Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free- Why Me?

Many of you have seen on my Facebook page that I was just told by my doctor that I have food allergies. When she informed me of this, I thought “No big deal.. It’s probably nothing major..I bet it’s shellfish and I don’t even eat shellfish”.  As she gave me a list of foods I was tested for, 3 lines were much longer than all the others- chicken eggs, most dairy, and wheat. The first thing I asked was “Is wheat ….like the wheat in FLOUR?!” Uhhh..yeah. That would be correct. Ok. Ok. Ok. Let’s back up here…what on earth CAN I eat? Cooking is my ministry…it’s what I enjoy, it’s what I’m good at, it’s what I teach my children, and (many of you may know this) I have a cooking blog! I left with a bittersweet feeling in my soul…

“He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD” -psalm 112:7.

After I got home from my doctor’s appointment I started praying and realized that even though I have to alter what I eat, I do not have to give up my ministry. In all actuality, I have been calling my ministry a ministry….but I have always been privileged in indulging in all the treats I’ve made. Now, I will have to pray a lot hard, ask for strength a lot more, and give without getting anything in return..without a reward. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Isn’t is such a small cross to carry for what Jesus did for me?

“Then he said to them all ” Whoever wants to be my disciple, must deny themselves, and take up their cross daily and follow me” – Luke 9:23

It has been a week now (hold the applause) since I have had any of my “forbidden foods” – I can honestly say that it hasn’t been as hard as I would have thought! I haven’t craved the sweets nearly as much as I would have imagined… What’s more is that I can breathe….AHhhhhh….I have had “shortness of breath” for years and have never known why. I can’t believe that it was something so simple like a food allergy! And like a fool as I was eating my delicious scones, I was wondering why I couldn’t breathe! The shortness of breath also made me very tired. I am praising God that I found out what the problem was….even if it was ironic that it was something I held dear to me.

Going forward I will be updating archived recipes with GF/DF needs as my time permits. I will also be adding Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Egg Free recipes that I make! I will not, however,  turn into a Gluten Free/Dairy Free only blog  as I will continue on with my “in person” meal ministry to those without dietary guidelines . I will continue to share cheesy, buttery, and full of gluten recipes on Comfy in the Kitchen . The only thing that will change is that Comfy in the Kitchen will be more accommodating to those who have the same dietary challenges as I do!

I refuse to let this challenge get the best of me.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” -Philippians 4:13

Thank you for all of your encouragement, love, support, and advice. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me! I am also so surprised at how many people have food allergies! I had no clue.

Wondering what I am going to miss the most? (and don’t tell me I can still eat it- it is not the same -ha, ha)  Pizza!!!!!!

 

  

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Comments

  1. Gloria Phillips says:

    My mother in law just recently found out she has the same allergies and more. She can’t eat beef, tomatoes, garlic along with the dairy, eggs and gluten. She has had a very hard time with it. (Going on 2 months for her) she is just now starting to experiment more with food and getting used to things. I look forward to sharing any recipes you may post with her. (And of course as usual trying some myself)

  2. Hi Janelle,
    I haven’t left you a comment in ages but I have been popping in from down under (or maybe that should be popping up! I am so sorry that you of all people have to now avoid gluten but I’m sure it is a challenge you will take on with gusto. There are some amazing resource out there on the net for those who have to go gluten free. I looked at a lot of sites recently because people kept asking my daughter if she was going to offer gluten free desserts at her market stall – yes her little business is up and running and she has had some wonderful responses to her baked sweet goodies that she is selling. I will have to email you and tell you more! Australia has the world’s strictest labeling standards – you cannot advertise gluten free on products that you sell unless you have taken all steps to eradicate gluten and you must prevent cross contamination which means baking any gf free items separately. Even the air can contaminate and is tested by authorities. So she does not advertise gluten free, just lists out her ingredients for people to read – gosh you are going to be having to do lots of label reading! Gluten is in so many products – my thoughts are that it is how wheat is processed that must be a contributing factor to the problems it causes – I blame the processing rather than the original food in its natural state which is why I choose to mill wheat grain for our breads and limit the use of refined products. Look forward to seeing how you will adapt recipes!

