South Beach Diet - Allergy Testing Not South Beach Friendly

Arctic Stamp Queen
11-10-2010, 04:35 PM
Okay friends…I am in sincere need of help here. I recently underwent allergy testing with my doctor in an attempt to get to the root of my chronic sinus infections. I am SO disappointed with the results.
I have been doing so well with South Beach, I have lost 20 pounds in 6 weeks. I am simply giddy with excitement over that success, because only on South Beach have I felt this level of success. And I am a huge advocate of calling it a lifestyle change.

Onto the results…my tests came back and I am allergic to the following:

Dairy…all cheese, milk, yogurt, whey (big time)
Eggs, white and yolks
Whole wheat, spelt
Asparagus (my favorite veggie EVER)
Mushrooms (my second favorite)

Whaaaa? What in the heck am I supposed to eat now? I am really thrown for a loop as to how I can accommodate this and maintain myself on South Beach.

I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. Like I don’t get how people eat beans and such for breakfast, to me that is SO not a breakfast food. I miss and crave breads on a daily basis…Phase 1 was difficult for me solely because of this. I was grinding my own wheat and baking bread on day 15. I don’t have to have a lot, if I can have even a slice of toast or something a couple of times a week, then I am fine.

I am searching the internet and trying to learn as much about this as I can, but I would love some words of encouragement and advice…recipes even if anyone else is having to accommodate this as well…or should I be looking a different direction diet wise for myself?

Panicking a little bit…okay a lot!!!

11-10-2010, 05:04 PM
Ok, think to yourself -"what would I eat with this information if I WASN'T on South Beach" still wouldn't be able to have eggs or traditional baked goods.

You're going to have to get creative. There are tons of different kinds of cheese, milk, yogurt replacements out there. Start trying them, different kinds and different brands all taste different. Rice milk and yogurt, coconut milk yogurt, soy milk and yogurt, daiya cheese alternative (my FAV for cheese substitutes).

There are egg substitutes out there as well. They might not be readily available, though, so you might have to order online.

Whole wheat - you can sub things like millet bread, rice bread, soy flour, rice flour, etc. look for gluten free breads and pastas and you will avoid any wheat or spelt products entirely.

almonds and peanuts? just don't eat them. try cashew or hazelnut butter, or even sun butter

asparagus and mushrooms? just don't eat them. it sucks to have to bid farewell to your favorite foods, but sometimes when the good outweighs the bad you just have to.

Just get creative. I know there are some here that are going gluten free.

11-10-2010, 05:36 PM
I found a powdered egg substitute that I use for baking at whole foods. A big box for 5 bucks, and it's lasted me 6 months so far, and I bake fairly often.
I can't have dairy either, and there are some good tasting soy versions out there. You will have to experiment to see what tastes good for you.
Good luck!

11-10-2010, 05:55 PM
It might help if you write a list of all the foods you can have (and include things on the list that you haven't tried yet). There are thousands and thousands of foods you can eat, eliminating 7 does NOT leave you without choices.

Wheat is a difficult allergy, because it's in so many processed foods (and having to avoid wheat, dairy, and eggs is even harder). The plus side (nutritionally) is that it rules out the overly processed foods you shouldn't be eating on South Beach anyway.

I'm allergic to wheat, and the longer I go without it, the more severe the reaction. At first pasta didn't seem to bother me as much as breads, so I thought pastas were "safe." Then when I'd been wheat-free for months, I had a small serving of pasta and had a dramatic skin reaction.

I haven't found a gluten-free bread that was worth the enflated price. Though I did check out some gluten-free baking books from the library, most recipes call for several types of flour and it just didn't seem worth the investment.

I do miss bread (but less and less each day). I find it a whole lot easier to cut out breads than to try to find one I can eat. I do buy gluten-free wraps occasionally, but if you don't use them very quickly they dry out (freezing helps a little).

I don't follow South Beach, because I can overeat even good fats and carbs far too easily. As a result, I use an exchange plan, but I was strongly influenced by South Beach (and the book Primal Blueprint and other "good carb" books) and do use many of its principles for my food choices (for my starch choices, I try to choose whole grains whenever possible).

