Friday, November 12, 2010

Elimination Diet: My Favorite Foods & Products

When I first went on the elimination diet & eliminated all eight top allergens from my diet (dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish) I had a hard time adjusting. There were are lot of things I couldn't have. I tried to focus on the things I could have, but in the beginning that list seemed short -- meats, fruit, vegetables and rice. I quickly learned to make the best of our new-found diet situation; it was all about exploring new foods, preparing my own food and eating whole, unprocessed foods.

The following is a list of the foods and products that made me feel like I wasn't missing out on anything at all. In fact, I got to add a bunch of news foods to my repertoire.

1. So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer: I really like a cup of coffee in the morning. I like it with creamer. A lot of creamer. When I first went on the elimination diet, a friend suggested almond milk for my coffee. Too thin. I tried vanilla syrup. Better taste, but still not my thing. I ended up forgoing my morning cup of joe because I just couldn't find anything I liked to put in it. When I found out about So Delicious coconut milk coffee creamer I was ecstatic. I think I ran to the store that same day to buy some. It tasted just like the creamer I was used to, if not better. The consistency was just what I was looking for; it's creamy and flavorful. I never run out of my vanilla coconut milk coffee creamer now; the fridge is always well stocked.

2. Zing bars: We were wandering around the market one day when I noticed a sample table. I usually avoid them, but this one caught my eye. I was so excited to find Zing bars. They are locally made. When I was first starting the big elimination I was at a loss for what to eat for protein. Before, I stuck with nuts, eggs, and dairy for most of my protein, meat to a lesser extent. On the elimination diet, I was starting to feel like I was always hungry. I was starving in the evenings between nursing all the time and the diet. The Zing bars were perfect when I needed a snack to get me through. I started out with the Chocolate Coconut Zing bar (contains almonds & coconut) and, later when I could have peanuts, I tried out the Chocolate Peanut Butter one. There is also a Cranberry Orange flavor that is dairy free too, but contains cashews. I am positive I will never look at a protein/energy bar the same way. You'll be hard up to find one that comes close to Zing bars in taste.

3. Quinoa: I had never had quinoa before going on the big elimination. Glenn had picked some up at Trader Joes a long while back and it was sitting in our cupboard. One night we were getting dinner prepared and I realized that I couldn't have the side dish Glenn had picked out (I can't remember what it was or why now). I started looking through the cupboards trying to find something I could eat as a side. I found the quinoa. I'm so glad I did. Quinoa is one of our favorite grains now. We use quinoa pasta in our favorite soup. We have two delicious side salads that we make: Greek Quinoa and Red Quinoa with Papaya & Mango Salsa and Arugala. We have quinoa for breakfast. Beanie loves it too.

4. Trader Joes Brown Rice Penne Pasta: I was sure I'd have to miss out on pasta being gluten-free. Not the case! We definitely don't have it as often as we used to, but the TJ's brown rice penne pasta is delicious. We've tried a few brands of brown rice pasta, but the TJ's one is, by far, the best. For a full review, click here.

5. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour: I'm not a fancy baker or cook. I do like baking with Beanie and, having the dietary restrictions we do, it's often easier to make something yummy at home. Often times recipes call for a mixture of flours, but I found the easy way out -- Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all purpose baking flour. We had started using rice flour initially, but switched to the Bob's Red Mill one, which is a mix of gluten-free flours and potato starch, and are happier with the taste and texture of our baked goods. Also, must mention the xantham gum too -- really helped with the baked goods! Basically, we've liked every single Bob's Red Mill gluten-free product we've tried and there have been quite a few: vanilla cake, cornbread, brownies, and pancake mix to name a few.

6. Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss ice-cream: Okay, okay ice-cream is definitely not an essential food item. Or maybe it is? What I do know is that Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss ice-cream was my treat when I felt like I couldn't eat anything. In the beginning of the big elimination, I felt like every time I ate it was a constant reminder of the diet. Going to the freezer and pulling out some ice-cream was something I looked forward to each evening. My two favorite flavors are the Mint Galactica (the best mint chocolate chip ice cream Glenn says he's had and he's something of a mint chocolate chip ice-cream connoisseur) and the Chocolate Peanut Butter. The Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge was the first one I had and it is so rich and tasty that just a small bit will satisfy you. Even if there's no reason for you not to have dairy ice-cream I implore you to try Coconut Bliss.

