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My name is Tessa. For years I have had a passion for everything around the home. I am a self-professed foodie who loves to tinker and experiment in the kitchen to make meals healthier and more tasty.  I love to hike, listen to music obsessively, and adore Zumba and dancing.  I am known as the neighborhood hippy (for all my green leanings), and my tiny garden is my second home.  I started this blog as a way to help others who are overwhelmed when they find out their bodies, or someone in their family can’t tolerate certain foods.  It is a scary time.  Hopefully this blog will help others find out that delicious, wholesome food is still a possibility, and a reality!

This is my family…being the picture taker in this house means I don’t get into as many pics as I should!

So why did we eliminate gluten, corn, and dairy from our diets? All of my three kids had issues with dairy when they were first born.  I remember trying to console my first born and every ounce of mommy instinct within me reeling:  THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!  I knew babies didn’t just scream for no reason.  But when I called my pediatrician’s office for advice, I got, “Oh your baby has colic, and there is not much you can do about it.”  That advice felt wrong!  I was not willing to sit idly by while my baby was so obviously trying to tell me something.  I ended up calling several lactation consultants, and they all suggested I try cutting dairy out of my diet.  This was complete news to me.. no one in my world had ever dealt with anything like this, so food elimination was foreign to me.  I diligently cut out all dairy products, and my first baby became a sweet and comfortable newborn.  Oh a mommy’s bliss! I was able to help my baby feel better just by cutting out a food!  When my second born started in with the same….I knew what to do!!  With her too, no dairy = perfect baby.  With dairy = baby who cries all the time.

Then my third child was born.  I was foolishly hopeful that this baby would be ridiculously easy on me…after all…he was my third…it was bound to be so!  I was an experienced mom, I could handle whatever kinks were thrown my way, I was confident!  Then he came down with an infection 12 hours post birth.  Instead of checking out and being home, we spent the next week in the hospital doing spinal taps, blood cultures, and 2 hardcore IV antibiotics to counter the undiagnosed infection raging within my son’s body.  It was an awful week.  But bottom line, he went home healthy and alive.  I was grateful.  I am still am.

Within a week, the uncontrollable crying started.  I immediately cut out dairy.  It seemed to help…but he was still inconsolable.  First curve ball…I’d never cut out anything besides dairy…what else could there be?!  For weeks I stumbled through exhaustion trying to find triggers for my poor son.  Anyone who has ever had a colicky baby can tell you: it is a living hell.  It is hard on the WHOLE family.  I’ve never been prone to depression, but here I was sobbing throughout the day, desperate to help my baby, but nothing I did seemed to be working.  I don’t remember the exact time I finally figured out corn, but when I did, some of his worst reactions fell into place: ‘Oh yes..we had Mexican that night with loads of corn tortillas!’  ‘A-ha!  It wasn’t just the dairy in the pot pie my friend made for me, it was the cornbread topping too!’

Eczema reactions to foods

A typical skin state those first 9 months, and the pediatricians told me me it was “just eczema,” I have never been more frustrated in my life!

With two triggers out of the way, I thought maybe we were home free….but no.  For the better part of this last year, I cut out everything.  We have done IgG and IgE blood tests.  We have done muscle resistance tests.  We have done gut repairs regimes.  Here we are today. I am no longer breastfeeding my son, but he still continues to react to things.  It seems maybe his little gut was damaged by those antibiotics and thus over-reacts to many things.  But I do not know for sure.  I am not a medical expert.  My pediatrician (who means well) looks at me like I have two heads when I try to talk to him about leaky-gut.  Trying to find support in a regular Md can be difficult.  I still haven’t figured everything out.  Recent IgE blood testing says my son has allergies to dog, peanuts, flax seeds, and wheat.  We now carry an Epi Pen.  My gut tells me that this still doesn’t make any sense.  How does a baby with no family allergy history get all these allergies?  And beyond allergies, what about all his intolerances?  What about the rampant increase in allergies of ALL KIDS?  Something isn’t make sense here for me!  While I pour over literature and try to help my son heal, I try to keep an open mind and loving heart.  One day, this will all make sense, I am so hopeful.


Here we have middle child pouting, oldest sister laughing at her, and the youngest oblivious! Typical day!

Along the way, the no-gluten diet seemed to help my eldest child focus a bit more and react more appropriately to life’s bumps.  The tantrums have been less frequent (you can read more about my eldest, ADD, and diet here).

And as I adjust to life after breastfeeding, I am trying to learn the effect all these things have on my body too.  It is an evolving process.  In this long year, being able to share my food ideas with people who have struggled with food allergies has been a positive source of encouragement and support for me.  It feels good not to be the only one. It feels good to share yummy food.  It feels good to help even one other in their journey.


