July 18, 2008

Allergy-Free Summer Living

By Smith, Melissa Diane

Even if you're sensitive to more than gluten, summer can still be a breeze with these easy, quick food ideas Traveling. Hiking. Entertaining guests with refreshing desserts. These are fun sides of summer. But all these situations can become challenges if you are sensitive to other foods besides gluten.

You might have a true food allergy, in which adverse symptoms can develop within minutes-or have a delayed-onset food sensitivity, in which symptoms can occur several hours to up to two or three days after eating a food. Either way, if you steer clear of troublesome foods, you avoid uncomfortable symptoms. Cow's milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and fish are the most common food allergens. Foods that are eaten repeatedly-for example, corn, yeast, or beef-also tend to trigger food sensitivities.

If the gluten-free diet seems restrictive at first, avoiding gluten plus other allergyproducing foods seems even tougher. Fortunately, there are more alternatives than ever for maneuvering around problem foods. Try these tips to enjoy summertime without common allergens and to minimize food sensitivities or prevent new food sensitivities from developing.

* Carry hypoallergenic snack foods with you. If you like trail mix but can't have nuts, try Enjoy Life seedbased trail mixes, such as Beach Bash, a mixture of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sulfite-free pineapple, cranberries, and apricots. If you need a protein bar without dairy or soy, Organic Food Bar, free of gluten, soy, peanut, dairy, and refined sugar, and made with almond butter, might work for you. The Original and Vegan bars each supply 14 grams of protein.

* Venture inlo new breakfast foods. If can't have eggs (or don't want to eat them repeatedly), dinner leftovers work great for a superfast, energy-stabilizing morning meal.

Another easy-to-make option is seed butter (instead of nut butter) spread on gluten-free bread or crackers. Nut butter alternatives include pumpkin seed butter (Omega Nutrition or farrow Formulas make good ones), sunflower butter (SunButter is great), hemp seed butter (try Manitoba Harvest or Nutiva), or sesame tahini (look for Joyva).

Another no-cook breakfast choice is Ruth's Chia Goodness, a gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free cereal made with chia seeds, buckwheat, hulled hemp seeds, and Celtic sea salt. You simply add hot or cold water or a milk alternative, stir, and wait five minutes for it to thicken. It's a handy product to take when traveling or camping.

* Vary your diet, especially your protein sources. Proteins are what the immune system reacts to in food allergies. Avoid eating one or two high-protein foods over and over again to help prevent the development of new food sensitivities. To get out of the rut of eating mostly beef and chicken, try lamb or turkey, two protein sources considered the most hypoallergenic because they aren't often eaten in the United States. Or try lowerfat ostrich, elk, venison, or bison by Blackwing Quality Meats.

If you have trouble with corn or cornfed beef, seek out grass- fed beef. Some people who don't feel well eating cornfed beef tolerate grass-fed meats well.

* Enjoy nondairy frozen desserts. Among the newest dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, frozen desserts are Organic Nectars Raw Agave Gelato, made with raw organic cashews, and Purely Decadent Dairy- Free Frozen Dessert made with organic coconut milk. Both are sweetened with agave nectar.


If hay fever, asthma, hives, eczema, or other allergies are common in your family, you may be at increased fish for food allergies.


* Spoon over brown rice.

* Add to a bowl of lightly steamed veggies.

* Toss with a big salad.

* Pair with a baked or sweet potato.

Lime-Marinated Turkey Cubes

Serves 4

Here's a refreshing way to use turkey-a protein source that usually is very well tolerated by most people with food allergies.

1 lb. turkey cutlets, cut into bite-size cubes

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 4 limes, plus more for serving

6 small garlic cloves, minced (2 Tbs.)

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves or Spice Hunter Pesto Seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 350[degrees]F. Put turkey cubes in deep, medium-size, nonmetallicbowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients to bowl, mix well, and let sit 5 minutes.

3. Pour turkey and marinade into 8- x 11 1/2-inch glass baking dish, , and bake 25-40 minutes.

4. Remove turkey from oven. Spoon cooked marinade over turkey. Sprinkle with unrefined sea salt and extra lime juice to taste.


Recipe reprinted with permission from Going Against the Grain (McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Books, 2002) by Melissa Diane Smith.


Gluten free yet full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins, flaxseeds may be the ideal superfood if you have food allergies or intolerances. Two relatively little-known companies are shaking things up in Uie natural products world with greattasting flax-based products. One is Foods Alive, makers of crunchy Flax Crackers in appealing flavors like Onion Garlic. Mexican Harvest. Maple Cinnamon, and the newest variety, Mustard. The crackers are hearty and stand up well to dips, spreads, cheese, etc. Another great option for people with food sensitivities is Lydia's Orgaitics. Try trie Grainless Cereal, a raw, vegan (and gluten- free) treat for breakfast (or anytime). Flavors include Berry Good and Grainless Apple.

Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against the Grain and other books, is a nutritionist specializing in therapeutic gluten-free diets. To learn about her online Going Against the Grain Group, visit againstthegrainnutntion .com. For info about her books, consultations, or nutrition coaching programs, visit melissadianesmith.com.

Copyright Active Interest Media Jul 2008

(c) 2008 Better Nutrition. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.