Posts Tagged ‘ allergies ’

The Gradual Social Acceptance Of My Family’s Plant-Based Lifestyle

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

3 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Over three years ago when I started The Dadabase, we were a kosher family; meaning that we observed “the Jewish food laws of the Old Testament” (the Mosaic Law) regarding not eating pork or shellfish.

I had recognized that nixing the foods that the Bible had deemed as “unclean” helped my eczema (dyshidrosis) from getting worse. I began understanding why pork and shellfish were considered unclean; because like vultures and possums, they are at the bottom of the food chain.

So to consume the dirtiest animals for food, it was only feeding my disease.

One thing led to another, and by December 2011, we became vegetarians. You were so young that you never really ate meat to begin with.

Then by March 2013, I officially became a vegan; after discovering that my 22 years of constant sinus pressure, sinus infections, and allergies to animals were based on my consumption of the least amount of dairy and eggs. (I even had to get a much weaker prescription for my glasses after becoming a vegan!)

So for the record, since becoming a vegan, I no longer have eczema, sinus infections or allergy issues.

In the process of Mommy basically being forced to become a vegan chef for our household, you and she are almost vegans as well now; by default.

Meanwhile, it has been interesting to observe the gradual social acceptance level of our family’s plant-based lifestyle.

I have been told that I was single-handedly depriving my family of the protein and nutrients we need. I should point out that none of us have had to go to the doctor since we adopted the plant-based lifestyle.

So it seems that is a good indication we are actually healthier since the change; considering we used to get sick and now we don’t.

But that was a year ago. The more people have heard my testimonials, the more it makes sense.

My friend Ben Wilder, who was taking a Zyrtec a day, became a vegan after hearing about our family’s switch to plant-based living, and he is no longer on his medication… because he no longer needs it.

It was my goal to make it common knowledge that there is an obvious connection between allergies (as well as my eczema) and going plant-based.

I feel I have reached my goal. I was never trying to convert anyone; just help people understand why we are this way and provide a way for them to join us if they wish, which is why I started my “Ask A Vegan Anything” series.

To my surprise, the questions I have been getting have not so much been from confused or accusatory people, but instead, from people who are sincere in their curiosity; who are willing to consider going plant-based at the chance of reaching similar results.

So in the same way I feel I’ve reached my goal of helping to “rebrand fatherhood” as a daddy blogger, I also feel my mission is accomplished in helping others understand that the plant-based life is not so crazy after all.

That’s why in my writings to come, the focus will be more on reviewing vegan recipes and food products that our family enjoys…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

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And Then Daddy Became A Vegan…

Monday, March 11th, 2013

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Here’s the most flattering picture I’ve ever taken of you. (Sarcasm.)

There you are in the back seat on Saturday afternoon, indulging in a vegan chocolate cookie from Whole Foods Market.

You didn’t seem to notice there were no eggs or dairy in your cookie. All you knew is that for some reason, I was letting you pig out on a treat which you didn’t have to earn by going potty at the house.

As for the reason the cookie was vegan, that would be because, well… this is me officially coming out of the vegan closet.

I have suffered from severe allergies and sinus problems since 1992, when I was only 11; I’ll be 32 next month. But a week ago I decided to see what would happen if I stopped drinking milk with my coffee.

About two days into using coconut and rice milk instead, I noticed that my constant sinus pressure cleared up.

Then I became addicted to that version of life. It’s been 21 years since I’ve breathed so easily and have been able to think so clearly. The fog in my brain has lifted, in more ways than one.

I decided that if it meant going vegan (no dairy or eggs, in addition to no meat) to continue my heightened state of well-being, I would be willing to make the appropriate lifestyle change. Watching the documentary Vegucated on Netflix solidified my decision.

Granted, our family has been vegetarians for 15 months now. So I’ve been living an alternative lifestyle this whole time anyway. Here it is; the last picture of us together before I became a vegan. The following day I would become even weirder.

Just to be clear, the vegan thing is just for me; not for you or Mommy.

Though when I think about it, the only thing keeping you from being a vegan is Annie’s whole wheat macaroni and cheese and your Chobani Champions Tubes of yogurt.

You don’t like eggs. You don’t like milk. But you’ll eat cheese and yogurt so I want you to keep enjoying them.

Or at least I should say, enjoy them while you can.

I’ve already learned that you and I have basically the same medical issues. The only reason you and I don’t currently still have eczema is because A) I make sure that none of your soaps or lotions contain sodium lauryl sulfate or artificial dyes and B) other than special occasions, I deprive you of processed sugar; even 100% fruit juice.

So don’t be surprised in about 9 years when you turn 11, that you’ll suddenly get this sinus pressure that gets worse at night and any time the weather changes. It will feel like you desperately need to blow your nose, but there’s nothing there when you try.

Son, I hope the best for you. I hope you haven’t inherited my severe allergies and sinus problems, but if you have… at least you’ll have a vegan dad to help teach you have to live the peculiar life of no eggs or dairy, in addition to no meat.

Mmm… did somebody say vegan chocolate cookies?

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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Notice To Parents: Play-Doh Contains Wheat (It’s Not Gluten-Free… Yet)

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Our family has been vegetarian for over a year now, and to be honest, going over 12 months without meat has been no sacrifice.

We get our protein from beans, seeds, green vegetables, nuts, dairy products, and whole grains.

And when I say “whole grains,” I’m mainly referring to wheat; in other words… the now-stigmatized “gluten.”

Most of our meals are Italian or Mexican inspired, relying on whole-grain pasta or bread of some sort. While we’ve consumed zero meat products since December 2012, we’ve eaten our fair share of gluten.

Fortunately, gluten is not an allergen for our family. However, there is a marketable demographic in America who does have some sort of allergic reaction to gluten foods, including wheat.

Here recently, I’ve even noticed how the phrase “gluten-free” has become a marketing tool. (At least it’s not as illegitimate and misleading in the way that often pink ribbons are marketed to sell products that are actually linked to promoting cancer and disease.)

For example, I’ve seen “gluten-free” on the package of a 2 liter bottle of soda; as if the massive amount of refined sugar wasn’t a health issue.

America’s awareness of gluten has become so high that now Play-Doh has evidently felt liable to address it on their packaging in huge all-caps:

NOTICE TO PARENTS: CONTAINS WHEAT.”

In a smaller font, an additional warning reads, “Fun to play with, but not to eat.”

So while it’s common knowledge that Play-Doh is a toy, not a food, Hasbro has to play it safe with their product, beyond it being non-toxic.

Now, they have to indirectly address the fact that it’s not gluten free; in the event a child with a gluten allergy eats the stuff.

It makes me wonder, is there a market for gluten-free Play-Doh? The answer is yes; I know this because I Googled it.

However, none of the products available were actually Play-Doh products. Instead, they are made by companies that not many people have heard of… yet.

I’m really curious if Hasbro (who makes Play-Doh) will decide to claim their share of the gluten-free Play-Doh market…

Honestly, I don’t know what’s funnier: The fact that Play-Doh has a warning on their product that it contains wheat, or imagining in the near future seeing an advertisement for gluten-free Play-Doh, though Play-Doh is technically a toy, not a food.

Either way, I’m convinced there is a marketing team at the Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island that has already at least one meeting about gluten-free Play-Doh.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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