Wheat Free Experiment for Eczema

6 weeks ago we eliminated wheat from our diets to see if it helped with our 11 month old’s eczema. The 42 days came to an end and we just reintroduced wheat into our diets and now we are waiting to see if the eczema stays the same or worsens before we decide where to go from here.

Why we went wheat free for 6 weeks. It was actually easier than I thought!

Some friends told me during our experiment,

  • “I wonder about people that go gluten free. What can you eat?
  • “I could never do that.”
  • “I rather deal with problems or have medication then give up wheat or dairy.”

I’ll be honest. I was dreading these 6 weeks up until we actually committed to doing it. Homemade pizzaalfredo sauce over pasta, naan, cookie dough, and warm bread are all things I thoroughly enjoy. Giving them up wasn’t exactly high on my list of things to do.

My husband and I decided it was worth it, though, to see if our son had any relief on his face from eczema and constant scratching that frequently drew blood.

Many times our diets and the food we eat play a roll in the symptoms that exhibit themselves in our bodies. It could be rashes, behavior, ear infections etc. Food often is not the first thing that comes to mind when we these issues come up. Even if it crosses our minds it, seems easier to treat with antibiotics, creams, or just living with it.

One of my friends has a dog that has had continuous ear infections since she was little. They recently switched her to gluten free food and treats and she’s gone several months without any problems now. I know it might not always work, but sometimes a change in diet can make a world of difference. There are also those with severe allergies to certain foods that don’t have a choice but to make drastic adjustments to their diets and they are lifelong changes.

All that to say, we didn’t know what would happen or what the outcome would be but we decided to at least try and then re-evaluate and see what we needed to do next.

Once we made the commitment and started, I was surprised at how little of a deal it was. The transition was actually easier than I thought it would be. Going gluten free, I’m sure, would be more stressful and little harder on the budget as I didn’t worry about cross contamination for our experiment (I still bought regular rolled oats).

6 weeks of using no wheat went by quickly. The eczema didn’t clear up completely but it’s very slight and my son is scratching his cheeks way less. (You can see after pictures here.) During the process he only had a couple of flair ups and they were mild. We’ll see what happens the next few weeks.

Next week I have 9 tips for how to do a wheat free experiment without a lot of work and on a budget. These are the ideas that I used the last 6 weeks with our family. My grocery budget wasn’t any more that usual. Coming up I’ll also have a list of the recipes that we ate to help you with your menu planning.

I’m curious. Have you ever seen changes because of how you tweaked your diet?

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Menu Plan and Goals

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We had a good Easter weekend! My husband had the day off of work Friday (although he had to go in for a few hours) and we worked around the house some. Saturday we met his parents, brother, and nephew an hour and a half away and spent the afternoon at the botanical gardens. The tulips were in bloom and it was beautiful. The children’s garden was well done with a tree fort to climb in and giant musical instruments to play.

Menu Plan and Goals @ From this Kitchen Table

Not only was Sunday Easter it was also the day we reintroduced wheat into our diets. We’ll see if we notice any difference in my son’s face over the next few weeks with wheat added back in. This is a shot of his cheeks from yesterday. He still has some redness and spots but it’s way better than it was earlier this year. He’s had no major flair ups in the 6 weeks we’ve been doing this and only a couple of minor once (none in the past 2-3 weeks). We’ve also noticed a huge difference in his scratching. Before he was continually clawing at his face (often drawing blood) and now it’s just every once in a while. We’ll see what happens. 

Menu Plan and Goals @ From this Kitchen Table

We had quite the traditional Easter lunch of. . . pizza! My husband is a pizza fan so we decided to go for it. Homemade pizza made for a pretty easy (and tasty) lunch and we finished the day off with apple crisp and ice cream (an early birthday dessert for my husband). 

Menu Plan and Goals @ From this Kitchen Table

Suppers:

Lunches:

  • Brown Bag lunches
  • Leftovers
  • Salads
  • Pizza

Breakfasts:

Goals:

What are your goals? Anything tasty on your menu plan?

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday

Cinnamon Breadsticks

 

Easy, gooey, and delicious cinnamon breadsticks! | Mmmm. These are just as good as the ones from the pizza buffet I loved growing up.

Cinnamon breadsticks. So good and easy I don’t know why I’ve never made them before. Every time (don’t worry, it wasn’t too often) we went out to a pizza buffet restaurant growing up they were one of my favorites and I ate entirely too many of them.

