First as a pharmacist, and then repeatedly as a new mom, a parent in playgroups, a heart patient, and a person heading toward middle age, I notice a trend when the conversation turns to health. Even when the conversation is about a specific health problem, like arthritis, the discussion ends up on diet. Diet in the sense of the foods and nutrients we are taking in, but also diet in the sense of weight loss---and how to do it.
As for the weight loss part, I don't have many answers. I can tell you that completely eliminating wheat will cause the pounds to drop! But I can tell you as a health professional that a drop like that isn't a good one. In fact, I worked with my new wheat-free constraints to get more calories and more nutrients regularly each day until my weight, energy, and GI system stabilized to the new norm.
I'd really like to spend some time on this blog about the nutrition end of eating with food allergies---in particular how to understand where our nutrients come from and how to get the macro and micro-nutrients we need when we adapt ingredients.
Why? First, because changing diets affects not just the allergic person but also the entire family and even the wider circle. Second, because it's hard to see what you are missing in daily or weekly nutritional needs when you're really focused on the safety, and it's easy to redo a diet (for any reason) to one that can hurt you more in the long run---like one that doesn't give you enough protein to keep your body going all day.
Moderation is key, but that doesn't mean it is easy when common foods are eliminated as options.
For today, I'd just like to share a few resources that have come my way from other food allergy (or just mom-friend) families and from health searches I've done before to help out friends and family who changed their diets, often for non-allergy health reasons.
It's almost impossible to find sources that are reliable but not scary or intimidating by just random Google searching these days. Most of the top hits revolve around fad diet trends, famous personalities, or "Dr. X" websites that may or may not be written by medical doctors or people with graduate degrees in a health field like medicine, nutrition, or dietetics.
Check out these links, and let me know if you have any favorites to add. You can find links to other reliable resources on my Useful Resources and Tools I Use pages, too.
Happy Monday, everyone!
A reader whose kids have food allergies and who works to teach other kids about food allergies shared an article from this website with me a long (too long) while back: https://www.dietspotlight.com/diet-watch-common-food-allergies/. Marion and daughter Ashley, thank you!
The direct article link will take you to a page with a thorough but not overwhelming list of reliable sources of information about food allergy reactions, precautions, medical information, and more. I loved that these were collected into one easy list and included places like MayoClinic.org, which I use for personal and work research every week, and the latest ChooseMyPlate materials, including the one aimed at kids.
Although DietSpotlight the company is focused on weight loss products, its approach is well researched, transparent, educational, and friendly. Really, what all medical communication should aim for. I don't use or endorse products for weight loss specifically, but I also realize that many people look for supplements to help them, especially when personal efforts or traditional medicine just aren't enough. So, I scanned through the rest of the site, and I found a lot to like:
Certified or verified vitamins and supplements
Almost 70% of Americans take over-the-counter supplements. Although people should (theoretically) be able to obtain the nutrition they need from daily food intake, the reality is that not everyone---by choice or necessity---eats to make that happen, and numerous chronic diseases can sidetrack the ability to get sufficient nutrition from foods.
So, vitamins and supplements can be good. But. Many people don't realize that these products are not held to the same standards as medications, even over-the-counter medicines. Instead, manufacturing standards apply more often. That doesn't guarantee the quality or quantity of the ingredients, nor does it speak to the success of that ingredient to improve health.
A few organizations are trying to change that, though. In addition to places like Consumer Labs, the US Pharmacopeia rigorously tests vitamins, herbs, and other supplements to confirm the accuracy of labeled ingredients. Products submitted for approval can receive a USP Verified stamp. An example is the NatureMade line of products.
You can find an updated list of verified products at the Quality Supplements website (www.quality-supplements.org/verified-products).
If you are looking for more information specifically on herbal medicines, you can find researched facts about different herbs---searchable online at The Herbal Medicines Compendium---and a list of supplements at the USP websites, too.
Finding Help to Fix a Diet
Sometimes the amount of information out there, or the number of health problems you are trying to balance, becomes just too much. Registered counselors and dietitians or nutritionists are experts in the many reasons and safe ways to rework a diet.
The Chrysalis Group serves the DC metro area and offers specialized support for kids with food allergies. Perhaps even more useful, the "Find a Health Professional" website has a database of dietitians who focus on food allergies, wherever you live.
Hi, I'm Nicole.
ABOUT THE BLOG
An apothecary is a person or a place. Either one implies healing and relates to pharmacy in its truest sense, as a source of treatment and advice.
This blog is my way of uniting my pharmacy training with my efforts to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle for my family. In true apothecary form, I research and prescribe alternative ingredients that work just right in each specific recipe, and I would like to share the results with anyone who needs help making their own family’s kitchen allergy safe and heart healthy.
I made the 2017 Top-40 Food Allergy blogs!
Nicole Van Hoey's books on Goodreads
Bakery Bites: Breads and Treats Without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, or Soy
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Kitchen Adventures With Multiple Food Allergies: A Recipe Collection for Celebrations Without Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Seeds, or Soy