Cybele Pascal, author of The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, has changed her entire family's eating habits since finding out that her son has a dairy and soy allergy. While on an elimination diet during breastfeeding, Pascal started thinking of alternative whole grains and sweeteners to use in her cooking.
"When you're eating healthy foods, processed foods make you feel like you're in a brain fog," says the author. However, people who have not made changes to their diet may not even be aware of how negatively processed foods are affecting them.
Pascal has stopped using cane sugar in her baking, opting for date sugar or applesauce instead. She also uses local honey as a sweetener, which helps with seasonal allergies. Due to her son's dairy allergy, Pascal uses safflower oil instead of butter. Safflower oil is high in polyunsaturated fat, also known as essential fatty acids. These fats are necessary for cell structure and making hormones.
"Use your imagination and creativity to come up with recipes for food allergies," suggests Pascal. The thought of getting your toddler to step away from the chicken nuggets and eat something different may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Many healthy and vegan foods taste just as good as their less-healthy counterparts and often require only a few minutes preparation. Some people may complain initially that textures of tastes are unfamiliar or unappealing; however, more and more, it is hard to tell the difference.
"I know a lot of people detest soy cheese and soy milk, but we have found that if you combine it with other flavors, it is usually good," says Camplese, who says she makes a mean soy-cheese pizza. And according to Dee Sandquist, an American Dietetic Spokesperson from Portland, Oregon, soy in moderation offers health benefits such as lessening menopause symptoms, boosting the immune system, and possibly aiding prevention of certain cancers.