rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


All is going well on the NO processed foods experiment. We are both eating more healthily as a result and planning a week’s meals in advance helps, being organised and sticking to it.

What could possibly go wrong?

I have been making my own humous which is very delicious. This morning’s batch is quite limey (note to self – lime is not the same as lemon… you perhaps don’t need as much!) But it’s still very tasty, if you like lime!

We have had a few disasters. The trout for Friday’s tea was, well, horrible. But the leftovers were nice, jazzed up a bit with some more flavour; lemon, thyme and nori flakes. Need some good fish recipes please! Ones that don’t just involve foil and some oil, wine, lemon, salt and pepper. I can do that and wish I had with the nasty trout but you live and learn. Looked up in a book how to cook and it and it was just very bland, add to that forgetting to warm the plates and everything became luke warm… Very disappointing!

But on the whole, we’ve been eating very well. I say we, husband-who-can-eat-almost-anything is doing OK breaking all t he rules, enjoying the pizza’s and the ready-meals he loves. I have challenged him to the “Go Processed Food Free” challenge but he’s not keen. Can’t think why.

I have just made carrot cake which is very nice, if a little dry. My fault for adding dessicated coconut flakes that were not in the recipe and failing to realise that this meant more liquid was required. Tastes nice though, but too strong of bicarb. The recipe called for 5 tsp of baking powder on top of self raising flour which also contains some bicarb as well. Bit of a bicard overload. Will halve the bicarb next time and see what happens. Can’t be too bad though as I am eyeing my third slice… just call me fatty!

So, yes, a few mistakes, but I’ve enjoyed the baking especially, though not grating carrots, which is impossibly hard work. None of these mistakes meant food went to waste, except perhaps the trout with Mr What Allergy pushed around his plate in disdain.

You learn from your mistakes though. I certainly do, from lots of them!

Meals planned for the week…

We have chilli for tea tonight, chicken (roasted in the slow cooker) planned for tomorrow, then chicken stock with the saved up carcasses (also for the slow cooker). The chicken will do for another meal, probably a risotto. Some gluten free sausages from the local butcher for one week night. I wouldn’t normally suggest that sausages qualify but they are made by my lovely local coeliac butcher and they are pretty much 100% pork meat with just a little seasoning. You have to have a few sneaky naughties allowed… don’t you?

We’ve been having steak, stir frys, slow cooked delicious creations and home-made soup.

Processed food free breakfast – looking for inspiration

I am finding it hard to make breakfast interesting, having porridge and/or fruit almost every morning. Today I fried up some mushrooms in coconut oil with some sweet potato cakes I had made earlier and an egg. Delicious. I need to find some inspiration so I can vary what I’m having. Perhaps some pancakes? Smoked salmon with scrambled egg. Bacon for a real treat? Mushrooms done on coconut oil is just delicious (thanks to Michelle Merrett for that idea).

Struggling with snacks

Between meals I’ve been trying to avoid snacking but sometimes you just need something. I’ve been having a handful of dates or some fruit. But snacking is proving tough. I think a little extra planning at the weekend and the odd batch of cookies and flapjacks would not go amiss. I have some excellent recipes which are really healthy and tasty. Just need to make the time and the experiment will be so much more fun.

There is nothing worse than sitting there while others reach for the biscuit tin or snaffle a chocolate bar.

It’s getting easier though. I’m not craving the freefrom snacks so much as my own home-made stuff that I haven’t bothered to make. Living processed food free does require a lot of extra planning but what has been working, is cooking extra and storing left-overs in the freezer for another meal. An instant fast-food alternative with no processed food in sight.

And the big question? Is my health improving? Well I’m not sure. Kind of. I have been quite constipated but this could be more to do with a particular stressful time of late. I haven’t been sleeping well at all, but the last few nights have been blissful and deep; waking feeling still very tired and yawning but I have a lot of sleep to catch up on. Stress does not do me any good but sometimes you can’t avoid it. You work through it, but my body seems to take the stress badly. My skin is improving slowly, I think I have less prurigo. I did have to resort to the steroids recently (Elocon) but once or twice a year I get a horrible flare-up and have to resort to presciption eczema ointments to shift it. We have just seen the back of this flare-up and for the first time in a long time I am feeling great.

Just need to work in more exercise to the week which I think will also really help.

Is anyone else trying this? I’d love to hear how you’re getting on if you are.



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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