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Gluten Free Lifestyle: Hidden Hazards


Sooo, if you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t know that Pookah is allergic to wheat.

Yes wheat.

I’ll wait while you think of all the stuff he can’t eat….

So. He’s allergic to it. No, he won’t get diarrhea, no he won’t get a tummy ache.  He gets hives, his nose starts running, his eyes swell up, he starts wheezing, and then he stops breathing.

Yeah, so I’m really interested in not letting that happen.

Right now, my house is half and half in terms of wheat/gluten free items and regular items.  I buy gluten free items for school lunch and snacks and for home. But we still eat all the good stuff.

Problem is: Pookah is now at the age where he wants to try to eat everything. And as last week shows( when he got into Popeyes chicken and had a reaction), I need to just go ahead and eliminate wheat from my household.

This is hard. Harder than you think.

For instance: I thought I was doing a good job.

But for the last month or so, I noticed that Pookah had a rash in the creases of his arms and legs and under his arms. I thought it was his eczema.  But when Pookah got retested last week for his wheat allergy, I noticed that not only did the skin test turn positive, but so did those areas.  Those areas turned into hives.  Classic signs of Pookah’s allergy to wheat.

I thought about it.

And then thought about it some more.

But I was sure it was still his eczema.  Even though it seemed to come and go. Some days worse than others. Some days not there at all.

I was in the middle of getting ready to cook chicken, and I reached for my regular seasoning of choice when I’m in a hurry: Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning.   Seriously, I put that S*** on everything.

Since I had just picked up a copy of Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s new gluten free cookbook, and had just read the part on checking the labels of everything in your pantry, I took a peak:

May contain wheat, soy and milk.


That explained EVERYTHING!!

I haven’t cooked with any in a few days, and the itching is better. The rashes have gone away.

But that taught me a lot.  I’m going through my spice rack, my cabinets, my pantry to completely eliminate ANYTHING that has wheat in it. It’s going to be hard, but it will be worth it.  I need to stop inadvertently poisoning my child. And yes, that’s what I’ve been doing.

So my house is going totally wheat free. Which in this current world means  TOTALLY GLUTEN FREE.

This is going to be interesting folks.

This is going to be a journey.



P.S. The photo above has been entered in Sweet Shot Tuesday over at My3boybarians. Enjoy!
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  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Awwww that is sad. I hope he grows out of it now you have to make sure you check everything.
    kita recently posted..Talk TuesdayMy Profile

    • Reply
      January 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      it’s so time consuming! I was going to make cornbread last night, but the cornmeal has wheat in it!! WTH?

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Bless his heart! He’s just the cutest. Sounds like you are from the south. I eat all those things. Just hearing about Popeyes makes my mouth water.

    Glad you found out what was causing his problem.
    Susan recently posted..Tee Time!My Profile

    • Reply
      January 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Yep, we are in Atlanta! It’s just going to take a lot of work around here.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    the cookbook has a few great recipies that I’m dying to try. Especially the cakes and cupcakes. I hate for Pookah to miss out. The mixes I have been trying are AWFUL. I hope these taste as good as they look!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    thanks! We are going to need it!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I hope it doesn’t turn out to be as much of a hassle as it sounds. You’ll all adjust just fine. Checking labels will become a part of everyday life.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Once when you eliminate the things that have wheat in it, your family won’t even notice it anymore. Zee has dairy, tree nuts (not peanuts), and eggplant allergies. Mr. C. is allergic to corn, and shell fish.

    At first it was hard just trying to cook for all the allergies in my home, but after a while I just got the hang of it.

    A lot of things has to be made from scratch, but the way I see it, it just increases the quality, and no one gets sick 🙂
    KalleyC recently posted..Extending The Olive BranchMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 1, 2012 at 1:14 am

      Wow! What a variety! My problem is that wheat is in things you wouldn’t suspect like the seasoning, grits and cornbread mix! Sigh.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Ugh, pressed send way too quickly. They exhibit the same reactions as Pookah. Talk about scary.
    KalleyC recently posted..Extending The Olive BranchMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 1, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Man. Is there still a chance that he could outgrow the allergy?

