On December 29, 2014 by Erin Fullam
Welcome to the Once a Month Meals Allergen Menu
In the spirit of constant improvement and listening to what our readers want from our menus, we have decided to create a new Allergen Menu. This menu will highlight one allergen or group of allergens a month and the rotation will provide seasonal options for each. This menu may be more expensive to shop for than the other menus. However, we are here to help you with budget friendly recipes without worry about contamination. Each menu will provide you with 15 recipes – 3 breakfast, 4 lunch, and 8 dinners – to help make life with food allergies tasty and convenient!
Types of Foods Included
All allergen menus will be filled with items that are in season and available. We won’t surprise you with things that may not be easy for you to obtain, but as you may have guessed, sometimes living with food allergies necessitates special purchases.
The menus will feature, but aren’t limited to Autoimmune Protocol, Nut Free, Low FODMAP, Low Histamine and GAPS. We plan to add more as the demand increases. We will provide guidelines for each menu type below since they are all different. But one thing to note is that recipes on this menu may have to be adapted from other sites more often than the other menus do. This means that you may see a link to a recipe that is NOT compliant, but be assured we have made the changes within the recipe card and other menu documents.
Tips and Resources for our Allergen Menu
- There are a growing number of tasty allergy friendly recipes available on the internet, but be aware that sometimes we adapt recipes that are NOT allergy friendly (but close) for use on a menu. While the link goes to the original recipe, you will see the appropriate changes on your recipe documents.
- Pro members can always create their own custom menu based on their individual needs. If you have additional allergies or sensitivities you can search for recipes using menu builder.
- Packing Allergy Friendly School Lunches
- Allergy Friendly Holiday Recipes
- 5 Tips for an Allergy Friendly Holiday Gathering
- How to Substitute Eggs in Recipes
Individual Menu Descriptions
Since this menu will cover a variety of allergy friendly options, we wanted to provide you with a brief description of each. We encourage you to do your own research and have discussions with health care providers about which of these menus best fits your needs.
Auto Immune Protocol (AIP)
AIP is an elimination diet designed to reduce the inflammation caused in the body by auto-immune diseases (i.e. the body can’t tell the difference between itself and invaders and begins attacking its own tissues). This diet strictly prohibits nuts, seeds (including spices from seeds), legumes, grains, sugar and artificial sweeteners, dairy, alcohol, chocolate, nightshades, vegetable oils, and any other processed foods. Our menus focus on seasonal produce, healthy fats, meats, bone broths, and fresh herbs and fermented foods for added flavor. Auto-immune diseases cannot be fully cured, but through careful food choices and good medical care, it can often be put into remission. (Source)
Nut allergies are common, even among children. Our Nut-Free Menus are family friendly and include the three major meals. Lunches are easy to pack (for kids or working adults) and we even included a few snacks as these can be harder to find or cost prohibitive for nut-free families.
FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. What a mouthful! Basically, these are specific types of carbohydrates found in foods that are difficult for some individuals to digest as they draw excess water into the intestinal tract. Often a low FODMAP diet is recommended for those with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other inflammatory bowel diseases. The list is too detailed to reproduce here, as some ingredients in a category contain FODMAPS and others do not. For example, greens and carrots are OK, but cauliflower and mushrooms are NOT. You can find full lists here and here. Our menus focus on the foods you CAN eat and include any high FODMAP foods in very small quantities or not at all.
You have probably heard of “histamine” in relation to allergens. Unfortunately, high levels of histamine in the body can cause chronic issues such as headaches, hypertension, fatigue, irritability, nausea, and more. There are multiple causes for histamine intolerance, but one of them is food. Some foods are inherently high in histamine, others release histamine in the body, and some inhibit the natural break down of histamine in the body. This menu type seeks to remove these ingredients and focuses on flavorful dishes using low histamine foods. If you suspect you are histamine intolerant, there are some tests your doctors can do, so please consult with them as necessary.
GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome)
This is another diet aimed at healing the gut developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. As the name suggests, this diet is based on the theory that healing the gut can also heal ailments of the mind such as autism spectrum disorders. However, it can be helpful for anyone seeking to heal chronic inflammation in the body. The diet has an introductory phase which focuses on bone broths, probiotic foods, non-starchy vegetables, and grilled meats. As the body slowly heals, you can add in more variety until you reach the Full GAPS stage. Careful planning is required to follow this very specific diet, and so we have created a menu full of freezable recipes to take some of the anxiety out of meals on GAPS. We will start with the introductory phase and provide menus for further stages in the future. For more help with GAPS, see this post by Nourished Kitchen, or this post by The Damage Undone.
Eggs are another common allergy. In this menu we provide naturally egg free dishes as well as dishes that use various egg substitutes or adaptations, so that you can still enjoy favorites that normally contain allergens. You will enjoy these family friendly recipes for all three meals.