Monday, December 12, 2011

State of the Union

To date, we are:

Dairy- and soy-free completely.

We have come to realize that smallboyishness has no issue with fresh, whole corn. We're starting to think his issue with corn syrup has nothing to do with CORN, but with metals that leached into the corn syrup--specifically mercury. It would also explain his issues and reactions to his shots (which have high levels of metal in them). So we are currently corn SYRUP-free and occasionally indulge in corn in it's whole state. Corn is a grain, though, and we are toying with the idea of going completely grain-free.

We cheat on gluten. Not often, but given the length of time it takes to get out of your system, I wonder if we're ever completely gluten-free. That being said, I am planning on our being COMPLETELY gluten-free soon for a full year. I'm thinking January 1st. It won't really be difficult since there's so little in our diet.

We ARE salicylate-free. At least smallboyishness and I are. We have the most significant reactions--mostly with the excretory system. Blech. No tomatoes, oranges, apples, berries, grapes/raisins (yup... I drink rhubarb, pomegranate, or hibiscus honey-meade wine... remarkably good), peaches... the list goes on. But we manage.

And we are artificial coloring and preservative free including nitrates and nitrites. We are also clear of artificial and "natural" flavorings that are unspecified (just lumped under "natural flavorings").

I am done with my nearly 9 year hiatus from being the chief cook in the house and have taken it over with a vengeance. Weird. As quickly as the aversion came, it left. *sigh* It's nice because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen doing stuff the kids can do with me. Score.

We do finally own a juicer (a Green Star GS-2000) and we use it for fresh juices. Especially in the fall with Mabon moon cider (a mulled cider with grape and apple juice that reeked havoc on smallboyishness and myself since both are on the "no" list :/ ). It can make a "sorbet" of sorts if you put it on the nut butter setting and put frozen fruit through it. :)

We also recently bought a dehydrator and I'm regretting the kind we bought. It was an inexpensive one from a local box store, but it doesn't have nearly the versatility of the Excaliber that I should've bought--which can allow me not only to lay things out on a larger, rectangular sheet but would also allow me to remove trays and use the unit for yogurt. I think I'm going to return this one (it's stackable rings). I'm hoping to use it to experiment with some raw food recipes like pancakes. :)

My pressure canner has finally been mastered!! YAY!!! I'm a boiling-water bath kind of gal, but my needs have changed. I needed broth to keep and my freezer was getting full. Half of my standing freezer has 1/2 of a grassfed cow butchered up and I'm looking for pastured chickens to fill the rest. If I can find another way to store my broth, great. Now I need to set up my basement pantry to store it all because the laundry room isn't cutting it.

Life in our house has become very "food without a label". It's kind of neat. Healthfully, it's awesome. We're busy people but eating this way has slowed us down in wonderful ways that have reconnected us as a family. We COULD eat foods that are "safe" that come in a package for the sake of convenience (and make no mistake--we've done it). But it's not cost-efficient. And it not only eats up our money, but it eats up our connectedness as a family. So I'm not really sorry that it's become like this. I enjoy spending time planning and preparing our food... often side by side with my kids. The house smells different. We feel different--in so many ways.

In effect, smallboyishness' food allergies are pretty much the best thing that ever happened to this family--on many levels. He's my best little guy in the land--my best little man. And I am grateful in so many ways I couldn't have ever imagined back in the days when I was overwhelmed with removing dairy from my diet 7-1/2 years ago.

That's not to say that we are food Nazi's. Yes, we still go out to eat on occasion and when we are guests in someone's home--we are far more grateful for their generosity and happy to spend time with them than concerned about where their food comes from. As long as it's not one of our major allergens--we're good. People sometimes think that we would lay judgment on their eating decisions. I guess I would feel the same way in their shoes. I'm not really sure why we don't feel that way, but none of us do. I mean, I'm GLAD we're not like that! I just can't explain why. It's not a conscious effort or something we have to mentally rationalize so I don't quite know how or why we're like this. But we're not.

Food is a big picture thing. Our big picture is predominantly in our own control where food is concerned. So we don't sweat the small stuff. ;)

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