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.
- The increase in friendly bacteria and fat-soluble vitamins increases the nutrition you receive from your food.
- 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.
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.
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!
This post is part of Fight Back Friday! hosted by FoodRenegade.