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79 comments on “About
  1. Good Evening!

    Thank you for commenting on my Teeny ‘ini’s (http://delishdishbyliz.blogspot.com/2012/03/teeny-inis-zucchini-tots.html) I would love for you to feature them and I have been tinkering with my page this afternoon so I am hoping it is working now. Please let me know if it is working and what I can do to fix it! Here is my email: delishdishbyliz@gmail.com and thank you for thinking of us at Delish Dish!
    Liz :0)

  2. April Brenes says:

    Hi Tessa,

    I read your story @ Real Food Allergy-Free, and then I hopped over and read your about me.

    Three of my children drink goat milk and are not allowed cows milk products. My oldest is allowed cows milk on her cereal and occasionally has ice cream (she just gets too spacey otherwise). We have random symptoms that MD’s can’t explain. Then one day my mom sent me an article about cultured veggies. Now they are not for everyone as they have such a strong flavor, but 2 of my kids and I love them. They have both a probiotic effect and are loaded with enzymes because they are a live food. They have made a tremendous difference in how I feel (how much more energy I have) when I have them regularly.

    I have yet to give up corn (I’m really more worried about GMO stuff which isn’t labeled) and my husband does NOT want me kicking wheat out of the house (so I just limit it as I haven’t been able to prove to him that causes any of us problems). My little ones are so much nicer and able to behave themselves when we limit wheat.

    We have given up using lotions. I just give them a bath with baking soda in the water to sooth their skin, and put coconut oil on their skin to moisturize.

    Sorry I’m kind of rambley; I’m rushing off to be with the little ones waking from their naps. So anyways, thank you for your blog here. The recipes look so yummy! I’ll surely leave a comment when I try some.


    • Hi April! I know how hard it can be when symptoms are less black and white…behavior can be a hard a one to ‘prove’ when a certain amount of it is always based on personality and age. Our brains accept physical symptoms much easier! My husband very grudgingly let wheat and dairy go in the house…and even discovered a definite dairy intolerance in the process. Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your story, I am here to help if you ever need anything!

  3. Hey lady! Just thought I’d let you know I nominated you for a “Very Inspiring Blogger” Award. You can check it out here if you want :). Thanks for being so wonderful!


  4. Julia says:

    Hi there!
    I stumbled on your blog and am so glad I did! I have a 5 month old son (our 1st baby) who is reacting to so much of what I eat (very painful gas and acid reflux & we’ve had thrush 3x )! I had the igG blood test on me at the encouragement of my awesome lactation consultant and came back as sensitive to dairy, chicken eggs, cane sugar and wheat. Also some random things like cranberries, pineapple, bananas, sesame seeds and spelt. I’ve cut out all of these things and then tried re-introducing some of them one at a time but he is just super sensitive. And the crazy part is my husband and I have no known food allergy history in either of our families!

    It’s been a crazy process (& very challenging), yet I’m learning so much about nutrition & healthy eating. Thanks for having this blog & being a resource & source of encouragement for me!

    • Oh Julia, I know too well what you are going through!! I have been there!! We didn’t think we had issue either, then when we started introducing things again when i was done breast feeding…we found out different! If I can help you ANYTIME, please just let me know, I know first hand how challenging it can be trying to figure everything out!! Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself, I look fwd to hearing from you again1

  5. Your last paragraph really resonates with me; I have also wondered many times why a family with no history of allergies would have kids with all these allergies. And why so many kids with this problem nowadays? Like yours, our son had a terrible time of it at birth and was on heavy antibiotics for the first two weeks of life, so I thought that was somehow connected to his allergies. But then my second child–natural childbirth, not touched by any antibiotics–has many food allergies as well. I just try to make lemonade out of lemons now and enjoy the ride!
    My son, Sawyer, was a super-picky eater, like you mentioned your son is. He basically ate rice Chex and plain pasta for a year before he finally started to expand his horizons when he was a little over two, and I could start reasoning and bargaining with him. He is now 4 and eats whatever is put on his plate–with some complaining sometimes, but at least it gets eaten. There is hope, but it is a long haul, I know.

    • Thanks for sharing Allison. This whole food allergy thing can be a lot to wrap your brain around. I am glad your son turned it around…gives me hope!! He ate pancakes today…an exciting moment (how crazy, no?!).

