If you follow us on facebook, you may have seen the post I did last weekend stating:
We have some good friends from home visiting us this weekend. Just found out my the wife can’t eat gluten. I had a pretty good menu planned, now I feel like I’m handcuffed. We practiced this in our 7 day challenge, but this feels harder.
Now before you all get after my friend’s wife… her allergy isn’t super severe, and she didn’t want to inconvenience me, so her plan was to just work around any gluten I was going to be serving, not make a fuss and deal with the ramifications. Well her husband let the secret out, and even though she kept assuring me not to change the menu, I couldn’t help but TRY!
For the past couple of years, we have been getting the question:”How do I do food storage if I have an allergy to “insert food item here?”. We most commonly, get the question about gluten – which is why we made a day of it in our 7 day challenge last fall. See more about that here.
POSTS ON ALLERGIES AND FOOD STORAGE
We’ve tried to do a few posts to help a little, but admit we haven’t been very thorough yet. Here are a few things we’ve done to TRY and address it:
- 72 Hour Kits Revisited (with a gluten free food list)
- Book Review: Country Beans (tons of gluten free recipes)
- Recipe replacements (bean flour instead of cream of chicken)
- Alternatives to Wheat for food storage
While we know this isn’t all inclusive, they have been our attempt to help a little. I’ll admit I was really thrown for a loop by having my friend over for the weekend, when I had PLANNED to make pizza, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, and other gluten filled foods. I spent the full weekend really pondering how would I DEAL with this if I was all of a sudden unable to eat gluten – or some other food.
ADAPTING TO THE ALLERGY
Well I STARTED to formulate a plan. The first thing I would do is start living my new life, and see how I adapt. I’ll use gluten as an example, since it is so common. I think there would be 2 main ways of dealing with this. I’m guessing you may choose to go all one way, or a do a variety. Either way…. I think you would choose:
- To go forward living without the types of foods that contain gluten, make other choices and stock accordingly. For example, you would maybe choose to eat more rice, corn, quinoa, and a variety of other grains and make meals that these grains are typically found in. In other words, say adios to breads etc. OR
- To go forward trying to modify recipes that typically contain gluten to allow yourself to eat foods like the foods you are used to. For example, you may find a way to make pizza dough, breads, pancakes and other pastries using substitutions that are gluten free.
I think it would be silly to try and remake a whole food storage plan, before you figured out what your new lifestyle will hold if you got diagnosed with a gluten (or any other) allergy. I know my friend told me she has just stayed away from gluten food replacements like gluten free breads, pizzas and pastas, and just stuck with other foods. I think I would do some of that, with a lot of research and hard work to come up with ways to still be able to eat breads, pizza, and pastas- because I love them so much! Maybe I would get over them a little, but I think I’d for sure try. So that’s my point, after seeing how I would adapt to the allergy, THEN I would formulate a plan based on what foods I had in my new diet.
MAKING THE PLAN
In my plan for “if I had an allergy”, I decided I would go to BabyStep 4, and rethink it. We have an excel spreadsheet that contains a list of foods for a common one year supply. I would use that list of a starting point, and then I would start doing replacements. In our FAQ on our calculators post, we talk about doing replacements on the spreadsheet, and show you how. So, for example, if I couldn’t eat wheat, I would replace pound for pound other grains in place of wheat.
If I had decided on trying to make pizza doughs and breads gluten free, I would ADD to the calculator the ingredients needed for that. I’m still very new to the gluten free world, but I know there are ways of making flours gluten free with ingredients that do the job of gluten. Something like Xanthan Gum? Don’t judge me if that’s not the right word, I’M NEW and ADMITTEDLY not that rad at this gluten free stuff!
So if I had to break it down step by step:
- Determine what foods you eat
- Replace foods you can’t eat on a standard calculator
- Add foods you need to make your new diet come together to the standard calculator
Ok, so now I can’t claim to be an expert in all this allergy stuff, but I can at least say, I’ve been really thinking about it. We’ll continue to give it more thought, and hopefully more posts in the future.
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder