Operation HAC

I’ve been seeing a naturopath the last couple of months to address scalp issues I’ve been having on and off, and also to get a different perspective on how to take care of myself. My family doctor quite literally brought me into the world and I love him, but he’s about an hour transit commute away from where we live. And the naturopath is right near our house.

At my last naturopath appointment, I was told that my issues probably stem from a food allergy. So I could go get a super expensive blood test or I could do a tried and true, month long, hypoallergenic cleanse to figure out what I may be allergic or very sensitive to (gluten, wheat, dairy). Since I apparently owe the government money this year (booooooooo), I opted for the cleanse.

So as of tomorrow – because starting this on Easter weekend just wasn’t an option – I’m on hypoallergenic cleanse. (Going forward, it will be referred to as Operation HAC.) No gluten, no dairy, no caffeine (read: chocolate), etc. For a month. Oh dear…

When I told Sean, he said, and I quote:

Have fun!

To which I responded that I hope he realized we are not making separate meals every night. After looking at my list of allowed to have foods, Sean reminded me that we eat at least half the items already and have them on hand so it’s not going to be that different. Point for him. And this cleanse is actually a bit friendlier, so we will see…

For the things I don’t have in stock, I went to Galloway’s in Richmond and Thrifty Foods up the hill. At some point I will inevitably end up at Whole Foods and need to go to this place on Arbutus called Ed’s Gluten Free.

I’m choosing to look at this as a project and, as with most projects, research must be done. Google and I will become close friends again this month and I went to Chapters and bought the very informative The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen by Denise Jardine. After having read through it yesterday, I think it will be a good starting point for some basic knowledge and recipes.

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The no gluten thing poses a bit of a problem as my alternate flours have been Kamut and spelt. But they contain gluten, and as I’m finding out, so do a lot of things. And while that list fairly extensive (and will be shared another day), the list of alternates is also fairly long.

Meet my new baking buddies: (Left to right) tapioca flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, xanthan gum, potato starch, and brown rice flour.

My knowledge of them is limited to knowing that they are gluten-free and that I need to mix them together in order to get a good baking mix for muffins and such. Denise’s book gives what I’m assuming is a fantastic baking mix recipe – fingers crossed as I have a batch of my protein breakfast muffins in the oven right now with the mix replacing my spelt flour. 🙂

It’s going to be a challenging month, but I’m up for it. If anything, aside from figuring out what I may or may not be allergic/sensitive to, this will be a great refresher in being more disciplined about prep, bringing lunch to work, etc.

Wish me luck!

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