Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What a Corn/Soy/Coconut Allergic Person Can Eat

Being allergic to Corn, Soy and Coconut sure brings one's average American lifestyle to a screeching halt. Adding Peanuts, Tree nuts(specifically pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, but avoiding all), Peas, Tomatoes, Potatoes(and Peppers and Eggplant by default since they are in the same family), Garlic, Mushroom, Celery and Cauliflower to the list of foods to avoid makes it all the more interesting to find what I *could* eat.

It took me about 2 weeks of research to figure out the basic foods that I could eat and not be consuming my allergens or other foods in their families.

Along with the Food Families list I was given by my conventional allergist, I found this Botanical Food Family List to be very helpful.

Using this botanical list, I sat down and compiled a basic list of what I could eat. A list of "Yes, you can eat these foods!" was far more uplifting than a list of "No, you cannot eat these foods!".

Even with my list compiled, I still had to be very careful of corn and soy derivatives, so there were unwritten rules to go with this list as well. I couldn't just give this list to someone and expect to have an allergen-free meal.

~Meats were my basic protein source, since beans were out of the question(being related to soy, peas and peanuts). I looked for basic, simple meats with no additives if at all possible. Grass-fed/Free-range was much preferred but not always available.
~Eggs (note that for some corn-allergic people, corn-fed chicken eggs can cause reactions)
~Milk products(note that for some corn-allergic people, the fortifications in milk are most often based in corn oil and cause problems). Most cheeses have corn added at some point, whether the coloring agent in yellow cheeses, the vinegar in cheeses such as mozzarella, the enzymes in some cheeses, or the starch added to pre-shredded varieties or to the wrappers. I generally stuck to white blocks or sticks of cheese, or an imported parmesan and tried to have cheese in moderation(not every day).

I made my own yogurt for awhile, and have recently started making kefir and having that every day.

~Apples(risky due to corny waxes, but local ones were fine)
~Blueberries-usually frozen
~Craisins(Original only)-they do contain cane/beet sugar and a small amount of sunflower oil
~Figs(dried w/no preservatives)
~Grapes/Raisins(being careful of molds, which are common in grapes, and any additives)
~Lemons(other citrus bothered me until recently)
~Melons with caution-(again, the potential mold being the factor, as well as its' connection with ragweed allergy)
~Pears(same risk as the apples)
~Pears-Canned in Pear juice

~Black Olives(read labels)
~Carrots-frozen w/o cornstarch, or Bunny Luv brand, which are NOT rinsed in citric acid
~Green Beans
~Lettuce--look for "no preservatives" on the label, which is not a guarantee of no corn but more possible than those not showing that label
~Spinach-fresh, "no preservatives", or frozen or canned(read labels)
~Squash-including zucchini and yellow squash and winter squashes
~Sweet Potatoes

~Buckwheat-for flour as well as for hot cereal-being careful/aware of potential cross-contamination in the mills
~Quinoa-as flour and as a hot cereal
~Arrowroot powder(to make my own baking powder and as a substitute for corn starch)
~Tapioca-as a powder/flour (such as in the Chebe mixes), as well as a cold treat(homemade tapioca pudding)

Baking items:
~Homemade baking powder
~Sunflower oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil
~Homemade Vanilla
~King Arthur Flours
~Beet Sugar(Walmart's Great Value brand is often derived from beets) until you rule out Cane sugar as OK
~Maple syrup-the real thing, read labels
~Hershey's Cocoa Powder
~EnjoyLife Chocolate Chips
~Butter--NOT the kind with 'natural flavors', the salted is much less likely to contain corn derivatives. Check the list for promising brands.
~Apple Cider Vinegar--NOT Heinz

~Mott's Natural Pressed Apple Juice--should only have Apple Juice and water in the list, no citric/ascorbic acids
~Virgil's Cream Soda
~Jones Soda Cream Soda ONLY
~Izze Sparkling Juices
~Metromint flavored waters
~Tea-bulk is best, as many tea bags have potential of containing corn. I believe Lipton tea bags are fine.
~Coffee(?)-there is much debate as to whether there are corn derivatives in coffee. It seems to be on an individual basis as to whether it bothers you. I can't do more than one or at most two cups a day without it bothering me.
~Hot cocoa-made with milk, safe cocoa powder and sugar or maple syrup

~Yummy Earth Lollipops and Candy Drops--Contact them for specific details on which flavors are safe. I used the vitamin C ones as a source of vitamin C, since all of the supplements contained citric acid derived from corn. I particularly like the Roadside Root Beer and the Cheeky Lemon.
~Pork Rinds-not really a "treat", but something to fill my belly that was fairly easy to find and safe as long as I could find them with ONLY salt
~Sunflower Seeds-no special flavors, only the salted/unsalted kind. I did ok with Dave's brand.
~Pumpkin Seeds-Dave's brand is what was relatively easy to find. I prefer raw pumpkin seeds mixed with Craisins and some EnjoyLife Chocolate Chips for a snack.

So, there you have it. The basic menu I lived off of for about 10 months!

No comments: