Sunday, November 27, 2011

Food Allergies, Weight Loss & Garden Harvest

The good news is that I have lost the easiest 10+ pounds ever! More about this at the end of this post. The rest of the news is what it is. Please forgive my mini medical history, but it is part of the story: As a baby I had eczema, as an adult I had hay fever and a regular relationship with my allergist. I had a few years of allergy shots, or immunotherapy which took care of my allergies to sage, ragweed, kochia, house dust and grass.  A great supplement program took care of my 30 year history of migraines (which my allergist said were allergy based)…Odd symptoms, some allergy-like made me finally, a couple of months ago, decide to call the allergy department of the Rapid City Medical Center. I was told about IgG food allergy or food sensitivity testing. The lab drew a couple vials of blood and sent it out to ImmunoLabs where my blood was tested for 154 foods. 20 food sensitivities is considered high.  I reacted to 37 foods! When you have allergies your little body can be oversensitive to ordinary foods or environmental substances like dust and pollens. These harmless, but perceived invaders cause an overactive immune system to launch an attack creating antibodies.  Some antibodies that are created after an exposure to say, West Nile Virus or the measles, are permanent and help keep you from ever getting West Nile or the measles again. But IgG antibodies from food will hopefully only last in your blood from 3 to 6 months.  The trick is to avoid eating any bit of the offending food and eating only from the rest of the 154 foods that were tested as safe.  And, the non-reactive foods that you will be eating are put on a 4 day rotation diet.  Spacing 3 days between foods allows your body time to eliminate traces of that particular food and gives your body time to cool inflammation and prevent the development of new sensitivities. The following are the “healthy” foods that I reacted to in a non-healthy way:IMG_2384
Tomatoes, Potatoes, Red Peppers and Cayenne Pepper. If you are reactive to more than 2 foods from the same food family, in this case, nightshade, you need to be careful with the rest of that food family. I was ok, with caution, to eggplant and green peppers.
Winter Squash, Zucchini and Watermelon. Again I reacted to more than 2 members of the cucurbit family. I was ok for Cantaloupe with caution. These are Sunshine Squash. I never did get to taste them. I made a beautiful fall squash table decoration and gave fruit away to friends and family.
Butternut, Delicata and Sunshine Squash.  Now here comes the foods I thought I would most miss.
cropped grape (2)
Wheat and Corn, which includes corn starch, corn syrup and baking powder. Also Buckwheat and Rye. For years my favorite breakfast was homemade bread, peanut butter and blackberry jam.  So add to my forbidden foods: Peanuts, Blackberries and Bakers Yeast. One of my first recipes added to this blog was capturing sourdough yeast from grapes and making of this bread.  I am not gluten sensitive or celiac. But the gluten-free breads, which are wheat free, will have corn starch or potato starch or eggs or milk, all no-no foods.
quince, cheesecake and ness's 004
Cow’s Milk, Cheese (casein) Pineapple, Vanilla, Egg Whites, Egg Yolks, and Lemon. These are some of the ingredients in this Low-Fat Pineapple Cheesecake. Recipe
Other problem foods: Almonds which were my favorite snack, Alfalfa which was in a “green juice” that I would take on days when I missed salads and greens. More foods: Kidney and Navy Beans,  Cherries, Dates, Garlic, Ginger, Malt, Brazil Nuts, Oranges, Parsley, Safflower, Sage Dill Seed, Brewers Yeast (no beer or wine) and no Spinach!

The Good News – Results and Why
Studies show that IgG food sensitivities contribute to the development of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes.  Check it out!
Research is showing that many overweight people suffer from food allergies.  This link connects to ImmunoLabs and their page detailing some of the relationship between overweight and food sensitivities.
I’ve lost over 10 pounds by finding new favorite foods. I’m weighing what I weighed about 15 years ago. My allergy symptoms are gone and my blood pressure which was about 114/72 is now 105/58 – Wow! what’s with that? It’s good.
So what do I eat? I admit, finding what I could eat on a rotating basis was a learning experience. But, it is becoming second nature. I am planning to tell you more of this story and post for you allergy-free recipes. 


  1. Wow, that's a lot of harvest, lots of pies and lots of information. I am sure many of us will be helped by the info you gave. Thank you.

  2. We probably all have food allergies. I'll be interested to see what you CAN eat.

  3. Salivation time! AKA Catharine Howard's Garden Blog.

  4. Gloria, what an interesting post. You're the second person I've heard of recently with a known allergy to members of the nightshade family. If I couldn't eat tomatoes, I think I'd cry!

    I have mild eczema that started when I was in my 20s, and subsequently developed seasonal allergies in my 30s. Neither had ever been a problem for me before. Now you've got me thinking...but I'm such a foodie, I'd almost be afraid to find out if a food allergy lurks beneath. Diary and I have known issues, but the thought of potentially having to avoid some of my favorite foods almost makes me want to bury my head in the sand. I'm impressed though that you've been able to be so diligent, and disciplined, and with such great success too! I'm going to have to look more into this.

  5. Well, knowing you the dinner menu will still be fabulous even if you're on a restricted diet. And, I'll happy support you in boycotting eggplant. Hate that junk. tee hee

  6. Hi Andrea, Thank you - you never know who might be helped.

  7. NellJean, you are probably right. So many persons do have allergies and that makes food intolerances more common. I will do my next post on what I can eat and how I found substitutes for bread and flour products

  8. Clare, I have had a suspicion that the foods I was eating was giving me a problem for several years! I finally made myself go for the testing. I've been reading a book about autoimmune. I feel so bad that so many persons out there are suffering with so many autoimmune diseases and there seems to be an allergy connection, so I decided I better take it seriously. I too am a foodie, so this hurt at first, but I am amazed at how good food taste on this diet. Go figure?

  9. Kate, everytime I read anything you write, I just get this big smile on my face. Glad you are my friend

  10. Great post Gloria! I have a lot of allergies, mostly to pollen and mold. However, I am sure if I were tested there are some foods that affect me also.


  11. Such interesting posts about your allergie problems and food sensitivities. I can relate, and havehad stomach problems since I have gotten older, and cannot eat many foods that never bothered me. Part of mine is lactose intolerance. I bet dust and mold are too, but that means I would need to clean my house much better( or at all ! ). Great post, Gina

  12. Hi Eileen and Gina - Yes, I think most people probably have some food sensitivities. I am glad that I followed the diet. I feel so much better. I used to get the winter blues, but they have yet to arrive and I am finally getting do so some of that cleaning out of drawers and cupboards that are just not important when there is a garden to enjoy - hugs, Gloria

  13. Gloria, I'm just getting caught up with your blog; what a story! When I was looking at your list of food sensitivities, my heart sank; that's most of my diet! (I, too, love peanut butter and berry jam on home-made whole wheat bread.) It's good that you'll be able to gradually reintroduce foods and not have to swear off them forever. -Jean

  14. Hi Gloria,

    Food allergies and/or sensitivities are so hard to handle because they necessitate giving up foods which one loves. Sorry you have to go through that but it does look like you have a handle on it.

    Your post, I am sure, touches many of your readers because I understand that these issues are quite common. I, for one, think that I might be sensitive or slightly allergic to raw almonds but because the symptoms are rather mild (itchy tongue & lips), I just ignore them and go on eating.

    Have a Happy New Year and continue publishing those wonderful posts!

  15. Hi Hanna, Thank you - yes it does sound like you might be allergic to almonds. For me almonds tested among the highest,strongest reactions. I think because I use to eat them daily....I am at adding foods in again on a rotation basis. Starting with the weaker far so good or mostly good - G