  6. Pixie says:

    I was recently nominated by Kristy over at http://www.keepinitkind.com for Kreativ Blogger and the Sunshine Blogger Awards. I wanted to pass it on to you. You can check it out at http://cheerfullyvegan.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/blog-awards/

  7. Kelly Capener says:

    So neat to read about your experience! My 2 oldest have food intollerances as well.. We have no Soy,no corn, no beef, no chicken, and no turkey in our home!.. So we eat alot of Pork!…. It certainly seems crazy.. but when they eat these things they get sick.. have bathroom issues.. and just feel miserable!… So we go with it!… Certainly can be a challenge!.. and seems to be ever changing for my oldest with more and more things added to his list of sensitivity…now dogs and trees etc…. Looking forward to checking out your page more!

  8. Elizabeth McKee says:

    I’m SO glad to have found your blog – via pinterest. I too recently cut out dairy, corn, and most gluten due to many of the issues you cite. Working with a naturopath has been more successful than my PCP and the best care I’ve gotten in years. She helped me discover these intolerances. I’m glad to see your recipes as corn is a hard one to cut out, especially when cutting out gluten too.

    • Hi Elizabeth! You’re right, gluten and corn simultaneously can be a challenge with commercially made things. If I can help you at all, please let me know, I am so happy you found a caregiver who is working with you and LISTENING! PCP often just don’t have the background and knowledge to delve into this world of WHAT we put into in our body having such a huge a impact, it was never a part of their training!

  9. Stacy says:

    Hi! My husband told me about your blog (he was the computer guy that helped you). I’ve got three kids with various allergies/intolerances and went down a gluten & casein free road 8 years ago.

    We’ve been various “frees” over the years, some discovered after tests, some just trying to find something that works.

    Currently my 10 year old is mostly gluten & casein free, but after nearly 8 years on this diet his gut has healed dramatically! He can enjoy real pizza now and then, or his favorite real grilled cheese!

    My 19 month old has tested high in egg, peanut and soy. Moderate in oats and casein. Egg and peanut trials got us hives that scared us enough to carrying an epi pen for him now.

    I’m nursing my 5 month old and when I tried egg a few times she projectile vomits, and gets stuffy and gassy upon dairy consumption.

    I always love finding new sites with more recipes. Also great to find local people for more local resources!

  10. Hi Tessa! Gosh, your story is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us. I just wanted to let you know that I just nominated you for the Liebster Blog award! http://glutenfreehappytummy.com/2012/08/10/nectarine-pancakes-w-blackberry-syrup-gf-sf-v-scd/
    Don’t feel obligated to participate:) It’s just for fun! Have a great weekend! -Caralyn

  11. TiffanyH says:

    Hi Tessa!
    I read your story and I have a very strong desire to encourage you to find a chiropractor who does Nutrition Response Testing – for both you and your little boy. I am a patient of one and have been helped SO much. They have REAL answers that MDs would brush off. They can tell you exactly what is affecting you, what your body doesn’t like/can’t tolerate, they can tell you exactly what you need to do to get better!
    Please update if you get a chance to check into it!

    • I’ll look int it Tiffany, thank you for letting me know about it…I had never heard of that method!

      • Tiffany says:

        Hi Tessa!

        I can’t believe it but I came across your website again, almost one year later. I first saw it at work when I wrote you last August and then lost track of it. Did you ever get to check into an NRT doctor? I have actually been inspired to put together a site documenting my health story and my and my hubby’s lifestyle now because of it. There IS hope! It’s been a long road, but I got real answers and real support. And best of all, real help. :)

        I hope your little man is steadily progressing towards better health, if he’s not there already. Blessings to all of you!


        • Hi Tiffany! We are currently trying NAET (this reminds me of NRT) treatments with the addition of three different supplements geared towards gut repair. When we return from our vacation, we are also going to start playing hardball with his food choices….his pickiness is over the top and my instinct it is part of his issue….thanks for stopping by again Tiffany….I will check your blog out!

  12. Patti Mainz says:

    Hi Tessa, I am new to all of this nutritional cures for diseases but I am really interested in it. I have a friend whose daughter adopted a child and a Dr. diagnosed leaky gut. They put him on the GAP diet and things have straightened out. I haven’t read all the above comments so maybe someone else mentioned it. I love your website and really thank you for all your hard work to make such wonderful recipes. I am going to continue to read your blog and pass your site on to some other crossfitters (healthy recipe bloodhounds). Loved the Hail Mary Tarts. Yummy! Be blessed, Patti

  13. Elika Kormeili says:

    Hi Tessa! I love learning about people adventures in food allergies. I started my own adventures about 2 years ago. Since then I decided to put my psychology/therapy skills to use and specialize in working with families impacted by food allergies/restricted diets. Please let me know if I can be of any help!

    With much respect,
    Elika Kormeili, MFT
    “The food allergy therapist” at Center for Healthy and Happy Living

  14. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing, Tessa.

