Welcome to The Restricted Kitchen!


 

I have food restrictions, lots of them. My husband has a shorter list, my daughter has a similar list to myself. Between us, we have so many that most people won’t invite us to dinner because they are overwhelmed by the lists.

Have you received a similar list of things you were told to change in your diet? It sounds like a life sentence, doesn’t it? It always takes a while to process changes, I felt completely overwhelmed at first. We can get you through this.

Why do I have a list, what happened that there is a huge list of foods that I need to avoid?

Long version:

3 years old – get Pneumatic fever

Survive the infection without heart damage, which in 1979, is pretty rare from what I was told.

Doctors are worried that I will get it again, from the strep throat infection that are constantly circulating around schools, and not survive it so well next time.

Doctors prescribe penicillin, which I take 2x/day for 12 years. Yup that said 12

When I am 15 I get every illness going around that year, I almost fail grade 9 and feel awful. This was a good clue that I have no immune system left. I was also left with no digestion system.

Fast forward in time, all the while understanding I am having small stomach issues that I don’t understand or have the ability to solve. In university I get a stomach ulcer, which by then they understand is due to bacteria, rather than what they used to believe. I was given the ulcer killing drugs, which wiped out whatever digestion I had grown in the past 7 years. My digestion is devastated. I have constant yeast infections that will not cure. I struggle all through my mid 20’s, by this time I am so scared of doctors giving me more pills that make me worse. I won’t go anywhere to get it fixed.

I did find a naturopath when I was 25. She and I began testing to see what I could and couldn’t eat. That started my path on what substitutions could be in my diet. This was 2000. Back then there wasn’t anything gluten-free, what was around – tasted chalky. Dairy free things were always soy. Life was pretty bleak in terms of diet. I took a lot of bio-K, it didn’t have flavours or alternatives like rice based. It was just curdled, extra strong yogurt. I gagged every day I took it.

I made some progress, I could add some things back into my diet, but my stomach never got really strong. I had a daughter in 2005, and a lot of stress when the economy collapsed in 2008. By 2009 I had chronic hives, chronic diarrhea and my old naturopath was out of good options for us to try. I just wasn’t getting any better.

In 2012, my health collapsed. I had been travelling in the USA, I had to come back home and find out what was wrong. I couldn’t get warm, I couldn’t stay awake. I had shakes and memory loss, I was grossly irritable and the headaches were terrible. I saw a doctor, I had iron deficient anemia. My doctor sent me to an allergist to see about the chronic hives and prescribed iron pills, strong ones. The iron pills made things worse, rather than better – they were just too hard on my stomach. The allergist told me I was allergic to 25 of the 40 things he tested me for. More drastic changes coming for my diet. I did an elimination diet to find the rest of the things he didn’t test for. By the time I was done, I had so many things I couldn’t eat, my husband (the chef) would not cook for me because he said there was literally no ingredients he could use.

Luckily, I had made progress before and I knew I could do it again. I looked for a new naturopath who could help me. I tried every iron supplement on the market until I found something I could tolerate. I altered my diet so much I ate nothing the same as before and I made it all myself. I researched to find solutions and I read what others had been successful with to see what I could do to help. I delved into vegan raw foods for almost a year, I juice fasted, I brought my own food to family meals, I developed alternatives to the things I loved to eat! I kept exercising daily and I grew stronger. The hardest thing I had to do was let go of the idea I would ever be “normal” again and be able to eat whatever I wanted.

I have not regained the ability to eat whatever I want, but now I don’t miss it because I can make the things that I enjoy.

Now, I am sharing my solutions for those who are looking for alternatives to their restricted diets.

Don’t see a solution you are looking for? Send me a request, I hope I will be able to help.

A short list of what I can’t have:

potatoes, soy, almonds, all dairy, casein, egg whites (might as well skip the whole egg!), cashews, Brazil nuts, oranges, sunflower, peas, red kidney beans, yeast, barley malt, sulfites, msg

The Restricted Kitchen 

Family – Jennifer (me), chef husband, daughter