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Tag: gluten-free

raspberries - foods I can and can't eat #restricteddiet #glutenfree #food #nutrition

Foods I Can and Can’t Eat

Some of you guys have asked what foods I can or can’t eat.

This is sort of a reference post that I’m creating for those who are curious or who may have health issues similar to mine. I will probably link here from time to time, and I plan to update these lists as my diet gradually changes (once in a while I add or remove something), or as I remember items I forgot to list.

One request for my dear readers:

Please do not comment here or contact me to tell me why I really should be able to consume a certain food, drink, or supplement, without first asking and seeking to understand the reason(s) why I cannot. I have legit reasons for avoiding the foods that I do, which are based on personal experiences with foods, research I’ve done, and other information picked up along the way – much of which I’ve learned from my doctor. If you have relevant info regarding my particular genetic conditions or are aware of ways to mitigate the effects of broken biochemical pathways, I’m definitely interested in hearing about it. 🙂 Other advisory messages regarding food – well-meaning as they may be – will likely be a waste of your time as well as mine.

You are more than welcome to share your experience here with fighting/recovering from a food sensitivity/allergy or GI/autoimmune condition. And most other well-considered comments are welcome. 🙂

I reserve the right to delete any and all comments with or without reason and with or without notice, and to choose not to reply to any emails.

Thank you. <3

This request comes after multiple experiences of people essentially arguing/suggesting that my dietary restrictions aren’t necessary or that it shouldn’t be necessary to eliminate entire food groups from the diet or that I’m “just not getting enough nutrition” (and should therefore resume eating the foods I’m avoiding), or of receiving messages from others to the effect of “You look almost anorexic!” or “Do you need to talk to someone?”.

Please don’t be alarmed. I care a great deal about my health, as evidenced (I think) by my willingness to actually follow this non-toxic diet and feed my body only the cleanest foods which it is also capable of tolerating. And I’ve actually been gaining a bit of weight recently (actually, maybe a bit too much). :/

I may have originally chosen to start the elimination diet on my own, but my doctor agrees that it is necessary, and certainly discourages me from introducing harmful or potentially harmful food groups – such as dairy or wheat – that many people seem to label as “important food groups”. (Btw, you know how people suffering from anorexia are often advised to eat pizza or hamburgers? On so many fronts, this is not sound advice. 1) If you feed a starving person a hamburger, you could potentially kill them, 2) a person suffering from anorexia ultimately needs nutritious foods [especially as anorexia can lead to electrolyte deficiencies], not simply highly caloric foods, and 3) Wheat and dairy are two of the most common food allergies, and sometimes people fighting anorexia are also fighting other gastrointestinal disorders, which may be exacerbated by these foods.)

(In all likelihood, I’ll probably never add wheat or dairy back into my diet. At most, it’d probably be sheep dairy. Not even goat.)

And it’s not like I don’t miss eating some incredibly delicious foods! 🙁 But I definitely don’t miss the physiological and mental torment they gave me (many of these foods seriously impacted my nervous system). Following this relatively “ascetic” diet will always be worth the health benefits (and more importantly, worth the avoidance of health problems).

