Our Food Journey Has Taken an Interesting Turn

What do you do when you find out you should not be eating dairy, gluten or soy?

Midori margarita on the rocks

Have a Midori margarita on the rocks, of course. And pass the chips and salsa, because corn is OK (just try really hard to ignore the fact that the corn used to make the chips was probably genetically engineered).

Yesterday we went as a family to have our food sensitivities tested. I've suspected for a while that some of the foods we eat have been causing either digestive problems or some behavioral issues, namely moodiness, irritability, and sometimes fatigue and muscle/joint pain. In our quest for a healthier diet, I thought it best to figure out which foods work best for our bodies and which foods work against our bodies.

Now this is where my belief that our bodies work in miraculous ways and my skeptical nature collide. We had our food sensitivities tested by a Chiropractic Doctor using Applied Kinesiology. You can read more about the testing here, but in a nutshell, the doctor tests your muscle resistance, then puts a small sample of the food for which sensitivity is being tested on your tongue or under your tongue, and tests your muscle resistance again. The theory is that if you are sensitive to a certain food, your muscle resistance will decrease. Believe me, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. And I probably never would have tried it had I not heard about several friends and family members that have had good success with such testing. The woman who recommended the doctor saw one son's brain tumors shrink and her other son's asthma correct itself upon changing their diet after having their food sensitivities tested. Even still, it seems just a tad bit quacky to my science loving brain.

This testing is not "scientifically proven" or endorsed by mainstream medicine. I could read plenty of articles that would make me feel a fool for paying good money to have the testing done. But to be quite honest, this is something I believe is worth a try for our family. We spend hundreds of dollars every month on food and I spend hours every day preparing food for my family, so why not spend that hard earned money and valuable time on food that will nourish our bodies and improve our overall health, rather than food that can potentially aggravate our systems and cause pain, discomfort, inflammation and possibly more severe health problems?

The good news is that my husband the homebrewer is not sensitive to gluten. It would have been a sad day if the test results had been different. Each of us tested sensitive to dairy products, and Avery and I are both sensitive to gluten. I was the only one to test sensitive to soy.

Yogi says...

My goal now is to focus on what we can eat, rather than what we cannot eat. Act rather than react as my tea bag so kindly suggested; thank you Yogi for your wisdom (and in case you're curious, I compost my tea bags). I see this as an opportunity to try all sorts of new foods and recipes and hopefully enjoy a life free from some of the issues we've been having with certain foods (yes Mom, you were right about Avery and dairy all along). Coincidentally, many foods that we will be eliminating from our diet due to food sensitivity are the very same foods that we had decided to eliminate due to GMOs.

So all my gluten and dairy sensitive friends out there (you know who you are), feel free to email me with your favorite recipes and meal ideas. And anyone else that I don't "know" yet, send your suggestions my way. My family will thank you, believe me.

P.S. I've added my email address at the bottom of the page.


  1. I am a 100% believer in Kinesiology, although I have never seen it applied in this manner. That's interesting stuff. Now I am off to look for a practitioner in my area...

  2. hi Molly! I'm a lurker on your blog, and I've never heard of Kinesiology until now (I will google investigate more later) but I do regularly post gluten-free recipes, and I'm sure you could make your own further adjustments to make them dairy-free if needed. Here's a link to my tagged recipes: http://coyotecraft.blogspot.com/search/label/gluten-free

    I really suggest checking out your local international market for rice and mung bean noodles. Cassava flours, Fufu, Etc... One of the best things I did when I had to go gluten-free was embrace international foods. I try to look at my allergies/intolerances as an excuse to try out more diverse things :D Good luck on your food journey!

    (p.s. I was first diagnosed with the equivalent of Celiac's disease by a doctor of oriental medicine! Yay for good, sound alternatives in our wellness care.)

  3. Can you still have goat milk? My nursing daughter is very sensitive to me eating dairy, but seems to be OK with me eating goat cheese, etc.

    Another trick I learned from a Celiac friend: she uses non-dairy creamer, mixed with water (1 part ndc to 1-3 parts water, depending on how thick she wants it) in her baking as a dairy substitute.

    Good luck on your journey!

  4. wow, i know where you're coming from. i'm not sold yet on the whole kinesiology thing, but i love that you're checking out your nutritional.. tolerancy. especially because i KNOW that my son has intolerances (not allergies) for a lot of things dairy/gluten/food dyes/peanuts and they TOTALLY effect his behavior.

    So, to start, here's the BEST GF bread recipe (I swear):


    and we use the bob's red mill gf flour mix (it's a bean flour blend - very nutritious) and we get it in big bags direct from bob's - which is like 1/2 the price of the little bags at the store.