    I know that is going to be hard going totally gluten free but what’s good for Pookah is most important.

    I saw Elizabeth on a talk show talking about the book and I meant to mention it to you. I guess I don’t have to now.
    Mimi recently posted..Co-Sleep = No-SleepMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 1, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I saw her on that new talk show The Chew! The cupcakes is what got me. It’s so hard to find good cupcakes.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I read the back of labels because my step daughter is allergic to nuts and its astounding the amount of things that say “may contain wheat”. I know thats going to be hard removing it all.
    ShaBoogie recently posted..Photo A Day!My Profile

    • Reply
      February 2, 2012 at 10:43 am

      It is! It’s amazing how many things you wouldn’t think have wheat does! Like cornmeal. I wanted to make cornbread the other day and couldn’t find one that was wheat free! I had to make a special trip to Whole Paycheck to get some. SMH

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Wow. That IS a tough one. I have noticed a lot of gluten free stuff, too. I wonder how it tastes… You guys will probably be much healthier because if it!
    Ayana recently posted..Update!My Profile

    • Reply
      February 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Some of it tastes blah, some of it you can’t tell. Like Pookahs chicken nuggets. Those things are GOOD!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I stopping by from SITS.
    oh no the poor little guy, (HUGS). I have IBS and suffer greatly from dairy. At first they thought I was allergic to gluten so for a few months I was gluten free and I know how hard it is to cook but that was before I had Dinosaur, so I feel your pain.
    Dinosaur has respiratory allergies to dairy and a few of my in-laws don’t believe that. It is a battle in the real world, in my home it is easier to control.
    Going to follow you on this blog and twitter and like you on facebook. and going to add your box to my blog
    karen recently posted..Tiny Bathroom UPDATEMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anna Hettick
    August 30, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Oh gosh I know how that is. I’m not allergic to wheat but I’m allergic to tons of foods, eggs, tuna, fish, cantaloupe, every grass that grows in my state, trees…plus I grew up with severe asthma and eczema. Fun stuff. Not.

    Love your site!! Happy SITS Day!! =)
    Anna Hettick recently posted..Book Review | Nothing to HideMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I sure hope Pookah grows out of this, my little cousin did, she’s 4 now and doing so much better. She was just like Pookah, last time we were all together my cousin had to constantly tell everyone not to feed her granddaughter! What did someone do…give her some pasta, she lost it.
    Whitney recently posted..Pinterest WednesdayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lyza @ Chic Shades of Green
    August 30, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Hi there!

    I am so sorry to hear about your son’s allergy, it isn’t easy when our little ones can’t eat certain foods. I believe that cooking from scratch from good quality ingredients is a great way to eliminate any allergens. There are so many secret ingredients in prepared foods, seasonings, etc. that it is really hard to know what you are getting. I would encourage you to check out my site, I write a lot about debunking nutrition myths. There is a lot of information out there that is not common knowledge. My husband had severe asthma and hay fever, he would get several sinus infections every year. He was sick from the first forsythias to the last mums,he couldn’t be within 1/2 mile of someone cutting grass. I cut wheat from his diet and all of his health problems disappeared, now he can tolerate our neighbors mowing their lawns.

    Cutting out wheat and gluten might be good for your entire family. Good luck! (Visiting form SITS).
    Lyza @ Chic Shades of Green recently posted..Proposition 37, Are You For GMO Labeling or Against it?My Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Coming by for your SITS day, and I just want to say that I applaud you for making these MAJOR changes in your home. I can only imagine that it is not easy at all, but clearly you are doing exactly what is best for your sweet boy. 🙂
    thedoseofreality recently posted..Wordless Wednesday-Back To SchoolMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I also have a daughter with eczema and food allergies.
    I don’t know if you’ve considered this but it may actually be the spices in your creole seasoning that causes an eczema flare up. I’ve read that the “hot” stuff (red pepper, chile powder, etc) can irritate eczema and cause flare ups. Just a thought 🙂
    Cathy recently posted..Coupons published in last 24 hoursMy Profile

  • Reply
    Denise Malloy
    August 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

    It’s shocking all the places gluten seems to be hiding. Good luck on your journey!

