Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yogurt is my Friend

I've got the corn free thing down ... down pat.

What I don't have down is getting my digestive system back to working well. I don't know if this is residual from the corn issues or if my digestive system is just bunk all the way around. I've started eating yogurt like it's going out of style and it seems to be helping.

I ate ALOT of bread this weekend (yeast bread too ... see recipe below ... big YUM) - and I think the yeast is giving me issues. No vagaygay reactions yet, but I have to up the yogurt just to make sure. It also seems to be helping my gas. I need to get some acidophiles that is corn free, but just haven't had the gumption to go out and get it. Instead when I get gas I eat a bowl of plain yogurt ... seems to have the same effect but without the corn starch...


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Acid/Gas pain

I've been thinking that there are two issues going on with my stomach pain. The corn allergy was DEFINITELY the major factor, but even with the elimination of the corn I seem to be having this acid/gas issue off and on.

To be fair, some of the acid/gas may be corn related (since corn is in everything).

The long and the short of it is that I needed something to help with the acid this morning and I don't keep tums in the house. I could have done baking soda, but instead I took 1/2 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water. Viola! Acid gone.

I remember eating mustard packets while I was pregnant and getting the same impressive result. Mustard is all kinds of corn, but diluted vinegar does the trick.

I should look into a full spectrum digestive enzyme for a bit to see if that helps ...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yeast Rolls

1 cup 'corn safe' milk
2 pkg red star yeast
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cane sugar
2 eggs
41/2 cups king arther all purpose flour

eat at 6:30?
start cooking at 3:15

1. warm milk
2. add 1/3 milk to yeast and let sit until bubbly
3. combine remaining milk, butter, salt, sugar
4. add beaten eggs and bubbly yeast
5. add flour 1/4 cup at a time while beating
6. knead for 5 minutes
7. grease bowl, turn to grease top
8. cover and let rise 1 hour
9. punch down dough and roll out to 1/2 inch thick
10. cut into 3'' circles
11. place pat of butter in each circle, fold over and pinch
12. place in pans and let rise again 45 minutes
13. bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes

yields 24 rolls

Friday, April 24, 2009


This is ridonkulous.

Kids get corn dogs and mac&cheese for dinner, i'm a cool mom ... even if I have to eat my homemade crackers, hummus and fruit, i'll let my kids indulge in a little preprocessed, prepackaged junk food night.

My throat is swollen. how's that? you say. Yup, swollen throat. I handled the corn dogs, sure. I cut one up for the littlest, of course. I didn't ingest it, but my throat is definitely swollen. Not unbearable, but tight. This is unbelievable!

I still miss corndogs.

multipurpose bread dough

I made crackers AND pita bread with this ... the seasoning you can substitute for whatever you want, I was making it to go with my hummus:

1.5 cups king arthur all purpose flour
1.5 cups king arthur whole wheat flour
1 cup lukewarm water
1.5 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup safflower oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp turmeric

mix and form into 12 balls. let sit for 30 minutes. roll out into 6 - 8'' circles and cut into cracker sized bits.

place crackers on cookie sheet, poke with fork and bake at 450 until golden
place 8'' circle in heated cast iron skillet and brown on both sides

crackers are best when completely cooled. pita is good anytime (but really hot if still in the skillet)

be sure to turn off oven and burner when finished

Corn Smoker?

I quit smoking in February in response to my stomach pain. On a whim, I decided to try to locate the ingredients of my brand of choice to see if I was smoking corn. The list below comes from the Parlaiment UK website as an appendix to a legal filing regarding cigarettes ... I didn't read the whole thing, but I like to imagine that legal evidence is pretty reliable information. Potential corn allergen information comes from the connor site which is linked on the right.

