We Reversed Food Allergies Through Nourishing Foods

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Recent months have brought astounding changes to our family, with regard to food allergies.

First, Some Back Story

For many years we have eaten primarily whole, real foods – but we avoided certain foods (gluten, eggs, and dairy) because of known or suspected food allergies.

Earlier this year, I was inspired to take a second look at the Weston A. Price Foundation and the book Nourishing Traditions (whose author, Sally Fallon Morell, is the president of the WAPF). We were intrigued by the ideas presented and felt that we should give traditional food preparation methods a try. This sounds a little vague. Here’s what I mean.

Start with whole, organic, naturally-raised foods (and preferably in season and local). You have two choices for preparing them. You can take those real, whole ingredients and prepare them similarly to industry. For instance: quick yeasted bread, or cooked to death veggies canned in white vinegar.

Your other choice is to turn those ingredients into your food in a traditional manner. Instead of a quick-yeasted bread, you’d create sourdough bread. Instead of cooked to death canned vegetables, you’d lacto-ferment your veggies.

I used to cook the first way. Now I cook the second way.

Why cook the traditional way?

There are many benefits, when you get down to specific foods. But overall, there are two general benefits.

  1. The increase in friendly bacteria and fat-soluble vitamins increases the nutrition you receive from your food.
  2. All the nutrients are more assimilable because they’ve been prepared properly. There are fewer anti-nutrients blocking the absorption of minerals or inhibiting your enzymes from functioning.

Please note that those benefits work together!

Our Traditional Food Changes

More specifically, here are the changes I’ve made in order to cook in the second, more traditional manner (and to get the benefits I just listed above):

  • Soak, ferment, or sprout all grains – to neutralize phytic acid and/or pre-digest gluten
  • Soak all nuts and seeds
  • Introduce raw dairy foods
  • Introduce cultured dairy foods – kefir and cheeses
  • Introduce lacto-fermented vegetables
  • Introduce Kombucha
  • Take a fermented cod liver oil supplement daily
  • Use primarily high-quality saturated fats (like unrefined coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and tallow) instead of (mechanically pressed) polyunsaturates and monounsaturates (such as grapeseed oil and extra virgin olive oil*)
  • Drastically reduce consumption of all concentrated (natural) sweeteners

*I still use extra virgin olive oil in salad dressing, but I don’t cook with it any more. I turn to coconut oil, butter or tallow instead.

Our Results

Get ready to be shocked!

  • Two family members who were gluten-sensitive can now eat gluten grains, as long as they’re sprouted, fermented, or soaked.
  • One family member who was allergic to eggs can now eat pastured eggs on a daily basis.
  • One family member who was lactose-intolerance can now eat all our raw goat milk foods.
  • One family member who is iron and calcium deficient may be deficient no longer.

The most remarkable changes are the first two.

My son C. could not have eggs of any kind without getting a rash in all the tell-tale eczema places. We would allow him to eat pastured eggs once per year, as a test. One of those tests was early this year, and he got the usual rash, even from a pastured egg. Then we made our diet changes. And as of last month, he has been able to eat pastured eggs on a daily basis without any eczema rashes, or any other symptoms!

My daughter A. could not eat gluten or she would experience pretty uncomfortable digestive symptoms. Now, she consumes the gluten grains without adverse symptoms – as long as I sprout, ferment or soak the gluten-containing grains.

What Happened?

With regard to A., we are certain that the processes of sprouting, fermenting, and/or soaking do such a significant work to pre-digest the gluten that her digestive system then has no problem in doing the rest of the job.  The probiotics are probably aiding in the digestion of gluten as well.

With regard to C., it is hard to say for sure, but we think the introduction of all the priobiotics and fat-soluble vitamins has improved his digestive system to the point where his body can digest the eggs properly. Where they were toxic to him before, now they are not.

So it would be an understatement to say that we are excited. We are ecstatic! And we praise God for revealing the answers to us!

