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Overwhelmed, bf'ing vegetarian + egg/soy/wheat-free?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dd is now 15 months, and I've been playing detective for the past two months or so, trying to find the culprit for the rashes, hives, and excema patches. Her first reaction was to a homemade muffin which contained wheat, apples, cinnamon, and soy protein powder (among other things). She now reacts to all soy, wheat, and apples (even small amounts of something with applesauce or juice cooked into it.) I suspect cinnamon causes rashes as well but haven't confirmed it.
She is nursing, and doesn't eat a ton of solids...there are not many things she is interested in eating. We're vegetarian, so cutting out soy and wheat is really challenging. I've found that to compensate, I'm eating way more peanut butter and beans, and I don't think my stomach is very happy with me!!
Is it really important that I cut these foods completely out of my diet? We were low on groceries yesterday, and I caved and ate a piece of pizza because I'm just so hungry...

This evening DD got ahold of one piece of Life cereal and ate it before I could get it from her. Within 20 minutes she had a few new hives (pimply swellings) on her face, plus patches of rash on her arms and tummy. Benedryl has only helped a little. Do I need to get wheat products out of the house?? With a very messy 4.5 year old, you can bet he will be leaving crumbs of whatever he is eating!

Just feeling a little lost on how I'm going to keep my family healthy on a vegetarian, egg, wheat, and soy free diet. Plus DP is not interested in cutting wheat or soy from his diet, so we will now be having to make multiple meals. ANY suggestions or comments very much appreciated!

Erin
post #2 of 9

I'm so sorry!!! If she's breaking out in hives from it, I would first go get her allergy tested and then definitely get it all out of the house. Sometimes repeated exposure means worse and worse reactions. There are lots of great gluten free products out on the market now, including pizzas! Just check the ingredients to make sure there isn't soy flour in the doughs. That would help with the breads issue a bit.

 

personally, if my child was that sensative to it and breaking out in hives, etc. I would get everyone in the house on board for the safety of my child. As adults and parents, we have to make the necessary sacrifices to keep them healthy and safe. It's stressful enough having to restrict your diet, but having to make multiple meals makes it much worse...trust me!

 

Goodluck!

post #3 of 9

I am also a breastfeeding vegetarian, and due to DD's intolerances we are currently off of dairy, gluten, soy, citrus, and chocolate, and we don't eat much in the way of egg either, so I feel your pain. It's tough, isn't it?

 

The way I understand it, it is important to cut all suspect foods completely from your diet, at least until you have your DD at baseline (no reactions to anything you're currently eating, no rashes, etc.), and probably continuing after that, although once she's at baseline you might be able to try reintroducing small amounts of foods that you aren't 100% sure are a problem. For foods that definitely are a problem, I believe you need to have her at baseline for at least six months to allow her gut to heal before trying to reintroduce those.

 

I don't know if you need to get wheat completely out of the house (we haven't, since DH still eats it and we have houseguests sometimes who eat it), but I wouldn't let your older DC walk around the house eating things your DD can't have. It would probably be best to either only let him eat that stuff in an area she can't get to, or only have him snack on things that she can also have. Otherwise, the possibility of her getting a hold of some is just too great.

 

In terms of staying healthy on such a restricted vegetarian diet, for myself I'm not too worried about it, since I still eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and fats. I wonder if in some ways I'm actually healthier than I was before, since I did tend to rely on those cheap, widely available staples, and I may be better off replacing wheat/soy/etc with a broader variety of foods and thus a broader variety of nutrients. You said your belly wasn't happy about the increased amounts of beans and peanut butter. What about finding more varied sources of protein and fat? You could try different kinds of nuts and nut butters, coconut products, and different kinds of whole grains. Quinoa, for example, is a great source of high-quality protein, and you could have that topped with a coconut milk curry with some nice winter vegetables and a few beans in it. eat.gif

 

As for your DP, my DH also doesn't feel the need to eliminate gluten and soy from his diet, but that doesn't mean I cook multiple meals. You didn't say whether you or DP are the primary cook or if you take turns, but when you're cooking I don't know that I'd feel the need to make multiple meals. I cook meals that DD and I can eat, of course choosing things I know DH likes, and then he can choose to eat it or not. He mostly eats the things we can't eat when he's out of the house or we're not around, so he's responsible for acquiring/preparing those foods for himself. I just wouldn't want you to make the whole thing harder on yourself than it has to be, you know?