  15. Debra Manahan says:

    Hi, Tessa,
    I’m hoping to find a recipe for hazelnut meal short bread.
    I lost mine that I’d found via a recipe round up like yours. Made it twice a couple of months ago, and now have no idea what happened to i.
    Is there a way to do a search on your past round ups.
    Debbie Manahan

    • Do you mean an allergy free Wednesday party where everyone shares recipes? I usually use google to search, it is a much better search engine than the one blogs are given to use. Google tessa domestic hazelnut shortbread see if any of those look familiar…I saw two possibilities.

  16. Hi Tessa, I wanted to send you an email to feature one of your recipes but I don’t see an email address for you. If you’re interested, send me an email at beyondthepeel@gmail.com. I’ll then be able to send you a full email with the details. Cheers!

  17. Angela Decker says:

    Have you tried using natural yeast? I just started reading “The Art of Baking With Natural Yeast” and it talks about how a lot of our gluten intolerances are actually the yeast, not the grain. Very interesting information and even has info on how to get a free start! http://cedarfort.com/the-art-of-baking-with-natural-yeast-breads-pancakes-waffles-cinnamon-rolls-and-muffins.html#.UZ_IOmT8kmw

  18. Christopher Ford says:

    This is Chris from InspireLearnLive.com.

    We are currently in the process of creating another feature (whereby we find the best articles from around the globe and create a compilation post). We think that your article titled: “Creamy Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie” would be great for our upcoming feature which is titled: “50+ Natural Energy-Boosting Beverages”.

    We have a rapidly growing fan base which is currently 15,000+ fans, and we hope to write a short, positive description about your article and then give a link to the article so that everyone interested can have a look at your site – the content performs best when we are able to provide an image with our description so that we can direct as much traffic as possible to your site. We benefit from our fans having access to an array of great websites/articles, and you’ll benefit from a hopeful surge in activity.

    We ask that everyone who we feature shares the final post on their social media so that everyone benefits from the increased publicity and exposure.
    Please let us know if you’re happy to be featured, and we will email you with the date and time that the article will go live, so that you can share the content with your fanbase.

    If all goes smoothly then we hope to feature many more of your articles in the future. If there is ANYTHING that we can do to help you with your blogging endeavours then please let us know.

    Kind regards,

    Chris Ford.

  19. Eny says:

    Your Hungarian neighbor (who is my friend) recommended me this blog and I’m glad I found it. My daughter was sensitive to eggs, dairy and gluten, too, when she was little, and it was such a stressful period of my life, trying to figure out everything and blaming myself for everything and breastfeeding her in fear of what my milk what cause in her little body. Everyone was telling me how good breastmilk is for babies, but all I felt was anxiety and fear while I was BFing her. Now that she is 2 years old, she tolerates everything, but I do see allergic shiners under her eyes when she consumes dairy. So I’m trying to be more careful and reading that your daughter had less tantrums after going GF, I might give that a shot, too. I’m glad you are blogging. Hopefully I’ll get to meet you in person someday, when I visit Zsofi. :) and now I’m going to check out ur recipes :)

  20. Lynda KImpel says:

    I have fibromyalgia and a host of other problems but long story short…I finally went for testing after my acupuncturist suggested gluten (and a leaky gut) might be my problem. Bingo. I was so much better for a year after going gluten free but then started having similar problems. More testing and the results were highly reactive to yeast and tapioca. Of course all the GF breads I had tried were made with both. I’m also reactive to amaranth, millet, teff and sorghum. Can you give me any advice on baking with substitutes for these flours. Almost every recipe I see calls for one or more of them and I’m at a lose to know where to start. I have worked some with almond and coconut flours. any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Lynda

    • Have you referred to my gf baking tips page Lynda? This could help you. Starches: use potato, arrowroot, or corn. For a medium flour (the rest of the ones you mentioned) I would suggest toasted quinoa, almond, coconut, brown rice (sprouted easiest to digest), oat, rice. A mixture of equal parts of any two of these ‘medium flours’ with one of the starches with the addition of 1/2 teaspoon-1 teaspoon of guar or xanthum gum per cup of flour. If you have a recipe you like and want help tweaking (my own or others), let me know

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Lynda and Tessa,

      May I ask what kind of testing was it that you had done to determine your sensitivities? Was it the IgE? I am gluten intolerant but found that out by elimination and re-add, not a blood test so I am curious.

      Thank you!

      • Hi Shannon! We did IgE (this tests for ‘true’ allergies as defined by the medical community), IgG & IgA are different antibodies that are produced by our bodies that more associated with the a-typical allergy symptoms (bloating, skin issues, digestive issues, behavioral issues, etc).
        While all this testing might help narrow the pool or shed some light on an unsuspected food, they only sure fire way to know is to eliminate and reintroduce in my experience!

