A Well-Rounded…but Different Diet

You might be wondering why none of our recipes or grocery lists contain nuts. Basically, we have dedicated ourselves to making our home an allergen-free environment. One of my closest and dearest friends, Shannon, has a little boy with SEVERE food allergies. His name is Asher. He is allergic to dairy, soy, wheat, legumes, tree nuts, eggs, dogs, cats, and who knows what else! He is anaphylactic to peanuts, most tree nuts, and eggs. We started off making our home nut-free because that was pretty easy. We wanted a place where he could come and play; he is C’s best friend and they are about the same age. But we had a difficult time changing, especially with informing our friends and family of the hows and whys, and we still had eggs around. It really wasn’t that safe.

As our journey began to include eating differently, and as we came across food problems with E, we decided to go all out. Going on the whole food eating plan has eliminated eggs from our diet. By not eating the foods we usually put eggs in, we don’t have to worry about having them. We didn’t eat eggs by themselves much, but we baked and made soups with eggs a lot. We moved into a new house and decided before we moved that there would be no nuts and no eggs in that house. And now that we barely eat meat, eggs are a non-issue.

Beans are a legume, and so are peas and green beans, which we do eat in our house. They are actually very common in many things we make. Asher isn’t too allergic to black beans, which is mostly what we eat. The lighter the bean, the higher his allergic response, so we try to keep great northern beans to a minimum. We use them sometimes in soups, but that is it. So our house isn’t completely allergen-free, but Shannon and Asher do not have to worry about him going into anaphylactic shock from anything in our home. We are especially careful about what is brought in. We have told our close friends and family to keep outside food away, which wasn’t a big issue anyway. Because E has his issues with dairy and soy, we understand even more (though I’m sure not completely) what they go through. It is important to have people in your life that understand and are supportive. Plus, C love Asher and being able to have him in our home while eating more healthy is only a positive.

Even when we had decided to make our new home safe for Asher, we still were eating lots of boxed things. Most of which were contaminated with nuts. We are so glad that we aren’t eating that stuff anymore anyway for our own health, but it is a great by-product of our choice that our place is totally nut-free. It’s important to know that most things, even if they don’t contain nuts, are contaminated by the facility they are packaged or manufactured in.

So now you know why we don’t eat nuts. We don’t think nuts are bad for most people, but we do think people should be more aware of where they eat nuts, and the consequences of careless eating in public places. Nuts can be very nutritious and a good source of protein and good fats, but for us, it is not worth the risk.

To read more about Shannon and Asher’s story, find great vegan and nut-free recipes, and connect with other food-allergy families, go to http://thisanaphylacticlife.blogspot.com. And visit the FAAN website for more info on food allergies and their prevalence in our nation.

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