Why we're here...

The quick version :) We are a family of 7 (plus 5 if you count pets, sadly now 3) living with severe food allergies (thus far dairy and beef, thinking the baby might add some to the list) and as vegetarians (mostly vegan, except pastured eggs occasionally), organically, and I generally attempt to do everything as quickly and easily as possible (think one bowl everything!).

The long version... This journey officially started one Saturday in April (2011) when my husband decided to let me (his very pregnant wife) "sleep in" and took our 18 month old son downstairs. The minute I fell asleep again they came back up, my husband said that Jake seemed tired again and wanted me. Byebye sleeping in. We settled back in bed, Jake on top of me, I dozed for a minute and opened my eyes admiring my boy. He sleepily opened his eyes and threw up all over my face, head, back (no idea how), pillows, you get the idea! To which I said "Change Jake, I'll be in the shower!" At which point my husband admitted "oh I gave him milk". At this point we knew only that he didn't like milk.

When I told his doctor this story in passing at his 18 month appointment she felt that was an unusual reaction and he should be seen by an allergist. Jake had never touched a milk product willingly, but we figured maybe an intolerance or preference. Clearly we were wrong when I brought him to be tested and the doctor said "he's allergic to milk". By the look on his face he did not think I was entertaining when I replied "Oh come on, that's ridiculous". Thus... I had to remove milk from his diet, as well as my own because he was still nursing. Which at first was tough due to my unnatural obsession with ice cream, but there are enough milk substitutes to deal with that. However, later this summer he was still having symptoms. Brought him to get tested once more and found he was allergic to eggs as well (again my "Are you kidding?!" was met with a quiet smile). (2014 Update: he's fine with eggs now, his milk allergy severity has sky rocketed, as well as a new beef allergy. and too many environmental allergies to list! But seriously, who cares if he cannot own a horse!)

Moral of this, I had a lot to change in the cooking department! I attempted to use vegan recipes. Thus, these recipes were born, and further, this website. Apparently allergies are occurring more and more but it is very difficult to find recipes to accommodate. My goal is to help that cause by providing ways to work around that and still eat well (and by well, I mean food that my chicken-wing-addicted-husband-who would-never-eat-anything-that-grows-in-the-ground-if-his- obnoxious-wife-does-not-nag-him-until-he-gives in- will actually eat. (2014 Update-This man has become a near vegan at home for his little man! He's a fabulous father! However, I learned quickly to cook for him!)

2016 update! we now have four children ages 6 to 6 months. Only one has confirmed allergies, but it's looking possible that this may increase by one or two (currently we are just watching and waiting :) Please don't take our peanut butter away!!

2018: We now have 5 children. The oldest is 8, and still seriously allergic to milk, and beef. Youngest is 3 months. and no other confirmed allergies. but the 2 year old can not eat bananas, though sadly she loves them. the baby throws up constantly... but who knows:)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finally a Moment!!

Between the holiday, sick children, and children who don't sleep.... I know my posts have been pretty short. I may add to the previous. And it's certainly time to add a recipe. I will get the "best dessert ever" (according to my super picky husband) up soon. Thanksgiving, though slightly logistically tough to conjure without adding anything my son is allergic to, went quite well! I am so thankful for my family! They are wonderful! Just the four of us this year, but it was nice. I am also thankful for Earth Balance products!! Especially the soy free one! They do everything butter does, have great taste, without the dairy. Between that, rice milk, specially picked bread, and some kitchen magic, I was able to make stuffing, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes all safe for Jake. Which, in hindsight, was only a slight waste of time since a certain two year old is ridiculously picky right now, and hardly eats a thing! Though he did a couple beans! But, having given up his allergens myself, and also working to make good food healthier (and more vegetarian or accidentally vegan) it all worked out and was both traditional and delicious! This has been a difficult year in many ways, but it is so wonderful to have a day to remind us of everything wonderful that we have been blessed with.

On to the flu... Still a huge concern that we cannot get Jake immunized. I am thinking to both Gymboree and Christmas. The Gymboree that we go to is wonderful and clean, but that does not take the germ out of the child!! We love Gymboree, but the look the pediatrician gave me when I asked how good of an idea bringing him during flu season is was a bit telling. Kind of like "are you crazy?!" Except she did not say it outright, but explained it more in a clinical sense knowing full well that I knew what she really meant. Good chance we will still go. It's not cheap, we aren't rich! Not to mention, a warm place for a two year old to burn off some energy is priceless! Which brings us to Christmas...

Ah Christmas (or as Jake says "Happy Birthday Time Jesus")... pretty lights, family, friends, presents, good food... and a ton of people in small spaces who have been in contact with tons of other people in small spaces who have been in contact with.. you get it. So how does one politely tell every family member who may be in contact with one's son to get the flu shot or don't come to Christmas? Well, one doesn't I suppose. That would be grinchy. Instead one makes suggestions and drops hints like "Weird we can't get Jake the flu shot, Doctor said just to make sure everyone around him has one. Ha ha." And then a mom dresses said child in rain gear and everyone wears masks and the mom tackles people who cough? I don't know, don't have a set game plan yet! I'll let you know! However, I did feel only minimally better when the doctor told me that a child having the flu doesn't GUARANTEE that they will end up in the hospital, just makes it more likely. Oh super! So, I suppose I will pray. And carry hand sanitizer! And possibly be ready to tackle! Coughers beware! So, For the Love of All those who are allergic to eggs (most of which are children) GET YOUR FLU SHOT!!!!:)

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