I recently recreated this recipes and you can go over to The Best Blog Recipes for the post. I want to try making them again using whole wheat flour and sucanat or coconut sugar on the top.

We are in the middle of a month of being wheat free. I’m surprised it hasn’t been harder because I LOVE good homemade bread. Probably the worst times is putting together these recipes that I made before we began. They make me hungry. This is one of those. Looking at the picture of these things is torture. You’ll have to make them and enjoy them for me.

Recently (well, over a month ago now) I decided I needed to try making Cinnamon Breadsticks myself. Surely it’s not that hard. I already had a killer dough recipe from my garlic breadsticks to start with. I’d just need to switch up the topping and change how I formed the dough a bit. We had a friend over for dinner – always the best way to test our new recipes. They were a home run! The adults enjoyed them as much as the three year old. Or almost as much. We had to cut my daughter off. She kept wanting more.

Head over to The Best Blog Recipes to read the rest!

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Automatic Ice Cream Maker

My FAVORITE kitchen appliance - an automatic ice cream maker. Why I like it and tips for using the machine. You are going to want one of these!

An electric counter top ice cream maker was on my wish list and my in-laws had an old version at their house that never got used. They said we could have it. I jumped on it and has it been put to good use!

This is one of my all time favorite kitchen appliances. (It made the list of my favorite kitchen appliances.) No, I’m not exaggerating. Yes, I might be slightly ice cream obsessed but I think my obsession also makes my family happy.

We purchased ice cream every once in a while but not as often as I would have liked because of budget and health reasons. This amazing little gadget takes care of both of those issues. I can make it as healthy as I’d like (and even if I make it with sugar, it’s way better than the stuff at the store) for much cheaper.

My FAVORITE kitchen appliance - an automatic ice cream maker. Why I like it and tips for using the machine. You are going to want one of these!

4 Reasons I Love My Automatic Ice Cream Maker

No ice and salt necessary

We had an electric ice cream maker which we used every once in a while. It was a pain to remember to buy or make ice and have the salt on hand. Now, I  just dump my ice cream mixture into the frozen bowl and am ready to go.

No Unnecessary Ingredients

Vanilla: MILK, CREAM, SUGAR, SKIM MILK, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL VANILLA FLAVOR, CELLULOSE GUM, VEGETABLE GUMS (GUAR, CARRAGEENAN, CAROB BEAN), SALT, ANNATTO COLOR.

Strawberry: INGREDIENTS: Fresh Grade ‘A’ whole milk, strawberries, sugar, cream, corn syrup, modified corn starch, natural strawberry flavor, stabilizer blend (monoglycerides, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, carrageenan), artificial colors red 3, yellow 6, blue 1.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the ice cream carton from the store? The majority have a dozen ingredients or more. Most of them being processed ones that aren’t good for you. When you make it at home, you know exactly what goes in it. Cream or coconut milk, sweetener, flavoring, maybe eggs and thickener.

Customizable

You can make frozen yogurt, sorbet, or ice cream with whatever flavors and add ins you like! You aren’t stuck making a gallon of one kind like you do in a rock and salt machine. Here you can do 2 quarts or even less. You also aren’t stuck to the flavors found in the store.

Price

So yes, you can buy a half gallon of the cheapest (and not very good tasting) ice cream for $2.50, the middle of the road product is $4 for a half gallon (on sale) and when you get to the good stuff with real ingredients you are going to be spending $3-$4 a pint! With this amazing machine, you can make it for a fraction of the cost. 

Tips for using your Ice Cream Maker

1. If you have space, keep the freezer bowl in the freezer. This eliminates the need to plan the night before and you can satisfy a last minute craving or feed drop in guests in no time.

2. If you cook your ice cream base or are using room temperature products (canned coconut milk), refrigerate your ice cream base until completely chilled. This is a must. You will end up with a much thicker and creamier treat.

3. If you have a large family and are worried that 2 quarts of ice cream won’t be enough, buy a second freezer bowl! You can make two different types that way and be able to please everyone (or most everyone).

Do you have any ice cream makers? How often do they get used?

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Wheat Free Menu Plan and Goals

I vote that Mondays become part of the weekend! I could use another day to get caught up on projects and cleaning before heading into the work week.

We had our first Oklahoma spring storm yesterday. It came complete with small hail but didn’t last long. It was relaxing to hear the rain beating down on the house and brought a little cooler temperature and less humidity with it. This was one of those weeks were I really wanted to turn on the air conditioning but didn’t want to at the same time! It got warm and muggy in the house but we held off knowing it was going to cool off again this week.