What about you? Have you experienced any allergy reversals through changing your diet? Have you experienced relief from any illnesses through a diet change? Feel free to share!

Got food allergies and need help? Check out our Allergy-Free Cooking eCourse to learn the ins and outs of nourishing allergen-free cooking.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    That’s amazing! Coincidentally, as I was reading your post, I could hear a news report on the TV in the other room about all the gluten-free products coming out on the grocery store shelves. They said there are 4x the incidence of gluten intolerance now than 50 yrs ago. They said it was because there is more testing being done now. I’m skeptical. I’d like to show them your post and the WAPF site to give them a different perspective.

    It’s truely a gift you’ve given your children. They will reap the benefits all their life. I’m hoping for transformations like yours in time and once we make all the changes. A small improvement that my son has pointed out to me is his complection. He’s 16 and his skin has cleared right up! That’s huge for a teenager.
    .-= Marg´s last blog post… Bread baking battle =-.

    • says

      Marg, that is HUGE! Something like that can really make the difference in him embracing the changes willingly! (Not suggestion that he isn’t. Just that sometimes people need results to get on board and be excited about taking a new direction.)

      I hear reports like that and very few dig deep enough to notice that the increase in gluten intolerance parallels the rise of industrialized food. Of course, I’m speaking on the other side now… but last year, I didn’t know any better. Thank the Lord for opening our eyes, and may we continue to be open to His leading and continue to experience health blessings like this!

  2. says

    I’ve only just begun cooking and baking a bit more in the Nourishing Traditions style. One area that I have noticed a difference is with raw milk. In my teens, I had a lot of food allergies, milk being the worst. Even after being able to tolerate cheese and cooked recipes containing dairy, I could rarely drink a glass of milk without it producing asthma symptoms(wheezing). But I haven’t had any trouble drinking a glass of raw milk. And the raw whole milk is so good, too!

    I’ve begun doing some soaking(baked goods, grains and beans) and as I continue, I hope to see some changes with some digestive issues for both of us.
    .-= Mary Ann´s last blog post… Randomness =-.

  3. says

    Hi Wardee, really enjoyed this posting. It’s wonderful to read the testimonials of others how switching over to a nutrient dense way of eating heals.
    Just to let you know, my linkage troubles possibly are fixed???I’ve tried it in several ways and haven’t gotten that business site to come up today yet. I am waiting on my son to hear if he actually finished the fixes.
    .-= Pamela´s last blog post… Wild Rice….. =-.

  4. says

    Wardee I am just so pleased for you and your family!
    I grew up eating whole foods, naturally fermented foods and very little white wheat and sugar. I never had any health problems until I was an adult and married to a sweet fellow who never met a packaged food or casserole he didn’t like 😉
    Of course its not his fault, but its hard to continue with a way of eating when you’re not both on board.

    These days though he’s come around to my way of thinking…and eating.
    We’re eating a lot like I did as a child and we’re both feeling better, but the biggest change has to do with a food that I did not eat as a child – kefir.

    I started buying kefir in about 1988 from Frontier. The boys loved it, Mark loved it. But after a while I couldn’t get it any more. So for a long time we didn’t have it.

    Then you started talking about kefir and really motivated me to try to make my own. It worked wonderfully. I make about 1 quart a day. I’d like to increase that.

    The big change occurred with my digestive system. I take several medicines that cause a lot of gas and discomfort. If you add the gas-causing foods that we eat like beans, cabbage, broccoli, I was uncomfortable a lot of the time. The kefir has stopped that completely. I haven’t changed what I eat except for adding the kefir. I drink about 8 ounces a day.

    I am trying to get Mark to drink about 8 ounces as well. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble with that, as he loves it. His digestive system has its own issues.

    Thanks for all the information and help, Wardee. I am so thankful that you are sharing what you’re doing and learning here at Gnowfglins.
    .-= Sylvia´s last blog post… Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce =-.