  3. Oh I just remembered a cookbook I highly recommend. We are not allergic to anything but I tell you this girl’s recipes are just awesome – I am always borrowing this book from the library. The basil dressing is the best salad dressing ever! It’s ‘The Wholefoods Allergy Cookbook’ by Cybele Pascal. It’s on Amazon. I’m thinking I should buy it for myself. Has over 200 recipes – I think you will love them!

  4. You still have your ministry…it’s just been altered a little. Think of all those out there with the same problem you have that you can develop recipes for. God never lets us down….but He may change the direction of our path!! God bless!

  5. vegan/ vegetarian cooking (and making it gluten free is easy and yummy. plus has so many health benefits. hope all goes well.

    my cooking up lasting memories has alot of vegan/vegetarian cooking that can be made gluten free if your interested

    http://cookinguplastingmemories.blogspot.com/

  6. I’m so sorry…perhaps this is just the cooking challenge you needed! Gluten free cooking tends to be healthier in general, and some of the people who need cooking help the most are older people who can’t just run out to the store and eat what they find.

    I love cooking for some of the older people in my church who have heart and other problems and are on a restricted diet. So many can’t help them at all! Your ministry has just changed, I’m glad you’re embracing it!

  7. I’m sure that this is so frustrating. :( But it seems like you have the right attitude about it!

    I don’t comment often, but I love your blog and recipes! My favorite recipe of yours is the homemade salsa (with corn, peppers, tomatoes, etc). My family went crazy over it! I’ve also turned it into a meal – putting the salsa in a tortilla for a healthy lunch!

    Thanks for sharing your recipes (and your heart!) with us! :)

  8. Janelle, I want you to know that 2 years ago I went to the allergy dr. for I have been having some drainage in the throat and my stomach has been hurting me. Well about 200 and some pokes in the back and about 20 shots in one arm and about to do the next arm when I almost passed out I have a ton of food allergies and some I am just sensitive to the foods. I am highly allergic to shellfish. Gluten, Wheat, Soy, Dairy, Corn are my highest numbers. Most of my veggies, fruits, spices, and nuts I had 2′s so with these when I do eat them they just make my throat drain. Citric Acid however makes me itch so bad and I get welts pretty bad. So when you look at the ingredients on package food they have citric acid or soy. So the first year was pretty bad and good. Good because I finally lost the last 10 lbs. that I wanted to loose after having my two children and bad because I was lost on what to eat. Well long story short I am finding little by little and have changed my diet. I have saved on our eating out budget for the fact that a lot of places just do not have what I can eat. When I came across your blog I was excited for I love to cook and prepare meals for others and on the same token it gets pretty hard to cook two different meals everyday. So I have learned how to cook one meal for my whole family to eat. Looking forward to continue on reading your blog as you go on this journey and share some gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, etc.. recipes! I am on this journey with you and God will give us the strength each and everyday!

    • Wow…that is a lot of allergies my sweet friend. But, the weight loss is def a benefit, isnt it?! I can already feel a difference in my pants after a week! Thanks for the encouragement! Love, Janelle

  9. Yes…. I miss pizza the most too and it’s really isn’t the same! I have a gluten intolerance so I can sympathize with what you are going through. Giving up the problem foods wasn’t as difficult as I thought. And after a few denial episodes (I’m going to eat it because how sick could it really make me?) it became easier to let go of the food because I knew what it did to me!

    I look forward to your GF recipes!!

    • Thank you Mandi! I’m excited to share! It hasn’t been all that tough yet for me- I know it must be God because I like food too much, lol

    • Thank you Mandi :)

    • When I first went gluten free 1 year ago (I was negative for celiac and it didn’t show up on an allergy panel but some bodily samples showed I was intolerant to gluten), pizza and grilled cheese were the first things I missed. Due to some other problems with my health I also slowly got rid of dairy (could never have milk but cheese was fine for me until my gluten issues were coming up), soy, corn and egg, then eventually went completely vegan (most meats give me rashes and hives and hurt my tummy – in fact touching poultry and pork turns my hands and arms red with a huge rash that slightly swells). It was a pain at first, especially because I’ve been working in the same two food jobs for 5 years now, and one of my jobs is a pizza job! I’m always disappointed with rice and tapioca crusts as they are usually hard to chew and distasteful… And of course finding a good alternative to cheese (I eventually discovered daiya- gluten free, soy free and dairy free and casein free).

