Elimination Diet + Vegan Carrot Cake

A couple weeks ago we started an elimination diet, after reading about it on the MindBodyGreen website. This wasn’t the first time we’d read about eliminating gluten and/or dairy for health benefits, but you never really know how your body will react until you try it. Basically it’s to test for allergies.

So, for the first time in my life, I have been cutting out gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, alcohol and fast food. There is just over a week to go, then we reintroduce foods back in to our diet one at a time, and listen to your body to see how it reacts. If you don’t feel good after returning to gluten or soy, for example, then you may have a sensitivity.

If you love butter, bread, and ice cream as much as I do, then you can appreciate how much of a challenge it is. What the heck do you eat with these limitations?! A lot. Forced to think outside my food comfort zone, and try more things that I don’t normally eat, it has actually been very interesting. I am hungry more often, and never feel too full really. I find that I am eating almost every three hours and feel like I have more energy too. This was after the initial cranky-phase!

Knowing that pastry school is just around the corner I am praying I don’t have any serious affinities for any of these ingredients, but maybe that will mean I become an alternative-baker. I think I’ll be ok though.

But one of the things I miss most over this past couple of weeks is desserts. Fortunately there are a TON of gluten-free and vegan baking sites.

Oh She Glows is one of them, with an amazing carrot loaf recipe. I just tried it out last night. You would hardly know the difference, and it is chalk full of good ingredients. [CORRECTION: since this post originally was written, we’ve eaten loaf and it tasted AMAZING – moist and packed with flavour. But then we learned the hard way, that spelt flour actually does have gluten in it. My boyfriend had a reaction to the loaf – confirming our guess that he is actually allergic to gluten. So instead of using spelt flour I’m going to try the gluten-free all purpose flour by Bob’s Red Mill next time].

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Chia-mazing dessert: 2 ingredients!

Tonight I tried this simple dessert using chia seeds and almond milk. That’s it. I had it once before at a vegan colleague’s home for dinner, but at the time didn’t realize how easy it was to make.

Chia seeds in my previous experiences have been slimy and not appealing in texture to me. I’ve since learned that is because they need to absorb more moisture for best results. Hence a pudding.

I found these white chia seeds tonight, and the back of the package even had a recipe for a chocolate recipe version.

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#26 – Gluten Free in Vancouver…

Gluten free diets, are in short, eating flour free, but it is more complex than that as I understand it.  Some people may think its a food-trend that these products and diet regimes are increasing in numbers but many people actually have to live this way out of necessity (and some by choice).

The wannabe-Italian in me is forever grateful that I have no such food allergies (to date) and can basically eat what I want.  If I had to give up pasta, or cereal or cookies or cakes, I have no idea what I would do – again, I’m grateful that I live allergy free.  But if I ever come to a day where gluten must be cut from my diet, then I’d probably start with some blogs online for inspiration (and support) – like this one….

My Blog or Bust Share #25 is Gluten Free Vancouver – in support of my food-challenged friends and readers. This local gluten-free lifestyle blog is handy resource! Hosted by Andrea and Robyn – two sisters that have been living gluten free in Vancouver since 2005. They share their adventures, challenges, and gluten free discoveries in their blog.

The sisters have organized their site with smart sections including eat, dine, drink, or shop gluten free. After poking around on the site, they have really done a great job sharing restaurants and retailers (even IKEA!) that offer gluten free products in Vancouver.  You can also follow Andrea + Robyn on Twitter @gfvancouver

If you know someone who lives Gluten-Free in Vancouver, pass along this blog to them.

Gluten Free in Vancouver

Gluten Free in Vancouver