  5. says

    Hi Wardee !
    I am new here and loving your site so much !
    I have so much healing to do so I am excited to hear of your family’s success in this area, especially the gluten ! Congratulations and thank you for all your work in sharing this with us :)

    I am going to try soaking some grains (steel cut oats) SOON and see how it goes !

    .-= elizabeth´s last blog post… What’s For Breakfast =-.

  6. W says

    I’m concerned about this post. Kudos to you and your family for all you are doing, but I fear this post could be misleading for many people who either have celiac disease (and cannot eat gluten for life, no matter how grains with gluten are prepared) and/or folks who have food allergies that persist. I fear you are insinuating that if only people had the dedication and commitment and did it the way you are describing, they would be free from allergies or diseases of the digestive/immune system. That simply isn’t true and could make people feel guilty and bad about themselves or their situation because they are not being “magically” healed.

    • says

      Hi, W –

      I appreciate you pointing out that some may misunderstand my intentions. I do not / did not mean to insinuate that my family’s experience will be true across the board for all people. I have not claimed that anyone in my family has or has had celiac – I have claimed that they were gluten-sensitive. As you know already, there is a difference. I agree with you that food allergies may persist for some. But, I do know of people who have been freed from food allergies in a similar manner to us, proving that there is something to this. If such people are delivered from food allergies, I don’t think it is “magical” – in our case and others, I believe properly preparing food and the inclusion of probiotics facilitated this healing. Rather than being magical, there is a definite reason behind it.

      However, other people’s mileage will vary, and it does certainly depend on their own physiology and the time and energy they devote to food preparation. We all take time to prepare food (or at least most of us do). I would like to suggest that most people can switch gears and choose to prepare food an alternate way. They might decide to spend their time preparing food via methods that have been around long before industrialization, when we didn’t have modern allergies or diseases. It is worth considering at least, and may help people who are willing to give it a go. At the beginning of this big change for us, that’s where we were – willing to give it a go. And look where we are now.

      Once again, I don’t want to make people think that this will be true for all. But I think people do realize that I’m talking about my family’s experience here, and as such, our experience may or may not help them.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you brought this up – it is an important clarification.

  7. says

    i found this post to be very interesting! obviously, W, people should not take the advice of everything they stumble accross on the internet! and if a person has a serious disease like Celiac I would pray they are getting help from an experienced health careprofessional and not just food lover websites. On the other hand, I believe, from my own personal research, reading,learning from others, ect. that the loss of REAL food and real food preparations that the anchientspracticed IS to blame for many of our modern dis-eases. I certainly amnot an expert on celiac but I do believe that what we are fed as children will affect our immune systems permanently.
    .-= emily´s last blog post… The Real Food of Summer: veggies and butter! =-.

  8. says

    I myself credit the Weston Price Foundation (and Sally Fallon Morell’s marvelous work, Nourishing Traditions) for my FULL recovery from an eating disorder. This is no small “trick” or gimmick. What the hospitals tried futilely to do, real whole foods did.
    I admit that eating disorders are a psychological as well as physical thing; however, in the hospital’s attempts to “make me better”, they made the psychological aspect of it worse (regardless of psychologist and therapist “on board”.) Only when I dismissed their regimes (which included a processed dessert every day) and begin to drink raw milk, eat pastured eggs and grass-fed beef, did I come to see what we truly have lost.

    I am eternally grateful, as is my husband… as I’m sure, one day, will be my daughter and any subsequent children we may have.

    I love to hear stories like the ones you relate. Thank you so much for sharing. Every little bit counts! Let’s add fuel to the fire! :) :) :)

    Keep up the good work!!!
    .-= Lindsey´s last blog post… Local, local everywhere, but not a drop to drink… =-.

