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Tree nut and coconut allergy.... healthy alternatives?

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I'm starting Whole30 next week with my husband and two kids. My husband has a severe allergy to tree nuts and coconut. It seems like both of those things are staples in the Whole30 program. I know the book says to just avoid allergens in the program, but it seems like coconut and coconut milk are used so frequently, I'm not sure how to plan without it. Is there another alternative, besides almond or cashew milk (he's also allergic to those), especially for my two kids, which are a toddler and preschooler, and are very accustomed to drinking cow's milk? If we aren't eating nuts for fiber and healthy fats, what are some other good options in that category too?

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You can definitely do Whole30 without coconut. I can't stand the stuff, so I never eat it in any form. As for nuts, they are generally a rather poor fat source, since they keep the sugar dragon roaring and they cause digestive issues for so many, even folks who are not allergic.


I really can't imagine Whole30 WITH coconut, just because I really REALLY dislike it, and I've been at this for a couple of years. So you can definitely do it.


There's no one-to-one sub from cow's milk to the pressed milky-looking results of squashing coconut and tree nuts. They're just not the same thing. We ask people to consider what they thought they were getting from cow's milk and find other ways to meet that nutritional need. For instance, for calcium, lots of dark leafy greens. For protein, any Whole30-approved protein source. For fat, the list is really long.


Here are some great fats:


Olive oil


Avocado oil


Ghee or clarified butter

Eggs (they provide both protein AND fat in one neat package - eat the whole egg!)

Paleo mayonnaise (food of the gods I tell you and an AMAZING base for an endless number of sauces and dips)

Fatty cuts of grass fed meat (again, this provides both protein AND fat)


That's nine sources right there, without me even thinking much about it.


I hope that helps - does that answer some of your questions about these foods?

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For fats, you can use olives and avocados. You can make homemade mayo. You can cook in avocado oil, ghee, clarified butter, or lard or tallow from pasture raised pigs or grass fed cows. You can also use fattier cuts of meat. In the Downloads section of the Whole30 menu option at the top of this page, look for the meat guide for guidance on getting the best quality of meat you can afford. Olive oil is good for making salad dressings and can also be drizzled over cooked vegetables and meats, either straight or blended with herbs, as in a chimichurri sauce. Sesame oil is not suitable for cooking with, but is a great oil to drizzle over stir fries in the last minute or so of cooking. Sunbutter, which is like peanut butter made from sunflower seeds, might be a nice option occasionally, but do be sure to read labels -- where I am it's nearly impossible to find without added sugar.

Nuts shouldn't ever be anyone's main source of fiber on a whole30, you should be getting most of that from vegetables and occasionally fruit.

Many people don't have their young children do a strict whole30 from the beginning, and while they don't need dairy, if you find it easier to wean them off slowly as you look for alternatives, that might be a good option. I've heard that you can make nut milk from just about any kind of nut, so if there is a variety that is safe in your house, you might look into making milk from that type of nut. Truly, though, while it is nice to have something to put in coffee or to make a recipe creamier, you really don't need any kind of milk or milk substitute to survive. If you can get everybody to go 30 days without it and then do reintroductions, if no one has negative reactions to it, you might be able to bring back dairy, if not as something you drink every day, at least to use in recipes when you want to.

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