Our Family is Allergic to the Grocery Store


Our Family is Allergic to the Grocery Store- Food Allergies- Corpus Christi Moms BlogI never thought we would be that family.  You know?  The allergic to this, intolerant to that, gluten free family.

Food issues were headlined in magazines or the focus of blogs, which I conveniently passed over.  They weren’t our reality…

Until a couple of years ago, that is.

It all started with my husband.  Then, like a snowball rolling down a hill, it gained momentum and moved on to our son… then to me.

We thought we were on the right track, eating relatively healthy, drinking mainly water with a splash of lemon.  We’d been following the primal diet for a couple of years, meaning low carb, no breads, potatoes, or pastas.  We could enjoy the good fats like whole dairy, real butter, real cheese, and avocados.

We should have been all good, right?  Wrong!

My husband was sick.  Like, all the time.  It was one upper respiratory infection after another.  Finally, our doctor suggested he have a special blood test done called the ALCAT which would single out specific foods that his body was intolerant to.

We didn’t know what to expect with the results, but his high intolerance to lemon wasn’t all.  We learned he also needed to avoid gluten, grapefruit, and oregano, to name a few.  It took a bit of research, but I did my best to remove all gluten from our house.

Our son and I tried to be compassionate. We played along.

The reality though, was that our son had two types of rashes.  An eczema looking rash and a bumpy rash.  More than likely he was suffering from some of the same intolerances as his daddy.  We tried an elimination diet with him for a while but only had minimal improvement.  There was obviously something we were missing.  So, earlier this year, our son had the ALCAT test done as well.

His results became his best friend and worst enemy all in the same day.

He had many more foods to avoid than his dad.

I laugh now as I look back and remember all the times I lectured him on eating his vegetables.  I used to sneak them into other foods on his plate, unknowingly adding toxins into his body. Vegetables including string beans, cucumber, pinto beans, sweet potato, onion, pumpkin, zucchini and yellow squash were making my son sick.

The list goes on, but the biggest impact to his rash condition we discovered were strawberries and string beans.  The kid ate green beans raw, straight out of the garden, y’all.  And strawberries, his favorite fruit, were consumed on a daily basis. Like his dad though, within a few short weeks of avoiding the do-not-eat foods, his rash had vastly improved.

What we learned was psoriasis, was all gone.

I’m now a believer that the foods we eat can have a tremendous impact on our bodies.  Like his dad, our son has learned which foods from the list affect him more than others.

Our Family is Allergic to the Grocery Store- Join Pain Inflammation- Corpus Christi Moms BlogThen comes me.  I learned I had a healing deficiency and inflammation in my joints.  Already having one autoimmune disease (Graves), made me susceptible to acquiring another (like Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis,) unless I made major changes, changes my doctor said would affect my longevity of life.

That scared me enough to take him very seriously.

As it turns out, there are specific foods that contribute to inflammation that I needed to avoid.  Eating gluten free and avoiding nightshades were my new agenda.  What are nightshades you ask?  Well, white potato, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers of all types, including bell pepper, jalapeno, and chili peppers. Additionally, I had to say goodbye to ketchup, salsa, or BBQ sauces.  Boo-hoo!

After learning of my own food issues, the wheels fell off the meal train.

That sounds dramatic, but I remember standing in my kitchen at meal time, wanting to throw up my hands and shout, I quit!

What one of us could eat, the others couldn’t and vice versa.   My mind was spinning.  It was utterly overwhelming.  How was I ever going to figure this all out?

Honestly?  It has not been an easy process for me.  I consider myself a failure in the kitchen on a good day, much less when all of our idiosyncrasies are added in.  But, I’ve persevered.  I started menu planning and find that having a plan helps so much.  We still stick mainly with a primal diet, but I’m testing the waters with Paleo to see how that might help keep our symptoms at bay.

Is it worth it?  We have discovered that while it is not easy, it is definitely worth it.

The various symptoms we all deal with are gone or minimal when we abstain from the foods that negatively affect us.  So, this is our new normal.  It’s our way of life.  Do I miss tomatoes?  Oh yes! Oh, so very much!  And occasionally I let myself have some in salsa or a salad.  It isn’t about complete deprivation after all.

What about your household?  What allergies and/or intolerances do you have to deal with?  Surely I’m not the lone ranger here.  I’d love to hear about what your family has to work around in the kitchen.