  21. Cat says:

    I saw your comment on a Food Renegade thread and it resonated so loudly with me. “I am a food renegade in my own community and trying hard to work for change in our own school community (with big resistance).” I am determined to make some changes happen in my kids schools, but am stalled out due to lack of a concise plan or approach or angle and also because the people who are making money from the school food are clueless. I have reached out to teachers to ask if I could advise on better choices for class parties and such. I am now involved with an upcoming campaign about nutritional illiteracy and getting some nutrition curriculum into the schools. Any advice?? Thanks!

    • Hi cat! I would say try and get the principal on your side first and foremost, it wil make the task much easier. Also, check with the district about policies and see what sort of curriculum is already in place. My experience is that the curriculum is fine….but the “practice what you preach” is lacking! Luckily we have a new principal so some of the school food policies are changing!

    • also, check out “Two Angry Moms”, lots of helpful info there.

  22. Gayla says:

    My daughter has eosinophillic esophagitis, allergies in her esophagus caused by food. We have been dealing with this for several years and now back to the GI doctor. She does have allergies as well as allergic to peanut and egg. She is not your typical food allergy child. There is no vomiting or diarrhea or belly pain. She is sensitive to corn. However, has never had any of the above problems. Now after being back to the GI doctor, and he has increased her Prevacid, I am thinking in my mind there is something in her diet that we need to eliminate. She will have another endoscopy in about 6 to 7 weeks. I am trying to figure out all of this while my head is spinning hoping to get a grasp on where to start this elimination process. I came across this website looking for recipes hoping to find something that I can begin with. I really don’t know what to feed the child other than meat, chicken, veggies and fruit. She is 12 years old and is very active in dance. She needs something that will sustain her. She is also a snacker. She is always hungry because she is never still. If you can give me some direction, I would be more than appreciative. Finding recipes that have none of the 6-7 allergens is quite overwhelming. Please, I need some help.

  23. Gayla says:

    She is allergic to nuts and eggs. Coconut…is it considered a nut? Right now we are avoiding nuts and eggs. This all has been a mystery.
    We are dealing with a GI and an allergist. We know she is allergic to nuts and eggs from RAST testing. She has never been anaphylactic. However, we do have an Epi-Pen just in case. She has been doing well, until about a week ago when she choked on a piece of roast beef. My husband had to perform the Heimlich on her to get it up. It was a large piece that she didn’t really chew. A piece from that chunk broke off and lodged in her esophagus which required us to go to the ER for an emergency endoscopy.

    After our post-op visit with the GI, he said he really believed this was food allergy related. Ok, yes, I know that, but he didn’t take her off anything..other than the two she is avoiding already (nuts and eggs). This got me to doing some more research on my own which I have concluded she needs to be off milk, wheat, corn, nuts, eggs, shellfish/fish and possibly soy. She loves milk and she of course eats bread for sandwiches. Corn is in just about everything it seems and she loves corn chips. So those three I do think she needs to be avoiding with the nuts and eggs.

    Other than eating meat, chicken, pork, veggies and fruits, I’m needing some direction on other things to eat so things do not get boring. This is a 12 year old and is otherwise a healthy girl. She has a slender build (not sure where she got that from). Very active and can eat like a horse! She likes to snack a lot! She loves milk and if I take her off milk, this will be the second time. Rice milk to drink is not very tasty.

    The different flours have made my head swim. I have copied or printed lists on what other names that are milk, wheat, etc. She will have another endoscopy in 6-7 weeks and I would like to see if there is any improvement with the elimination of these foods. Right now, we are scratching our head as to where to start.

    Hope this helps. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Gale…give me a bit, just back from vacation…I will have an answer/suggestions soon!

