Living Free…and Not Quite Loving It

I’ve occasionally commented here on the blog about some health issues. In fact, I’ve had some pretty significant health challenges over the past year and a half, and despite a number of tests (including the lovely 80+ poke allergy skin testing), we hadn’t been able to figure it out. Credit for my diagnosis goes to my daughter the Dietetics major, who suggested that my problems could be caused by food allergies. She was right.

We discovered through elimination diets that I’m gluten intolerant and at the moment, I’m undergoing another two-week trial to see if I’m also allergic to dairy. Preliminary results based on four days of no dairy are looking like I am, which is seriously bad news for a cheese lover like myself. After all, I used to live in Wisconsin, home of the local artisanal cheese. I could give up the obvious dairy stuff – milk, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, you name it, but life without cheese is a whole different matter.

I’m also finding it to be a bit interesting finding things that I can eat. Unfortunately, I’m sensitive enough to gluten that I can’t even have vinegar that was made with a gluten-containing grain unless it has been distilled. I’ve stumbled across a number of products that way, and it hasn’t been much fun. Yesterday, the culprit was Dijon mustard. Last week I was bitten by barbecue sauce. Now let’s add the list of products containing dairy products or casein, and the list of available foods is getting shorter and shorter.

I know I’ll make it through this, but adding it up with all the other stuff going on in my life (not the least of which is a serious knitting rut) and it has me decidedly grumpy. Not to mention seriously sick of brown rice. (I love it, really I do, but not in every meal). Thankfully, I have you, faithful readers, giving me advice to keep me going, bust me out of my rut and help me figure out all of this crazy diet stuff.

Luckily, knitting is still gluten-free and as long as I avoid that llama / wool yarn that is making me sneeze, I will keep going. Meanwhile, I’m off to cast on another sweater, perhaps this one:

The Shapely Boyfriend Sweater from

That should do the trick. And I’ve got some lovely Shibui handpaint – let’s pull that out and give it a whirl. Certainly that should brighten my day.

Knit on, dear readers. Knit on.






2 thoughts on “Living Free…and Not Quite Loving It

  1. jean says:

    look for a gluten free vegan cookbook,

  2. Mardee says:

    I picked up a couple of gluten free vegan cookbooks at the library over the weekend. Unfortunately I didn’t see anything in them that looked like something I would want to eat (farm girl that I am, I have no intention of giving up meat products). I did find a different one, though, called Gluten Free Girl and The Chef, which isn’t dairy free but provides a lot of options for alternatives. The recipes look amazing and it’s all about cooking local and in-season. And, I’m going to give goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses a try – they have similar proteins so might be a problem but a lot of people who can’t have cow’s milk can still have goat or sheep’s milk. Worth a shot.

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