One of our recent recipes included cashew butter as an ingredient. Since peanut butter is a more commonly used ingredient in recipes, I thought I would explain why we have become big fans of cashew butter instead of the old standby. It has become a staple in our pantry and will be a common ingredient in future recipes. (If you prefer peanut butter, you can always use that in place of cashew butter in any of our recipes!)
The main reason for my decision to do the elimination diet was regularly feeling fatigued. Many afternoons, I would feel really sluggish. There would occasionally be days when I would feel so run down that I thought I might be coming down with something and would go to bed early. I’ve always struggled with a lower energy level than what seemed to be normal for most people. My mom even thought in the past that I might be anemic, but blood work has never shown an iron deficiency.
When we started the elimination diet, one of the questions our Nutritionist, Suzzanne, asked us was what are our favorite foods? Anything chocolate/peanut butter is a big one for me. As we progressed through the elimination diet process, we had to challenge different foods, one at a time. One of the food challenges was salicylates, which are found in many foods, including…. peanuts! It was not a particularly happy day for me, discovering a definite sensitivity to salicylates. I felt just like I had been feeling sometimes before the diet, really sluggish and fatigued. The good news was that since it is a sensitivity and not an allergy, I can have salicylates as long as I do not get too much of them. This can be a tricky balance to find since they are in so many foods, so I generally avoid foods day-to-day that are high in salicylates, including peanuts. Needless to say, chocolate/peanut butter is a rarer treat for me now than it used to be.
If you are interested in learning more about salicylates, WebMD and Wikipedia has some great information. I am not sure how credible all of this information is, but you will see that one of the symptoms listed for salicylate sensitivity is, in fact, fatigue. Definitely true for me. Thankfully, cashew butter is just as yummy as peanut butter, but it doesn’t make me feel so bad! Even having to be up quite a bit at night right now with a baby, I feel so much better than before the diet modifications I have made to address this sensitivity. It’s nice.