Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FAILSAFE resources

Here is another page that outlines the salicylate and amine content in various foods. I was surprised to find that fruit & veggie staples of our diet (plus some we're avoiding due to a potential reaction) were all high to very high in both amines and salicylates. Hmmm. 

Yesterday (day three), we had some potato chips fried in canola oil - ostensibly FAILSAFE. However, within a few hours (two and a half, to be exact) Lily threw a MONSTER fit. She was just raging and raging at me, sobbing, rolling around on the floor and itching every square inch of her body. It lasted around 20-30 minutes and then she settled down, asked to nurse and then we read a ton of books. It was surreal. I realized after I'd already given us a big bowl of the chips that they had the peel on them. Potato peels are moderate in salicylates. After being fully free of salicylates for almost 72 hrs, she had a clear reaction to those chips (which she'd had before with seemingly no obvious correlated reaction).

We will see how things progress. I am hopeful that we are just sensitive to salicylates and not amines as well. I want chocolate and bananas!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Buckwheat Pancakes - FAILSAFE

My kids are eating food! A lot of it and they're not complaining. Lily is going to sleep like a dream. There is less itching and her rash is going away. She is not whining and yelling constantly. She woke up happy and took herself to the bathroom this morning. I need to send a personal thank you note to those researchers in Australia if this keeps up. 

I think we are seeing results so quickly (only day 3 here) because we have been preservative and dye/coloring free for nearly a year. We've also been dairy free for 17m and wheat and soy free for nearly a year. I think the fact that our bodies don't have to detox all of that junk helps. So really, we just need to get the salicylates, amines and glutamates out. If we're not too terribly sensitive, that could take not very long at all, given the lack of other confounding factors. I've heard days 4 & 5 are the worst because that's the last of the detox reaction, so we'll see how I'm feeling in the coming days. 

Yesterday for breakfast we had fluffy buckwheat pancakes with pear puree. 
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch/flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil - safflower or organic canola
  • 1 cup or so water or rice milk
Mix dry ingredients. Gentrly stir in oil & water. Add as much water as you need to get a thin batter consistency. Pour batter a bit at a time onto a LIGHTLY oiled (non-stick) skillet. Cook as you would a regular pancake. 

Pear puree: peel and core two soft, ripe pears. Cube and put in a sauce pan, cover with water. Boil until most water is absorbed. Blend in food processor. 

Spoon pear puree over pancakes. Or on top of pancakes like jam on toast. So good!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken Noodle Stew & rutabaga fries - FAILSAFE

While FAILSAFE is proving to be boring, my experience with alternative and limited cooking is serving us well. 

Chicken Noodle Stew
  • 1 lb chicken, boneless (save bones for broth)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3-5 green onions
  • several tablespoons parsley
  • 2 cups chopped brussel sprouts
  • 1 pint chicken bone broth (homemade)
  • 2 tsps arrowroot powder
  • 1lb bag rice noodles (we like fusili or penne)
  • sea salt
  • 1-2T organic canola or safflower oil (or rendered chicken fat)
While boiling water for noodles, saute parsley, green onions & celery in oil. Add chopped up brussel sprout and chicken stock and sea salt. When soft and bright green, spoon into food processor. Fry chicken with a little bit of chicken stock. When cooked, place on cutting board to rest. Heat remaining chicken stock and whisk the arrowroot into it. Cook on low, stiring, until it starts to thicken. Pour into food processor with veggies and blend. When noodles have been cooked and rinsed, pour over noodles. You can pour the veggies over the noodles in a casserole dish and bake for 10-20 minutes for that gooey casserole feeling. 

Rutabaga Fries
  • sea salt
  • rutabaga
  • canola or safflower oil
Preheat oven to 400*F. Peel rutabaga and cut into shoe-string sized fries. Coat two cookie sheets with oil. Spread fries evenly over pan in a single layer. Bake at 400*F for 15-20 minutes. Flip and cook at a lower temperature (325/350) for another 5-10 minutes until soft. These weren't crispy like I wanted - I think I used too much oil. Food for thought. The kids loved them, however.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chicken, potato & brussel sprouts - for breakfast

We find that breakfast is one of the hardest meals of the day for us. Lily would prefer to just eat grains all morning long and Aevryn would prefer to chew things up and spit them out. I would prefer to not feel starving 45 minutes after I eat.

Dave suggested that we should start eating more protein with breakfast. This snowballed into my idea of lunch for breakfast. So this morning, I made up a pretty tasty hash.