  9. says

    I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2004 after a blood test came out positive for antigliadin antibodies. After years of healing, I am able to eat soaked, soured and sprouted grain though I don’t really make a habit of it. I exhibit no symptoms and no longer test positive for antibodies. I credit my FULLY nourishing diet to enabling me to heal thoroughly. Everybody’s body is different, you know? But this is what proved effective for me and I’m so thankful to have found traditional foods and WAPF.
    .-= Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen´s last blog post… Hidden Dangers of Soy =-.

  10. says

    Wardee—I am so thrilled for you and for your family that all of the effort you have put into converting your cooking methods into traditional ones featuring real, whole foods has paid off! It gives me hope that someday I will be able to say the same things about our family’s food allergies and sensitivities! And it helps keep me motivated to convert my cooking methods, too—a process that I am enjoying but that is, as you know, an incredible amount of hard work. Though I have seen little glimmers of possibility here and there (Kellen accidentally ate some of the butter I made from raw milk without any symptoms!), I’ve had some discouraging moments, too (such as the time I purposely had him try raw milk mozzarella I’d made, and his symptoms appeared with a vengeance; plus, his minor but still remaining stomach discomfort after eating bread made with sprouted spelt). I wanted to ask you what fermented cod liver oil product you are using. I recently bought one from Azure Standard, and it tastes so bad that we just can’t manage to get it down. Any tips?
    Love, Sonya
    .-= Sonya Hemmings´s last blog post… Bag Lady With Bling =-.

    • says

      Sonya – I’m sorry I overlooked your question about the cod liver oil until just now. I have been getting Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil from Azure Standard. It is hard to swallow, but we do it anyway. With this brand, it is so potent (and highly recommended by the WAPF), you only need one mL. When we run out of it, I’m planning to order the combination CLO/butter oil from the same company.


  11. says

    I couldn’t eat cheddar / wheat products without pain. Now I eat raw cheddar and my own sourdough bread freely! Yay!

    Wardee, I have a question: do you think it’s best to sprout wheat berries and make sprouted grain bread or to soak the whole wheat flour and make sourdough? And is it possible to make a sprouted grain sourdough? Or is that just redundant? Thanks! :)
    .-= gilliebean´s last blog post… STATION FIRE =-.

  12. says

    HI Wardee,
    I loved this post that you wrote. I have been slowly converting to traditional methods of cooking and preparing foods myself over the past few years. It has been a slow process and I find that my habits overrule my best intentions sometimes. I didn’t grow up with these traditional methods so it has taken some time to convert to them!

    But I too find that with the changes of preparing foods and adding cultured and fermented products into my diet, I am a much happier camper.

    Last year I went completely gluten-free because of my food allergies and sensitivities. But your post gives me a lot of hope that I may be able to go back to soaked and sprouted spelt at some point. I have never been tested for celiac but would like to make sure about this at some point.

    Unfortunately, I think you, your nourishing community on your blog and others that follow these traditional methods are the minority in our culture as far as how to prepare food. I think that a lot of people don’t have time to devote to this, or they don’t (think) they have a reason to, or they’ve been uneducated in terms of what is truly healthy food.

    I even find myself grumbling about soaking nuts and dehydrating them before I eat them. It just seems like a lot of work. And when you grow up on processed nuts in a can, making this switch can be a big process in the way we live our daily lives.

    But you’ve inspired me again and again to continue with these traditional methods. And this week I am vowing to start up our Komboucha again – my husband was taking care of it and tired of it and our mushrooms have been waiting for us in the fridge.

    I’m also finally going to get some more kefir grains after ours died. I took a break because the kefir was tasting very alcoholic, but I think I wasn’t taking enough grains out each time I was making it.

    I also made some Fermented Gingered Carrots from Nourishing traditions this morning. The last time I made them, I didn’t measure right and ended up with some very salty carrots!

    And, it seems as though my cod liver oil has also been waiting for me. Being a mom, it is so important to take care of ourselves, but I seem to have been forgetting this lately.