I don't think South Beach is any worse a choice for you than any other diet plan. You'll have to avoid your allergy foods no matter which plan you follow.

It does help to stop thinking of any food being restricted to a specific meal. Or even a specific type of preparation.

Oatmeal doesn't have to be sweet:

Brown rice doesn't have to be savory: (add cinnamon or fruit).

Quinoa is great either seasoned to be savory or sweet.

Cashew butter is AMAZING (but expensive and high calorie).

Light coconut milk might be a good milk substitute (and/or dilute it with water to make a more milk-like calorie/fat content) I use it to make sugar-free jello.

11-10-2010, 06:40 PM
Im going through testing right now but I have just about talked myself into no matter what the test says I think I will be cutting out wheat(gluten) and probably dairy. I just know how I felt the first time I went without these things for about a month, I am ready to get that back. I don't know what made me decide to start eating them again, other than its very hard to avoid them unless you're cooking most meals yourself....

I agree with everyone else, you have to look at what you can eat not what you can't. I myself have had to get out of the lower carb way of thinking( I know SBD isn't low carb- its all in my head!) and realize eating rice more often is ok... lol I also agree most low carb breads are crappy, I often will use Bobs red mill gluten free all purpose mix with water to make dumplings in soup or pizza crust.... The daiya that zeff mentioned is great... Its the only fake cheese that actually strings like cheese :)

Its all about being creative and finding suitable alternatives... I am sure you can succeed at any diet you just have to find the way each work for you- no matter which one you are on you will have to avoid those foods :/

11-10-2010, 07:57 PM
kaplods, I'm curious as to what kind of skin reaction you had to eating the pasta. Might answer one of the problems I've been having.

11-10-2010, 08:25 PM
Wow! Thats a pretty big list. Not to mention some really yummy foods!

Before too much panic... is it All or nothing? Can you maybe reduce some and eliminate others?
I know that dairy is a big one for sinuses, but can you maybe try one at a time; like eliminate all milk and cheese for a couple of weeks and keep others the same?

I would think that just because you had a "reaction" to all those foods, doesn't mean that you can't eat all those foods. You may need to find more thoroughly what to eliminate, reduce and/or modify. It may be that only one or two of those are causing the majority of your discomfort.

Hang in there! I am sure you can find your way through this.

11-10-2010, 09:23 PM
kaplods, I'm curious as to what kind of skin reaction you had to eating the pasta. Might answer one of the problems I've been having.

The reaction isn't quite as strong with pasta as with bread. So far the worst pasta has done is turn my face bright pink (like a sunburn), some mild swelling around my nose and caused a breakout of dry scaly skin and pimples all over my face. I say "only" because bread usually causes a much more dramatic reaction.

Mostly it's on my face, and to a much lesser degree my hands and feet, and runs the gamut from dry, itchy patches of skins, to break-outs, redness all the way to a swollen, oozy, crusty, dark red, excrutiatingly painful and itchy impetigo-like rash (which hubby not-so-endearingly, but quite accurately calls face-rot), that the dermatologist suspects is "seborhheic dermatitis."

Zinc shampoo and steroids helped with the redness, the swelling and preventing the seborrheic dermatitis from reaching the painful, swollen, dark red stage, but it wasn't until I went wheat-free that the flares really dramaticdally declined.

When I first went wheat-free and noticed my skin improving, the first to improve was the seb-derm. I stopped getting the ugliest and most painful rashes. The less eat I ate, the better my complextion became. I've had rosacea for a long time, and the rosacea symptoms are incredibly improved. I have occasional flares, but they're much milder and are much briefer than in the past. I also had burning/itching skin that I never could explain and never could get rid of (worse on hands, head, and feet). That also disappeared. I don't even get zits anymore, unless I eat wheat (or wear make-up. I can wear mineral make-up for a few hours).

It's to the point that hubby can tell if I ate wheat the previously day just by looking at my face in the morning. Occasionally it's even more rapid.

Sometimes we've only found out afterward that something contained wheat (we're getting better at reading labels and realizing what words can mean wheat, for example "food starch" can mean any kind of flour or starch, including wheat).