Wheat Free Menu Plan and Goals @ From this Kitchen Table

This is the last week of our 5 week wheat free challenge to see if it improved my son’s eczema any. His face looked wonderful this weekend. Probably the best it’s looked since he was a newborn. Next week we are going to reintroduce wheat (into my diet. I’m still not going to directly feed him wheat for a while yet) and we’ll know for sure if it has improved because of no wheat or if he’s outgrown it, the heater not running etc.

Wheat Free Menu Plan and Goals @ From this Kitchen Table

You can still see a little bit of the redness from his eczema but his cheeks are looking WAY better!

We are preparing for an Herb Festival/craft show type thing at the beginning of June and I’m beginning to think our dining room isn’t going to be the same again until it’s over. I’ve been trying to get the earrings and magnets knocked out and test out mason jar ideas and then we’ll move on to lip balms and room sprays when those supplies come in.

Wheat Free Menu Plan and Goals @ From this Kitchen Table

Suppers:

  • Chicken Shepherd’s Pot Pie (Pot Pie with Mashed Potato Topping)
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps (new recipe from  42 Simple & Healthy Dinners)
  • Bean Tostadas
  • Shredded BBQ Beef on Baked Potatoes
  • Leftovers

Lunches:

Breakfasts:

Goals:

What’s on your menu? What goals are you tackling this week?

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday

 

Garbanzo Bean and Roasted Corn Salad

This Garbanzo Bean and Roasted Corn Salad came together on a whim a couple weeks ago. I needed a dish to bring someplace and wanted to use ingredients that sounded good and were in my house.

Garbanzo Bean and Roasted Corn Salad | Perfect side dish for grilling and the leftovers make a tasty lunch. I love this!!!

Garbanzo beans are one of my favorite things so I decided to determine the rest of the salad around that ingredient. Onion and jalapeno make pretty much everything better so those made an appearance as well. Sautéing them before adding them to the salad gives them more of a subtle flavor. I like my salads lightly dressed, mostly because I’m cheap and I hate to see all of the dressing left at the bottom of the dish. Because it’s not sitting in gobs of dressing, this will keep well for several days depending on what add ins you use. The perfect amount of citrus and oil flavors came through, but if you’d like to add more, go for it.

This salad is super easy to adapt based on what you have on hand. Look and see what vegetables you need to use up and add them in.

I enjoyed eating the leftovers for my lunch and will definitely be making it again. My 3 year old also loved it and had to keep taking bites from my bowl instead of her lunch. Little stinker. I suppose I should be happy she enjoys eating her vegetables.

4.3 from 4 reviews

Garbanzo Bean and Roasted Corn Salad
Serves: 7 cups – 8-12 servings
 

Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounces) package frozen corn
  • 3 cups garbanzo beans (or two cans drained and rinsed)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ a small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
Add Ins (use what you like):
  • ½-1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 avocados, chopped
  • ½-1 cup red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Dressing
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime (or lemon) juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Turn your oven on to high broil. Spread the corn onto a large baking sheet and place in the oven around 10 minutes. You don’t want to over cook and dry out the corn so watch it and stir one or two times.
  2. In a skillet sauté the jalapeno, onion, and garlic.
  3. In a large bowl combine the corn, garbanzo beans, onion mixture and dressing ingredients.
  4. Adjust seasons to taste. Can also add a little garlic powder if needed.
  5. Gently stir in add ins.
  6. Can serve room temperature or chilled.

 

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My Favorite Kitchen Appliances

Today I have my list of the kitchen appliances that I use the most. One of my favorite kitchen appliances might surprise you. I’d probably even consider it my favorite of the favorites. It’s the last one on the list below.

Don’t forget to check out my list of kitchen essentials and the other of my favorite kitchen tools. Between these three lists, your kitchen would be equipped to handle anything.

Great ideas for a registry or stocking your kitchen | A list of my favorite kitchen appliances. The last one might surprise you - I LOVE it!

Mini Food Chopper

One that holds 2-3 cups is an ideal size. I use this all the time for small amounts of hummus, salsa, and other items that need pureed.

