I’m in desperate need for some help with food suggestion. Before I get to the nature of this help, some backstory.
On Tuesday, I developed a rash on my chest. By the next morning, it had spread to my torso, back, and arms. At first, I didn’t think too much about it because living with lupus means that I can get rashes when I have a cold. I’ve had a cold for about two weeks, now. There is a specific name for the type of rash to which I’m referring, but it is currently alluding me.
By Friday, it was only getting worse. Normally, the other rash that doesn’t concern me, disappears after 24-48 hours.
So, I finally went to a doctor where I learned the following: The cold caused my lupus to reach a tipping point which caused my allergies to go into hyper-drive. My immune system is so stressed, that all it took was a “simple cold” to cause a systemic allergic reaction. I also learned that I’m not lactose intolerant, but I’m actually allergic to dairy. Those couple of teaspoons of milk, that I thought were safe in my coffee and tea, have been slowly poisoning me. When I got the cold, my system simply couldn’t deal with it anymore. If I had waited any longer to get treatment, the next phase could have been heart problems and anaphylaxis.
That was scary to hear. I’ve had anaphylaxis to eggs and bee stings. Not something I ever want to happen again. Had I been properly diagnosed with a dairy allergy and not simply lactose intolerant–they are two very different things–this current health crisis may have been avoidable. I say “may” because I’m also allergic to dust, pollen, and many environment things. So, my body is always being bombarded with allergens, ones that I cannot avoid, and it may have been only a matter of time before a “simple cold” triggered a potentially life-threatening reaction.
That is the TL;DR version, anyway. Hopefully, it’s enough information for you to understand the seriousness of it and why I really need your help.
Something that I learned that may be important information for others who think they are simply lactose intolerant:
- If you are lactose intolerant, it takes a minimum of two hours after having dairy for that gas and pain to become present.
- If you are feeling symptoms after 20-30 minutes–such as the case with me–that means it is an allergy, and you should probably discuss it with your physician.
I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give you medical advice. I’m just telling what the doctor told me about the times of reaction for the two conditions.
So, this means I now have to eliminate dairy and all products that contain casein from my diet, on top of the already long list of foods I have to avoid because of allergies, lupus, and antiphospholipid syndrome. And it means that most of my favourite foods are now complete no-goes, instead of being able to enjoy them in moderation or with some lactaid.
As a result, I need a good list of alternatives and a list of recipes that are considered safe. In order to get your help, below is a list of foods that I cannot have, followed by a list of foods that I can only eat in moderation.
Foods That Must Be Avoided
- All soy products
- All dairy and foods containing casein
Dairy Products to Avoid
- Butter and butter fat
- Cheese, including cottage cheese and cheese sauces
- Cream, including sour cream
- Milk, including buttermilk, powdered milk, and evaporated milk
- Ice cream
Foods With Milk in Them
These foods often contain cow’s milk protein. Check their labels before buying. If you’re eating out, ask if milk was used to make them.
- Au gratin dishes and white sauces
- Baked goods — bread, cookies, crackers, cakes
- Cake mix
- Chewing gum
- Chocolate and cream candy
- Coffee creamers
- Creamed or scalloped foods
- Malted milk
- Mashed potatoes
- Meats — canned and processed, including cold cuts and deli meats
- Nougat, found in some candy
- Salad dressings
Ingredients With Milk
If you see these listed on a label, the food has milk proteins in it:
- Artificial butter or cheese flavor
- Casein or caseinates
- Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
- Lactose, lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, lactulose
- Whey or whey products
- Alfalfa sprouts and supplements that contain alfalfa
Foods That I Can Only Have In Moderation Because They Are High in Vitamin K
- Mustard Greens
- Collard Greens
- Beet Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Turnip Greens
- Brussels Sprouts
- Romaine Lettuce
- Bok Choy
- Green Beans
- Black Pepper
- Green Peas
- Summer Squash
- Chili Peppers
- Winter Squash
- Bell Peppers
So, that means, I can’t really buy a vegan cookbook and just add meat because most vegan recipes I’ve read would mess around with my blood clotting disorder, because of the vitamin K, and put my lupus in overdrive, because of the soy.
For me, right now, I’m totally mourning the ability to eat milk chocolate, cheeseburgers, spaghetti with parmesan cheese every now and then, lasagna, borscht with cheese, poutine, hot chocolate that tastes like proper hot chocolate, and the list goes on.
It is also helpful to know that I live in Canada, so be aware of that when recommending any brand. I also live in a city that has a very poor selection of food for people with allergies who do not have celiac disease–if I had a wheat allergy, this would be easy. So, buying pre-packaged cookies that are dairy-free is not an option. Coconut milk ice cream doesn’t exist in my city.
I’m at my wits end and thinking about all the things I can no longer eat, even if it’s only once in a blue moon, is making me feel like I’m starving.
So, all your tasty food and recipe suggestions that are free of the first list, and have very small amounts of the second list are greatly appreciated! Especially recipes for baked-goods that don’t require animal milk, eggs, soy milk, butter, or margarine.
PS: Please share this post on all your social places. I could really use the signal boost, and it will help save my life.