“I’m going to recommend, if you still want to breast feed, due to the nature of Ohm’s allergies, that you adapt a total elimination diet so that we can determine the source of his irritation.” “What does an elimination diet entail?”
“No dairy, no eggs, no nuts, no soy and no wheat.”
“Absolutely no dairy, eggs, nuts, soy or wheat.”
“What can I eat?”
“Not very much. I suggest you stick to the hypo-allergenic baby formula.”
And there I was, standing beneath the fluorescent bulb of the examination room, my diaper clad infant splayed across my lap, six red raised splotches on his back, confirmation that he was indeed allergic to everything. I had a decision to make. I was being forced pledge ideological mommy allegiance. To breast feed or to formula feed. I was a breast feeder. I believe firmly that a mother’s milk is best. I nursed my son through the early pain and frustration until it became a comfortable part of our daily bonding. But after three and a half months, Ohm began to break out in horrible hives and eczema patches began to take over his soft baby skin. I was referred to a pediatric allergy specialist where I received the devastating news: no dairy, eggs, nuts, soy or wheat if I were to continue breast-feeding.
I am an eater. I love food. With no allergies or food sensitivities, my system has never let me down; I have never known what it means to do without. Determined not to back down and give in to formula feeding my son, I gathered my list of things I must do without and attempted to move forward, cold turkey.
I’m lucky, to live part-time in New York where I have access to an enormous variety of niche foods and options.
A dessert girl through and through, the most difficult thing for me to give up was my thirst for baked goods and tasty sweet treats. After a little research however, I was able to find several bakeries with delicious alternatives to cater to my vegan, gluten-free, egg free, soy free and nut free needs. To my surprise, not only did I have options, I had a plethora of delicious and alluring desserts to choose from.
If you are faced with a similar plight as mine, or are on a strict diet, or simply want to sample a twist on your baked goods classics, here are some New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn) bakeries sure to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Sun In Bloom: Vegan, Gluten-Free and Raw Kitchen in (Park Slope)
460 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
My favorite things here are the chocolate-chip whoopee pies and the cupcakes.
Luv Tea Café (Clinton Hill)
14 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238
You will find gluten-free/vegan snacks amongst the regular snacks. Everything is clearly marked. My favorite is the flourless dark chocolate cookies.
176 Ainslie St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
248 Broome Street (Btwn Orchard & Ludlow)
New York City, NY 10002
Try the cinnamon buns, they are fabulous! You’ve also got to taste the cookies.
Of course there are other fine establishments, but these are the ones that I frequent. I'd love more tips to update my list if you have any.
* Side note, despite indulging in sweets, clear skin and weight loss are great side effects of the elimination diet!