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Pam is a city-girl gone country thanks to her best friend and husband of thirteen years, Johnny. Together, the couple has one son, Caleb {2005.} Pam has four adult children who have blessed her with seven precious grandchildren and the title of Meme’. As you can imagine, she has run the gamut in parenting! Pam has a barn full of chickens, rabbits, and donkeys. Some of her favorites are quality time with Jesus, learning to play golf to keep up with her husband and son, writing when time allows, and, of course, taking care of life on their small ranch. Except for snakes, scorpions, and spiders... her 'cup runneth over.'


  1. This is the story of our life, I was that anything goes mom, even w my first…u want to eat mulch at the park, great, extra fiber, years and years ago I started hearing about this whole gluten free thing, I thought it was the saddest thing ever, no way I could ever b sick enough to give up bread and butter….then along came my first child, she was small, but when we introduce solid food she fell off the growth chat, at 2 1/2 she was less then 3% height and weight, that started our journey, she and subsequently 2 younger sisters are diagnosed celiac, that was hard at first, but there is a ton of support and education, the replacements are endless and of decent quality, then….my youngest was diagnosed w fructose and lactose malabsorption, that’s a whole different animal, not as common, no replacements, learning curve is more difficult, for months I cried every time I grocery shopped because I didn’t know what to buy, and many days when I was supposed took b cooking dinner I stood in the kitchen and cried bc I didn’t know what to feed her, I have been dragged kicking and screaming into being an allergy mom, but I’m getting the hang of it finally! Thank your for sharing your story, so many people think food intolerance is a fad or for attention, but my daughter (almost 7) is at the 40% for height & 25% for weight, we partied when she finally made it on the chart after a year of treatment 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing YOUR story with ME! I am so encouraged to know that it can be done. I admire your strength because your situation sounds, by-far, more complicated than ours. It is a bit of a healing salve to know I was not the only mama crying in the kitchen/grocery store, desperate for direction. And yay for your daughter, finally making the chart!! A party was definitely deserved!! Blessings to you and your family! And again, thank you for sharing your story! <3

  2. Yes, great post, Pam! Our family’s experience echoes yours and Debi’s. Years ago my husband came home saying the doctor thought he should give up gluten. I thought it was NONSENSE. Wheat was healthy. Everyone knew that! Fast forward a bit and I ended up with tons of health problems… eventually my son did too. Our family now avoids gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and peanut. It was SUCH a difficult journey, and still can be such a challenge to manage. But it does get better, and good health is worth the effort, isn’t it? Cheers to you amazing moms who fight back against food allergies to keep your families healthy and strong!!

    • For years, we all heard, “You Are What You Eat.” And for the most part my mind would think of cupcakes, junk food, etc.” Well, the system has it’s own agenda on what is healthy. And that differs very much from what I know to be truly healthy. I love that more and more people are coming around to the idea that grains are not what our body needs. I found out that inflammation is my issue. I couldn’t even lift a gallon water of jug to give our bunnies water every morning without pain. After two weeks of being gluten free and avoiding nightshades my pain was minimized by 75%….Proof. Right there! I’m glad you figured out what your family needs and you are able to work with that!

    • Somehow I missed this Angelica!! So, sorry!!

      We started with avoiding the obvious things like breads, cookies, pastas, etc. The internet has tons of information. The Wheat Belly is a reliable resource I used at first. I read labels….It can truly be overwhelming because wheat/gluten is in everything. It’s good to know wheat and gluten are not one in the same. Caleb is allergic/intolerant to wheat and John is allergic/intolerant to gluten. Don’t ask me to explain them, because I’m really not sure, but from their blood tests we know that.

      *Be aware also that just because a food is listed as gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It just means it’s made without gluten. Replacements for gluten are rice flour, tapioca flour, etc. And eating a lot of those really isn’t any better for you than the regular stuff, (if you are a carb watcher that is.)
      *The more you avoid processed foods the easier it is to avoid wheat/gluten. It’s the packaged/boxed foods, the sweet, yummy baked goods, etc, that you will typically find wheat in.
      *It’s even in candy….

      Even Caleb has learned to read labels and knows what to look for…

      I hope this will help you to get started. Feel free to message me if you have any more questions!

  3. Oh – another blog I like to look at is Against All Grains…..she’s hard core, but has some really yummy recipes and great ideas…

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