Foods, Drinks, and Supplements I Can’t Consume

  • Eggs (whites and yolks)
  • Cow, Goat, and Sheep Dairy (except grass-fed ghee) (Wanting to try camel dairy soon)
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Anything containing gluten
  • Grains (rice, millet, oats, etc.) AND pseudograins (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa)
  • Nuts (except macadamia nut oil)
  • Peanuts (listed separately because not technically a nut)
  • Coconut (including coconut oil)
  • Most legumes (beans, lentils, etc.)
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee (regular or decaf)
  • Food or drink containing caffeine or theobromine
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, red pepper, paprika, ashwagandha, eggplant, okra, etc.) (I am sensitive to solanine as well as likely some of the lectins and  the calcitriol [a powerful hormone which acts as a tissue calcifier/hardener in the human body])
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, etc.)
  • Most other vegetables (thankfully I have been able to reintroduce some recently! See below). Recently tried beets and those are still a no, except small amounts of beet juice for coloring in foods. My blood pressure got too low (accompanied by symptoms) when I consumed a low to moderate amount of beets recently.
  • Most leafy greens – including arugula, kale, and spinach. Hoping to try chard again soon.
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Most or all melons (definitely watermelon/cantaloupe)
  • Squash (including pumpkin)
  • Cucumber
  • Kiwi
  • Banana
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Most dried fruit
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Most fish
  • Farm-raised fish
  • Fermented foods
  • Vinegar (including apple cider vinegar)
  • Yeast
  • Cured meats
  • Chicken broth
  • Carageenan
  • Canola oil
  • Cottonseed oil (Honestly, no one should be consuming this [as of 2015, approximately 94% of U.S. cotton crops were genetically modified]. Cottonseed oil can be found in many snacks, such as roasted/salted almonds.)
  • Refined sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame or sucralose
  • Nutmeg
  • Curry
  • Chamomile
  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint
  • Wine (I’m sensitive to alcohol, as well as the glutamate in grapes and the sulfites in wine)
  • Beer
  • Unfiltered city water (by the way, some popular filters like Brita® don’t remove the fluoride [a neurotoxin and magnesium binder])
  • Grape Juice
  • Calcium Carbonate (found in many multivitamins)
  • Iron supplements
  • Copper supplements
  • Vitamin D
  • Chlorella
  • MSM
  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Milk Thistle
  • Folic acid (my system cannot process this form of B9, due to MTHFR mutations)
  • Methyl-B12 (methylcobalamin) (Problematic because of CBS mutations)
  • Probiotics
  • Baking powder (I make my own with baking soda and cream of tartar)

Foods, Drinks, and Supplements I Can Consume! (Thankful It’s No Longer Only Five Foods)

  • Tiger nuts (these are root vegetables, not nuts)
  • Cacao butter, in moderation (bothers my stomach and head if I eat too much)
  • Ghee, in moderation
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia oil (new food introduction!)
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Hemp oil
  • Turkey
  • Turkey broth
  • Wild-caught cod and salmon, in moderation (I typically use the fish from Orca Bay). Have had to avoid this lately, and it might be going on the “can’t eat” list soon. Thinking I might be allergic to fish….
  • Celery (reintroduced!!!)
  • Butter lettuce (probably) (reintroduced!!!)
  • Asparagus, in moderation (reintroduced!!!)
  • Cilantro (reintroduced!!!)
  • Parsley
  • Clementines
  • Limes
  • Lemons, in moderation
  • Cherries (note: helpful for reducing inflammation and relieving pain, but can feed candida infections)
  • Apples, in moderation
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries, in moderation
  • Raspberries, in moderation
  • Blackberries
  • Peaches
  • Dragon fruit
  • Tulsi / holy basil
  • Raw unfiltered or gently filtered honey
  • Monk fruit
  • Gluten-free vanilla extract
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon, in moderation
  • Cloves, in moderation
  • Basil, lavender (used to not be able to tolerate this!), rosemary, thyme, and (I think) sage and oregano, in moderation
  • Cream of tartar
  • Baking soda
  • Rock rose
  • Stevia
  • Xanthan gum (reintroduced!!!)
  • Arrowroot
  • Spirulina, at least in very small amounts (for coloring)
  • Water, filtered (including fluoride-filtered)
  • Well water
  • Magnesium citrate/malate
  • Zinc Picolinate
  • Vitamin B6 (P5P form)
  • Silver
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Molybdenum
  • Boswellia
  • White Willow Bark

For more specs on the food and supplements I use, please see the Resources page.

Please see disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free quinoa crackers

Crackers – Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free

Hey guys!

Thought I’d share today a recipe that works with my limited diet and actually (IMHO) tastes pretty good too!

The other day, my baking adventures finally generated a product that I really wanted to repeat and replicate! So today, I worked on recreating and testing the recipe.

It went against all my inner grains and brains to actually turn this into a recipe with measurements! 😮 I generally measure practically nothing when I bake, but figured if I was gonna share here, I’d need to have some reliable numbers so that I’m not leaving you guys to shoot in the dark for optimal ingredient quantities, should you decide to give this a try.

