Seriously, feeding groups of people for parties, family get-togethers, etc. is much more of a challenge for today’s Mamas than it was for our Mamas. Heck, sometimes feeding our own families is more of a challenge than ever before. Everywhere you go you meet people with food allergies, food intolerances, or other diet restrictions. At times, it seems epidemic. Why can’t everyone just eat normal food? Unfortunately, being omnivores does not mean that everyone is meant to eat everything. Think of all the people who would be walking around the world feeling like ass and taking it out on the rest of us if they didn’t eat the way that their bodies needed.
Take us, for instance. Lady Bug was milk protein and soy protein allergic as an infant. I gave up all milk and soy products while I was nursing the Bug. It was easy to do. Her allergy manifested itself by making her lower intestines bleed. Yup, blood in her poop, every time I changed her little diaper from about the time she was about two months old until I got rid of all the milk and soy in my diet. Trust me, blood in your little baby’s poop is motivation enough to give up just about any food. Now Lady Bug is lactose intolerant. Completely different, but any way you cut it, dairy and the Bug do not get along. Little Man was also allergic to milk proteins as an infant. His allergy manifested itself as eczema. I gave up dairy while nursing him too, but I’m afraid to say that I was more likely to cheat and have some dairy while nursing Little Man. Eczema is not nearly as scary to look at as blood in your kid’s diaper and his eczema was fairly mild. He doesn’t seem to have any food allergies or intolerances now. Lucky guy. Big Man is allergic to lobster (and cats, dogs, birds, horses, grass and all kinds of environmental stuff, but let’s just focus on food for now). As far as food allergies go, this isn’t too terrible. Lobster isn’t an everyday food. Just to be safe, he is also wary of shellfish in general.
Then there’s me, the Mostly Sane Mama (emphasis on Mostly). Back in June SIL #1 (Big Man’s Lil’ Sis) had given me Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin to read. Sue told me not to read it. More than once. I didn’t listen…
Freedman and Barnouin have what I can only describe as a very vegan agenda. They don’t want us consuming any animal products at all. Good for them. I’m happy for them if they are pulling it off successfully. They also recommend giving up coffee, alcohol, and sugar. Hold the phone, just a f@#$ing minute. I read everything they wrote about pesticides in my coffee, and all the nasty effects alcohol and sugar have on my body. Read it, processed it, slept on it. After some thought I decided to ditch the meat and the dairy and cut way back on sugar. I had been eating smaller and smaller amounts of meat less frequently anyway and I’ve always been suspicious that I’m lactose intolerant. It also seems that my Lil’ Sis is much happier without dairy in her life too. Lactose intolerance does run in families and it does affects 75% of the world population in some way. I’ve given dairy up twice before. Why not make it for good this time? That probably makes sense. I keep my coffee to one cup a day and I rarely drink alcohol more than once a week anyway, so why go crazy and give either up completely? Cutting back on sugar is always a good idea, but cut it out? I love me a good dessert. I still eat eggs but only eggs from chickens that are raised cage free. I also eat seafood, but in limited amounts, and the fresher the better. I’m a New Englander for goodness sake people. The seafood is staying! Occasionally I’ll have a moment of weakness and cheat on the meat or the dairy, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cheated.
Now, I’m sure that many of you are questioning my sanity (go back and read the title of our blog please), but I was and am very happy with my decisions about my diet changes. However, later in the summer the Jen-has-Celiac diagnosis came down. WTF? Bread? Cereal? Really? You have got to be kidding me. I’m still in denial about this one. (BTW, do NOT ask me if I’m adding all the meat and dairy back in. I’m not. I’m happier and feel better without both and it drives me nuts that people keep asking me that.)
So, let’s start thinking about Thanksgiving at our house. It’s only a month away and it’s a holiday where food is central! Let’s think about the guest list. Ladybug is lactose intolerant. Lil’ Sis gave up dairy and also only eats limited amounts of white meat, but no other meats. Big Man is allergic to lobster, SIL #1 doesn’t eat meat, and SIL #2 (Baby Bro’s wife) has gone vegan. I’ve mostly kicked meat and dairy to the curb and can’t eat gluten anymore (ba-bye stuffing). Wait, I almost forgot. Nephew #3 has a nut allergy. I think that’s everybody. Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure that my parents and in-laws think we’re all crazy. My poor husband. Thanksgiving dinner is his thing and he does it well. Too bad the rest of us are messing it up for him so badly! But Big Man being Big Man, he’s already looking into corn bread stuffing and trying to plan a meal in advance where we can try it. He’s talking about ordering a free range, farm raised turkey so I will feel less guilty if I decide to cheat. Because it’s not really about the food anyway, and we’re a little high maintenance. Just ask Sue.