Just the Basics with Jenna: Food Allergy Awareness Week

18 May

Last week, May 8-14, 2011 was Food Allergy Awareness Week. How many of you were aware of that? How many of us, when presented with the term “food allergy” even think of ourselves? While some food allergies are easy to diagnose and then eliminate from our diets, diagnosis is not always so easy. Most foods cause a much milder reaction and more and more people are entering adulthood without ever realizing their food allergies and sensitivities. I have a strong conviction that certain foods just should not be consumed by anyone, whether diagnosed with an allergy, or not. One of the main reasons that I became Paleo was because I wanted to improve my skin and eliminate stomach pain caused by food sensitivity. However, the reason I have remained Paleo is because of the research I have done regarding the post-agriculture foods that the human body consumes. Through this research, I have found that an allergen-free diet is not only for the food sensitive, but for any person with the desire to be stronger, healthier and ailment free.

I constantly come back to this thought: The most common food allergies in America are milk, wheat, soy and peanuts. The Paleolithic Diet restricts milk, wheat, soy and peanuts. Coincidence? I think not. Some people joke that the Paleo diet was just the effects of someone playing a cruel joke. “Let’s eliminate all the tasty foods and see who will last.” Instead, consider why four staple food items in the American diet happen to cause severe allergic reactions in millions of children and adults, and then ask yourself why you’re continuing to eat them. Sure, not everyone who smokes cigarettes ends up with lung cancer, but does that make cigarette smoke any less harmful? Do we not believe that cigarettes lead to lung cancer? While I know there are several people who can tolerate milk, wheat, soy and peanuts, exactly what does it mean to “tolerate” something? Does it just mean not feeling an immediate ramification? What if these foods were causing something to happen, below the surface? Perhaps an auto immune disease that doesn’t present itself until we are much older? I rarely preach The Paleo Diet, I am a strong believer in eating what you believe works for you. But that’s to the people who have tried to find out what works for them. There are still several people who have yet to even tune into their body, never mind listen to it. Though I’m a week late, it’s never too late to evaluate what you are eating, what your children are eating, and what that means in the long-term.

I’ll leave you with this note from the Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network, “Between 1997 and 2002, peanut allergy in children doubled. The estimated number of Americans with food allergy has increased, and we don’t know why.” Maybe its only a matter of time before we’re all diagnosed…

Jenna comes to the Frugal Flambe with delicious allergen-free recipes for the busy family. A writer (see her blog: The Paleo Project) and experimental photographer, after several years of food sensitivity and skin problems, Jenna decided to begin a paleolithic lifestyle. Paleo eaters tend to stick to the pre-agriculture food groups: meat and fish, vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, nuts and herbs. No sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no peanuts, nothing processed. Just whole, organic, healthy foods that work well with the human body, eliminate auto-immune diseases and improve food related ailments. This allergen-free diet is Jenna’s new way of life and she is constantly teaching herself new ways to cook and feed her body what it needs.Every Wednesday, she’ll share her her dishes with families who suffer from allergies, or people who are looking to change their eating habits.  No sugar? No dairy? No grain? No problem!

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