Quinoa – technically a pseudograin – is the only grainy thing I can mostly tolerate. However, I do find that I can only eat so much quinoa before meeting/exceeding my low sulfur intake threshold.

If you can’t eat (or don’t like) quinoa, feel free to replace the flour in this recipe with something else. I have only tested this recipe on quinoa flour so far, but wouldn’t be surprised if it works just as well with many other flours. (I’m a huge new fan of tiger nut flour. Tiger nuts aren’t actually nuts, and they’re one of the few foods I can eat, despite all my food allergies and sensitivities.)

UPDATE: I’ve had to completely eliminate quinoa from my diet, but I use a lot of tiger nut flour in my baking. It’s great in crackers!

My Journey to Recovery: An Update

Okay. To business….

Some Non-Edible Supplies You’ll Need

Coffee grinder

Bowls/spoons/measuring spoons/cups/etc. (the usual baking things) 🙂

2-3 large baking sheets (approx 12″ x 17″, give or take) – size/quantity depends on how thinly you want to spread the crackers.

Parchment paper


4 c. quinoa flour or tiger nut flour

1½ tsp. salt

Extra salt for sprinkling

1/2 tsp. monk fruit powder

10 tbsp. (1/2 c. + 1/8 c. or 5/8 c.) dry chia seeds

3 c. water

1/4 c. honey

1 c. ghee

ingredients for gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free quinoa crackers

Preheat oven to 375° – convection bake, if possible.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa flour, salt, and monk fruit.

quinoa flour, salt, and monk fruit

Grind chia seeds in coffee grinder.

In a small bowl, combine ground chia and water. Mix just till chia begins to gel or absorb the water. It’s okay if you can’t mix out all the clumps and lumps.

ground chia with water - egg substitute

White or black chia is fine – it’s largely a matter of aesthetic preference. See Nutritional difference between white and black chia seeds. Chia combined with water makes an excellent egg substitute in many (though not all) baked dishes. It’s quite the glue. 🙂

Pour chia mixture into flour mixture. Add honey and ghee. Mix well.

Cover each baking sheet with parchment paper, then distribute batter (at approximately 1/8″ thickness) over sheets.

quinoa cracker batter

If desired, sprinkle salt on top.

With a fork, poke holes in the distributed batter.

poking holes in quinoa cracker batter

You can either cut the batter into sections now (although the dough fissures might melt together again rather than holding their place) or you can cut/break the crackers after baking (this is what I like to do).

Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes (periodic checking even prior to 30 minute mark is advised), or until desired brownness and crunchiness is achieved. 🙂

gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free quinoa crackers

For more specs on ingredients and supplements I use, please see the Resources page.

Please see disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved





Hidden sources of gluten - tea, envelopes, and lipstick

Hidden Gluten

Do you suffer from celiac disease? Wheat allergy or sensitivity?

Have you ever felt sick after drinking tea, licking envelopes, or taking your supplements?

Perhaps you’ve been unwittingly exposed to gluten.

Hidden Sources of Gluten

Soaps and Hair Products

Some health and beauty products contain an ingredient called Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein.

For months (possibly longer), I was using this leave-in spray conditioner (because it smelled nice and made my hair extra shiny/sleek). While the appearance of my hair improved, my skin was suffering badly. Last year, I discovered that hydrolyzed wheat protein (HWP) was listed as an ingredient! I also found HWP in a couple other hair products I had occasionally used.

I am sensitive to gluten both topically and internally. No wonder my skin was so irritated!

Throwing away any products containing HWP – and my hairbrushes that had been in contact with those products – made a difference in my skin health. (Some hairbrushes can be tough to clean, and if you have celiac, keeping a brush that’s been in contact with HWP is probably not worth the risk of illness.)

There were multiple reasons for my skin problems, but my skin became somewhat less irritated when I stopped using beauty products containing wheat.

HWP is also found in some soaps:

Gluten-Free Cooking School – Do We Really Need Gluten Free Soap? Yes, Maybe So!


Some herbal teas contain barley malt as a sweetener.