    I am also, finally, going to soak some raw almonds and dehydrated them in the oven. It is really not hard, it is just a matter of remembering to do it!

    I did want to ask you about not using the olive oil in cooking. I browsed through NT and they call for olive oil in many dishes, but mostly as marinades. But some recipes do call for using it to cook with. Can you explain why you’re not using it to cook with any longer? I love coconut oil and have been enjoying it in my cooking and baking. But I do find it doesn’t do well in high heat. What are your thoughts?
    thanks again for this post,
    .-= Sarah Schatz – menu planners for limited diets´s last blog post… Gluten-free pizza crust recipe, tarte style =-.

    • says

      Sarah – I don’t really mind using olive oil for cooking when foods aren’t heated to high temperatures. However, I wanted to increase our healthy saturated fats, so subbing coconut oil in all the cooking did the trick. If I had grass-fed butter, I would have used that. One of these days, I’ll get my cream separator installed on my countertop, so I can separate the cream from my goat milk – and then I will have cream to make good butter to use! I still use extra virgin olive for marinades and dressings, though. But we are using our goat dairy foods in more and more dressing, so overall the olive oil consumption has gone down.

      Gilliebean – IMO, this is the order of the most nutritious ways to prepare grains: sprouted, then fermented (sourdough), then soaked, with sprouted being the best. In this post’s comments:


      Sonya and I were discussing how we are interested in experimenting with sprouted flour in a sourdough recipe – which perhaps could be the ultimate. :) What do you think? The downside with using sprouted flour in a quick-yeasted bread is all the negatives of using commercial yeast. So I *think* it would be great to use that sprouted flour in a sourdough recipe. I’m eager to hear how Sonya’s experiments go. It might be redundant – but then again, you’d avoid using commercial yeast, so I think that would be worth it.

  13. says

    Wardee—I think we have the exact same fermented cod liver oil product that you ordered. I got a tip from Sally Fallon Morell during my interview with her: She said she would mix it into fresh-squeezed orange juice and pour it into shot glasses and have her four kids (all grown now) drink their “cowboy whiskey” every morning. I tried it this morning (though I didn’t have fresh-squeezed orange juice!—I used a 100-percent-fruit juice from Kern’s) and it was actually tolerable for all of us. I want to try the CLO/butter combo, too, and after my interview with Fallon, I’m thinking even Kellen could have it. Fingers—and toes—crossed! :-)
    .-= Sonya Hemmings´s last blog post… Season’s Eatings =-.

  14. Angela Ridinger-Dotterman says

    As promised, I am updating you on our raw milk experiment. My hope was that my two boys, both of whom are allergic to dairy and both of whom cannot have casein from pasteurized milk because it significantly worsens their autistic behaviors, could tolerate raw milk in a fermented form (fermentation supposedly breaks down the casein, making it easier to digest). I fermented raw cow’s milk into kefir, using Body Ecology’s kefir powder. I sweetened the kefir with raw honey. My youngest son loved it and tolerated the first few doses very well. However, the next time, I noticed blisters around his mouth. I tried one more time–Sam has many allergies, so I didn’t want to make a hasty conclusion–and he developed a rash on his face and had a body-wide outbreak of eczema. My older son has been resistant to trying the kefir. Jack is much more severely affected by autism than Sam (though Jack is not severely autistic–he is usually described as mildly-moderately affected). One of the challenges for him is wariness of new foods. We have worked to get him to try some of the kefir, but he’s had so little, it’s impossible to say what effect it has had. I am frustrated that this hasn’t been as successful as I’d hoped, but that is true of most things we attempt to help the boys. I am going to pick up some raw goat’s milk on Saturday, and will repeat the experiment. If it is a casein allergy, the results may be the same. However, I feel it’s important enough to try again. On the bright side, my parents (who have been visiting during the first part of this experiment) and I have really enjoyed the raw dairy. I can’t believe our country has been convinced for so long that pasteurized products are better. Real cream is AMAZING!



