Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Adventures in Anti-inflammatory/hypoallergenic diets!

I realize that it has been well over a year since I last contributed to this blog, and not from a lack of any health or nutrition topics I could discuss.  Life's just been plain crazy!  So what is pulling me to suddenly write a random blog post, you ask?

My daughter's eczema.

It showed up about this time last year and has gotten worse and worse.  No amount of natural or medicated creams or lotions seems to help and though I have considered going to an allergist to figure out her issues, the wait to get an appointment would be months out and I have a hunch that the culprit may be one of the following: wheat, dairy, eggs, or peanuts (all amazing and delicious foods).  So, as much as I don't want to do this to her, why not just eliminate these foods from her diet and see if there is an improvement?

I was considering going on an anti-inflammatory diet anyway to see if I can regain some pep and get rid of some pain.  (An anti-inflammatory diet consists of a lot of beans, rice, fruits, and vegetables and no dairy, sugar, or gluten.  Though these are wonderful, nutritious foods they can feed a state of inflammation in the body if it's already brewing, so staying away from these foods for a time can help decrease inflammation in the body and allow for better healing) 

So to hopefully rid my daughter of her constant itchiness and bleeding/scabbed skin and to improve my health, we are going forward.

This is not easy for me.  I live off of bread and dairy products and I really love homemade cookies and fudge brownies.   However, the hardest part about going forward with this diet is the amount of prep work involved.  This diet is generally a diet of few (if any) processed foods, which means that I need to carefully prepare meals and snacks when PBJ's, pretzels, and cheese sticks have been the norm.  I usually wouldn't mind all the prep work, but I am a full-time working mother of two active little girls and I the thought has continued to circulate in my head: "I just don't have the time for this!"  Needless to say, I've been dragging my feet for the past month or two.......

....but after slowly gathering a meal and grocery plan, I've actually come up with quite a few delicious meals and snacks that will hopefully still be appealing to my daughter and won't leave my taste-buds crying for flavor from a bland diet of rice and beans.  It has involved a lot of research and recipe searching, but I think this will be very doable!

As I was preparing tomorrow's meals this afternoon, the thought came to me:  how many other people out there have thought about going on an anti-inflammatory diet to help improve their health or have thought of putting their child on a restrictive diet for similar reasons or to reduce allergies but have thought that it would be too much work or didn't know where to start or just thought there was no way they could give up good food?

Perhaps I need to revive this little blog and include some tips and recipes that others would find useful?

Just a thought.

And hopefully between my work days, my mommy days, and my quest to find a regular exercise routine, you'll be seeing me back on here soon....... :)


  1. Holly! Don't know if you remember me - Katie & Nolan Braun (Bruce and Mary Kay Braun, Waconia Ward). Anyway, I was googling some stuff on eczema and food allergies for my daughter Kherington and your blog came up and I clicked on it!
    Let me just tell you this: my daughter, who is 2, has eczema and food allergies. She is allergic to: dairy (including casien and whey), soy, goat milk, beef, corn, eggs and highly allergic to peanuts. Our allergist says that dairy, soy, peanuts and corn are pretty common food allergies. We have known about and been dealing with this for a year now. Soy, corn and dairy are not high enough allergies to cause anaphylaxis (for Kherington), but they can cause other problems - stomach/bowel irritation and eczema. We would not have known this if not for taking her in and having a blood test.
    The other thing I've noticed to really help with the skin is using completely unscented and hypoallergenic, free of all dyes, etc. soap and lotion. We use California Baby soap and Vanicream lotion. (more spendy, but well worth it). Lastly, the less bathing (getting wet) the better, and puting the creams on immediately after bathing. Kherington is on a prescription hydrocortisone cream.

    Our allergist also said the more organic the diet, the better.

  2. p.s.
    Yes, it is a pretty restrictive diet, consisting of mostly organic fruits, veggies, and chicken, and taking forethought and planning. But, I'm in law school and Nolan's working and we manage it, so it's doable.

  3. This is the same diet we eat. :) Some of my favorite cookbooks are: The Happy Herbivore, The Everyday Happy Herbivore, Forks Over Knives and The Engine 2 Diet. They aren't all GF but I have learned how to substitute. It has helped Ava sooooo much! Her little body has began to heal daily before our eyes.