 

Also, you didn't say whether you were consuming dairy or not. If you are, and your DD is still getting rashes after you've eliminated all the other foods you suspect, I'd consider eliminating dairy too, since dairy and soy are often cross-reactive.

post #4 of 9

I have had a similar journey with my son.

I was hungry a lot!!!

I recommend coconut, I use the oil to cook with and the milk in everything.

The fat from this helps.

I eat a lot of quinoa, it cooks faster than rice which is great.

There are also noodle products made with quinoa I use when in a hurry (ancient harvest)

I've started using a ton of veggies I never ate before, and that has kept things interesting.

I also recommend Chia seeds.

They have complete protein, not sure of the #'s.

There is a lot of info online about them.

I've been making a raw pudding with them thats pretty great.

 

I soak about a cup of cashews in a cup of water

for aprox. 6 hours

Then blend them till they are creamy

 

add 6 tblsp of chia seeds

a pinch of salt

a tblsp of maple syrup (I use very little cause my husband is diabetic)

(you can use a different sweetener)

some vanilla

2 cups of water

and blend again to mix everything up

 

let it sit for a couple hours and it's done

 

There are other recepies online that use pre made nut milks and juice instead of having to soak the nuts.

The result is a like tapioca

 

good luck

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Finally getting back here to say thankyou so much for your thoughtful replies!

Should I be looking into getting an epi pen? Or does that seem a little overboard? Our doctor has not seemed very concerned, because she is only having skin reactions. We do have an appointment with the allergist in February - that was the soonest we could get in.

I know this is just an adjustment period, and it will get easier - I remember a similar sort of adjustment period when I went vegetarian, and now 5 years later I don't ever need to give it a second thought! Right now I find myself staring into the cupboard scratching my head way too often! It's mostly snacks I'm having trouble with, when I just want to grab something fast!

I've been trying to bake with Gf flours and have only had a couple of successes. I threw out a batch of coconut flour muffins today. Ugh. I love baking so I'm determined to make something yummy!!

Thanks again, and I welcome any other tips or comments! smile.gif

Erin
post #6 of 9

I was soy, milk, egg and nut free while nursing. I couldn't do it as a vegetarian--especially since I was scared to eat too many beans due to cross-reactivity with both soy and peanuts. So, I started eating poultry--I had been a vegetarian for 20 years at that point, but I made the choice for my family.

 

 

I hope you can figure out a way to get enough protein and calories for yourself, and keep your little one safe.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Forgot to say that the cooking is fairly even, I do more during the week and DP does more on weekends. He will certainly gladly eat whatever I cook... just when he is cooking, he would still like to use wheat and soy...though I know he will try if possible to keep it separate (for instance, frying the tofu in a different pan). So no, I don't mean that I will be cooking two dinners each night!
post #8 of 9

I know you didn't ask for recipes, but we just had something very similar to this Spicy Vegetable hotpot and it might fit the bill. We leave out the "spicy" part, and add another apple. The recipe I have doesn't call for yogurt- you basically just leave it out. I use different veggies, too, to fit our intolerances.

post #9 of 9

Just lost my post....blah....here's two yummy recipes.

Veggie curry burgers

subed green onion for the red onion

Black bean burgers

I subed spinach for the bok choy, left out the red pepper flakes, subed green onions for the red onion. I LOVE these and they're not spicy with out the rp flakes

 

 

I also eat TONS of almond butter. Slather veg in olive oil. I can't eat coconut oil/milk yet, but will use generously when/if I can, love that stuff.

 

I went to eating chicken again after I found out I had a gluten intolerance. It seems to agree with me, so I'm ok with it. BUT I'm super picky about the chicken I eat/buy.

I also have eaten tuna a few times, which was good...and canned salmon once. That was a bit too strong for me at this point. I would do more fish, but it is hard when dh is allergic (like goes into a coma).

 

It is hard, I know.

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