Elimination diet - ideas appreciated!
I am feeling a bit desperate. With such a long list of no no foods I am having a hard time coming up with ideas. Roasted or otherwise simply prepared veggies and rice or salads are all I can think of. Luckily this is only for a few weeks and then I can start adding items back in, but until I figure out what to eat I have been pretty hungry! I don't want to rely on frozen or other prepared meals from Whole Foods-type places, although I have filled in a couple of meals with those in a pinch already. (Choices are limited anyway within the parameters.) I am very thankful in advance for any ideas! I figured it would be easier to be creative from a step away.
I cannot eat:
- meat, fish, poultry (vegetarian)
- alcohol, including cooked
- anything pickled, fermented or marinated
That's quite a list.
In the Jain religion they are vegetarian but they don't use garlic or onions. They don't use root veg either but no reason you can't. This is probably a good bet to have something interesting on such a restrictive diet.
Link to recipes which may useful
Wow. Looks like, by eliminating all legumes (beans) and nuts, you have eliminated most obvious vegetarian protein sources. My mother worked with the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation years ago, and one of her projects was working out food combinations that supplied complete amino acids in a vegetarian diet.
That was a while ago, but you might find them helpful.
Yikes, that is really an elimination diet!
I assume you're working with a nutritionist or dietician in conjunction with your physicians.
That said, my only NON-professional thoughts would be to keep your protein intake up. Quinoa, brown rice, and perhaps kasha (a/k/a buckwheat groats). Buckwheat is related to the rhubarb plant, so make sure that's not a problem for you. I believe they are all gluten-free, but check with your advisers.
Can you eat any fruit at all? Like grapes, pears, pineapple, berries. Even frozen berries could work in a totally fruit smoothie sort of thing, maybe a little water or a bit of 100% pomegranate juice to thin it out. I don't believe pomegranate to be a citrus fruit, but it could complicate you in other ways.
Are oils okay? Most vegetable oils are corn or soy, so stick to olive oil, if you can, or organic sunflower or safflower oil. I was going to send you a link to La Tienda, Spanish importers, for their smoked olive oil, but it is out of stock at the moment. It's not a cooking oil, rather a finishing oil. Expensive, but a delicious treat when you just need a few drizzles for a flavor boost over vegetables or lettuce.
You said you were checking labels for prepared food. Good. Soy, gluten, dairy, and corn products lurk everywhere.
Can you eat lentils? It's in the legume family, so I don't know if that would be off your list.
Best of luck with this, Olive.
Very-very tough! Here are a few suggestions:
Make a list of all foods that you can eat and start building meals with those. Make a large pot of vegetable stock and use it to cook everything in instead of water for extra flavour and nutrition.
Quinoa - hot or cold with roasted or fresh vegetables or fruit. Could dress with olive oil and some spices.
Rice - fried with vegetables; coconut - good for breakfast topped with fruit or berries
Boiled vegetable salads dressed with oil and herbs (dill)
Soups - carrot/ginger, cream of any vegetable using potato instead of dairy
Potatos/Sweet Potatoes - mashed, fried, baked, boiled
Seaweed - crumbled on other dishes or a a salad
Stir-fried vegetables with rice
Thanks so much for all of the initial thoughts! I am working with a doctor - thanks for the careful responses. I am checking on the questions. I have been using coconut and olive oil and some of these other items. I have sunflower seed butter and totally didn't think to use it. I can dip carrot sticks and such in it. Protein is definitely one of my challenges. I am reading all of the suggestions carefully. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This one is definitely a puzzle, and not tons of fun for a food lover.
Maybe take the opposite approach and make a list of things you can eat.
Whole grains are a great place to start. Here is a good lost of gluten free whole grains:
Job's Tears (or Hato Mugi
Montina (Indian rice grass)
Note that oats are inherently gluten-free, but make sure you check labels carefully to see that they are labeled gluten-free. (I think Bob's Red Mill brand is pretty widely available.)
Grains will certainly help fill you up and add interest to your diet. You can eat them sweet for breakfast or savory for lunch or dinner.
It appears as if you can eat seeds - sunflower, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds.
There are a lot of fruit and vegetables not on your elimination list. Create a list of your favorites and think about their flavor profiles. You want to get some "big" flavors to help satisfy your hunger.
Think about what types of cuisines you like - Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian, etc. And start putting them together.
For example, for "Mexican", you could do a "salsa" with jícama, mango, sweet peppers, chile peppers, olive oil, and pineapple juice, with fresh cilantro over a Cauliflower "steak" http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/caul...
And serve that over a bed of rice tossed with pumpkin seeds.
For Mediterranean, roasted butternut squash, with oregano, cinnamon, cumin, and peppers, carrots, celery over Quinoa that was tossed with sunflower seeds, olive oil, and dried apricots or raisins.
I had that question too. Is pineapple "citrus"? Are you eliminating all fruits that are high acid, or just those that are botanically classified as citrus?
Some other questions:
I know that tomatoes are NOT allowed, what about other fruits/vegetables in the "nightshade" family? That includes potatoes, eggplant and tomatillos.
I see onions listed, what about garlic? Is it all aliums?
People with tree nut allergies are usually told to not eat coconut. Are you sure that coconuts are OK?
So if I'm correct, the following are a list of OK:
100% buckwheat noodles
rice noodles (so many shapes and sizes!)
amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff (are not gluten-free but safe for celiacs)
peas (? - count as a bean?)
butternut, spaghetti, acorn squash
garlic, shallot, scallions (? - or all aliums out?)
salt, black pepper, sugar
spices & herbs
With this, you can create stir fries, cold salads, hot salads, rice noodle bowls (hot & cold),
That's a heckuva list. A couple of people have mentioned oatmeal-steel cut oats are the way to go. I like them savory so that would add a little variety. Use whatever veggies or condiments you like and aren't on the banned list. I really like twice baked potatoes and you can get a lot of variety using the veggies you can have. Quinoa topped with roasted butternut or beets is really satisfying to me. Any of the vegetables you have can be roasted and turned into soup-add veg broth to get the texture you want, and you can vary the seasonings a lot. I bet getting a variety of fresh herbs to use would keep things from getting to boring too-no onions definitely puts you at a disadvantage with soup.
Smoothies with berries, hemp protein and sunbutter.
Salads with hemp seeds, cooked grains (as previous suggestions), veggies, olive oil and lemon, allowed dried fruits
Toasted salted pumpkin seeds with popcorn for snacks
"Health warrior" bars are guluten free and vegan with chia seeds, the coconut flavor is delicious
Chia pudding with coconut milk (or hemp milk, or rice milk but i think that's watery)
Dried dates with sunbutter are an amazing snack or dessert
This carrot coconut soup- use veg stock, omit shallots and lime:
Serve over quinoa for a more filling meal.