      I don’t know what your symptoms are like, but I did discover a yummy and easy to fix “pizza wrap” made from chickpea/garbanzo flour (I found it online but can’t find the link I had, but i slightly changed my recipe anyways). All you do is warm up a non-stick skillet on medium heat with a little bit of oil (not a lot, just enough if you’re using it as something to not stick, like if you were making a grilled cheese for example lol), and for ingredients, in a bowl mix :

      1 cup chickpea flour
      1 cup water
      2-3 TBSP seasonings of choice (I use a hint of garlic salt and italian seasonings)
      1-2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (*optional* I also know this is in the original recipe and makes the batter a bit more flavorful, but it is not required)

      When all is mixed and well, pour some in the skillet (this recipe makes about 2 or 3 wraps so don’t be afraid to experiment with size). To get it as a wrap let it spread and you might need to swirl it a bit. But you can treat it like a pancake as well, if you want it to be a bit fluffier and don’t swirl it. (: Let sit about 3 or 4 minutes (or until fluffly and golden brown, then flip over for another minute or two minutes).

      When it’s done then I top it with whatever sauces and ingredients I want. (: Sometimes when I use daiya cheese, I mix a bit with the batter so it will melt while cooking. You could preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cook the cheese on top of the wrap/pizza pancake for 5-10 minutes, but thats extra work and I’m usually pretty lazy about it lol.

  10. Ohh Janelle! I am so happy you have a diagnoses to help you feel some relief! I love following your blog, and trying out your recipes!
    We found out a few months ago that our 2 year old son has a severe egg allergy after he became anaphylactic from touching an egg shell! He was also experiencing shortness of breath often, and we had no idea why. After the bad reaction the doctors agreed to do allergy testing and they said he also has a dairy/gluten sensitivity (which they think as he gets older may turn into a full blown allergy) so I look forward to seeing some of the recipes you post with the new restrictions!
    God bless you!

    Corrine

  11. The great thing is you are feeling better. The other great thing is there are so many fantastic vegan and gluten free cookbooks. I do a vot of vegan baking because it means my daughter can eat the cake batter and not worry about raw eggs. here is one of the many awesome website out there. I am sure you will find tons more.
    http://happyherbivore.com/
    Best of luck with the new changes.

  12. Welcome to MY world!! It’s rough ride at first, but it all works out.

  13. HI Janelle

    So glad you now know what is making you ill, like some people have said before me its amazing how God turns our plans upside down, I am sure you will find it frustrating at first but think of this as a challenge, you can find new recipes and try new things and share them with others. My sister was diagnosed as a celiac when she was 13, it was almost imposible to find GF products 20 years ago but now its easy and the quality is 100 times better. I wish you luck in this journey and I am sure God will be shining down on you as you take this on!

    • Thank you so much Heather…I know we have come a long way since your sister was diagnosed! It makes me wonder why there are so many allergies nowadays. Gesh!

