Capturing my love of whole foods, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen.
A weekly collection of photos from the center of my home.
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Top to bottom: grilled lemon miso scallops with spring veggies, vegan pea pesto stuffed portobello mushrooms with asparagus and microgreens, grilling scallops, making pea pesto, dehydrating cocoa coconut balls, steamed spiralized beet/carrot/sweet potato with veggie stock, vanilla glycerite in the making, one of the recipes I developed for the Winter Issue of TEND Magazine (deadline soon! eep! go go go!) , first batch of herbal tulsi hibiscus iced tea of the season.
The past week and a half have been a little rough here. My 11 year old has had repeated additional allergy testing (skin prick, oral test, and blood test) at the allergist plus an electrocardiogram on his heart at the children's hospital (it was fine - woot!). He will have additional testing in a few weeks. I know testing and medical stuff is hard for all kids, but particularly so for him. He has extreme sensory issues and really does not like changing our daily routine. At all. It is extra hard when he has not been feeling that great lately. Put that together with changing seasons, a dad with an intense work schedule, guests in town, and getting some work done on the house that was LOUD and had people in our space for a whole day...wow. That would be a lot for extroverted non-sensory types - and we are all pretty much introverted highly sensitive people here. I am always in awe of his humor and good naturedness while in the thick of it, even if the struggles later at home are epic. He is such an amazing kid and I am crazy about him.
One good thing from all of this additional testing is that we found out his tree nut allergies are gone. Poof! Zero skin, zero blood, zero on oral food allergy challenge. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. Yep. I'm still terrified, funny enough. It makes me nervous to even type this here and tell you all. Knock on every type of wood imaginable. I observed him again closely at home after he ate some almond crackers. I can't help but think what if they are wrong? What if he has a reaction? I know some people outgrow certain allergies and not others and we don't yet know exactly why. He can't believe it either. For a boy who follows strict rules and guidelines for every single thing (he likes things to be *just so*), to change his eating habits is scary for him. He asks repeatedly are you SURE I can eat that? We feel like we are letting our guard down. I am afraid to even mention his peanut allergy. We think he might have outgrown that too. His tests were negative on blood and skin and the Doc tested and re-tested on his back after the blood tests were negative. Let's try again to be sure. Let's try one more time to be sure. We have to do a supervised oral allergy challenge to verify verify verify before we know 100% for sure, but he is scared, and I'm not in a rush to make him do it until he is comfortable. Of course this doesn't change a whole lot as his other allergies are still here and are still serious - he still cannot eat any gluten, and he is still severely allergic to all dairy and seemingly all red meat furred mammals (their meat, milk, and dander). We tested some additional animals and meats to see if it was ALL, and yes. Rabbits, pigs, cows, bison, rabbits, sheep, goats, horses, cats, dogs, mice. Yes, yes, yes. His levels were even higher for meat and dairy too, so we need to be extra diligent for all of those pesky hidden/undisclosed animal by-product ingredients and will still need our epi-pens and be on the lookout for severe reactions. But almonds, cashews, and pistachios? OH MY!
So with all of this our meals for the past 10 days have been green. A lot of peas and asparagus and microgreens and lettuce and eggs. Quick and simple. I have also been warily dusting off my almond and cashew cracker dehydrator recipes. It is a relief as well as stressful. If that makes any sense. I am afraid of making an error with our changes, and I am excited to be able to add another protein source into his diet (not to mention I have not eaten a single nut myself in ages). We have about 4 weeks before his next round of appointments, so he gets a break for a bit. Time to relax, work in the garden, get out of town to enjoy warmer weather, and make some cashew cream and almond crackers. Gulp! Anyone have a child that has outgrown nut allergies? How did you transition a child from STOP, that can kill you to HERE, have another bite?
And for those of you who have children with severe peanut and tree nut allergies. Breathe. Breathe again. I know that feeling. Every time I have read someone saying their child just got back from the allergist and outgrew their nut allergies and I thought - can it be? No way. Will that be us? BIG GIANT HUG to you and your wee one.
Now that my sub rambling is over. Ahem. Whew!! I can't wait to pour my iced tea and go visit all of the other blogs on this blog hop. Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Be sure to visit Heather at Beauty That Moves for a listing of all the links in the blog hop!
5/8/2014 03:42:53 am
Oh that's huge. I have no advice on transitioning but I can totally get how scary that would be.
