Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies couldn’t disappear just because we were cutting out gluten, dairy, and soy. Luckily, Ginger Lemon Girl has a fantastic gluten/dairy free recipe.

This was actually the first allergen friendly dessert that I made that came out correctly. My husband sighed when I made them and decided that he could live gluten and dairy free with the inclusion of these chocolate chip cookies. Thankfully, I’ve become much more adept at making allergy friendly desserts (and other dishes, but let’s be honest, the desserts are important) since then.

The Plunge

Photo by Chas Redmond

Last Fall when I received the results from my allergy testing, I felt like I was on the edge of a cliff, teetering as I looked at what I was dealing with. We debated getting the kids tested. We didn’t want to put them through anything without reason, but I really wanted to know. In the end, my husband’s company helped make the decision. They decided to downgrade employee health insurance, so I made a rush call to get the kids in for bloodwork before the end of the year.

I expected a few allergies, especially since our youngest has been having reactions now that she eats some food or when I eat something I normally avoid (she’ll be tested when she is older). I wasn’t expecting the results we received – that all of our children have extensive food allergies.

That was the gust of wind that pushed me off the cliff, tumbling into the whirlpool waiting below. I went through some mama guilt. Did I do anything to cause this? Had I passed on my faulty genetics? But as I was struggling in that whirl-pool, I had a much greater reason to fight through. Children will do that for you.

We are addressing the allergies in phases. Right now we are working on going completely gluten, dairy, soy, tomato, yeast, and corn free. We’ll add in some more a little bit at a time. The kids are handling it surprisingly well. My six year old had one near breakdown at Costco, when out of the 15 or so samples, there were none that our family could eat. She was upset that there wasn’t anything she could eat. My husband and I pointed her toward the cart and explained that she could eat everything that we were buying, much to her relief.

It’s a new beginning for all of us. My children were headed down the path that I was. I look at my eight year old, just a few shy years of the age I was when my body first crashed. I have absolutely no regrets about getting them tested.

middle-aged…

A few weeks ago I made a comment to my husband about being middle-aged. He looked at me and stated that you can’t consider yourself middle-aged at thirty. I did. My mother was 57 when she died. Her parents were in their early 60′s. The odds weren’t looking good that I would live much past 60 without succumbing to some type of cancer.

Then we received the results from all of my recent testing. I’m in the midst of a lifestyle change based on those results. It isn’t as though we ate a horrible diet before, or so we told ourselves. I made most of our food. We ate homemade whole grain baked goods. The kids drank yogurt, fruit, and veggie smoothies. I purchased and made various healthy foods to have on hand for snacks and meals. Through all of that, it was killing me.

Except for certain fruits and vegetables in their native states, everything I ate was making me sick. I’m working to change all of that. Perhaps if my mother had been able to make these changes, she would have lived to know my children. I remind myself of this when I begin to focus on the negatives in the changes in my diet. I want to watch my children grow up. I want to laugh with them, snuggle with them, and love them. I want to feel good.

At this point, I’m not even really certain what it means to feel good, but I’m excited to find out. My husband gave me a challenge this weekend – to make it to our 50th wedding anniversary. I’ll be 70 then. I now hope to be there.

overcoming allergies…

I’m currently in the research stage of my upcoming life changes regarding allergies and intolerances. Research is my default. I like to have as much information as possible in order to make informed decisions. I asked our chiropractor if she knew of any good books on allergies. She replied that she had heard good things about Dr. Christina Scott-Moncrieff’s book, Overcoming Allergies. I immediately looked the book up on Amazon and proceeded to request a copy through our local library.

Overcoming Allergies: Home Remedies * Elimination and Rotation Diets * Complementary Therapies

Overall, I think the book is a wonderful introduction to environmental and food allergies, as well as food intolerances. It addresses the definition of an allergy and various types of allergy symptoms along with the difference between true food allergies and food intolerances. Connections are made between various allergen families. Elimination and rotation diets are explained and examples of rotation diets are given. It’s a good book for friends or extended family members of individuals with allergies and intolerances. For those families with allergies and intolerances, the book is a good introduction to the topic without being overwhelming.

the edge of the precipice…

Photo from Free Foto

I had no immune system the year I turned eleven. Minus the many visits to doctors and specialists, I spent the year at home. I couldn’t be around other people because my body couldn’t handle even simple viruses. My arms looked like those of a junkie from all of the blood tests. I wasn’t told what was going on. I tried to sneak snippets of what was discussed – things like leukemia were batted around. I couldn’t ask for further information because I wasn’t supposed to know anything. It was a scary time.

Eventually it was decided that I had so many allergies and they were so bad, that my immune system had just been beaten down. A simple two day cold for someone else resulted in a month of pneumonia for me. Time away from others allowed my system to rebuild itself some. While I was still susceptible to things, I managed to live my life somewhat normally.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and I found myself on this road again. I can’t recall ever feeling good. I’m tired and always feel bad. It’s not the life I want, and I knew I needed to revisit allergies again. However, I was frightened. The unknown can be a very scary thing. I wasn’t certain what the results of testing would mean. What if there was nothing left for me to eat? I would probably have to give up things that I enjoyed.
I dragged my feet for a long time. It seemed as if I was at the edge of a cliff. I knew I needed to jump, but I didn’t know how far it was or what would happen when I did. I finally set up an appointment. I want to be healthy – for my kids, for my husband, and for myself.
Skin prick testing for 96 allergens revealed that I am not allergic to ash trees. That’s the positive side. Apparently ash trees are my friends. The other 95 allergens are not. I expected it to be bad. I knew the results from when I was a child weren’t good. However, as I sat there listening to the results, I felt a little shell shocked. I had jumped from the cliff and found myself spiraling.
Right now I’m waiting to make any decisions. My bloodwork won’t be back for a few weeks. At that point I’ll find out what other allergens, intolerances, and deficiencies I have. Until then I’ll be reading whatever I can find on the subject. When I have the results, I can start formulating a plan. Life as I know it is about to change drastically. I admit I’m scared. I can only hope it results in feeling better.