When I mentioned that I would like to be Amish, I don't think I was being serious. Please adjust things accordingly.
I strongly encouraged Mr. F. to get tested for food allergies. In part because new allergies kept popping up.
Mr. F.: I am allergic to coconut.
Lady Susan: Since when?
Mr. F.: Since forever.
Lady Susan: Why have I not heard about this until now?
I also suspected Finn of having food allergies, and although I know there isn't a one to one relationship in allergy genetics, I wanted to know the full extent of Mr. F.'s allergies.
Mr. F. had positive reactions to:
green pea (1)
The number indicates severity of the reaction. Some of these might not be actual allergies. The doctor advised that Mr. F. remove them and then reintroduce them one at a time. We decided to start with corn and soy since those are the big contenders and probably not an artifact of his seasonal allergies. I think Mr. F. was hoping that they were bogus. I know he was hoping that at least ONE of the two was bogus since avoiding both would be a real pain in the a**.
The first to get the ax was corn. This was really hard in a gluten-free household. Corn has become our wheat replacement for a lot of things: corn tortillas, corn chips, popcorn, etc. Most gluten-free crackers, bread, cereal, pasta, etc. has corn in it. I also had to reformulate my flour mix to use arrowroot instead of corn starch. And this is just the obvious corn sources. There are a billion hidden sources of corn because it seems like we live in a futuristic society were we can make everything from just one plant: CORN! Check here if you want your mind boggled by a non-exhaustive corn list.
Mr. F. tried to the best of his abilities to remove corn from his diet for three weeks--no small feet given that it is in practically everything. Do you know what happened people? Nothing short of a miracle--Mr. F. started sleeping like a normal person. (You may remember me complaining about his poor sleep habits before). After going corn-free, he experienced deep, restful sleep on a regular basis for the first time in his 30+ years. We even have graphs as proof! (Thanks to a nifty sleep app.)
This used to be a typical night:
This is his sleep corn-free:
So obviously, corn was messing with Mr. F., and after experiencing normal, restful sleep for the first time EVER, Mr. F. was loath to return back to his old lifestyle of non-sleep. So.... no corn.
We next tried adding soy back into his diet. Mr. F. helped himself to some tofu marinated in soy sauce with a side of edamame. Not five minutes after he had finished his soy meal of champions, Mr. F. had a full blown sinus headache. He had planned on eating soy three or four days to get a good sampling, but could only bring himself to do it twice. He just didn't like feeling yucky. Understandable. So....no soy. This knocks out another set of ingredients. (I think the hardest one, besides the obvious soy sauce, is soy lecithin which is in almost all chocolate.)
Where does that leave us? It leaves us with making everything from scratch. Things that even a person like myself who makes a lot of things from scratch anyway take for granted: mustard. mayonnaise, vanilla extract, baking powder, etc. Sure, Mr. F. and I have talked about playing around with making vanilla extract ourselves (because we are geeky like that), but to do it because we have to and not just for kicks? It kind of takes the fun out of it. Also, making everything from scratch all the time, is time consuming. Sometimes it is really nice to just open up a can/bottle/jar/box and have a meal ready in a few minutes. Sometimes, it is nice to run to the grocery store/fast food joint and grab lunch on the go. Now days, a lot of our time is spent foraging/preparing food. It's just all rather exhausting.