  14. Janelle, I so wish I would have seen you at Bible study last night to talk to you…I understand how you feel. As an infant my daughter was diagnosed with food allergies — she’s allergic to dairy, egg, wheat, oats, soy, and nuts. I’ve spent the last several years searching and searching for ways to make her diet seem more normal. I’ve tried a huge variety of products out there, all of which were disappointing. First off, it was difficult to find products that avoided all her allergens — if it didn’t have dairy it would have wheat, if it didn’t have wheat it would have egg, and so on and so on. She loves to bake and help me in the kitchen, and I was determined to find a way to keep that up with her. So I tried several recipes for making my own flour blends. Nothing was quite right. I could get the taste of things to be alright, but the texture would be off, and in baked goods, I just couldn’t stand that. Then about six months ago, I stumbled upon the book Cooking for Isaiah. It literally has transformed our lives! Now I make the flour blend in that book, and I use it for everything for Phoebe. Whenever we go to events, she and I always bake something so that I know there is something she can have, and guess what…out of everyone that has ever tasted something from the book (everything is gluten free and dairy free) NO ONE has ever been able to tell! The stuff is that good! The book has recipes for everything from waffles, pancakes, and muffins, to cakes, cupcakes, brownies, pizza crust, and cookies. I mix up huge batches of the flour blend at a time so I always have some on hand…I’d be happy to bring you some with my book to borrow and try out to see if you think it would be helpful to you. Just let me know!!

    • Thank you SO much!!!!! Oh yes, I would love to have more info on that book- it sounds great! I know that God will steer this ship- I am not worried, kind of excited to what He has in store! I feel tons better already and it’s only been a week.

  15. Wow! What an ironic situation. I love your perspective and think that this will help you reach more people on the internet who need those modified recipes. Thanks for having a good attitude and sharing your heart.

    • Isn’t it?! lol! Yes…it is a new ministry for me. God is good, and I am having fun with it. Oh did those hot rolls with honey butter my family was eating yesterday look good…hehe. But, I didn’t miss the way they made me feel.

  16. I so understand! My sweet oldest daughter has severe food allergies to diary, soy, rice, nuts, carrots and is sensitive to gluten as well. Coming up with recipes has been very difficult but thankfully God has provided. I am just an old country cook. Anybody can cook with when you are able to use all ingredients but it take a gift from the Lord to be able to cook good food when you are so limited. Can’t wait to see what God has instore for you! Lord bless!

  17. Katie Pritchard says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog. My five year old daughter was diagnosed in June with severe allergies to peanuts, eggs, and soy after prolonged unexplained vomiting, fatigue, all kinds of symptoms. She got a little better, but not totally, so they did a biopsy and found she has severe celiac disease as well. So, no eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, or gluten. To top it off, lots of newly diagnosed celiac patients are also lactose intolerant, and my daughter is right now, so no dairy either. It has been a struggle and a bit of a mourning period. I LOVE to bake and I wanted to be able to bake her yummy things like all her friends could eat. Cybele Pascal (I saw that someone else mentioned one of her cookbooks) has written an AMAZING cookbook called “The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook.” It is a God-send. Her recipes are amazing and taste so good no one can tell they are gluten free, egg free, nut free, dairy free. There is also a magazine called Living Without that has lots of recipes that are gluten free and dairy free and have options to make them egg free. It is definitely possible, although it is a huge adjustment.

  18. Janelle!!! I’m just reading this post! Ahhhhh! I’m SO excited! It’s also my first time to comment. I was introduced to you through Good Morning Girls, and have followed you for a while!

    I’m SO excited about these new recipes! I live in India with my family of 6. My one year old has had some terrible issues–mainly due to our horrible, dirty water here where he got giardia. But, since he had that, he has serious issues with dairy. And, even though we’ve done rounds of testing, I still wonder about gluten for him. I already struggle with not using dairy–our grocery items and options are already limited here anyway. But, we’re making it.

    Also, I love your recipes–my kind of cooking!!! This week I made caramel apples for our “fall get together” here in India!!! They were a hit! I made your shrimp scampi tonight (with no butter for the one year old), and I am from the south and love sweet tea–the baking soda is such a trick. So, you are such a blessing to our family–across the ocean with a very different grocery store! ;) Now, it’ll be even more of a blessing to have recipes for my dairy free little man! I also made the “give thanks” calendar and we’re excited to start it tomorrow!!!

    Thanks so much!!!

  19. Thank you for sharing your ministry and your allergies with everyone. Just found your blog awhile back and am really enjoying it. My daughter has food allergies (egg, milk, nuts) in addition to outdoor allergies. Over the last year and a half I’ve learned so much about cooking and making adaptions for her. But at at the same time, we are all eating much healthier! I wish you all the best in this journey! I also think that your allergies may end up being a ministry to so many more people!