  • Reply
    Tara @
    August 30, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This must be so frustrating! I feel for you…and your son. We have a great market here- Wild by Nature that really caters to gluten free. I believe they have a website…check if there is one by you.
    Tara @ recently posted..Peanut Butter and Jelly MuffinsMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Aw, what a cutie! We are gluten free here, and we LOVE the mixes by Pamela. I use the Pamela’s Baking and Pancake mix in place of flour for my dumplings, breading, etc. Also, the Pamela’s cornbread mix is to die for and they have a great vanilla cake. Best wishes!
    Pam recently posted..Garden Gone CrazyMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Oops, forgot to say, Happy SITS day!

  • Reply
    Sheila Skilllingstead
    August 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Keep up the label reading. My daughter was allergic to corn which included corn starch, corn oil, corn syrup, and corn flour. It was in everything from powdered sugar to salt to soups. Some of her favorite soups changed formulas and we didn’t notice. Her allergic reaction was vomiting while asleep which is rare but extremely dangerous. Have a great SITS day. Watch out for those people who think a little bit of some food can’t hurt.
    Sheila Skilllingstead recently posted..Words: FineMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Stopping by from SITs..Happy SITs day! I loved this post. About a year ago I was told by my doctor that I had to go gluten free. While I didn’t have a full blown allergy she said I was “sensitive”. Oh mylanta was this difficult to do. I still have “cheat” meals but then pay the price. I have gotten into the routine of reading EVERYTHING before I eat it & the availability of gluten free products is becoming more common place which makes it easier as well.

    Just a head’s up…My blog will be starting to feature recipes that are Gluten Free. I haven’t posted any as of yet because my blog is still pretty new, but I’m going to start sharing the recipes that I have figured out along my journey of going Gluten Free.

    Loved you post! xo
    Ari recently posted..DIY: Chan Luu Inspired Wrap BraceletMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Life - The SITS Girls
    August 30, 2012 at 9:31 am

    […] The one where I decide to change the WHOLE house to a gluten free one. […]

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    What a pain that would be. I’m glad wheat allergy is more recognized now and there are more safe products on the market. I can’t imagine dealing with this fifty years ago before the world was good at it.

    Best wishes!
    misssrobin recently posted..I Can StrengthenMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 10:11 am

    While I cannot completely relate to your son’s allergy, I can say I am really enjoying the benefits of being gluten free! My skin rashes are gone, my energy is high, my stomach no longer hurts. My kids are calm, they sleep, my son is making social gains like never before (he has asperger’s). All natural eating is tough, and being gluten free is even tougher, but I would never go back. Too much is better. Take care! I hope that your cute little boy thrives. I love your writing!
    Courtney recently posted..Our New Chore SystemMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 10:25 am

    props to you! what a huge undertaking! i think it is a huge responsibility to become more aware of what we give our children, in your case there are health issues that are absolutely important to consider when cooking but i think we all have a responsibility to become more aware and responsible for what we put into our bodies and our children’s.

    thank you for posting this. it reaffirms the fact that, even though my kids don’t have food allergies, i need to pay even more attention to what i feed my kids and myself.

    (visiting from SITS)

    tristan recently i think ur a contra – vampire weekend.My Profile

  • Reply
    Mothering From Scratch
    August 30, 2012 at 10:48 am

    {Kathy} My hat is off to you. You have done an amazing job of realizing that you have to change EVERYTHING when your child presents with any chronic illness. God bless.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..a mother’s prayer closetMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rebecca Rider
    August 30, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Wow, I can’t imagine the massive change that must have entailed for everyone in your household! My mother-in-law is allergic to chocolate, so I get it on a smaller level, but wheat is in practically everything! Kudos to you – we moms do what we have to do for our kids!! 🙂
    Rebecca Rider recently posted..More from the Etsy Craft Party – Crafted Cookie Review!!My Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Wow, that’s a big change! But oh so worth it – one day when we’re on our own, I dream of the control I will have over our kitchen… 🙂
    Kristin recently posted..Organizing: My ClosetMy Profile

