Once a year, we take a trip to our allergist's office. Our 6 year old daughter is skin tested with all of the things that she has shown to be allergic to. We have been doing this for the last 4 years. Often, we see some reactions decrease, slightly. Sometimes we see new ones emerge (cinnamon, popped up last year). Every since we have known about Ella's allergies, we have been told that it is statistically possible for her to outgrow SOME of them. Namely, wheat, soy and eggs tend to be allergies that people tend to get over as time passes. Often, this can happen when a child is between the ages of 5-7... or so we have been told. We have always had it in our minds that maybe, just maybe things could change. The nut allergies are different. The doctor has told us that it is unrealistic for us to think that Ella will ever be able to consume them. Or at least, it is highly unlikely. So we have focused all of our hopes and dreams on the possibility that she can eat wheat again. After all, this has been a very annoying thing to have to avoid. It is an expensive allergy to have (hello, Whole Food's grocery bills!) and it has been isolating for her, socially (birthday party, anyone?)
Skin Test. Photos like these are as common as school portraits in our house
Ella is pretty good with her skin tests. She despises getting blood tests and will do almost anything to avoid them. But I always try to pack lots of distractions and sweet treats. This time around we took 4 spools of crafter's lacing to make lanyards, a pad of paper to play hangman and a purse full of DumDum Pops.
Blue Raspberry Relief, courtesy of a DumDum Lollipop
Lanyard Bracelet. I'd show you our hangman games,
but she wiped the floor with me.
And getting beat by a 6 year old is pretty... humiliating.
We waited 15 minutes to see results. Ella was a little anxious because it was the first time we have skin tested her for nuts since she had a horrific reaction, 2 years ago. Our doctor came in, with her poker face and slowly charted the results. Ella, naturally, kept asking her, "Can I eat wheat now? Can I eat wheat now?" Dr. Baum is an ocean of calm. She never raises her voice, always is comforting... she simply asked Ella to wait a few minutes more.
Drum roll... ELLA IS NOT ALLERGIC TO WHEAT ANYMORE!!!!!!! The same thing goes for soy and cinnamon!!! Truly, this feels like such a miracle. Ella was practically floating from the news. Honestly, I have never seen her glow as much as she did in that moment. She was so happy. The doctor told us to approach this with baby steps and to not jump into eating bowls of pasta, at least for now. Maybe a bit here and a bit there. Possibly working up to more as time goes on. I could see Ella imagining all of the things that she can now eat, that she could not before... crackers, challah, pancakes, the cupcakes I make that she is never allowed to eat, breadsticks, CROISSANTS, pie and the list goes on. I told her, "You can also eat wheat pasta and Grandma's spaghetti sauce!" And she looked at me and said, without missing a beat, "Just because I can eat wheat doesn't mean that I now want to eat sauce, Mommy!" Ella hates anything saucy.
As for the tree nut allergies, the results were pretty much what we anticipated... she is still highly allergic to almost all of them. Same goes for peanuts and sesame. But we can handle that. SHE CAN EAT WHEAT!!!!
As a reward for her bravery and to celebrate her new ability, I asked her what she wanted to have for dinner. She opted for a pancakes at Du-Par's... a place in LA that makes the most amazing light and fluffy pancakes....
Just one pancake, but oh so blissful.
Now we have been handed a new deck of cards and it seems like this hand might be better. The one good thing about the wheat allergy is that it has limited the amount of possibilities for cross contamination with nuts. Wheat is in everything. So pretty much anything processed has been off the table. Now that she can eat store bought bread and snack foods, it seems like we are going to have to be much more careful about label reading. Same goes for restaurant "adventures". It has been hard to go wrong with a bowl of brown rice, steamed veggies and grilled chicken.
For the moment, I am just going to be happy for her and will try and hit "pause" on my worry button. I am just so excited for her, as the world just got a whole bunch more interesting.
Growing up, we had a cockapoo who we loved for over 16 years. He never shed and we assumed he was "hypoallergenic". Both my sister and I had horrific environmental allergies, but we always never thought that it was because of our dog. (I still do not, by the way!) My Mom has a Bichon Frise, her third, and she swears that they are also hypoallergenic. I have never had issues with them but my sister has. That is why this new study intrigues me...
We have been hearing rumors that CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) was getting ready to offer a gluten-free pizza crust option. The wait is over! Tonight, we got to try their new crust. The new pizza is part of a new menu that is packed full of Gluten and Wheat free options.
Pizza dough ingredients are said to contain: Rice Flour, Water, Corn starch, Tapioca dextrin, Non-Fat Dry Milk, Whole Eggs, Sugar, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Baking Powder, and Soybean Oil.
The verdict: We LOVE it! More importantly, Ella loves it. The crust was thin and was not overly seasoned, like other GF crusts that we have had. Making it easy for a 6 year old to love it. "It's just as good as a wheat pizza!" exclaimed Ella has she quickly gobbled down 4 of her 6 slices. Thankfully, she saved enough for left-overs for her camp lunch tomorrow.
As an added bonus, CPK does not charge extra for the crust and you can order it on most of your pizza favorites.
Our favorite GF pizza is still Pizza Fusion , but this is a close second. CPK happens to be near our house and our school often throws fundraisers there. Now we can order something beyond grilled chicken and steamed broccoli! Something tells me that we will be back soon.
Here is a link to other CPK Gluten-free menu items...
Looking for something fun to do indoors this summer, to beat the heat? How about bowling? This is a fabulous deal worth checking out, especially if you have kids. Up to 4 adults can be listed on the Family Pass (including babysitters and grandparents) and they can bowl 2 games per day! You are charged a one time fee of $24.95, not including shoe rentals.
This is a blog for people who are limited in what they can eat. The focus of this blog is primarily wheat/gluten and nut free. Many of the recipes include dairy ingredients which can easily be substituted with a soy or non-dairy alternative. No recipes include shellfish or sesame. Another focus is healthy living through the use of organic foods and enriching activities like exercise and hobbies. I try to keep current on articles that are published about food allergies and their possible causes. If you know anyone with food allergies or happen to have them yourself, this blog is for you!
I hold a BS in Home Economics and Interior Design from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I have been a Set Decorator and Interior Designer for over 15 years, having worked on many films and television shows. Most recently, I won a Primetime Emmy for Best Art Direction for a Multi-camera Series for my work on Fox's MasterChef.
We have two young children... Milo, 6, and Ella, 8. My Husband is a comedy writer, whose Tweets are MUCH more entertaining than mine could ever be!
When I was 34 I found out that I am allergic to shellfish, after having eaten it my entire life.
My daughter has severe food allergies, including peanuts, sesame, and all nuts. She is especially allergic to pistachios. She had previously been allergic to wheat, eggs and soy... thankfully, she has seemingly outgrown those allergies.
Cooking for a child is usually a challenge, but finding things for an allergic kid to eat is next to impossible.
I started this blog because I have been learning so much and am eager to share information. Because I love to cook, recipes are a huge part of what I am posting.
It IS possible to live well with food allergies. Thanks for reading...