For the last 7 years, food allergies have shaped our family and is truly the reason why we started Poncha Creek Gardens. Our journey began when my wife discovered she had an intense allergy to dairy products through a difficult and long process of searching for answers. She suffered from intense fatigue as well as muscle and joint pain that seemed totally random. After she realized the trigger and we removed all dairy products she felt better than she had in years. No more fatigue and inflammation was down significantly. I also went dairy free and felt the same responses even though I never was conscious of the symptoms I was experiencing.
Going dairy free wasn’t too hard. We were still able to go out to dinner. Even pizza! Fast forward a few years and our first daughter, Aspen, turns 1 and starts eating solid food. Immediately she had diarrhea, rashes and dramatic behavior issues like rage and violence. Celiac Disease runs in my family, so we cut wheat out immediately for the whole family. Aspen got 90% better and my response was equally dramatic. No more rage and our little sweet girl was back. Over a few weeks I felt all my inflammation disappear. I had no fatigue. My depression and bad mood had lifted. It was a total game changer. So without an actual diagnosis, we confirmed that Aspen and I have Celiac Disease or at a minimum a severe intolerance.
Although Aspen was better, she still had eczema around her mouth. We came across some research linking eczema with egg consumption. So we peeled that layer back and got rid of eggs. The rash was gone in days. We never missed eggs too much and wondered if they also contributed to some of the celiac symptoms we were experiencing.
After a year of fully dairy-free and gluten-free diets, we hit another plateau and realized there were more things slowing our path to fully healing. We then gave up all alcohol, corn, soy, canola oil and natural flavors. We now follow a whole food plant based diet and try to eat mostly food we grow or source from other local farms in the area.
The benefits of the fresh local plant based diet have been outstanding. We crave only the food we cook and are hardly tempted by more convenient dining options. Food has become a cornerstone for our family. If we go out for any social event we either bring our own picnic or eat before we go. It’s a huge change from our old eating habits of enjoying all the delicious restaurants and dessert spots, but honestly if I could go back, I would go back and make these changes a lot earlier.