Camel Lights 84 mm
Substances on Product in decreasing order of addition level

    Glycerol (can be corn derived)
    Honey (can be corn contaminated)
    Calcium carbonate
    Propylene glycol (can be corn derived)
    Guar gum
    Licorice root, fluid, extract and powder
    Fruits, fresh, dried extracts and esters thereof
    Cellulose fibre (this one makes me nervous, but fibre isn't specifically listed as an allergen)
    Maple syrup, extract and concentrate
    Polyvinyl alcohol
    Citric acid and its tri-potassium and tri-sodium salts (can be corn derived)
    Magnesium oxide
Corn allergy? for gods sake don't smoke...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gas pain relief = acidophilus

So I had some orange juice this afternoon, this shouldn't be a corn issue based on the juice in question. About an hour after drinking, my stomach swelled and the gas pain was astronomical. I spend two hours looking online for a quick resolution, drinking baking soda, taking gas x and trying not to cry. Finally, someone online (I can't remember where or I would link to the site for credit) said to take acidophilus for stomach bloating and pain. Said relieve in 10 - 15 minutes.

worth a shot, i thought. I grabbed my bottle of chewable acidophilus and chewed up 5 of them before I lay down on the couch and prayed for relief. 20 minutes later I was up and around, struggling to remember how gas can cause that much pain.

it's a miracle!

Roti Bread (bread spoon)

1 cup king arthur whole wheat flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. mix ingredients, knead dough 15 mins
2. use flour sparingly, you need the moisture
3. cover with damp cloth and let sit for 30 mins
4. preheat cast iron skillet to griddle hot
5. separate dough into 8 balls,
6. drop a ball into flour for a quick dusting
7. flatted ball with hand and stretch out,
8. dough should be roughly 1/4 inch thick when you drop in pan
9. brown on each side

There are those who will make this MUCH more expertly than I. Mine didn't puff up, but they were delicious with hummus. The kids called them bread spoons.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Epi-Pen and Medical Alert Bracelets

I had an appointment with my GI specialist yesterday and he felt that my corn allergy could explain ALL of my gastrointestinal issues. He recommended that I continue with the corn free diet for another six weeks and if my symptoms persist despite my confidence in my 'cornlessness' that I should come back for some testing.

That's a relief. I called my allergist today to request a script for an Epi-Pen. I'll likely never need it, but my reaction to a few things has been pretty severe low blood pressure ... i didn't realize that low blood pressure was anaphylactic shock. I also bit the bullet and ordered my medical alert bracelet.

Apparently taking this thing seriously is expensive! But I'm coming to terms with it bit by bit.

I miss corn dogs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Testing Diet Pepsi

Started drinking at 3pm, drank 32 ounces in an hour. After 20 minutes my head went foggy and my face started to tingle, nausea set in about 35 minutes after start ... mind you, i'm still drinking away. I'm committed to this experiment and damn have I missed Diet Pepsi. Now I'm a full hour out, having trouble typing without making errors, head is really foggy and my throat is tight.

citric acid or aspertame? does it really matter?

Ooh, weird. My fingers are swollen too, I think that might account for the typing errors. This is so crazy it's almost fascinating. It's almost 7pm and my throat is still tight but not frightening anymore, nausea has passed and I'm on to abdominal pain. I just ate some meatloaf in hopes that I can dilute my reaction with safe food. I likely continue to be foolish, but at least I'm still eating... right? .... right?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Modified Swope

Made my Swope yesterday. Separated into two batches, mixed 1/2 cup flax seeds and 1/2 cup raisins into one batch and baked into mini muffins. Did the other batch as a loaf.

As suspected, baking at 350 is preferable to 450.

Muffins are good, but awfully chewy, I baked them for 30 mins which might have been a bit much.

Both the bread and the muffins are making me sick today, but I just can't trust anything as I was sick on waking up with an empty stomach. I think today is not a day for testing anything.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Eating Out Failure #1 - Village Deli

Chili salad, it seemed relatively safe. Lettuce and chili and hot sauce. I was nervous but it was the only thing on the menu that looked like it could even possibly be safe.

I'm so nauseous and sad and tired. I have to just accept it and work with it instead of pretending it's not real or not that serious. Granted, it's not going to kill me, but it's ridiculous to take these kinds of chances. I would have been better off sipping my water and eating later at home.