I did test negative for celiac disease, and haven't noticed a reaction from soy sauce or other foods which contain trace amounts of wheat, though I've been using fish sauce in place of soy sauce when I can, "just in case."

11-10-2010, 11:40 PM
I always am amazed with how much people are allergic to when it comes to actual allergy testing. I haven't known a single person (out of at least 10 that come to mind) come out of testing without being allergic to wheat, eggs, and diary. I've been told time and time again that I need to have it done (I really am allergic to a LOT of stuff, including allergy medicine!) but with SO many people testing positive for allergies against the same things makes me weary of validity in the test...

As a previous poster asked (sorry, can't remember who!) - does it necessarily have to be an all-or-nothing to those listed?

11-11-2010, 07:53 AM
I'm going to be a bad person and ask if this was with an allergist, etc., and could you get a second opinion, just to make sure? I know with dogs, they offer food allergy testing, and many people do it, but not a single specialist likes the least in dogs, you can't test a food allergy with the blood. (was it a blood test?)

Good luck!!

11-11-2010, 10:40 AM
Thanks kaplods, you just described the symptoms I've been having for the last few years. Guess I'll need to be extra vigilant with wheat just like I have to be with soy.

Arctic Stamp Queen
11-11-2010, 05:33 PM
It was a blood test. Can you explain further what you mean TwynnB? Curious?

11-11-2010, 05:38 PM
My son and I both went through extensive testing and our allergist only uses the skin patch test. I had requested blood tests for my son b/c he was so young and I had doubts about him being able to sit through the skin patch test, but she said blood tests are not really reliable.

Re: your sinuses, do you practice sinus lavage?

11-12-2010, 09:07 AM
What MMCK said. For skin allergies in dogs, you can do a blood test or a skin test. The blood test can help, but is not the gold standard. Just because values are high in the blood doesn't mean your skin reacts. That's why injecting the allergen in the skin, and seeing what the skin does is the gold standard. Therefore, with the intestinal system (in a dog) a blood test can't tell you exactly how your intestinal system reacts. To truly do food allergies in a dog, you have to do a completely hypoallergenic diet for 8-10 weeks, then add back in items to see what causes the reaction.

I googled it here (yeesh, I hate it when my clients do that!!), here's kind of what I'm referring to:

Now, please keep in mind, I'm not your doctor. You could always talk to that person more about your diagnosis, do some research yourself, or get a second opinion.

11-12-2010, 09:08 AM
Ahhhh...I wonder if mushrooms and asparagus were on your list because you eat so much of it, so your body recognizes it?!?! That would make sense!!

11-12-2010, 10:48 AM
When I had severe sinus problems they did allergy testing via skin patch, not blood. (Turns out I'm allergic to hamsters. So please, keep all tail-less rodents away from me :) ) Getting rid of the hamster, sinus rinses, and time seemed to cure most of my sinus issues, though I still have crazy infections from time to time. Did they test you for any other allergens or just food? It seems to me that an environmental allergen would be more likely to be a culprit then a food. (food allergies generally involve a more topical/skin reaction and are usually faster acting)

11-12-2010, 12:45 PM
My son has an allergy to dairy/whey and whenever he has something that has whey or lactose in it, he ends up really congested in the nose and mucousy. It also comes with some gastrointestinal distress, but the congestion is the worst of it.

Arctic Stamp Queen
11-12-2010, 08:35 PM
My husband and I both wondered if the fact that I was eating heavier amounts of those foods might have actually skewed the test results. I am going to try eliminating them for the 3 weeks like they recommend. I can do anything for that long and see if I feel better or see improvement, if not, then I will look into a skin test before I declare the test results valid. I appreciate the support and feedback ladies. I tried some Quinoa today...very yummy. So, I am learning new foods and that is awesome.

I do NOT want to learn that I am allergic to my dogs. That would break my heart...literally. I could not give them up, no matter what. Well, one I could, but not my Peanut. She's a yorkie so doesn't shed, I don't even know that I would allow them to test cause if I don't know then I wouldn't feel obligated...KWIM? :)