Saturday, September 10, 2011

Green Split Pea Soup, Shifting Diets, Cravings and an Open Discussion on Allergies

When I posted New Year's Eve Table, Yellow Split Peas Soup with Pepitas back in January, 2010, I wanted to give a twist to the staple green split pea you will find in our home and use yellow split peas instead and dress them up with some crunchy pepitas. Although this is an identical recipe, I wanted to include in this post some information on split peas, how we are shifting our diet slightly, on cravings, and an open discussion on allergies. Along the way I am including some photos from my new camera.
On the subject of shifting our diets, now that Sagie is eight hours away, back at school, and not at home craving those juicy steaks, our diets are somewhat lighter. Shifting diets. Kids his age, actually men, exude so much energy in sports, exercise and maybe some are still growing that they crave that meat protein and iron. Maybe simply it's just the comfort of meat and potatoes altogether?! Maybe it's inherited as I craved steaks and hamburgers during my pregnancy, out of character for me. Even today, I might just taste two strips from the boy's plate, the well done edges, and think why do I even bother to eat those calories?! Do not get me wrong, once in a blue moon I do crave steak and I relish it, though I do not like to see any pink speckles in it.
Oddly enough I craved steaks when I was pregnant, along with familiar childhood flavors reincarnated in Ben and Jerry's pistachio ice cream. Here is another theory for you, maybe that explains Sagie's lesser allergy to pistachios versus other tree nuts. Now that the school of thought with allergists is shifting from total elimination to introduction of allergens, my theory is completely plausible.
One can also grow out of one allergy only to develop another. I regret not breast feeding. Our pediatrician recommended a soy based formula to feed our baby. At age two we realized the eczema was related to soy allergies. Go figure, was it the egg or the chicken that came first?! A predisposition to allergies that triggered the soy allergy or the soy based formula that triggered this particular allergy. While he grew out of soy allergy, only to develop allergies to eggs and all poultry, then grew out of them. While all along having severe allergies to tree nuts, kiwi and shellfish that could result in an anaphylactic shock. Throw into the mix environmental pollen and dust mite allergies.

I could write a book or two on this subject matter, on allergies and on medicines prescribed for allergies that do not sit right with your child. Medicines can make you drowsy and alter your behavior among other things. One allergist made me feel it's all psychosomatic on my part, that I was an over hyped, overly protective mom, detecting non-existent issues. I did question and doubt myself, is it really all a figment of my imagination?! Mind you I was sleep deprived, due to soy and dust mites allergies resulting in eczema and extreme discomfort. My intuition and proof in our daily life said otherwise, raised many red flags, that I was right. Only to be validated later on, when switching doctors, that some medicines do not cross over to the brain and affect your every day life. It is evident that medicine is ever evolving and common sense, doctors' advice and parents intuition all have a part to play in decision making. 

I agree with many writings that an increased number of people with allergies might be due to increased pollution and other man made environmental hazards, but it's also true that some allergies are hereditary. I have them and they run in my family. I found it appalling reading a recent article by a well known writer who had a dismissive attitude towards allergies, claiming they are more common nowadays because of the hermetic, super sanitized lifestyle we are leading. This is the most irresponsible statement I have ever read not to mention ignorant and dangerous! Only when we covered our mattresses with allergy covers and had air cleaners in our bedrooms did life with dust mites become bearable.

In our case we adjusted our nutrition, not only to avoid certain allergens, but also I, as a mom, at the time, to a two year old kid with extreme allergies, started thinking about artificial color and ingredients, pesticides and organics. Shifting diets. Which brings me to the protein and fiber rich split pea.  You can read more about its nutritional value here. This soup is wide spread in Israel, or at least in my ethnically diverse circle of friends, but somehow we all make one version or another of this green split pea soup. Again the recipe: New Year's Eve Table, Yellow Split Peas Soup with Pepitas.

This is the first in a series on food allergies.

26 comments :

  1. The soup looks so comforting. I loved the shot of the green split peas :)

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  2. I love split pea soup...though I usually include a ham bone and a bit of cream. Soon, very soon. Just need it to be a bit chillier. Lovely photos of a tough subject Shulie.

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  3. i had no idea your son had tons of food allergies! i do too actually~ more of food sensitives for me. how is he managing his diet in college? the soup looks delicious!

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  4. TY Paaka. Me too. It was more challenging to shoot the soup. Was frustrating!!:) Thx Barb, Years ago I had a friend that tasted this version & her reaction was aww I didn't think it would taste good w/o ham. I took it as the biggest compliment:). Thx for the nice comment on the clicks means a lot as this soup was frustrating to shoot:). Thx Junia, Yep S can be a poster child. Well adjusted normal guy. You just wouldn't know looking at him. It's just a way of life, goes about his business, sports, etc as usual. I got many sensitivities as you say too:).To fuzzy fruit for one, kiwi and peaches skin.

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  5. Soup looks yummy .. my kid suffered from eczema too when he was a baby.