Additionally, some tea bags are sealed using a paste containing wheat. I would recommend only using tea bags which are explicitly labeled as gluten-free if you are trying to avoid gluten. Another option is to make your own tea with loose leaves.

In the past, I had reactions to a lot of bagged herbal teas which were not labeled as gluten free. (My sensitivity to chamomile and other herbs may also have been a partial reason for the reactions. However, many of these teas had very simple ingredient lists, but they weren’t labeled as gluten-free.)

So what teas do I use now? My favorites tend to be those with simple ingredient lists, and a couple of my favorite brands are Choice® and Organic India™ tulsi teas. I’m a fan of the rooibos tea by Choice®. I also enjoy drinking “ginger water” – which is really just that – some ground or powdered ginger mixed with hot water (although monk fruit is generally a safe way to add some sweetness without the risk of negative side effects). (Please see disclaimer.)

Envelope Glue

Although the Envelope Manufacturers Association says that glue on envelopes is made from cornstarch and doesn’t contain wheat or rye gluten, Jane Anderson in her article Does Glue Contain Gluten? shares that she knows someone who ran a test on an envelope and got a positive result for gluten. So there may be trace amounts, at least.

While there is some debate over what information pertaining to hidden gluten is fiction or fact (including wheat paste in tea bags and gluten in envelope glue), in general, I would recommend believing what your own eyes and experiments tell you – even if the well-funded, “professionally”-conducted experiments disagree.

However, it is important when running our own experiments to be aware of and account for as many variables as possible.

Since envelopes can contain corn, this also/instead could be the reason envelopes are making you sick, if you are corn-sensitive/allergic.

Some Other Potential Sources of Hidden Gluten

  • Lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm
  • Drugs and over-the-counter medications
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Play-dough

According to Amy Myers, MD, the following can be sources of “hidden” gluten:

  • Artificial color
  • Baking powder
  • Caramel color/flavoring
  • Citric acid (can be fermented from wheat, corn, molasses or beets)
  • Coloring
  • Dextrins
  • Diglycerides
  • Emulsifiers
  • Enzymes
  • Fat replacers
  • Flavorings
  • Food starch
  • Glucose syrup
  • Glycerides
  • Maltodextrin
  • Modified food starch
  • Natural juices
  • Stabilizers
  • Starch
  • Wheat starch

Some of My Favorite Gluten-Free Products


Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner, 6 Ounce, For Sensitive, Dry, Delicate or Easily Irritated Skin, Soothes & Calms

Mineral Fusion Facial Toner, Skin Soothing, 3.3 Ounce

Soothing Skin Cream

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Heavenly Night Cream, 1.7 Ounce, For Sensitive, Dry, Delicate or Easily Irritated Skin, Soothes & Calms

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Absolute Serum, 1 Ounce, For Sensitive, Dry, Delicate or Easily Irritated Skin, Soothes & Calms

Face Mask

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Rosewater Mask, 1.7 Ounce, For Sensitive, Dry, Delicate or Easily Irritated Skin, Soothes & Calms

Are you aware of any other sources of hidden gluten? Did any of these surprise you? (Several of them certainly surprised me!!)

Thanks for reading, and happy gluten hunting. <3

Hidden Sources of Gluten – WebMD

Are Coffee and/or Tea Gluten-free?

Sources of Gluten – Celiac Disease Foundation

Hidden Gluten: 10 Sources of Cross Contamination

See also:

Legit Excuses for Picky Eaters


Please see disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

journey to health symbolized by journey through mountains

My Journey to Recovery: An Update

Hey guys! Just wanted to log a brief update on my health journey here.

I think I’m finally seeing a new wave of improvements!!

The past few days, I’ve generally had a little more energy and better balance (less dizziness). I’m sometimes feeling hot/overheated (rather than cold most of the time, though I am still sensitive to cold if I’m in a cold place). It also seems that I’m generally requiring a little less sleep.

My gut health and adrenal strength seem to be gradually improving.

So what’s working? What’s making the difference?

