Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wheat, Dairy, and Egg - oh my!

Those three things - to which Katie is intolerant - are found in an ASTONISHING number of food items where you wouldn't expect them. Here are some of the surprising things we've learned:
  • Most margarines have whey powder, which is dairy
  • Balsamic vinegar (at least the one we have) has caramel, which is made with butter
  • Our fish-oil paste (for Omega-3 supplement) has egg in it
  • Even dark chocolate (75% cocoa) has whey powder
  • Soy sauce typically has wheat by-products such as MSG
  • Canola oil is sometimes processed with wheat
And those are just from preparing tonight's dinner.

You'd think that Asian foods would be pretty safe, but the other night she ate sushi and realized (after she'd eaten it) that the teriyaki sauce, with lots of soy sauce, had wheat, and that the creamy sauce in one dish was mayonnaise -- egg-based (she'd asked several times if it had dairy, thinking it was milk-based).

I think that eliminating one of the three from her diet would be problematic enough; eliminating all three is proving to be quite a challenge.

I am gaining huge appreciation for friends of ours whose children have serious allergies (the kind you drop dead from) to multiple foods. They never eat anything they haven't prepared themselves. Ever. And they don't let their food touch anyone else's. They've opted to home-school both children, and I don't doubt that has saved their lives and health many times.

Katie's lucky; she is only intolerant, not allergic. And she takes oral enzymes so that if she does eat trace amounts of these no-no's, she will be okay. But, selfishly, I am grateful for three things:
  1. Katie is an adult and is taking responsibility for her own dietary vigilance;
  2. The rest of us seem to have dodged this bullet; and
  3. Katie only eats about one dinner a week with us. (Though I love seeing her more often.)


  1. So were oral enzymes an option then? And I can only imagine how difficult it is to deal with all three of those intolerances together. I briefly tried eliminating dairy and that alone was quite difficult- it popped up in so many things you would never think of. I'm sure it will take some time to adjust.

  2. Yes, apparently. I think Katie had told me about the enzymes, but I forgot. :P


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