 food allergens. And I still make recipes that avoid all big 8, (actually now big 9, because I find so many people want sesame-free recipes too). And I also do a lot of gluten-free, even though it's not an IgE "allergy", because so many people request gluten-free as well as allergen-free. And the new book will be free of all, so that it's helpful to as many people as possible.

Now here's that Vegan Post! (Actually, she's 99.9% Vegan)

"I am not the vegan commenter but I'm 99.9 vegan. I turned veggie at age 7 and vegan in my 20s on and off until my son got diagnosed with food allergies. Now I'm totally vegan because of him *except* for a recent addition of fish oil. So, I can no longer claim vegan-status I guess. I am currently also soy-free because I find it gives me very bad GI problems, although I'm not allergic to it. I wanted to tell you how I get my protein. I do a protein shake each morning with both rice protein and either pea or hemp protein powder. Both pea and hemp protein powder are complete protein. I do eat a fair amount of quinoa. I use a *LOT* of nutritional yeast, which has about 8 grams of protein for one tbsp and is complete when combined with legumes or whole grains. I also eat a lot of legumes and hemp seeds. I have calculated how much protein I get to make sure it is enough since I am so used to relying on soy and I find that I easily get more than enough this way. The protein shake really helps as it has almost 30 grams in it alone. But I also think that many recommendations on how much protein we need are way too much. I don't know how much you are aiming to consume in a day.

Also, my son's allergies include sesame and we were not advised to avoid any other seeds. I did go very, very slowly in introducing other seeds but DS is only allergic to sesame and not other seeds. I do think it is a good idea to be careful with sesame as it is now about the 4th most common food allergen according to Dr. Wood who spoke at the recent Baltimore FAAN conference.

My DH must have meat or he gets ill. I support however you or anyone chooses to eat. I even cook the meat-type recipes from your cookbook for my DH and he loves them. You shouldn't have to explain why you eat meat now. I admit that I was curious, though, esp because your book contains some really hard-core meat recipes!

Also I want to thank you for your wonderful cookbook. It is so great! I often read it while I eat. :)

Hi Cybele,

99.9% vegan here. Glad the reply was helpful.

Please feel free to use my post on your main page.

I get my hemp protein powder from Manitoba Harvest because it is supposed to be free of cross-contamination with my son's food allergens. Some health food stores carry other brands, though. I recently saw some at Whole Foods. I also got hemp seeds (which I *love*) from them and hemp butter (to me just OK) from them. I get pea protein powder from Kirkman. They also make a great calcium powder that is easy to add to things and other products helpful for those with food allergies.

I don't know about baking with protein powders. I think it would vary product to product. If you post at that would be a good question to ask. I'm sure you would get good info in response.

I also forgot to mention that many people have luck with pumpkin seeds combined with whole grains. I love sunflower seeds and found that Dakota Style are supposed to be free from cross contamination with my son's allergens. I also use SunButter for protein.

I know you have to combine the rice in your rice protein with seeds or legumes to make a complete protein and that by itself it isn't one.

That's really too bad you can't eat nutritional yeast. I find it really yummy.

I wonder if you can do seitan? Even if you can only eat spelt you could make your own. That is really high in protein.

Oh, and I forgot--Nu-World Amaranth makes *wonderful* (IMO) Amaranth Snackers. I love the BarB-Q ones. They are really high in protein. I also like their Amaranth side dishes. They are super fast and easy to make.

Truthfully, I find it somewhat challenging to be a soy-free vegan and have thought that if I weren't so emotionally opposed to eating meats it would be a good idea for me now. It is just that having been a veggie since age 7 it would be very difficult for me to start now. I can understand why you need to include it in your diet.