Blender

Our blender gets used all of the time for large batches of salsa and hummus, making oat flour and smoothies. (When making smoothies fill the blender up and freeze the extras in individual cups.) A Blendtec or Vitamix is on my wish list but in the meantime I have a Ninja Master Prep. It doesn’t get oat flour as fine as I’d like or some fruits at smooth but it gets the job done. The nice thing about it, is that it comes with a 2 cup jar as well. I’m curious as to how the Ninja Professional Blender are. What kind-of blender to you have?

Mixer

I love my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I make rolls, breadsticks, naan and other breads and this makes it a breeze. Whipping up a large batch of butter cream icing is simple – you just let the machine do the work. No standing there holding electric hand beaters. Making double (or triple) batches of cookies won’t kill your arms. When I made bread I use 7-8 cups of whole wheat flour. If you are going to make batches of bread much bigger than that you are going to want to invest in a more heavy duty mixer. There’s no way this could have stood up to my mom’s 14 cups of grain bread making every week!

Hand Mixer

This would be a maybe essential. If you whip egg whites or heavy cream you’ll want this. (Unless you want to give yourself an arm workout with a whisk). If you only make recipes that require beaten in large amounts, you could use the whisk attachment to your stand mixer. I never use this for making things like cookies. I always do them by hand or with the Kitchen Aid.

Slow Cooker

I use this for cooking beans and making yogurt way more than I do for making meals.. I have a 6 quart and a 1 1/2 quart but the smaller one seldom gets used.

Electric Griddle

This is depending on family size. If you have no or one or two kids, this would probably not be essential. If your family grows, this will speed up pancake, grilled cheese, bacon frying and quesadilla making tremendously.

Pressure Cooker

I don’t yet have a pressure cooker but my mom and sister do. You can have dry beans cooked in under 15-30 minutes from start to finish. Crazy. In fact, my mom told me she had beans that had soaked for just a few hours cooked in 8 minutes! It would be helpful for those days I forget to soak and cook my chick peas. My sister also uses her pressure cooker to quickly cook meat.

Rice Cooker

I wouldn’t consider this an essential just because you can cook rice on the stove top or in the oven. I’m including it, though, because I have one and use it every time I make rice. It makes the process brainless. Mine is a basic 6 cup one that came from Wal-Mart but there are some fancy ones available. A programmable rice cooker would be handy sometimes.

Automatic Ice Cream Maker

I’m saving my favorite for last. I know it might not seem like an essential but let me tell you, this thing is amazing! We use it all the time and it has eliminated our need to purchase ice cream from the store. It’s so easy and you don’t need any rock salt or ice. I’ll have a post coming this or next week going into more detail on this wonderful gadget.

What are you favorite kitchen appliances? Is there something that I need to add to my collection?

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Wheat Free Menu Plan and Goals

What a week! We’ve had stuff going every evening, Saturday my husband had to work 9 hours, Thursday and Friday concluded the membership drive for our concert series and we also had the final concert of the season. The drive went well but was time intensive. The kids were troopers spending 8 plus hours away from the house both days and having to behave while I took checks and inputted information into the database.

Saturday morning was citywide garage sales and I found a couple of houses with little boy stuff and that doesn’t happen very often. Our daughter was excited to find a pair of tennis shoes she was needing and she’s fully stocked on the next size of clothes except for a couple of shirts. Yay for successful garage sale trips.

Once a year several churches in town spend Sunday morning doing yard work and clean up for the houses in their neighborhoods as a way to serve. The house we worked on had so many leaves and sticks it was unbelievable. My hands are sore from lugging countless trash bags of leaves to the curb. The little guy hung out in his stroller and wrap and sister helped pick up sticks and bag leaves. It was a fun and productive morning and the weather was perfect!

This week things should slow down a little and I hope to really start tackling getting things ready for an herb festival our city has every year. I am going to have a booth at it – my first ever!

Have you ever sold any thing at a craft show before? It will be a complete experiment. I’m sure lots of learning will happen.

Wheat free menu plan and goals and From this Kitchen Table

Suppers:

Lunches:

  • Indonesian Fried Rice (This stuff is the best! Regular fried rice is tasteless after eating it)
  • Leftovers from last week
  • Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry (new recipe from  42 Simple & Healthy Dinners)
  • Salad

Breakfasts:

  • Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (used oat flour instead of wheat. They were kind-of crumbly. Pretty good, just not a huge fan of the taste of stevia)
  • Homemade Yogurt and Granola (using this cooking method)
  • Smoothies or a new muffin recipe if we need it

Goals:

What’s on your menu? What goals are you tackling this week? Have you ever sold anything at a craft show before?

Linking up to Menu Plan Monday