Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why on Earth I'd Want To Avoid Calcium

In an attempt to kick our many food allergies, starting with cow dairy, my mom, sister and I are embarking on a NAET treatment plan that this week required us to AVOID all forms of calcium for 72 hours.  This is not as easy as you would think.  Honestly, it was brutal.  Here's why:

As you know, my sister, mom and I all have food allergies.  Between the three of us, we have issues with dairy, gluten, corn, soy, tapioca, hemp, eggs.  My gluten-free/dairy-free diet is actually the least restrictive of the bunch and I've been living with it for so long, I don't really find it a big deal.  But my sister, who has it the worst, was going crazy trying to adhere to her super short list of safe foods.  This is when we discovered Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Treatment (NAET).  It's a mix of kinesiology, homeopathy and acupuncture that somehow rewires your body to process foods differently to eliminate allergies.  The doctor takes little vials of various foods (in the picture above) and instructs you to hold them in your hand while you get your acupuncture treatments.  There are trained NAET specialists all over the world, and ours is in Miami, Florida.  

There are several practitioners in Miami, many of which have popped up in the last few years as NAET has become a little bit more mainstream.  We chose our practitioner,  Dr. Robin Grayson Cohen because she has been doing this for over 20 years, long before it was trendy.  

Since all three of us have issues with dairy, we decided to be treated for it at the same time this week.  After the one hour acupuncture session with Dr. Cohen, we were instructed to completely avoid (that means to not eat, smell or even touch) all forms of dairy AND CALCIUM derivatives.  For whatever reason, the treatment to correct our dairy sensitivities is affected by the entire calcium spectrum, not just the dairy itself.  

So what foods contain calcium?  Well, honestly, most do.  But specifically, green veggies, beans, nuts and seeds, diary, soy and fruits.  UM... We're vegans.  What the H is left for us to eat for 72 hours?...

We headed straight for the grocery store and tried not to panic. To make the experience less stressful for all of us, we decided to waive our "avoid processed foods" policy and stuck to foods that WERE packaged and labeled with nutritional information so we could be sure about its calcium content.  We checked about 100 labels on foods before finding a cartful of foods we thought wouldn't kill us.

Apparently, potatoes, when cooked, are calcium-free.  And so are frozen peas.  So for breakfasts, we enjoyed nummy-nummy (not really) hash browns with peas sprinkled in.  For lunch and dinner we made potato soup with carrots, peas and onions (all calcium-free veggies when cooked).

For snacks, we could eat processed rice cereals, rice crackers, rice milk (which does contain traces of calcium, but we consumed it in VERY small doses, so hopefully didn't screw up the treatment) and processed dried fruits.

Desserts were limited to sorbets and apple sauce.  While the sorbets are choc full of added sugars, at least the apple sauce was just straight up organic apples.  I made a smoothie out of raspberry sorbet, apple sauce and water.  It sounds wretched, but ended up being tolerable, though super sweet.  None of this was terribly nutritious or filling, but we suffered for the greater good.

After the 72 hour avoidance, we could resume eating calcium-rich foods (like leafy greens, legumes, fruits and nuts) as we had been. When we head back to our next NAET appointment in three weeks, we'll get tested to see if we succeeded in dumping the allergy.  I'll report back on how it goes.

In conclusion: a diet without calcium is big time lame-o but may be necessary to kick a dairy allergy. 

UPDATE! UPDATE!  My mom, sister and I all successfully cleared the dairy!  Our suffering through 72 hours of calcium-free foods paid off.  We now can eat dairy products if we want to without fear of digestive or skin whoas.  Yippee!!

What's next, you ask?  Drum roll... THE GRAIN MIX to tackle my gluten intolerance.




  1. I am also allergic to dairy products and I get my calcium from soya and clams. I also wish that they make more available products for people who are vegan. I advocate a must have vegan section for every grocery store.

  2. Thanks so much for your post! I am being treated by a NAET doctor and am avoiding calcium right now.

  3. Brilliant, just found this and my Son is doing calcium NAET treatment this afternoon and am panicking big time!

  4. The calcium avoidance is probably the toughest one to get through since it is in so many foods. But over the last two years, my family has gone through several treatments with great success. For years I would experience dermatitis rashes on my face after eating even small amounts of cow dairy. But since this NAET treatment, I've had ZERO rashes after eating dairy. Granted, I don't seek it out because I don't really want to eat animal products, but if I do get into it inadvertently, I have no skin reactions. WIN.


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