  • Reply
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
    August 30, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I have a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old – both have a number of food allergies. Many of the usual suspects – peanuts, treenuts, sesame, egg (still for the youngest, oldest grew out of it) – as well as odd ones like banana, avocado and mustard. Youngest was also allergic to wheat but recently did a food challenge and was cleared. It was so hard at first to cut things out and figure out what in the world we could feed the boys but once we figured it out, it was easier. Then they got older and saw what we were eating and what their friends were eating. It’s hard to explain why but the boys understand that certain foods don’t make them feel well and could make them very sick.

    Honestly, the hardest for me is when I’m not in control of the cooking like when my Mom visits. Cooking is a big thing for her and a big part of her role in the family and as grandma. But I swear, every time she cooks, even in our house and using our ingredient, the boys break out in hives!! Anyhow, all this to say it’s hard and you’re doing a great job. Happy SITS Day!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..5 Spots to Run in San Francisco {Guest Post}My Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    My brother’s family has had to go gluten-free, and I’ve seen some of the challenges they’ve faced. Good luck to you! Luckily there are so many new gluten-free products on the market. It would be better if they weren’t so expensive, but at least there are choices, right?
    Venus recently posted..That bat makes you look fat.My Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Wow! That does sound like a big job. My daughter broke out in massive hives for over a month once. I cut out dairy from the whole house as I have an intolerance to it too, and that was hard enough. But wheat ! I commend you. Thank goodness for all the substitutes they have these days !

  • Reply
    Classic NYer
    August 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Oh man… good luck. Seriously.
    Classic NYer recently posted..On poisonMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Happy SITS Day.

    I just went to the store today to buy some gluten free cookie mix for my son’s birthday, his best friend has allergies. I always try to find gluten free stuff when I know he is coming over. These poor little guys can’t help it.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    That has to be so exhausting! How is he doing now? I have a friend whose child has so many food allergies that he has to carry an epi pen to grade school. I remember the day he tested out of wheat! He was about 7 and was very excited to eat the same tortilla chips as everyone else. Is this something your sweet son could grow out of?
    Good luck with the GF journey.
    MomopolySarah recently posted..Seasons by GrandMomopoly BethMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Aww, man! Poor babe! I can’t imagine not being able to eat cake! I hope that cookbook recipe works! (And I hope it gets easier finding wheat-free items that work for your boy!)

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Wow I couldn’t imagine how difficult eliminating wheat would be from your entire home. It’s amazing how common this allergy is becoming tho.

    Happy SITS day, love your blog!
    Sara recently posted..Ponderings of a PhD Student – Advancing in a Male Dominated FieldMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, better safe than sorry. I know when my nephew comes over, we just don’t have anything with wheat in it but I also don’t have to worry about cross contamination. Trace amounts of wheat don’t seem to bother him. I couldn’t imagine if I had to completely give up wheat forever, that would be really difficult but you seem to be doing a great job!
    Stacy recently posted..Bible Study Wednesday #2My Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    That’s awesome you were willing to do that for your boy. I’m allergic to wheat too and even as an adult it is hard for me to resist if I’m around it. You’ll get the hang of it though.
    Kristiina recently posted..{DIY} Fishtail BraceletMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel
    August 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Hope that this process is going better. So unbelievably hard. There are lots of gluten free options but in reality 99% of the food most people have in their home has gluten in it.
    Hang in there.


    Happy SITS day!
    Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel recently posted..Skipping in the right directionMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jean L
    August 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    My sons food allergies aren’t life threatening, but he is allergic to wheat, rice, white potatoes, corn, peanuts & soy. That stuff is in everything! Happy SITS day!
    Jean L recently posted..EASY Highlights for under $10?!? WHAT?!?My Profile

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