This past spring 2016, my family and I went through some health challenges and while waiting for specialist & naturopath appointments, we decided to be proactive and gradually switch over to a more gluten-free diet in hopes of getting some control over our situation. We thought if tests results came out a certain way at least adhering to a gluten-free diet would not be a shock to our systems and hopefully we would have found some things the children would enjoy.
Well by the time end of June 2016 rolled around we were in for a shock and were heart broken. After receiving some test results we realized we not only had to be completely 100% gluten-free but we had to eliminate almost everything from our current staple diets at the time.
This included all dairy and cheese, eggs, beef, lamb, any medicated meats, garlic, soy, beans, lentils, oats, wheat, nightshade vegetables (eggplants, tomatoes) and the list didn’t stop there even our favourite fruits (cantaloupe, watermelon, oranges) were put on hold along with onions and garlic! In total there were well over 50 plus items we had to remove.
My daughter and son were not thrilled, in fact they could not believe it when mom and dad wiped the fridge and pantry clean of well everything (well we did it in small steps so it would not be a shock).
After a summer filled with tears and more tears from my little ones, we slowly, ever so slowly managed to put together meals that at first were not even palatable (but did we have a choice?). Over the course of the last six months, meal planning has emerged into a family activity with everyone taking ownership and watching out for each other – but we still have days where it is a challenge and tears well up in their eyes just waiting to roll down their cuddly cheeks…
Because I am so new to the world of gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free it has been challenging finding foods and taking shortcuts. In fact we now have very little packaged food in the house (didn’t have much to begin with but it is extreme now) and basically have to make things from scratch. At the start of this journey I felt I was back to introducing solids to my babies when I would make mashed foods for them and keep them on a particular food for a couple days to see if allergies would arise.
This year I am going to make even more of an effort to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to do things such as bake a gluten-free bread which contains no eggs, and if possible no yeast. Along with that I am going to try my hand at baking gluten free cakes/ muffins from scratch! Any suggestions are welcome!