5/8/2014 04:27:00 am
It's great that he's outgrown these allergies. I hope he works through all his allergies in the same way! But I'd be reticent to believe them too.... who to trust in this crazy world. And erring on the side of caution concerning kids is always my motto. Wow, a whole new culinary world opened up to him :)
Thanks. His meat allergies are so rare they have no idea if anyone really ever outgrows them. But I know how lucky he is to seemingly have grown out of his nut allergies. He is a bit scared that if his body which used to make him feel horribly sick from it is suddenly out of the clear blue sky not reacting to it anymore...what will stop it from suddenly changing back to reacting to it and making him feel so sick again. It is hard to grasp for an 11 year old. No, really, it is OK. Just not all these other things. They are still NOT ok. Whew! ;)
5/8/2014 04:47:29 am
As a mom of a nut allergic kid, I loved reading this. I do doubt we will ever get there with our daughter who reacts to all nuts but almonds, but it is wonderful and heartening to read about any child who no longer needs to fear nut products. I can so relate to the whole "No, wait, don't eat that! Oh, wait, you can," reaction. I don't know if it will ever go away, and our daughter finds it easier to continue to avoid all nuts anyway, but yes the constant staring, observing, watching while she eats something - that still happens over here. Thankfully she is good spirited about it! Congratulations to you and your son. May this open wonderful new food options in his life!
I hear you. I doubt even now. ;) It seems so chaotic and uncontrollable to go from this food makes me feel very ill every time and could possibly send me into anaphylaxis, to you are fine eat it and nothing will happen. My son asked if his body suddenly decided to not react to it now, could it change and suddenly react to it again at any time? We don't see or feel a change, but then POOF. I appreciate having some relief but I also feel like it won't make a HUGE change since he is still allergic to so many things (that are not required under allergen labeling because they are rare so are often unlisted - eek). Good luck with your daughter! xo
5/8/2014 04:52:02 am
That is great he's outgrown those allergies. We are lucky we don't have to worry about any of it (knocking on wood!) And I love your photos. Delicious foods. Thank you for sharing.
Your pictures are gorgeous! And I don't know why, but your allergy story shocked me. It's the first time I realize that some people really have to be careful about what they eat, and not just one ingredient, but a whole scala of ingredients and things. That's heavy. I hope he likes nuts or learns to like them if needed.
Yes, food allergies can be to many many things, and depending on the person and the allergy, they can be deadly. It is high alert at every moment with a child that has severe allergies. I have been lactose intolerant my whole life and also have allergies and intolerances to things myself (pork, sulfites, glutamates, lanolin, jojoba, formaldehyde, latex, fragrance - heck, I can't even touch a newspaper) but none of my allergies were ever life threatening, just something to be careful about. My mom has always had allergies too - pork, penicillin, etc. My son is version 3.0 with extra boosting power. ;) It does make you aware at all times of what you put into your body, where your food comes from, and how it is prepared. I have been a healthy careful eater for decades because of that, so while his allergies scare me, I feel more prepared than most, perhaps!
5/8/2014 08:31:53 am
First Griffin grew out of the dairy allergy, then he grew out of the tree nut allergy. They told us we should try to get him to eat nuts regularly because I guess that helps with the tolerance? Really glad you get to re-introduce some foods!
That is such great news. Interesting about building tolerance. I have read both to eat them if you can to prevent, and to avoid them if you can to not overflow the bucket and re-sensitize. I like our allergist but I got the impression he was surprised at the disappearance of all of that group at once - not just lower levels, but zero. But we didn't get any additional info about the nuts. Maybe because he has a lot of other allergies still. I guess his red meat allergy is extremely rare, and the office in Madison has only seen a few people ever with it. I think they expected that one to go away and not all the nuts! ;) It is great Griffin outgrew both of his. That must be a huge relief!
5/8/2014 02:22:19 pm
It must be tough growing up with so many allergies, but also for you trying to accomodate them with your cooking. Your food looks really amazing. The veggie noodles are incredible. Would love to try them.
I have had several allergies my whole life, and several more adult onset, so I have always been pretty careful about eating real foods, knowing every ingredient, healthy whole foods, etc. But even with all of that it is still shocking to realize how much of our food system is unknown once you enter restaurants and public events and all that. With this kind of allergies you cannot eat something because it seems to not use an ingredient, and cannot even eat it if it was prepared on the same surface. It makes me appreciate preparing my own food, eating at home as a family, and making everything from scratch! xx
That is an amazing story! It must be so difficult to feel safe around tree nuts again but how wonderful for him and you. I am sure in a few weeks with some successes behind you it will begin to feel more normal but wow! what a great transition. Wishing you all the very best of luck. Josie x
Wow, what a week for you all. I'm so glad that your son has outgrown some of his allergies...I had no idea that was possible. I'm sure the oral peanut test will be a concern...but just imagine how life can change when the results are negative. I'm happy for you all and hope that this weekend ushers in a calmer week for you.
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I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, certified permaculture designer (PDC), organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.