Symptoms are extreme nausea, lethargy, irritability, foggy head and lump in throat. My face itches but it has been since Friday afternoon so I can't say that's related for sure.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

General Update #2

I'm getting there. Man corn is just in alot of stuff. Frankly, it's become clear that I have to stick with a handful of 'safe' foods until I get myself stable. Once stabilized, I can test foods carefully and methodically to determine what I can and can't eat. A list of my current 'safe foods' has been posted to the left, I may have left some things off, but for now that will get me started.

Yesterday I had no reactions and today only a mild reaction to some cheese. I was feeling pretty good this morning and think I have identified the general 'schedule' of my symptoms. See below for a draft of how I think this goes. It will be interesting to see if this holds true after the cheese incident.

START: Ingestion of offending item
15 - 30 mins later: first symptom (nausea, swollen throat, swollen tongue, headache)
2 hours - 3 hours later: abdominal pain
Day 2: constipation and lots of gas
Day 3: itchy scalp and face
Day 4: all clear


Whole day went well, up until this afternoon when I had approximately 1 oz. of Kroger Monterey Jack cheese. 15 minutes later I had a reaction that I honestly would not have noticed two weeks ago. My throat swelled a bit, I started slurring my words and felt like my tongue was swollen. Head got a little foggy (this is not foggy like the pita bread, just a little drunk feeling) and a mild stomachache.

ingredients are: "pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto (for color)."

response from Delphi member: "I'm afraid pretty much every ingredient in there could have corn! Milk from corn-fed cows, the cultures and enzymes derived from or grown on corn, and I believe that annato could have corn too. Oh, and then there's the lovely fact that corn starch is used on some cheeses to keep them from sticking to the packaging. Cheese is an iffy business."

Add cheese to the list of foods that I shouldn't gamble with. Good news is, no reactions yesterday, and only this one today - I'm getting the hang of this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Folgers has no corn ... that's what they say anyway.

Folgers confirmation! I just received confirmation from Folgers that:

"there is no corn in our ground coffee, instant coffee, singles, or whole bean coffee." YAY! I love Folgers and man is it cheap. I have been drinking it without issue, but am not very sensitive so please proceed with caution if you decide to test this on your own.

update corn free status of Folgers confirmed with members of Delphi forum. Several members are able to partake of the caffeinated nectar without reactions.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I bought bananas on Friday, I don't know what brand (they were chiquita and very ripe) ... they were a little more yellow than normal but were clearly bananas. Bananas don't have corn right, fresh fruit, here I come!

Now, I still had two bananas left over from the last bunch and I'm AR about eating them in order, oldest to newest, so didn't pop one of the new ones off until this morning. I had swope (yum), banana and coffee (heavy whipping cream and raw sugar... all safe). 19 minutes later I was nauseous. Strange no?

Went to work, did my thing and suffered with the nausea and foggy headedness that had kicked in. Got hungry about 11 am and had my traditional late morning mini-meal of a banana and a bit of bread. Imagine my surprise when I got sicker!

Did you know that they gas some bananas? Uh huh, some sort of corn bullshit gas designed by satan to make my life HELL! I'll have facts for you at a later date, right now I'm mad and sick. *shakes fist at sky*

Okay, I'm back to add more information. It's ethylene gas that is used to ripen bananas ... the idea to avoid them is 1) aim for organic always, some say chiquita is okay ... please see my experience above and 2) buy green bananas (clearly not ripened). It also appears that this method can be used for avocados (avoid the 'ripe today' stickers), mangos, pineapple and tomatoes.... I have no idea how you could tell the last three, I guess you look for organic and pray?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Noooooo .... Starbuck's Sumatra!

I was so smart, brought a plastic bottle of my own half and half, used sugar in the raw just like at home. It shouldn't have been an issue, except that the coffee was different.

I'm so sad and frustrated. I can't do anything right, I can't eat any of the stuff I used to. I gave up smoking because of this shit, gave up coffee and learned to like tea, found out i'm allergic to tea so went back to coffee ... now this crap with the coffee. I could cry. I want to cry.