    Vardhini
    Event: Herbs and Flowers - Garlic

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  6. Your soup and photos are gorgeous:)I made Italian lentils today for tonight. My friend brought me them from Italy;) I have suffered from allergies and am still dealing with them. I'm certain mine are all hereditary. It takes some minor dietary adjustments. Love this post.

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  7. yum! This is one of my favorite soups. Your photos are so pretty

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  8. Such a wonderful, delicate soup you've made. Looks gorgeous!

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  9. What a lovely soup, Shulie and your photos are lovely (as usual). It sounds as though your son has a challenge with his allergies, but that he takes it in stride and lives life.

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  10. Awesome photos, Shulie you are great with your new camera. May I borrow it? ;)

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  11. Love the creamy..green soup. I have not seen this green split peas yet. And the pictures are great!

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  12. Gorgeous shots of the split peas! Love the soup, looks so comforting. Although I have a lot of other allergies, dust, dog hair etc etc.. I luckily am not allergic to any food. My worst nightmare is being allergic to prawns. lol.

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  13. I have one daughter with Celiac and another with lactose intolerance, so the subject of changing the household food regime is close to my heart. Great photos, your new camera rocks (what camera btw?)

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  14. As the years goes by , I get more and more allergic reactions, mostly from pollution and definitely from man-made environments. It's a challenge to tip toe through the diet and find what works for myself. As for your soup, I'm pretty confident that I will be able to enjoy it. If not, then you'l have to feed me for the rest of my life ... aka adopt me. ;-)

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  15. I am ready for soup season! Great recipe!

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  16. I am with Ken. Just this weekend Kikland's Cashew Clusters made me break out in hives. It's too bad it's really yummy! Unfortunately, I am still sensitive to cane sugar, although over the years, I've been exposing myself to all sorts of sugar.

    Your soup is gorgeous, and I know safe for me to eat! Thank you for sharing, Shulie!

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  17. Mmmm, I love split pea soup! Do you ever add different spices to change up the flavor? I'm lucky not to have any food allergies (that I know of), but a few of my friends were recently diagnosed with Celiac/gluten intolerance. It's really tough. Keeping things simple, natural, and from scratch is key! Just like this delicious looking soup. :)

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  18. TY Vardhini & aww doesn't it break our hearts as moms?! :( TY Lora, dish out (in you blog) your recipe. & the lentils all the way from Italy?! it is really special to get precious gifts like that. Amazing to find out how many people suffer from allergies. TY Dara & Brian your comments mean a lot! Carolyn, TY & about borrowing...hmm sure! Virtually, lol. Sanjeeta, very interesting that you haven't seen them in India considering you got every legume and bean imaginable there:)TY to you and An. An, boo allergies but happy you don't have any to food and particularly prawns:).Yael, I know it's tough and although I wish for your kids not to have any allergy it's nice to know you can relate. The camera I got is Nikon 5100 and I shoot w/the 50mm 1.4. TY. Ahahah Ken I will adopt you in a heartbeat cause' I don't have to pay college tuition for you and about the expense of feeding I always cook as though I got a tribe here so the more the merrier. TY babe & to Maria too!! It's delicious. Annapet a novel about allergies, feel free to leave here:) Allergy to cane sugar?! that is the first I heard of it. Yep. SAFE! Tori, thank you so much for dropping by, I am happy you are allergy free. You are absolutely right home made with fresh ingredients is key. I do not vary this recipe just like when people ask me about my mom's dahl if add fresh ginger to it?! I do however enjoy different variations when dining outside at friends and restaurants:).

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  19. Oh, some sort of intolerance to cane sugar [and more to brown], not ruled out as an allergy per se.

    The upside is, body detects "bad stuff" on first bite, and Benadryl and epi pen ALWAYS in purse.

    =)

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  20. Food allergies are such a challenge and it seems like we aren't getting any good answers as to why we have seen such a recent increase in them recently. Hopefully we will get more answers soon.

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  21. It must be a big challenge for your son Shulie and all of you.

    of all the lentils I have had, this one is the one least used in my pantry. What a beautiful warming soup. and I love the pepitas!!

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  22. My daughter turns one tomorrow, and over the last 12 months I have been very nervous about allergies, and conscious about new food introductions. I have read so much on the topic, and enjoyed reading your thoughts here. I'm so surprised there are such differing professional views on this subject. Doesn't make it any easier, does it?

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  23. Thank goodness, we don't have any food allergy in our family. Soup looks really nourishing!

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  24. SO beautiful! My father has very severe food allergies that came about in his 50s. It's amazing how your view towards food and entertaining changes once you have a family member who has a food allergy!

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  25. Yummy soup :D
    Very informative post Shulie, my daughter has food allergy too... she can't take mussels in brine and aubergine. Looking forward to read more

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  26. What a gorgeous soup! All my life I thought I hated split pea soup. I had a bad experience growing up, LOL! Then my Mother-in-law made this delicious soup, and my world changed:-) So interesting about all the allergen issues. Thank you for sharing! Hugs, Terra

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