    • says

      Angela, I’m bummed and encouraged all at the same time. Thanks for updating me – I’m glad you’re going to keep trying things. I can’t wait to hear what happens with the goat’s milk. Please do let me know!

    • Pam Groom says

      There is a book called Nourishing Hope by Julie Matthews that discusses ways to get autistic kids to try new nutrient dense foods. The science behind how food afffects their bodies is presented in a fascinating and practical way. She is pro WAP and pro raw milk. This may be worth looking into. Is your raw milk from a heritage breed? Jersey’s, Guernsey’s, Brown Swiss and one other cow breed have a different casein protein that is better tolerated by most including autistic children.

  15. says

    Hi Wardee. We are sisters on this matter for sure! My 3 year old tested positive for 31 allergies when she was 2, chief among them being corn, wheat, rice, and soy. The advice was to remove them from her diet. We were eating alien food and I knew in my heart it wasn’t practical, so I searched online for a better solution. That’s when I found the WAPF. It’s been 8 months of transition to a traditional diet. Now, Emma my 3 year old can eat corn tortillas, oats and other grains soaked for the full 24 hours without symptoms. I also believe this is the REAL answer (soaking/sprouting) to the masses of gluten-intolerant people (not celiacs). Glad to have found a kindred spirit!

  16. says

    I stumbled across your blog, and I’m so happy I did! I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease almost 3 years ago. A friend of mine gifted me with Nourishing Traditions about a year ago, and it completely changed my life. I’m happy to report that I am virtually symptom free these days and I’m amazed by God’s goodness. I love eating traditional foods, local, and in season, and my body is grateful for the relief. We bought a small farm last fall, and we’ll begin growing most of what we eat. I’m so excited! God’s Peace, Melissa

  17. Kristie says

    I have been trying to figure out whether to work on changing how I prepare grains, or fermenting foods. I am leaning toward working on grains, and just taking a probiotic (ultra jarrowdophilus). I took your courses for a month and now am in thinking mode! Any advice would be appreciated. Also, I have a dairy allergy, and my husband is lactose intolerant and has GERD.

  18. Racquel says

    Hello Wardee,

    I stumbled across your website and was impressed with the results your family has achieved through traditional way of cooking. I am interested in learning how to ferment some foods. However, I am a total vegetarian and am interested in fermenting things that we do eat. Does your cooking class cover nondairy kefir, garbanzo miso (since my children are allergic to soy), and making sauerkraut?


    • says

      Racquel — Hi and welcome! In the fermenting class, there are two non-dairy kefirs: water kefir and you can make the usual dairy kefir with coconut milk. I don’t demonstrate the coconut milk, but the procedure is virtually the same. We ferment several bean dishes, though not miso. We do hummus, natto (and you can use any bean, not just soy — black bean is particularly good), and tempeh. And yes! We do sauerkraut! Plus pickles, salsa, relish…. The full list is here: http://gnowfglins.com/ecourse/classes/ferment

      I hope to see you again!

  19. Julie says

    Today I found out my 11 yr. old is highly intolerant to all dairy, eggs all meat except pork, garlic, all nuts except pecans, gluten, citrus fruits, and the list goes on. We eat organic whole foods, grass fed organic meat… I make yogurt and kefir (raw milk and coconut) and we limit sugar intake…mainly to a small amount of honey or maple syrup. This has been a very long road…he has had sleep problems, seizures (that are gone now) and is severe “ADHD” so this is another piece of the puzzle. I’m glad to have more answers, but I am just completely overwhelmed. I would love some encouragement here! He pretty much lives for mac and cheese. We have been mostly gluten free for awhile and when we have pasta it’s Tinkyada rice pasta. Cheese is going to be really hard. Amy’s has a gluten and dairy free mac and cheese, but it has mustard powder and mustard is also high on the list of food intolerances. HELP!!

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