    I have a LOT Of other gf (and gf/cf) tips, if you're interested - email me!

  5. In college I read a lot about food sensitivities and kinesiology. I find it very interesting and so true! So many people have food sensitivities and don't really know it. Working in the schools has only furthered my belief in this...I'm looking forward to hearing a bit more about your 'adventures' in the dairy and gluten free land!

  6. Wow! Leah has the gluten problem. She feels so much better when she eats "right". She can have chips and salsa! That was a good point about spending so much money and time - better make sure it counts! Do you know red licorice has wheat in it? Amazing.

  7. Sorry about the news. I know it makes meal planning and preparation far more difficult.

    Hope you have a great weekend...here is something a friend forwarded to me..aren't they lovely??

  8. I cannot resist asking that age old question - when you compost your tea bags, do you remove the staples first? :) Me? I have thought of it many times, but do not actually take the staples out.

  9. i've been trying to eliminate gluten from my diet and I have found Pamela's Baking Mix to be awesome. I love to bake and it's a great substitute.

  10. Believe what you believe and let everyone else worry about themselves, I say!

    So, good places to check out:
    Kalyns Kitchen focuses on South Beach Diet recipes - so good on the protiens, light on the breads.http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/

    And Stephanie's blog" A Year of Crockpotting http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ -- check out her recipe archives. They are a gluten free family and she gives great info on GF foods commercially available.

    As with both - watch for milk/soy inclusions that you will need to substitute. I know Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) carries lots of GF foods, but also talk to you regular supermarket manager and see what you can get them to stock that they don't already carry.
    You aren't alone -- these diagnosis are becoming more main stream, and so are the products for those who need them (!).

  11. hmmm, I have been wondering about this same thing. I don't really think we have any food sensitivities but have always wondered.

    I'm sure you know about gluten free girl - she is from my area.

  12. Welcome to MY world! There is a lot of talk right now about Allergy Reversal, of which I just had it done. The food allergies were not as profound as figuring out I had been allergic to my own hormones. But that is a story for another day.

    Remember Lilly and how she always used to say that Cow's Milk was always meant for calves? HA! Hate to think she was right all these years.

  13. I was diagnosed with celiacs disease by an acupuncturist at first! Then I got tested later.I really love vegetarian gluten free chili, I don't know if that fits your other needs though!

  14. I frequently visit your blog and found it very interesting that your topic is food sensitivities today as I just got my results back today from my testing and was discussing with a friend with similar sensitivities as to what i would eat for dinner! My testing was done using blood and was sent to a immuno laboratories in florida. my results were quite specific... cow's milk, tomato, grapes, bakers and brewers yeast, and some others (10 total). Good luck with your journey!

  15. gluten [you know] and dairy + soy are both sensitivities for me.

    you + i = food twinsies ;)

    i'll see what i can do about gathering up some recipe ideas for ya. i got your back sistah
    [sarah, who is obviously feeling so weird right now....] xo

  16. oh. sarah s-d, i'm at the library and needing to comment anonymous, but you know, just in case friend...you know lots of other sarah's [ocean, elli, fifi fantastics momma :) the weird sarah ;) ]

  17. "Gluten Free Girl" is a great book, not only about eating gluten free, but about cultivating JOY about what you can eat, how you prepare it, who you eat with, local and fresh.... It's a good book, and she blogs.

    btw, that's probably the prettiest compost picture I've ever seen! lol

  18. Some things you don't want the answer to... I suggest you don't let them test you for allergy to Midori Margarita or Mojitos.

    The answer to composting tea bag staples is definitely toss them in. I figure 1) ironite greens up citrus leaves so how bad can a staple be? 2) the metal came from the earth -- it can go back; 3) it is possible to be too O/C -- removing micro-staples crosses that line for me; 4) on Judgement Day, by the time they get around to the subject of whether or not I composted staples, I am guessing the decision will have already been rendered.

  19. i've been eating gluten & dairy free since sophie's birth... i make a lot of soups, sushi, and rice or quinoa dishes.. i love using coconut flour for baked goods. here are two websites i often reference:

  20. Hi, de-lerking here. I cut dairy out of my life over 3 years ago when I realized it was causing my breastfeeding baby to have severe eczema and constant diarrhea. Once I stopped eating/drinking dairy, I couldn't believe how much my life improved as well as my little guy. My skin got better and I stopped having GI distress. Something I thought was just normal for me. Now my family has very little to no dairy and we are very careful about those yucky gmo's.

