I’m excited to have a guest blogger join us today. I asked Lindsay, from ‘krab ‘stitch, to share her personal experience with food allergies and how she’s learned to cope. Although many of us with food related intolerance’s have similar stories, they all vary according to our own bodies and composition. I hope you’ll enjoy her story and her insight :)
Life with food allergies is one of constant learning. Learning you have them and that’s why you feel horrible all of the time, learning that food is your enemy, re-learning food isn’t your enemy and becoming one with the food, and best of all, learning from others’ experiences to help enrich your own life, so you aren’t missing out on anything really tasty!
The road to my allergen-free life started my senior year of college, precisely during the 2001 NHL playoffs. A bunch of friends (all Flyers fans, of course!) went to see the Flyers/Penguins game and I was so sick we had to leave early to go to the ER. You know it was bad if I left a playoff game before overtime. Ugh! The next summer and fall semester just got worse. I actually had minor surgery and afterwards gastro problems hit me like a ton of bricks. 3 gastroenterologists, 1 internist, years of testing… I don’t even remember how many colonoscopies…2 upper GI’s (the second one almost killed me), 2 endoscopies, 2 camera capsule tests…no diagnosis.
Finally, some allergy testing! Lactose-negative (and I always thought I was allergic to that!), sorbitol-positive, Gluten blood test-weak positive (gluten sensitivity, lucky me!)… And it all culminates in the elimination diet. After a few weeks of just eating basic, bland foods, like rice, chicken and veg, one of the first things I added back was wheat. Not fun, like being hit by a truck. Barley did the same thing. Plus, corn makes me break out into a rash from another dimension. (As opposed to my DH from the gluten. I’m starting to just think food makes me itchy!) I think positive though; as long as I’m not allergic to coffee or chocolate, I can be happy in this world.
After about two years I was doing a good job of kicking out the gluten, but what they don’t tell you is that corn is in EVERYTHING! If it doesn’t have gluten, it has corn…and if it doesn’t have corn, it doesn’t exist! (That’s just me being dramatic, but it’s virtually true!) Even after going to a few nutritionists, I really had to figure out the full corn drama on my own. I knew I couldn’t lick the envelopes due to the gluten, but corn oil in cardboard milk cartons and who knows what in ground turkey? Don’t get me started on waxed fruit! Essentially it’s 90% of the items on grocery store shelves. Good thing I like to cook. On the plus side, our little household eats a lot healthier because of it!
If this sounds like a bitch-fest, trust me it isn’t. The most important rule in life, whether you have food allergies or not is READ YOUR LABELS! And try cooking yourself, then you know it’s safe, plus it’s more fun and nutritious too. Lately we’ve been trying a bit of “Adventure Cooking” in our home, trying new, exotic recipes mostly from rice-based cultures. Filipino food is fantastic by the way, lots of great flavors with few or no substitutions.
Try something new and adventurous, I dare you!
And go over to check out Lindsays own blogging adventures while your at it! :)