  • 1/2 pound chicken thighs
  • whole shallot
  • two stalks of celery
  • couple tablespoons of chopped, fresh parsley
  • 2 medium potatoes, thickly peeleda
  • two-handed scoop full of brussel sprouts (I literally scooped up brussel sprouts out of a bowl, bringing my two hands together like a bowl)
  • drizzle of organic canola oil (I'd prefer safflower, but canola was all the store I was at had)
  • sea salt
I warmed the oil in a skillet and added the shallots, parsley and celery, letting them saute for a few minutes. Then I added the chicken thighs whole and let them brown on each side a few minutes. While they were browning, I cut up the potatoes into small cubes. I took the chicken out and let it rest on the cutting board while I fried the potatoes and chopped the brussel sprouts. After the potatoes had been frying for a few minutes, I added the chicken, chopped into small pieces, mixing them with the potatoes. I added the brussel sprouts on top and put the lid on for a few minutes to steam them. I opened the lid, stirred in some sea salt and simmered on low with the lid back on for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Aevryn and I loved it. Lily has been throwing random tantrums all day and has told me both that she likes and and that it tastes awful. She is holding out for grains.

Friday, October 17, 2008


After much research and reflection, we have decided to embark on the FAILSAFE diet that is seeing great results in families in Australia. It was created by researchers at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

The basic gist is that modern food is chock full of colors, dyes, and artificial preservatives. In minute amounts, our bodies are probably okay with processing them, but in the deluge of "modern" and "convenient" foods, we are getting way too much. On top of these artificial chemicals, food naturally has various chemicals - salicylates and amines in particular. Salicylates are compounds similar to what's found in aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Individuals can react to high levels of salicylates in their food just as they might to asprin. Additionally, there are chemicals known collectively as amines - for example histamine. There are foods that are naturally higher in histamines than others, than can mimic allergic response.

So, we are going to set out to detox from these food chemicals. It's a 2-4 week initial program, that assuming positive progress, you can start to add in other foods and isolate whether you are sensitive to salicylates, amines or both, and to what degree (i.e. what is your threshhold). People report their chronic headaches, rashes, sleep and concentration problems are greatly reduced or disappear all together once they are no longer ingesting high levels of these food chemicals.

Here is a good site explaining how to do the elimination diet.

Wish us luck.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie*

Best. Ever. So, so, so good. 

*Ammendment: I have been informed that Chicken Pot Pie has a crust. What I have outlined here is in fact "Shepherd's Pie." Regardless: insanely good. I have eaten it for three meals in a row now. 

  • 1lb organic, free-range chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 medium turnip
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 head broccoli florets
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pint chicken bone broth
  1. Saute salted & peppered chicken thighs, remove from pan
  2. Saute onions & mushrooms in the same pan as chicken, return chicken thighs and add some stock to cover, simmer with lid on
  3. Boil peeled and cubed carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes and broccoli florets
  4. Strain veggies and reserve water
  5. Peel and cube potatoes, boil in reserved veggie water (add stock to cover potatoes). 
  6. Puree potatoes and their water in a food processor (add salt as it's running)
  7. Layer ingredients in a large casserole pan (I used a 9x13 pan) as follows: chicken cut into bite-sized pieces; onions, mushrooms & stock; broccoli, carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes; pureed potatoes
  8. Bake at 350*F for 20-30 minutes (until bubbling around edges)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Squash Brownies

No really, they're fabulous.

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup palm oil shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar (or honey or maple syrup, etc)
1/2 cup pureed squash/pumpkin
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350*F
2. Melt shortening
3. Stir in cocoa until well mixed
4. Stir in sugar/sweetener
5. Stir in squash & vanilla
6. In a separate dish, mix rice flour, tapioca starch and sea salt
7. Add flour mixture to cocoa mixture, stirring just until all dry ingredients are wet
8. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 glass pan
9. Bake for 30 or so minutes at 350*F (you will know it's done when a knife or toothpick poked into the center comes out clean)
10. Enjoy

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tuna Noodle Casserole - An American "Classic" hypo-allergenicized

(If you can't do fish, sub in your favorite cooked and shredded meat...)

1lb rice noodles - we like the brown rice fusilli
2 cans (6oz each) of safe tuna (JUST water packed)
1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms
6 Tbsp rice flour
6 Tbsp palm oil shortening (or other safe oil)
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch pepper
2 1/2 cups rice milk, water or fish stock (or other stock to match your meat choice)
a couple handfuls of safe rice crisp cereal - we like erewhon
a few handfuls of nutritional yeast, if you can have it.

1. Start water boiling for noodles.
2. In a med saucepan, melt oil, add flour, salt & pepper, stirring. simmer until bubbling.
3. add mushrooms & water/stock. simmer until it has thickened to your desired thickness.
4. prepare noodles according to directions, drain & rinse.
5. preheat oven for 350*F
6. put noodles in two large casserole dishes.
7. mix one can of tuna into each dish.
8. mix in half of flour mixture over each dish.
9. sprinkle top with crushed cereal & nutritional yeast. salt to taste.
10. bake in oven for roughly 20 minutes - until the sauce is bubbly and the top is crispy.

(If you can do potatoes, crumbled up chips instead of nutritional yeast/rice cereal is more "authentic".)