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Old 03-28-2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Have you had to do a special diet?

So we went to John Hopkins yesterday for an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist. We got referred there by our pediatrician because our DD has chronic esophagitis, a chronic fever and is a very poor sleeper. She was diagnosed with reflux at two months. We are still BF, and I plan on weaning when she is ready. She will be 13 months next week. So here is where I am looking for some advice/ help: The Doctor we saw yesterday believes that she may have food allergies that are causing her symptoms to continue. As a result, she cannot have any: Wheat, eggs, dairy, tomato, soy or nuts. If I were to stop BF to avoid having to take on this diet as well, she would be eating fruit, vegetables and meat only, and drinking water. Obviously, this wouldn't work well, so she needs to continue nursing, and I have to start this elimination diet as well. I am looking for any recipes, tips and suggestions that may make this easier for both of us. Has anyone else had to do this type of diet because of allergies? Any input is appreciated!

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Old 03-28-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re: Have you had to do a special diet?

No real advice. I've been feeling sorry for myself because I've had to eliminate all dairy from my diet, but you've helped put things in perspective. I hope your LO improves. I know it must be very hard. Kuddos to you for making it work.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Have you had to do a special diet?

Yes me! I have been gluten-free for a couple of years, just for myself, and now that I am BFing I am free of dairy, eggs, and soy, as well as still gluten. This is a huge PITA, but I am slowly figuring things out.

As for carbs, I have just gotten rid of breads completely. You can buy rice, millet, or other non-gluten grain breads, but I don't think they tasts very good. I have had some sucess making my own bread, but it still doesn't measure up to regular bread. If you google "gluten-free bread recipe" or "gluten-free sandwich bread" you can get lots of ideas. I eat a lot of brown rice, a little corn (polenta, tortillas, popcorn), and some other grains as well (quinoa, buckwheat). Potatoes and yams are good carbs for me too.

For protein, I eat meat, fish, poultry. It's tough to get that much meat because there is no option for soy and nuts. I like to cook large portions of meat and have it in the fridge so it's available. I get a roast or a huge turkey breast and crock-pot it and that will last for a long time. Canned fish, like tuna, salmon, and kipper snacks are good too. My main problem is that I need fast food, because there isn't a lot of time to just cook a huge meal every time I need to eat. Having things that are made ahead of time make this easier. Legumes are also a good protein source. Lentils, split peas, all kinds of beans. DH and I made a bunch of legumes the other day, and with beans cooked and grains cooked you can easily make a salad or casserole quickly. Hummus is another good thing to have around for a quick snack, put it on rice crackers or celery or pair it with an apple.

Of course, eat lots of fruits and veggies. This is a challenge for me because again, they often need to be prepared and I feel like I don't have a lot of time. Sometimes I will get the food processor out and just get everything in the fridge all chopped or sliced, then things are ready to go.

As for milky things, you can use cocnut milk in a lot of recipes, and I sometimes make my own nut milk. Soak some nuts (or seeds like sunflower or pumpkin) in water overnight, drain, then put in the blender with more water. Strain it well, cheesecloth works but it sometimes remains a little pulpy.

I know this seems really tough, eliminating all these foods. When I first got off gluten I thought I was going to starve. It gets better.

Sorry for the long post, gotta go now but feel free to PM me for more ideas!
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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Re: Have you had to do a special diet?

I also wanted to say that it's really tough to eat packaged/prepared foods on this kind of diet. You'll have an easier time (and a lot less label-reading) if you make most of your food from scratch.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:22 PM   #5
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Re: Have you had to do a special diet?

Hi mama, your situation sounds really hard! But nursing your daughter definitely sounds like the best choice for a lot of reasons right now.

My DD seems to have some relatively mild but still bothersome sensitivities to some foods in my diet, but I'm not quite sure what they are yet. Soy is probably one, maybe gluten, and possibly something else that I haven't eliminated yet. (I'm vegan, so I've long been egg-, meat-, and dairy-free, but just recently eliminated soy and gluten from my diet as well.)

There are a lot of good resources out there for recipes. A friend showed me Gluten-Free Girl and Karena's Kitchen. But there are lots of other allergen-free recipe sites out there.

Over time, you will find new things that you enjoy preparing and eating, but for a while, it can seem like elimination diets are only about deprivation, without any enjoyment. Hang in there.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Have you had to do a special diet?

Here's a cookbook with treats that you should be able to have. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

Vegan food is dairy and egg free and you can find lots without soy and gluten as well.

I've been there although without as many restrictions!
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: Have you had to do a special diet?

I"m right there with you. DD has sensitivities to dairy, soy, wheat, and nuts. I agree with the pp about making your food from scratch. Almost all package food has dairy or soy or wheat in it. You can find a few packaged foods at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joes that you can eat but they usually aren't very good.
I found a recommendation for a cookbook called The Whole Foods Allergry Cookbook by Cybele Pascal that I recently bought. Lots of recipes that look great. I've only tried one or two so far but it seems good.

Good luck to you. It does seem really hard at first but once you stock up on the things you can eat it gets a lot better.

Foods that I found that I like are
Sunbutter (sunflower butter)
Brown Rice pasta
Rice milk (can substitute in a recipe for regular milk)
Spectrum - spread (butter substitute), mayonnaise, safflower oil and coconut oil. Spectrum makes great no allergen dairy free products.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:08 AM   #8
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Re: Have you had to do a special diet?

Thanks for all of the suggestions Mamas. I was amazed when I went to the grocery store yesterday how even food I didn't think would contain say soy did. I can see why making my own food would be easier. I will definitely check out the blogs and the books that were suggested. Thanks so much!
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