    • OK Gayla, here we go!
      First, I think taking the top 8 allergens out of your daughter’s diet was a good idea. good for you for being willing to try! As overwhelming as it is…it really IS possible. My son is off all those things, and more and still eats well!
      Coconut is not medically considered a tree nut…in elimination diets or by allergists.
      Milk is not the only drink out there…and there are lots of different types available now…coconut is my favorite.
      My site is loaded with nutrient-dense snacks and baked goods that fit all your criteria. I suggest finding a couple of favorite recipe to re-create (which I can help you do).
      Besides here, do google searches for paleo aip recipes (auto-immune protocol), there will be many recipes you could use too. Searching for vegan and gluten free can also be helpful as eggs and dairy will automatically be eliminated from those recipes.
      The key is to get high quality ingredients that have healthy fats and protein levels to keep her sated and healthy (hemp hearts, chia seeds, coconut butter, grass-fed gelatin,sunflower seed butter, etc) . Smoothies could be a great vehicle for you.
      After the 7 weeks, introduce things one at a time to assess their effect…but if she has been on an antacid for so long…her body is not liking something (s).
      Peruse my blogroll page for other allergy-friendly blogs to check out.
      Once a week I co-host a party where bloggers from all over share their allergy friendly foods via links, check out Allergy Free Wednesdays for thousands of entries and recipes over the last couple of years!
      Living Without and Simply Gluten Free are two good magazine resources for recipes and Living Without has a good substitution chart…so does Kim a Cook It Allergy Free.
      Pinterest will have more recipes than you can shake a stick at, just search with any keywords (gluten free, vegan, etc)
      On my “Store” page, the you can peruse he foods AND cookbooks that I recommend…you have a local library to check some out for test runs?
      As questions come up (an they inevitably will), just ASK!!

  24. Gayla says:

    Just checking to see if you have had a chance to review my message. I know you have three little ones and busy. Thanks for all your help.

    • Gayla says:

      Sorry to be so long in replying. Brooke had an endoscopy and colonoscopy a few days before Christmas. Both scopes went well and her colon was clear which was a relief. Her esophagus did not show any eosinophils this time! This is the first time ever that it was clear. So the foods we have avoided and the meds she has been on have worked. Now we are just maintaining and have checkups every 3 months. She is doing well. She is allergic to corn and tomatoes! Which is crazy!! But we are doing well avoiding everything corn and ketchup, etc. Thanks so much for all the tips and I look forward to getting more tips from you!

      Hope all is well with you and your family! Many blessings to you.


  25. Michael says:


    I am inviting you to post your recipes on our website FoodPinup.com. The site has been growing rapidly with a lot of traffic. We will feature your posts on our front page and you can link the post to your site.

    We thank you and look forward to your reply.

    Best Regards,

    Michael Kauffman

  26. C Neace says:

    Thank you! I was searching for a healthful way to use up our shriveled apples and happened upon your sight. The applesauce I made today was amazing! But even better — I found your blog. We have 2 children with type one diabetes (one of which has celiac and the other with many intolerances). We are gluten, corn, dairy, peanut, soy, egg, cranberry, blueberry, and more free. We continue to work with experts in the gut — mostly ND now since the MD’s only knew what wasn’t wrong. We still have far too much gut pain in our home, but we continue to work towards a pain feel day. I try to cook with Weston Price’s research in mind, but at times it’s difficult to please the palettes of the children. You recipes appear to be very nourishing while balancing family appeal — thank you for an energizing day of cooking with you and reading and learning with your blog. Happy New Year!

  27. Amy says:

    My son is 6 and has such a great personality and is very artistic but he has a difficult time paying attention in class. He is very intelligent and is more than meeting standards for his grade. He just seems to have a hard time focusing and also comes across disobedient but I really think that it’s food related. He had RSV at 4 weeks old which hospitilized him where he was given antibiotics, then about 1 year old he ended up with C-Diff (which is a gut issue) and again heavy antibiotics. We fought that about a year or so. Of course the school’s first course of action is ADD meds and my husband and I do not agree with the school nor does our pediatrician. He does not get caffiene and we limit his sugar. I have gone gluten free because of thyroid issues so my family is doing that with me most of the time. But do you have any other suggestions that we may need to avoid. He is allergic to peanuts, pecans,eggs, white potatoes, and fish. So, we avoid all nuts but he can tolerate egg whites. He has good days and bad days (like we all do ) but we just can’t seem to pin down what the difference is on his bad days. We make sure that his sleep routine is consistent during the week so we don’t feel that is an issue as a matter of fact if he sleeps too long he seems to get in more trouble! The teachers say that he has great manners and is very compationate, so at least we have done something right! LOL.

    • Hi Amy!! Above anything else, follow your gut….you know better than school! I hear you, in can be absolutely maddening trying to track down the bad days and why you are having one. I still do this all the time. It definitely sounds like from your son’s history that he has some gut issues…c diff is some nasty stuff. If I was to take something out, my first line would be dairy…it is such a large protein that people with gut permeability can have big issues digesting it, like gluten. Soy is another biggy…and I would play with no food dyes and only non-cane sugar/natural sweeteners (palm suagr, honey, real maple syrup, stevia, etc). Some people can be very sensitive to refined sugars.