    There are lots of good rice and almond milks out there. They have come a long way. You also have to try coconut bliss ice cream. It's pretty yummy.


    Good luck & here's to feeling better.

  21. Me, I may have some sensitivity. But right now I don't want to know (see my head buried in the sand?) Bury me deep!

    As for the tea ... I got that same saying at work the other day. I actually wrote it in the white board for all to see.

  22. Be careful -- I'd still go to an actual allergist to double check and make sure you aren't allergic to more things. I'm one of those people who are allergic to almost anything, and it's greatly effected my life. Food allergies come and go, I've been lactose intolerant several times now, every two years or so I'm allergic to garlic for two years, etc.
    An allergist can really help, and seeing how you've shown a problem with a very very rare allergy, you should go further. I never would have known I was allergic to lobster if it weren't for the skin test my allergist did.

  23. You're in Sacramento area, right? I haven't been, but I hear there is a new gluten-free store in downtown Sacramento (on J street). They might be a good resource.

    Unless I'm crazy and you don't actually live in the Sacramento area. In which case, maybe wherever you do live has a gluten free store you could try!

  24. I've never heard of Kinesiology but would give it a go if it were available here! My youngest is allergic to the proteins in milk and lactose intolerant..and my eldest is...we've yet to find out. We have proven that food and hunger are big triggers for him..we just have to figure out what! We're still finding the way through dairy free family recipes..to avoid my youngest eating a completely different meal but we use a lot of soya milk which would be no use to you. Sorry!

    I'm glad the homebrew won't go to waste!

  25. Well, I think you have a great attitude about all of this. I'm a skeptic about some of these things, but at the same time I think there is so much going on in our bodies in response to all the chemicals, preservatives, altered foods that we've all been exposed to. I applaud any mom who takes this seriously, and is taking steps to insure her family gets the best nutrition possible!

  26. Interesting. I have been hearing more and more about that sort of thing. Have you been to an acupuncurist? I have seen this really great blog it is glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com
    Love to hear updates on how it goes.

  27. Gluten Free Girl! Both her book and her blog. I was gluten sensitive for years and am now NOT! So, it can change after a period of detoxing. Isn't that cool?

  28. My husband has been gluten- and lactose intolerent for years, and we have four kids.

    Luckily, there are lots of g-f foods out there. Whole Foods has a whole g-f bakery. There's just no good substitute for bread, however, Whole Foods Prairie Bread is good...and all gf bread is best toasted first!

    Tinkyada brand pastas hold together the best (some can now be found in regular grocery stores, but always at Whole Foods).

    Coconut milk (diluted 1 part coc.milk to 1 part water) is a great cooking/baking substitute.

    There are numerous, although pricey, gf cereals. Rice Chex is even gluten free...if you find a milk you can have (my husband has used diluted coconut milk).

    Rice, quinoa, and corn tortillas and chips (don't forget Fritos!)are your new best friends!

    You can even make a tasty cinnamon quick bread out of chick peas (tasty)...without fussing over all the different flour substitutions. Look up garbanzo bread. There are plenty of (albeit expensive) gf mixes for brownies, pancakes, etc.

    Truthfully, we've eaten much better with some of these food restrictions--more fresh produce and better food choices overall.

    I noticed that someone already recommended Karina's Kitchen blogspot. I love her site. She makes everything look so tasty. http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/

    Best wishes for making lemonade with the lemons you've been handed! Cheers...with a margarita! Wine is good still too!

  29. I am doing this at work, so no time. our computer bit the dust.
    so i am thinking much about you guys. i have so much to tell you and a few questions...

  30. Yes, Kinesiology has always worked for me.
    Now to add a twist, Will you see your practioner again? The reason I ask this is, could she test you for raw milk? There is a huge difference between the two and 9 out of 10 people who are told they are lactose intolerant, can drink raw milk, as it still has the lactase enzyme intact. The reason I say this is not to offend but just to give you more intormation.
    I always get nervous when people are advised to drop a food group. Out of all the food groups, to me and my family dairy is the most important. Sure you can get calicum, vitamin A and D from other food, but it is no where near as good. It's all about synergy.
    Another thought is Kefir.as it is a fermented drink, it is fine for lactose intolerant people.

  31. Check you out!! Yes, Tinkyada's is the best pasta, most others are pretty nasty, but I like them better then regular pasta. Farmer's Kitchen Cafe has the best stuff, I don't know if you can get it up there, though. They're at www.naturalfoodworks.com . We use Pamela's mix for nearly everything & almond meal makes the most lovely, moist baked goods. For baking, just add 1/2 t xanthum gum to whatever flour (rice, bean, coconut, etc) you use so get that "chew" & to keep it from being dry & crumbly. And let me know if you want to de-allergize! Cause the meal planning can get pretty hairy.