My head hurts like hell, i'm nauseous still (drank it at 11am, but it was a venti!), my stomach hurts ... and worst of all, I can't sleep because of all the caffeine so I can't even sleep it off. I feel awful and I'm embarrassed that I keep doing this to myself.

update: I've sent Starbucks an email asking them if there is anything at their shop I can drink. I'm doubtful, their website is pretty non-committal about allergens. doesn't appear they want to even touch the subject. Sad for them, I used to spend something like $4 a DAY there. the recession is my fault.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Swope Bread

* 2 cups all purpose King Arthur flour
* 4 cups whole wheat King Arthur flour
* 1 cup sugar in the raw
* 2 tsp kosher salt
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 6 tsp apple cider vinegar
* 4 cups Horizon Whole milk

1. preheat to 350
2. grease 2 loaf pans
3. mix
4. bake 60 minutes

feedback fresh from the oven. okay, it would likely be best if you bake it at 350 instead of 450 ... that being said, for a bread that was 100 degrees hotter than it should have been for the full 60 minutes, it is wonderful. Both of the girls love it. Sweet but not overly so, rose about 2 inches which surprised me. This is a loaf that I could toast, make sandwiches with ... *sigh* I could run away with this bread. squee!

General Update #1

It's been over a week now and I've had three reactions, two to the great pita bread from Kroger (god I was hard headed about accepting that one) and apparently the perfectly delicious sunflower/flax/prune bread I made. Now, buying in bulk was likely really dumb, but it takes time to accept all the limitations of this.

All of that being said, huge changes in my body all the way around:
  • abdominal pain and nausea limited to just those three occasions as opposed to daily and constant.
  • raccoon eyes seem to be fading.
  • down about four lbs (mostly water as my ankles seem thinner at night).
  • having regular bowel movements.
  • not hungry all the time.
The last one has really surprised me. I find myself eating very very well and ALOT less. Makes corn seem like some enchanted devil food that you keep eating and only makes you hungrier. This is the first time in a LONG time I have felt really satisfied after eating, not hugely full, just satisfied. It's something.

I may have the kids tested too, the oldest is very hyperactive, particularly when ingesting any kind of candy ... makes you wonder, eh?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Get Things Moving Loaf

* 2 cups whole wheat flour
* 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
* 1/2 cup flax seeds
* 2 cups oats
* ½ tsp baking soda
* 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup sugar in the raw
* 2 cups chopped prunes
* 2 cups milk
* 1 cup sour cream
* 2 tablespoons safflower oil

1. Preheat to 350
2. Grease pans with butter.
3. Mix all ingredients in large bowl.
4. Cover bowl with towel and let stand in warm place for 20 minutes
5. Separate in half and form into 2 balls. Place balls on buttered pans.
6. Bake 50 - 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

feedback fresh from oven
- delightful, even the oldest liked it. Seeds are wonderful and prune/sugar didn't come out as sweet as I thought (which is good). Insides seemed a little doughy still at slicing, but I think that might clear up after sitting overnight. Crust was crispy and a little crumbly.

potential allergic reaction noticed after third serving ... buying seeds/prunes in bulk may have been a bad idea, but I'm poopin like a champ. abandoning this as potentially NOT cornless.... but man it should be.

Basic Wheat QuickBread

1 cup oats
1 cup King Arthur wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp baking soda
3 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat to 450.
2. Stir ingredients together and form into ball.
3. Place on greased pan
4. Bake for 20 minutes with pan of water under it
5. Eat fresh from the oven and slather with butter until it runs down your arm.

feedback fresh from oven: crust was very crunchy and yummy, insides moist and soft, flavor was VERY grainy - could use some sweet to cut the grain flavor, texture was perfect. Youngest loved it, oldest did NOT. I think it's an excellent first try.
next day: oh my, still good. I bagged it a bit too early and there was a bit of condensation in the bag, but the bread will be gone before it's an issue. I won't be able to tell you how the bread keeps for the long haul.
overall: good standard recipe. I think this is a base that needs added to. It's a bit too grainy for my tastes, could use more salt and sweet.