      It sounds like you are working your buns off trying to figure this all out, good for you, you are definitely NOT alone, even when it might feel that you are. You ARE doing something right, it is obvious you love your son. My eldest still has her ADD, but I am in consistent contact with her teachers to help solve any issues that come up…it is usually just a minor tweaking that needs to happen so that she can be successful (she is well like by all her teachers too, a real love bug).

      Hang in there Momma!

      • Amy says:

        Thank you sooo much for the encouragement! My husband is the chef and experimenter; my son and I are the taste testers so we will be busy over the next few weeks. I am so thankful that you are sharing your knowledge. We are in a rural area and it’s hard to find the specialty flours and products but we have been looking on line and also planning a trip to stock pile at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. We did find 4 1pound bags of almond flour at WalMart for under $5 so we will be buying all four bags!I hope to keep you posted on our success!

        • Please know I am here to help! I can help you make substitutions or give you ideas if something goes wrong…just let me know Amy! PLEASE check out amazon, they have lots of reasonable deals online when you buy flours in bulk, iHerb.com is another of my favorites, there is a link in my sidebar for a $5 or $10 coupon too. I buy in bulk to save money whenever possible!

  28. Hi Tessa! I found you through one of your recipes posted on Frugally Sustainable. I learned to cook from scratch when I discovered that I am allergic to corn, soy, eggs, potatoes and rye (and all their friends and derivatives, of course). I was already suffering from Systemic Lupus and a sleep disorder, so I didn’t realize for years that my symptoms were allergy related.

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be, however, to deal with allergies in a child, especially when they are too young to communicate how they are feeling. You have to be such a perceptive, intuitive Mom, along with being their best advocate. Thank you for sharing your story, recipes and ways to thrive despite allergens.

    Best wishes for you and your lovely family!

  29. Tiffany H. says:

    Hi Tessa!
    I love that you are openly sharing your story with others! There’s more hope when we share information! I can so empathize with you about your MD looking at you like you have two heads when you talk about healing the body. I worked for medical doctors and GI specialists for 6+ years, and they have such little training in how to truly heal the body, especially from the ravenous effects of the drugs they prescribe.
    I was wondering, you said you did muscle resistance testing – was that known as Nutrition Response Testing, or was it called something else?
    I hope you and your adorable family keep down the path to better health. Thank you again for sharing your journey!
    Tiffany H. recently posted…Maple Shortbread CookiesMy Profile

    • No Tiffany, it was not NRT, it is a Chinese medicine thing: lay on your back, arms up in the air with your palm facing out, and the practitioner pushes on your arm while you resist.. Different vials of nutrients are placed in the opposite hand. It is part of NAET. Pretty crazy stuff…wouldn’t have believed it unless I had experienced it myself!
      Thanks for stopping by, it is through these blogs that we help and inspire others who are walking our same paths…knowing you are not alone is so powerful!

  30. Vanessa says:

    Hi Tessa!
    I just made your chocolate recipe it was soo yumm! Thank you!!^^

    I was reading through your replies and noticed no one mentions the GAPS diet which I have found so helpful in my life.

    I have had a lot of food allergies as well and through online research found Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who wrote a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Through reading her book and watching videos and eating in this manner I now have a much greater understanding of how the food we eat effects our moods, skin, digestion etc.

    I would like to highly recommend for you and all the parents out there whose physicians who aren’t listening to them to check her out. On the website http://www.gapsdiet.com you can find a gaps diet specialist in your area as well as get a good overview of the diet and some recipes.

    She also has a website: http://www.doctor-natasha.com/

    Wishing everyone a healthy life!


  31. Dawn says:

    Hi Tessa , I have a grandson just diagnosed with EOE and starting the top 8 allergen free diet. I am wondering if you know of safe canned tomato products processed in allergen free factories , I would like to make ? Thanks , Dawn

  32. Leonora says:

    I just found your blog, but I can already tell that this blog and I will become great friends. Wonderful recipes! I’ve dealt with psoriasis for a number of years and have found what foods trigger reactions and what doesn’t. For me, giving up dairy and gluten have been a huge help!

  33. Connie says:

    Soft Pumpkin cookies and would love to make them for my niece who is down to only using these 3 flours (tapioca Starch, Potato starch, and potato flour) and can only use applesauce and lard for shortening can you help me revap your recipe.

    • Hi COnnie! What a great auntie you are going to such extents for your niece! I will try and help you as much as I can…but the limited flour choices is tough! No problem using up to 2/3 starch in the recipe (equal amounts potato starch and tapioca). Potato flour is a tricky one. It absorbs more liquid, so use less, but I have never seen it used more than a couple of tablespoons at a time. I think the cookies might get too soggy if you use too much of it. So maybe 3/4 cup starches, 3 tablespoons potato flour? Are you 100% those are the only three flours she can eat? Any sort of powdered seed or nuts? Any powdered milks (soy or rice ones?). Can she have eggs?