  20. Just the comment thread on this post alone has been a ministry to me, and I’m sure to a lot of others who are trying to navigate a new gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free diet. We recently found out our 7 year old daughter can’t have these foods, also seems to be affecting our 5 year old daughter and my husband. I look forward to reading more here.

  21. Stephanie Kelley says:

    Janelle, Just reading what you wrote really ministered to me. Recently my 14 month old son got diagnosed with food allergies. He’s allergic to Eggs, peanuts, and fish. So we have managed working around the eggs. But after doing the panel test we realized that he is allergic to Wheat too. I’m having a very difficult time finding recipes for gluten free that doesn’t require eggs. I haven’t been completely negative about it all, but a little discourged.

    After reading how positive you are I know I need to step my game up a little and be more positive. We are a young family involved in ministry, we always have potluck after church on sunday. And I worry about my son alot, so I haven’t been wanting to stay. I just wanted to say Thank You for sharing, and I know that God has a plan for everything, and he’s got it handled but until then I need to find some recipes that I can make. I, too, love to cook.

    May God bless you, your family, and your ministry

    Stephanie

    • Thank you so much Stephanie!! I can completely understand…it is so hard to figure out what to make without wheat and eggs both…it is such a kicker, isn’t it?! PB and J on rice cakes is a staple. ;) But it is such a healthier lifestyle, so for that I feel blessed. I would have never made this choice on my own- God’s plan is always better and it is better for your sweet little boy too. Love to you, Janelle

  22. Janelle, my mom just sent me your blog and I love it! I’m a mom to two little boys, the youngest has FPIES (allergy to dairy, soy, rice and eggs). He is 18 months old and I’m still nursing him so I’m free of all those foods to, have been for 17 months. I have no professional training in the kitchen but I know my ministry is cooking, specifically for those with food allergies, and to help other young mothers on this journey! I recently started my own little blog in hopes to encourage others as well! Anyway I cannot wait to follow you!!

  23. Hello!

    I love your site.. it is wonderful :)

    My little toddler (nearly 2), after suffering from massive, terrible eczema for most of her little life was finally diagnosed with equally massive, terrible food allergies (among other things). After taking away nearly all of the things she is allergic to, the Lord was gracious and the eczema went away. She is allergic to beans, tomatoes, peppers, chili powder, eggs, wheat, soy, milk, nuts and peanuts, fish, etc etc. I love to cook. I was traumatized. Frantic, even.

    My nightly prayer as I looked blindly around my kitchen was.. WHY ME? (Notice I never said, Why my baby?)

    The Lord comforted me.. loved me. And reminded me that like you, He gave me the ability to cook. So I adjusted. And it really has not been that hard- until I look for allergy free recipes and sympathetic people.

    You were the first blogger who I found who knew what I was going through. I thank the Lord He directed me to you. He used you to reaffirm to me that I was doing ok and my child will not starve to death just because she can’t eat the same things everyone else can eat (my family and I all eat what she eats.. no 2 or 3 different dinners at the same meal).

    So in short, thank you. You are amazing and keep doing what the Lord has called you to do. I know if you blessed me, you have blessed others as well with your testimony.
    Kathie

  24. Vicki Manley says:

    Janelle,

    I googled dairy, egg and gluten free and your blog was one of the first sites to come up! I know that was not by chance, it was God! I found out 3 years ago that I have Celiac, so anything with gluten is off limits to me. A year ago I found out I am allergic to dairy and rice also! I have learned to deal with my allergies, it is not fun, but I am use to it now. The reason why I was searching online is because we just found out that my 14 month old is allergic to dairy, eggs, and wheat. I was trying to find things that he can eat. I am so glad that I found your blog because as I am reading through all of the other posts I see that I am not alone! There are so many people being diagnosed with food allergies these days. It is great to have a place to be able to chat with others in the same situation. I hope that it gets easier for you! Thank you for this blog! God bless!

    Vicki

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