Years ago, our pediatric allergist wanted to get a baseline for our daughter's food allergies by ordering a RAST blood test. He tested the top 8 food allergens: dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and shellfish. Her blood tested 'highly allergic' to dairy, eggs, nuts, tree nuts, wheat, and peanuts. She had noticeable, immediate reactions to all of those items except for wheat. The doc told me that the test is not 100% accurate and can include some false positives. Since we had to cut so many foods out of her diet due to immediate, severe reactions, I decided to allow her to still eat wheat.
Over the years, she's had consistent issues with what I thought was acid buildup in her stomach, often causing vomiting in the middle of the night. This past summer, we went on a 2 week vacation to Durango and together decided to try eliminating wheat from her (and my) diet during that time. Low and behold, her sour stomach disappeared! As an added benefit, her chronic eczema started clearing up as well. The best result was how she felt. No more morning and nighttime stomach aches!
During those 2 weeks in Durango, I also started educating myself about wheat by reading a current book entitled, 'Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health' by William Davis, MD. Wow - very eye-opening! I was convinced to rid my diet (and eventually the rest of my family's diet) of the inflammatory grain.
That being said, Maddie celebrated her 11th birthday while on our vacation. Like most moms, I wanted to be able to give her a yummy birthday cake, but now I was trying to avoid dairy, eggs, AND wheat. While on Amazon, searching for cookbooks, and I came across 'The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook' by Cybele Pascal and had it shipped to our house in Durango. Let me tell you, this lady is a genius with allergy-free recipes! We made an amazing red velvet cake, and at high-altitude too! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn't tell it was gluten-free. Since then, I've made several recipes from her book and have been impressed with all of them. One of the big hits was the vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting that we made for Maddie's birthday party in Albuquerque:
I plan to make more wonderful recipes out of Cybele Pascal's book as well as many of my own and will document the results here. Stay tuned!
UPDATE (6.14.13) - We just returned from Denver where Maddie participated in a pediatric food allergy day program at National Jewish Health. After extensive testing, we discovered that she has no allergy to wheat (nor does she have celiac disease or wheat intolerance). We'll have to figure out the source of her stomach aches, but until then she will be enthusiastically enjoying vegan baked goods!