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Food intolerance symptoms: they may not be what you think. And, a simple lunch…

When we think about food intolerances, we tend to associate them with stomach aches, bloating, constipation/diarrhea. And yes, those can be obvious food intolerance symptoms, but there can also be many other symptoms that associated with food intolerances like skin issues, a stuffy nose, migraines, and joint aches, to name just a few. 

I realized recently (again…yes I seem forget every 12-18 months) that my body does not do well with almonds. They aren’t the typical symptoms when you think nut or food allergy, so it took me awhile (and clearly I have a hard time getting this though my thick skull) to realize that I need to eat almonds only in moderation. As soon as I add daily almond butter to the mix, I find myself in trouble. My main symptoms the past few weeks were:

  • absolute exhaustion
  • muscle weakness
  • difficulty taking a full deep breath (it was like someone was sitting on my chest when I would try to run)

Almost a day or so of getting the almonds out, I felt dramatically better. I’m sad because I love almonds, but I am also so happy to know the culprit of what was causing my symptoms. 

I’ve also found that I’m totally addicted to these pumpkin seeds I got from Costco (or I’m so happy to have a replacement for my almonds…

I also thought for quite some time I had an allergy to chocolate. I know, how bad would that suck?? A bite of chocolate would make my tongue hurt and swell. And as much as I may sound like a hypochondriac, you can believe I tested this one over and over and over. And after seeing this TED talk on the benefits on dark chocolate, can you blame me? Finally, after taking it out of my diet on multiple occasions, I realized (albeit incorrectly) that I had an intolerance to chocolate. But then I read that even with just the small amount of dairy that is in some dark chocolate, it can set off a reaction. Anyway, I didn’t fully believe that dairy was affecting me because while I am very low dairy (I’ll have butter and a little cheese occasionally), I don’t really don’t have much of a reaction to dairy. I just try to minimize my intake of it for inflammatory reasons.

Anyway, a few weeks and bag of dairy-free Enjoy Life Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Chips later, I’m ecstatic to report that it wasn’t the chocolate but it was the dairy! You can take just about any food away from my diet, just don’t take my chocolate!!! Woohoo for for Enjoy Life!!

My point in all of this? When it comes to food intolerance (and high allergan foods like gluten, dairy, soy, corn, nuts and eggs in particular), just be sure to pay attention to how you feel head-to-toe, not just in your gut. 


So…no more of my favorite Trader Joe’s 73% dark chocolate almonds (a treat of mine for years), but at least I have these two new favorite discoveries that not only taste just as good, but make me feel a heck of a lot better!



Okay, on to the lunch…

Having time to make good healthy meals can be hard, but especially this time of year. Spring time is busy and there certainly is not enough time to make dinner (new post coming soon!) and for lunches, well, I’m sick of my old fall/winter like foods. I still want a warm, satisfying, and flavorful meals, but I’ve also been craving lots of greens lately. Anyway this simple lunch fits the bill ,and it has really been hitting the spot!

I’ll use either this Cruciferous Crunch package of greens, the pre-shredded Brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s or the pre-cut cabbage from Whole Foods.  I also love to use Brussels sprouts and broccoli but you have to cook those a little differently.  Anyway, see the recipe below for everything you’ll need for a tasty and easy to make lunch.

It’s worth noting that this sausage does contain some dairy. My kids and hubby love it and I will use it occasionally. But, I tend to like the sausage that Whole Foods has behind the meat counter. Favorites include sun-dried tomato and mild Italian. 

My lunch supplies for the week…


Easy greens and sausage lunch
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  1. 1-2 tbsp ghee or butter
  2. 1/4 tsp Onion powder
  3. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  4. 1/2 tsp celtic salt (or to taste)
  5. dash of pepper
  6. 1/2-whole package of greens of choice (kale, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc)
  7. any good sausage, remove casing
  1. Saute your greens (or steam them if you're using broccoli or whole brussels sprouts that you've cut in half) with about 1-2 tbsp of ghee or grass-fed butter for a few minute or until wilted.
  2. Add a few dashes of onion and garlic powder, celtic salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cook sausage (removed from casing) until brown.
  4. Lastly, add a splash of Tessemae's Lemonette, Balsalmic or some olive oil once it's almost done cooking.
  5. Place your greens in a large bowl, top it with the sausage.
  6. Add some pepitas, guacamole or anything else you'd like to use as a garnish and enjoy!
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  • Joan - Where did you buy the Enjoy Life chocolate chips?ReplyCancel

    • landriav - I got the chips from one of my favorite sites: vitacost.comReplyCancel

  • Amanda Fraraccio - Hey Landria,
    I’m a little nervous about the almond issue for me too; I don’t mind leaving them out of my snacks in their whole form, and I like the cashew milk I’ve made enough to sub it in for my daily almond milk but what about the baked goods? Most of my favorite recipes for crackers, brownies etc etc etc have almond flour, what do I do?ReplyCancel

    • landriav - I try to use more coconut flour Amanda but mostly because it requires more eggs so whenever I use coconut flour, by default, my snacks will have a bit more protein. I would just try to use a variety of nut flours. You could even mix it up with some seed flours like sunflower or pepita flour (that you’d have to grind yourself) but it bakes really well!ReplyCancel

  • amanda fraraccio - With the seed flours is that a 1 to 1 ratio to sub for almond flour?ReplyCancel

    • landriav - It should be 1 to 1 sub Amanda…from what I remember.ReplyCancel

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