Substituting for Sensitivity


After suffering with lower abdomen pain, flu like symptoms and joint pain for years I took a blood test for food sensitivity. To my horror, the results came back with 68 foods.


What was I going to do? Some of the food which had been the main stay of my diet were now out of bounds. I shared my misery with a close friend who commiserated with me. This was going to be a real change to my diet and lifestyle. On the list were tomato, soy, egg, dairy, almonds and gluten.


The next morning when I lifted the blinds to my back yard, I saw food on my doorstep. My friend had been to the supermarket and bought enough alternatives to fill two shopping bags. I knew then that was not alone, and I could do this.


That was over two years ago. Since then, I have learned a few things about food.

  • Rice milk works well as a substitute for cow’s milk when making cheese sauce. Like lactose free milk, rice milk is sweet.

  • Most people with an intolerance to dairy react to the lactose. But if you are also intolerant to casein (milk protein), boiling the milk changes the protein so that it is tolerable. Yoghurt and hard cheeses made with rennet are other alternatives where the protein is more tolerable.

  • Capsicum can be substituted for tomato in some recipes.

  • Baked items without dairy, egg, gluten, or soy are not readily available, but bread mixes without these ingredients are available. I use a basic bread mix and add seeds to make a multi-grain loaf.

  • Generally, most nuts can be swapped for another. Almond meal can be substituted with hazelnut meal in biscuits and cakes. I use hazelnut meal when making banana bread.

  • Cinnamon in coffee or tea is a good way to reduce sugar.

  • It is possible to reproduce most of your favourite meals with alternative ingredients.


Whole foods are a better option for our health. My limited diet has forced me to eat whole foods and make my meals from scratch. Consequently, most of my purchases are from the outside of the supermarket where the whole foods exist.


In the beginning, these changes were difficult, but I have now adjusted my lifestyle. Living without abdomen pain, a foggy brain and an aching body is worth the effort. In my case, the reduction in stress on my body from abstaining from these foods also brought about weight loss.


If you are struggling with bloating, aching or joint pain it may be what you are eating. Think about dropping milk, gluten, soy, or eggs from your diet for three or four weeks. It may help.


In love, Jenny

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