    • Also no problem using lard as a fat!

    • also, lard is a great replacement for the fat!

  34. Connie says:

    I should also tell you that she is dairy free, and cannot do coconut. I try to make her cookies at least once a month and sometimes have a hard to revamping recipes so what she gets to eat is not always the best. Her Mother does great with the rest of her diet but doesn’t bake If you can help thank you so much if not I understand

  35. Connie says:

    No she can not do eggs we use the egg replacement, She is so limited on what she can have and has to pack her lunch for school every day so I just try to give her a treat when I can. Rice and Soy are both out. so we are just limited. At this point we hate to try to introduce any else because we are not sure how she will react. We have talked about me mesquite flour but not sure if we want to try it yet. Don’t want to give her problems during the holidays.
    Thank you for you help.

  36. Anna says:

    Same here. Eczema, anaphylaxis, allergists, elimination diets, ER visits with no family history.
    I felt SO alone and SO frustrated. I am discovering more and more moms are finding themselves with the eczema-allergy nightmare.

    We are:


    Fun fun. We find ways to cope and be creative in the kitchen. And for the literature? I have a degree in immunology and read read read, question question question I still struggle to find reason.

    Hang in there sister.

  37. Tine says:

    Hi Tessa!

    I see that your recipes have a Ziplist recipe saver. Now that Ziplist is discontinuing, I hope that you’ll pass on to your visitors that Copy Me That will automatically transfer all of their Ziplist recipes into their Copy Me That recipe box. Copy Me That is fully free :)

    Copy Me That is recipe clipper, recipe box, shopping list, and meal planner, not to mention an awesome recipe community!

  38. Karen Croll says:

    Please send me more information on your website. I would like to email you directly. Thank you.

  39. Natasha says:

    I am so glad I found your site, can’t wait to try out your recipes! I have yet to take the plunge into soaking fours, your millet teff bread recipe was the final push! I Reading about you and your family made me choke up for so many reasons! I don’t meet people very often (actually ever), that can relate to my food journey entirely. You basically described my life, the 3 dairy kids, thinking you have it figured out until the life changing 3rd child, the antibiotics and meds factor, basically cutting out everything but air from the diet, at least it feels like it sometimes… ,-) I am on a mission to figure it all out, practically live in the kitchen, but it’s hard to find the right people and support. My youngest is now 2.5 and we are still struggling big time for her body to start acting “normal”. We actually got the leaky gut diagnosis and a ton of other mommy instincts confirmed on paper. We are an Air Force family, currently stationed in Germany, where homeopathy and allergy awareness is a lot more advanced according to our US pediatrician, who herself is a Celiac. Anyway, if you ever want to chat please email me!


    • Hi Natasha! It is always a relief to find someone else that can understand what you are going through! I only wish we could find kindred spirits in our own locations to commiserate with. I know we are not alone, but it can certainly feel like it sometime. We are currently making some great strides…and it includes and classically trained homeopath. I plan on posting about it…as we have tried EVERYTHING, more than stated here. My little guy is 4 1/2 now, so there is lots to share! I am long overdo for a personal update! Thanks you for saying hi, I hope I will ‘see’ you around some more!

  40. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for sharing about you and your son (and daughter) in the three part journey. It has been extremely informative. So much so, that I have now been in touch with “Dr. Kevin” from Northwest Vitality- even though we are in Massachusetts. I understand he is no longer there — but we are getting some guidance. My son is turning 3 next week – started his life on 10 days of antibiotics, has so many allergies and GI issues, etc. I know you must have many folks who are contacting you – but I have some questions about your journey to healing and wondering if we could email or speak one-on-one?

    • Hi Stephanie! We could do any variety of contacts as you wish. I am more than willing to answer some questions. If you would consider doing it in the comments section, it’s possible that other people could have the same questions and your questions could be helpful to them! But it’s entirely up to you. You can either private message me on Facebook comment on the post, or use the envelope icon in the right sidebar to email me. I look forward to hearing from you!

  41. Hey Tessa,

    I loved reading your story and your journey dealing with your kids food allergies! Living with food allergies is tough and I bet its sometimes difficult for you and your kids to find safe foods to eat that actually taste great as well. As I was reading your blog it made me realize that I have something that could be beneficial to you and your readers that will help make life a little easier. If your readers could click on a phone app to come straight to your blog that also lets them find safe foods to eat and it cost you nothing, would you be interested? Let me know if you would like more information!:)

    Thank you for wonderful Blog!

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My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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