7. Rudi's gluten-free bread: Sometimes you just really want a sandwich. Or a slice of toast. Glenn found Rudi's gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread for me and I was hooked. Their multigrain bread is my favorite for sandwiches. I don't do sandwiches a lot, but when I do I definitely prefer their bread. (contains eggs -- I didn't try this until later on)

8. Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread: Earth Balance dairy-free soy-free spread is so good! It's great for baking, putting on toast, or (Beanie would tell you) just eating out of a spoon. I'm not kidding, just today we were making biscuits and she was so excited to put the measuring cups in the sink so she could, and I quote, "lick them all clean." She now asks for "mommy's butter" on her food too.

9. Rice Dream Rice MilkRice Dream rice milk became my go to drink. I don't really drink it by itself, but I always have it on hand for baking, granola, and lattes. I was so excited to get a case of it at Costco; I only have two cartons left so I hope I can find it there again soon.

There were obviously foods that, although not "required" by any stretch of the imagination, made the elimination a lot more fun. So, honorable mentions go to:

Enjoy Life chocolate chips -- Enjoy Life Foods are gluten-free and made without any of the top eight allergens
Kinnikinnick cinnamon donuts -- These are delicious with coffee.
Kinnikinnick frozen waffles -- Some mornings I don't feel like oatmeal. Or eggs. Or making pancakes. These waffles are easy to pop in the toaster and really tasty.
Udi's gluten-free double chocolate muffins -- My post Best Treat Ever pretty much sums it up.


  1. Adventures in Mommyhood - Thank you so much for your kind words about our new gluten-free breads! We worked really hard to get just the right recipe so that folks who suffer from celiac and gluten intolerances can have a bread option that looks, tastes, and feels like regular bread. And, best all, we use only the highest quality, wholesome, all-natural and organic ingredients in our breads - you won’t find any modified starches, gums or preservatives in our breads – so you can feel good about what you’re eating!

    Thanks again, we truly appreciate your business!

    -Paula, on behalf of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery

  2. I did an elimination diet when I was nursing SuperGirl... who ended up nursing almost three years! We finally figured out it was DAIRY that was the main culprit. Still is. Slowly but surely she is growing out of it...we can have a little cheese here and there...never more than once a day or two days in a row.

    Elimination diet for the sake of nursing and infant is ROUGH and it is HARD WORK! I commend you for your efforts!!

    I read your previous post...and have no doubt that some of your struggles also stem from this :)

    Hang in there...even with the struggles and the is maybe the most amazing thing... I miss it terribly!!

  3. So Delicious French vanilla coconut milk creamer is the best thing that ever happened to my morning cup of coffee! And coconut milk ice cream? Don't get me started! Have you tried Purely Decadent? I like it even better than Luna and Larry's, and some of their flavors (like Turtle Trails) are amazing. And I finally found the soy-free Earth Balance! I was blown away by how good it is! :)))

  4. The Purely Decadent ice cream is good too! Some have soy lecithin in them if I remember correctly. Soy something which I have to avoid. The Purely Decadent chocolate peanut butter one is quite delicious.

  5. Thank you for this list! I'll have to look for Zings. Are they at Fred Meyer? Have you tried Larabars? They are gluten, dairy, and soy-free (they do have nuts). They taste yummy and have loads of protein. The down-side is they have 12g of fat.

  6. I've had Larabars. The Zing bars are 1000x better. I get them at the local co-op bc they are cheaper there. Whole Foods has them. You can order online too. If you like them on Facebook, they do a drawing each week for a free box. I've yet to win :(

  7. Hi Semi-Crunchy Mama,
    Alma here from Zing Bars. Thank you so much for ALL your kind words on Zing Bars, you are really reaping the benefits of the bars and I'm so glad you found us in time to help you through your elimination diet. Drop me a line and I'll see what we can do about that sample pack ;-) And again, I want to leave you with a big fat thank you on this post.

  8. Thanks for the recommendation & imploring that people give us a try-we really appreciate it!
    Blissful Regards,
    Kiley @ Coconut Bliss

  9. Hi Kristen! Thank you for letting others know how much you enjoy our Coconut Milk Creamer! We're delighted that we're able to perk up your morning cup of coffee! I'd also like to let your readers know that they can print off some money-saving coupons for any of their favorite So Delicious treats on our website:


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