One of our daughters has a gluten allergy, and like any each family we’ve faced the problem of how to organize our life when she is with us. Dealing with a gluten allergy in daily nutrition can create two different paths. One is to live the same life, only cook with gluten-free products from the supermarket. The other is to live a life with a gluten-free diet. But is it so black and white, and can we do it anywhere around the world? I will try to help you by giving you some guidelines on how to build up family nutrition when one of you has a gluten allergy. I will approach the topic a bit differently from a traditional nutritionist, as my goal is to bring health and balance into your life – I believe there is always a reason for someone having an allergy.
- What is a gluten allergy?
- Why do we have allergies?
- Gluten-free products
- Gluten-free recipes
- Gluten-free products or a gluten-free diet?
- Does our body needs gluten?
- How to ensure your family diet
As I’m writing this post, I suppose that you already know something about gluten allergy. But if not, I wrote a very helpful summary in a post called: 101 of gluten allergy. In it you can find some useful information about where gluten can be found and how to handle it. As I mentioned here, I would like to give you some alternative solutions on how to arrange your family diet when one of you has this allergy.
Why food allergies increase – Scientific theories
When one of our family members has a food or some other type of allergy, we usually focus on the question of ‘why’. I found a very nice and personal article which points out different theoretical answers from various scientists. It could not have been better written, so if you have time, read it here: (Link to: http://home.allergicchild.com/possible-causes-of-food-allergies/) Otherwise, let me give you a quick brief on the theories that scientists have brought to the table.
Genetically modified crops = Tomatoes and other similar vegetables and animals are nowadays modified to conform and look better, and they’re raised mostly without a natural environment.
Excessive hygiene = We are so clean that our bodies’ immune system can’t handle the outside world.
Vaccinations = The contents of certain vaccines potentially cause allergies, and eventually we need other vaccinations to protect ourselves.
Pregnancy = This is the best part. Some scientist say, that our children get allergies because of what we had too much or too little of during pregnancy. Or that as we breastfeed our babies, the allergy is passed through the mother’s milk, and if we don’t breastfeed, the allergy is created by artificial milk.
Genetics = If my father had an allergy, I will have it as well.
Honestly, none of these theories have been comprehensively proven but all them have been approved. Depending the control group, the number of the people survived, the country… They could all be true.
I also “like” an additional theory, where some scientists said that you are allergic, because in your country you eat too much of that food, e.g. a common cod fish allergy in the Scandinavian countries, or starch allergy in China which is due to rice. Then they tell us to give our kids nuts really early on to make them used to them… So now really, WHAT?
What about mental health related reasons?
You know, when they diagnosed my son with a milk allergy, I didn’t complain about whether his father or I had it, or whether my son had enough mother’s milk. In my soul I was sure about one thing: my son was not stable.
He went through parental divorce, his parents’ new relationships, he was not doing well at school and he didn’t really have any friends. So I was asking myself what the allergy was all about.
We worked on it, we stabilized his family on both sides and today his allergy is gone.
The body protects itself against something. It is a reaction of the mind through the body. That’s what I believe allergy is all about!
I have asthma and a hell of an amount of allergies of plants (grass, trees and flowers). When they all came out, I lived in an unpleasant environment. My parents did not know how to love each other and they were arguing every day. As a teenager I could not change my parents’ relationship, but I could change my attitude towards it. So a year after I changed my way of thinking and began to trust myself, I never ever had another serious choking attack. Check my arcticle: how to fight allergy mentaly. I still have asthma, and with some activities (like cutting grass ;-)) it sometimes flares up but it’s very mild.
Now you say: What about my son? He is only three years old and he’s already allergic to tomatoes. I’m not saying that my theory works every time, nor am I saying that an allergy can be turned around every time. However, we are responsible for the health of our children, so you need to be sure that the environment your little ones are growing up in is good and safe, so that the mind doesn’t have to send messages through the body. Make sure, that there are no physical objects which could create an allergy – like three cats living with you in 30 m2 apartment – and most of all that your children can enjoy a balanced family life.
What if you are an adult with a milk or gluten allergy? Well it is true… You can still work on your mental health and I am convinced you can find quite a lot of help in the BALANCE part of my blog. But if the allergy does not go away, how should you arrange your family diet? Let’s talk about a bit more about GLUTEN ALLERGY.
Nutrition strategies for gluten allergic family members
I will share two different solutions with you. They are not black and white, and you will realize that with time you will use both of them. I favour the third as the best one as it is all about mental balance and getting rid of allergies. Especially with food allergies you should maybe consider whether your body actually needs those particular foods in the first place.
Using gluten-free products
A new industry has been born on gluten and milk allergies. Great, isn’t it? In certain countries like the US or the UK replacing normal ingredients with gluten-free ones, but in many European countries we still suffer. I do love the Italians who have their own gluten-free pasta.