  32. Molly, one thing to consider is whether you might want to be tested for celiac disease by a conventional doctor. It's one thing to avoid gluten because of a wheat (or rye, or barley) allergy, and it's a whole different world to have to avoid it because of celiac. Many folks with an allergy can tolerate a small amount of wheat/etc. sneaking into their food, and sometimes, after being free of it for a while, can even reintroduce small amounts of it into their diet. Not so at all for those with celiac--for them, gluten free is a lifelong commitment that includes paying attention to all food additives, cross contamination issues, and even things like whether medications and cosmetics are made with gluten ingredients.

    Celiac is quite common--roughly one in 125 people have it--so it's worth getting tested if you have reason to suspect that gluten is a problem, but in order to be tested you can't be following a gluten-free diet (so you couldn't go gluten free until after you'd gotten the tests). The advantage to being tested is in knowing whether you're up against a lifelong need to avoid every possible speck of the stuff, or simply a need to cut it out of your diet for the most part, with the possibility that you might be able to enjoy a little now and then in the future.

    I hope that's helpful and not overwhelming! But celiac is *serious* business, so it's worth knowing about. Good luck! There are all sorts of great things to ear without gluten--it's even perfectly possible to make fantastic baked goods without it. I suspect it's a bit of a distance for you to travel, but the Davis Food Co-op (http://www.daviscoop.com/classes.html) offers all sorts of GF cooking/baking classes, if you ever feel like making the trek!

  33. Molly,
    We've been dairy, gluten, egg (and other random-er things) free for almost a year now. Even though I had a pretty strong nutritional background before babies, I'd slowly lost my grip. Now, 17 years later, we're back to many of the basics I once practiced.

    I would totally agree with all of the recommendations for Karina's Kitchen (gf goddess)! She's got great ideas, better photos and is aware of multiple sensitivities that many other bloggers and cookbooks forget (even soy!).
    It can be overwhelming--and expensive. One thing I would do differently is to begin with all of the 'yes' foods you are already familiar with rather than trying a bunch of substitutes at first. I'd skip the mixes (other than Cravings Place - Bob's and Pamela's = $ and the five of us here all dislike them anyway)and avoid the temptation to get every flour in the store. Start small and easy.
    Trader Joe's has the best brown rice bread and pasta for the price.

  34. As others have commented, you might want further testing. Aged cheeses sometimes can be tolerated due to enzyme action rendering the reactive substance in the original milk "inactive" making it ok for you to eat. There is a diet called "Specific Carbohydrate Diet" that I have followed for over a year, and it helped my symptoms disappear. Elaine Gottschall B.A. MSC. wrote the book, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle", she used her research with this diet to help many with chrohn's and celiac to eliminate the symptoms. There are websites that expand on recipes in her book. Hope it will help.

  35. wow. that's a really good idea to go get tested for food sensitivities. i know that we are sensitive to wheat and dairy and we are working toward getting those two things out of our diet, but it is very, very difficult, especially considering the fact that my goal this year was to explore my insane collection of cookbooks trying out new recipes and we have cookbooks by people like Jamie Oliver and that new italian bible, etc. so we are substituting a lot (goat dairy seems to be okay) and spelt too. well, good luck with everything. i look forward to following your journey in the kitchen! take care.

  36. Just saw this post now. My husband is anaphylactic to dairy so our entire home is dairy free. It's the only way now I know to cook. You can make anything dairy free (almost) but you need to substitute in soy in most cases which would be hard for you depending on your level of sensitivity. Are there certain types of foods your family enjoys? Let me know and if you wish I can help you alter them so they are "safe" :)

  37. You've been given some great sites! I'm just popping on here to say we are also a gluten/dairy/and nearly 100% soy free family as well. We were tested last summer and I can honestly say it was the greatest thing to happen to us. We are all feeling so much better... changes I never thought were physically possible. It seems hard but in the end, you'll be eating so healthy you won't care what you're missing out on.

    Good luck with your journey!

  38. By the way...a great alternative to soy milk is Living Harvest hemp milk ...it's delicious. Not all hemp milks are equal so try until you find one you like. It's full of protein.

  39. Wow, you've got soem work cut out for you, don't you?
    I just learned that my son has a form of Autism (possibly Asperger's), so I am exploring the gluten free stuff as that's supposed to help. It is a little overwhelming at first. I'll be checking in here for more ideas.
    Good Luck!



email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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