Day Three of 31 Days: Thoughts from My Diet Transition… and a New Recipe!

As I mentioned on Day One, my journey into gluten (and corn and soy) free eating/cooking was rather sudden, initiated by an elimination diet recommended by my doctor.  For six weeks I ate no: gluten, corn, soy, dairy, eggs, nightshades (tomatoes, white potatoes, and all peppers), citrus and sugar.  You are probably wondering “what did she eat then?!”  It’s a long story, but I ate a ton of rice and beans, raw veggies, chicken, rice-flour wraps, and sweet potatoes. 🙂  Once I began to notice the improvements in my health, it became easier to stick to, because I was getting a real pay-off for my efforts!  After six weeks, I began introducing foods one at a time, and seeing how my body responded.  The end result: my allergy-list mentioned before.

A major part of how I dealt with the challenge of staying away from the newly forbidden foods  was focusing on how much better I was feeling. Now, I normally pride myself on being a bit of a perpetual optimist, and a knack for looking on the bright side, but I will admit to having a few lower moments (read: crying spells) over how “there is NOTHING here I can EAT!”  My recourse: research, and dessert.

Dessert?  YES!  I have found as long as I can have a treat from time to time, I do not feel so overwhelmed with feelings of deprivation.  While trying to eat, in general, a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, and low in sugar, being able to reach for  “a little something” special eases the emotional component in such a major transition.  It was easy enough to substitute rice pasta for the wheat, and eat vegetables and meat (or other protein) etc for a meal in the beginning. (Recommendations for specific brands coming soon!)  But it was  things like muffins, crackers, or treats etc that left me feeling left out and deprived.

So my first quest was for desserts or other “treats” that I could eat when others were indulging.  At first, despite the shocking price tags, I looked for things I could buy, as well as make.  (As I said, I prefer homemade, unprocessed foods in general).  My goal was to ease up some of the emotional and planning pressure I was feeling.  With my multiple food allergies, buying things is pretty tricky, as just about everything in a package has a least a little soy lecithin, and a great many gluten-free products have corn in them as well.  But I have found a few I will be sharing this month (I am now able to tolerate a tiny amount of soy when eaten only from time to time, which has greatly increased my options!)

So, in the spirit of “Hey! Have a Treat!” here is a new recipe I came up with on Friday.  I have been passing them out to friends and family for two days, and they have received raved reviews!  Inspired by a healthy snack-streat I tweaked from the Healthy Snacks to Go E-book, (incidentally, this book is worth the money just in the snack bar/ball section!!) that tastes like a peanut butter cup, I lay in bed thinking “I bet I could make one that tastes like an Almond Joy!”  And guess what… I did! 🙂

“Almond Joy” Treats

1 c. almonds (raw)

1 c. dates (more or less to taste)

5 tbs chocolate chips

3-4 tbs coconut oil

Grind the almonds and chocolate chips in your food processor (S-blade) until they are a meal (not all the way to a flour).  Then add the dates.  Process until the food processor stops jumping, and the dates look a similar consistancy to the almonds/chocolate chips.  While processor is running, add coconut oil one tablespoon at a time until the mixture starts to clump slightly.  Remove the blade, and form the mixture into balls and place on a plate or cookie sheet.  Place sheet/plate in fridge or freezer to firm up.  Once firm, place in an airtight container and store in fridge to maintain firmness and freshness.  I will toss some into a sandwich bag or container to take for snacks- they do soften some, but they never hang around long enough for that to be a problem! 🙂

ENJOY!!

A word on the ingredients: because my specific allergies, I am careful to make sure the dates I buy have no starch in the packaging (that prevents clumping), that the almonds have no oil in the ingredients, and that I use the chocolate chips I provided in the link above.  The coconut oil is 100% coconut oil (solid at room temperature).

 

This is part of a 31 Days series on Less Stress in Allergy-Free Eating.  To view a list of all the posts in the series you can go here. To subscribe to my posts via email, you can go to my homepage, and type in your email address in the box on the right-hand margin.  To view the list of over 700 bloggers participating in this 31 Days blogging challenge go here!

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8 thoughts on “Day Three of 31 Days: Thoughts from My Diet Transition… and a New Recipe!

  1. I am currently doing a big elimination diet too, up to week 12 now! And boy, am I tired of it! The cookbooks I use are “friendly foods” by RPA hospital, and the Failsafe Cookbook, both Australian books based on the same elimination (or ongoing) diet.
    I so know what you mean about needing some treats! Thats how i keep going too … Your almond joys sound delicious, but unfortunately I can’t have any of those ingredients at the moment!
    Am interested to keep reading your 31 days! Thanks!

  2. Oh my- 12 weeks!! That is quite a challenge! I popped over to your blog- you are a pianist perhaps? (I am too) 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! I am also very excited about 31 days series. I’ll have to choose between reading the over 600 blogs every day, and taking care of my house and children though! LOL You mentioned that your friends were just talking about mothering with joy.! I’m just releasing my first e-book either tomorrow or Wednesday that talks about that very thing! It’s called Recapturing the Joy of Motherhood. I’m very excited about it, because if God could change MY heart and life, he could change anyone’s! you can find it on my blog within the next 48 hours! I’m going to be praying for your diet and choices. I have found it so hard to deal with food and diet issues! Hope that you have a very blessed week!

  4. I LOVE your recipe! I think I might be able to even eat some of that! I agree that I have been dying for treats and have found just a couple to keep me going! I’ll have to look for those chocolate chips. Right now I’m “surviving” on dark chocolate chunks I found, but they have soy lecithin in them. I can have a small bit of that, like you mentioned, but I have found too much soy and it makes me crazy. What types of symptoms/reactions do you get when you eat some of those foods?

    OK….you play the piano, too? I am a church pianist {with a degree in piano performance} AND a piano teacher, also! I was just reading your bio!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  5. Hi Becky! Yes, I have a degree in music education, and teach piano lessons (taught middle school music before staying home with my kids). My reactions range from flushing/breaking out, stomach ache, to headaches/sinus stuff, to my throat swelling shut, depending on the food. I hope some of the recipes I share work for you!

  6. Just so you know…… I made 6 batches of this lovelyness today. One (and a half) to keep….. Two to give away…. and two to sell at my church bake sale to help with the cost of the teen retreat. I LOOOOVVVEEE these and so does everyone in my family!

    ( And no, there is nothing wrong with my math….. the remaining other half has already been eaten 😉

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