Turkey bone broth (instead of chicken broth)

I recently made this change (around Thanksgiving), and I’ve gotta say, turkey broth is working waaaay better than chicken broth ever did for me. It doesn’t give me the weird feeling in my head (pressure, tension) that I got with chicken broth.

Turkey broth doesn’t have the lectins that can be so harmful to those with type B blood (my blood type). I think chicken broth was causing about as many problems as it was solving (damaging the gut with lectins as fast as it was healing it with amino acids).

Some other foods I’ve introduced recently:

Cacao butter (But not cacao powder, as I am sensitive to the stimulants and intolerant of the sulfur in the cacao bean. But cacao fat [butter] – which is from the same plant, but chemically a “different animal” – works for me.)


Sprouted quinoa (I was eating quinoa, but not in sprouted form). Sprouting makes the nutrients of grains and pseudograins (like quinoa) more bioavailable. Quinoa is the only “grainy” thing I’m eating (I stopped eating amaranth because it was beginning to make me feel tired/sick. Again, probably because of the lectins. I am very lectin-sensitive, and this may be due to my homozygous (double, or from both parents) mutation on the CNR1 gene [rs1049353]).

And…*drum roll*…


Tiger Nuts

2017-11-30 13.58.37

Tiger nuts aren’t actually nuts, and tend to be safe for most people with nut allergies.

Tiger nuts (at least dried ones) look like mini, shriveled-up potatoes. Like potatoes, they are tubers, but the tiger nut boasts a much richer supply of healthy fats, with a fatty acid composition similar to that of olive oil.

Tiger nuts are rich in antioxidants and fiber, possess antibacterial properties, work as a prebiotic, help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), and may be beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.

For more info on tiger nuts, check out Tiger Nuts: Facts, Nutrition, Benefits, and Healthy Recipes from

They also appear to be a fairly decent source of magnesium! I’ve been able to get away with taking a little less magnesium lately (doing so would normally cause me to feel pretty crappy – muscle cramps, aches, fatigue), but I think tiger nuts (and possibly cacao butter, but I have yet to verify this) might be the reason for the decreased supplementation requirements.

Other Foods

Technically, the tiger nut probably counts as a vegetable, but other than that, I’m not eating any veggies.

As far as meat goes, I am eating turkey (in moderation) and occasionally some fish.

I am still avoiding or limiting high-sulfur foods.


Some vitamins that have been helping (besides B6, zinc, and magnesium):

Silver (for gut infection)

A supplement for candida (yeast) infection (containing undecylenic acid, caprylic acid, Cat’s Claw, Uva Ursi, and Pau D’Arco).

An essential oil combination (BFB-1), which I apply to my thumbs and big toes – to combat the biofilm in the gut (this was at my doctor’s recommendation, and it seems to be helping! He also recommended applying it to the earlobes, but I got the OK to avoid that because the smell is so strong).

Charcoal (from bamboo, not coconut) – this is an excellent binder, helping to flush ammonia and other toxins from the system. However, it is important to try to take it apart from food or other supplements, because it will also bind to those things, removing beneficial nutrients from the body!

The charcoal I use: Takesumi Supreme Capsules, 90 capsules

Additionally, I’ve noticed I generally feel better when I consume more:

  • salt (sodium)
  • olive oil*
  • cherries (within reason 🙂 )

I am so excited, you guys! 😀

We’ll see if these improvements continue. Stay tuned!

For previous logs on #myjourneytorecovery, check out these articles:

It’s All In Your Head

I Thought Avocado Was My Friend

When You Can Only Eat Five Foods

Also see:

Legit Excuses for Picky Eaters

Genetics: A Brief Glance

Adrenal Fatigue

Misconceptions about Optimal Health

What is Pyroluria, and Do You Have It?


Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. – Hippocrates

Food is medicine. We can actually change our gene expressions with the foods we eat. – David Perlmutter

Food Choices Change Our Gene Expression – David Perlmutter, MD

* I drink olive oil, which bothers my stomach temporarily, but also tends to give me more energy and help with digestion. Olive oil can also be an effective natural pain reliever for some.


For more info on the supplements I use, please see my Resources page.

© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

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