How Raw Food Can Help You Live Food Allergy Free

Food allergy
Banana Breakfast Sundae

This is a guest post by Jennifer Blanchard on food allergy.

You’ve seen the words everywhere: gluten-free, vegan. Maybe you know what they mean, maybe you don’t.
If you have food allergies, though, you know exactly what they mean. They mean freedom from the ingredients that cause your body harm. They mean a way for you to enjoy food without sacrificing your health.

Common Food Allergens

• Dairy (milk, cheese, butter, cream, etc)
• Gluten (wheat)
• Eggs
• Soy
• Peanuts
• Tree nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
• Fish (flounder, bass, cod, etc.)
• Shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp, etc.)

Dairy and gluten (wheat) are the two most common allergens. And the number of people with these allergies grows every day.
In fact, 60 to 70 percent of Americans have undiagnosed food allergies. That’s a ton of people walking around with no knowledge that their bodies are begging them not to eat certain foods. When you continue to eat foods that you’re allergic to, you wreck havoc on your body. And over an extended period of time (years and years and years), the damage from the allergens in your food can cause disease. Do your body and yourself a huge favor and find out now if you’re allergic to anything. Years from now when you’re happy, healthy and disease-free, you’ll be grateful you did.

How Raw Food Can Help with Food Allergy

There are so many benefits your body gets from eating raw food. And raw food is also great for people with food allergies (or for people who are transiting to not eating food allergens anymore) because raw food is naturally allergy-free. I don’t think there are too many people who can say they’re allergic to kale or bananas or onions (and if you are allergic to one of those items for some reason, there’s still plenty of raw goodness available for you to enjoy). Whether you’re attempting an elimination diet or in the process of removing your food allergens for good, I highly recommend adding raw food into your diet.

When I found out about my food allergies (dairy, gluten/wheat), I decided the only way I was going to survive was if I found delicious replacements for all the things I loved that I could no longer eat (like ice cream, milkshakes and bagels with cream cheese).
Take the time to discover if you have food allergies. And if you discover that you do, here are two of my “replacement” recipes that I hope will make your transition process a little bit easier:

Cookies and Cream Shake

“Cookies and Cream Shake”

(to replace my milkshake obsession)

Before I knew I was allergic to dairy, I used to drink a milkshake at least five nights a week. Now that I’ve transitioned my diet to dairy-free, I no longer crave shakes (thankfully!), but on the rare occasion when I want one, I make this “shake” instead.
The raw cacao gives it the perfect amount of chocolate and the crunch it gives is like crumbled cookies.

1 banana, chopped
Raw cacao nibs, to taste
Almond milk, enough to cover everything in the blender
1 tablespoon of raw agave nectar
½ cup of ice

How To Put It Together
1. Chop the banana (or break it apart with your hands) and place it in your blender.
2. Add raw cacao nibs (to taste).
3. Add the tablespoon of agave nectar (adding more or less to suit your taste).
4. Toss in the ice.
5. Pour almond milk over all the ingredients until everything is almost covered completely.
6. Blend until all ingredients are smooth and mixed. If you want a thicker shake, add more ice and blend.

Banana Breakfast “Sundae”

(to replace my bagel with cream cheese breakfasts)

Removing gluten/wheat from my diet was the best decision I ever made. Now I’m no longer walking around with stomach pain or a foggy head, and when I’m at work, I’m not asleep at my desk at 3 p.m. But breakfast is my favorite meal, so I wanted to make sure I still had something delicious to start my day with (now that my bagel and cream cheese fix was no longer feasible). I decided to combine my love of ice cream sundaes with my love of breakfast and this is what came out of it:

1-2 bananas, chopped
2 tablespoons of cashew butter
1 tablespoon of raw pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon of dried cranberries

How To Put It Together
1. Chop the banana(s) and place them into a bowl.
2. Top with cashew butter, pecans and dried cranberries.
3. Fold together slightly.
4. Serve with a fork.

Substitute you favorite fresh fruit, nut butter, chopped nuts or dried fruit, or try different combinations every morning! How do you make living with food allergies more enjoyable?

Food Allergy
Photo Credit

Jennifer Blanchard is a certified holistic health and food allergy coach who’s allergic to dairy and wheat/gluten. Her goal is to help people with food allergies thrive in life and continue to enjoy food, regardless of the ingredients they can no longer eat.

Will You Go Nuts If You Eat Too Many Nuts?

When I first went raw, I jumped in with both feet and went 100% raw for 30 days. The first few weeks I found myself eating tons of nuts! I know it’s not uncommon for people transitioning to raw food to overeat nuts, so I decided to share my story and advice about nuts.

Why The Nuts?

Why do most of us immediately reach for the raw nuts and seeds when we switch to a raw diet?

1. We want to feel full.

Since nuts are solid, crunchy, and filling, we have a tendency to use them as a replacement for cooked food. For example, when I first went raw, I would still feel “hungry” after eating a generous salad. I’d eat a handful or two of nuts to get that semi-drowsy feeling I was missing.

2. Nuts are crunchy.

Of course another reason why we might overeat nuts at the beginning is that we miss that crunchy yummy sort of salty feeling. Nuts make a natural replacement for chips, popcorn, crackers, and other snacks. Here’s a quick tip if that’s why you’re reaching for the nuts: try crunching on some celery, or make kale chips!

3. It’s an easy snack food.

You don’t need to wash, cut, or blend anything to eat nuts. If you’re in a hurry or feeling tired, you can just open a jar or reach for a container of nuts and enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with this behavior, but if you’re overeating nuts you will want to prepare adequate snack foods in advance.

Remember that being prepared is half the battle when it comes to eating healthy foods.

Nuts: The Good and The Bad

On the one hand, nuts make us feel full because our body is expending energy trying to digest them. Nuts are harder to digest than fresh fruits and vegetables. In reality we probably wouldn’t be eating tons of nuts in nature, unless they were fresh and in season. How many of us live next to a Brazil nut tree? That’s what I thought.

Nuts have tons of great nutritious qualities, and I don’t think we should shun them entirely. The healthy oils found in nuts are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for the brain, and for keeping your stress levels under control. Alternative sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds and flax seeds.

Most people have an easier time digesting seeds than they do digesting nuts. Also, the reason why more people are allergic to nuts than seeds is that nuts tend to go rancid if kept on a shelf for too long a time.

The Nutty Conclusion

So what’s the verdict? No, you won’t go insane if you eat too many nuts. But try to limit yourself to one handful per day, since they are hard to digest. If you feel bloated or gassy after eating nuts, cut down.

Also, you should avoid eating nuts with fresh fruits since that will definitely cause some discomforts and gas!

Other than that, go nuts. :D

Why Food Allergies for Nuts, Gluten, and Milk are on the Rise and What to do About It

Have you noticed that there are more and more people and kids with food allergies? Watch as I explain why there are more people developing allergies to common foods like peanuts, tree nuts, seeds, gluten, wheat, dairy, and eggs.

I remember having a conversation with my boyfriend Robin and him mentioning that he didn’t know anyone who was allergic to food growing up. Now I have tons of clients and friends who are either allergic themselves, or who have kids who are allergic.

What’s going on here? Watch this video to find out.

Food Allergies Explained in Video

(Click here to view the video if you’re reading this in your email or feed reader.)

P.S. Notice I’ve got a new smaller / portable witch’s hat! ;)

Please Share This Information

I really want to get this information about food allergies out to as many people as possible. If you can, please email this to your friends and family, and post it on Twitter or Facebook…

Let’s get the word out, and really prevent or reduce the amount of allergens that are found in common foods, so we can all be immune (pun intended!) to allergies.

Love, Nathalie