Monday, July 9, 2012

My food allergies





I thought I would talk a little about my food allergies in hopes that maybe somebody out there might be suffering with the same thing and not know it. I did for about 10 years, it all went undiagnosed.

I ended up diagnosing myself and got the tests to prove it.

About 10 years ago, I was driving to work and had to pull over. I felt very dizzy. It was more like an extreme sensation of vertigo.It seemed to settle in between my eyes and not ever go away for years.

 I saw about 17 doctors and specialists. Allergists, ENT's, Neurologists...I have had countless MRI's and scans of my brain.I have been to homeopathic doctors and been on anti depressants, anti seizure medications and beta blockers. I have suffered with panic attacks and severe depression to the point of not being able to work for many years. I have also always had a weight issue.

My symptoms included:

vertigo
dizziness
confusion
anxiety
depression
severe swelling all over
feeling of heaviness
extreme fatigue
constant infections
asthma
headaches
light sensitivity
severe joint pain/body aches

It was so bad that I was being tested for bone cancer, lupus and all auto immune diseases. My sed rate was very low and my blood counts way off. But nobody found anything. Then one day I ate taco bell. I never felt worse in my life. So bloated and gross. Just not normal. I convinced a friend of mine to go on a detox with me for a few weeks. My husband was leaving for some training and I only had Grace to cook for so it was easy. I am also a certified nutrition counselor so it was easy for me to do.

We ate greens, olive oil, vinegar, smoothies and THAT'S it. I felt great. The swelling went down and I felt more like a human. As my husband came home and life started up again life began to get back to normal...I added in most of the foods I had eaten before but left out gluten. I for sure knew in my heart I had a gluten issue.

Until one day I ate some beef stew. It said gluten free so I thought I was in the clear...but 20 minutes after eating it my stomach blew up twice the size. It was swollen and hard. I have never been so discouraged in my life. But then I looked at the ingredients and knew the culprit...

Corn.

See for many years my husband and I would eat a bag of popcorn at night while watching movies and I would wake up and not be able to even walk. I was so stiff and swollen and dizzy. I could not walk. I never mad a connection. Then I got pregnant with my Lucy and had routine blood work done again and it all came back abnormal again. So I demanded to be tested...


My allergy test



I am allergic to...


cows milk
eggs
cantaloupe
cauliflower
corn
oranges
peas
sesame seeds
soybeans
spinach
squash
pork
almonds
peanuts
gluten

With all of that being said, I am on an allergy diet. Sometimes I am just overwhelmed with it all. And I hate that. Especially the corn. Its in everything. Its hard to follow a traditional gluten free diet because most of it includes almond flour and corn. Its hard to follow any diet really because I cant have most of the major food groups. So I eat MY way. Sometimes I feel guilty for spending a lot of our money on organic, non allergy food but its either that or be sick. Its been getting better for me, but its very expensive.

I have been finding new products here and there and finding new ways to adapt to this. Its been about 2 years now. There are still some days where I slip up.Sometimes I am just stuck. I might have forgotten a snack or been stuck at the airport. Or sometimes I am at someones house and there just are no options. But for the most part, things have been good.

Coincidentally when i stopped eating corn, I immediately lost 17 pounds. It seems like food allergies and weight gain go hand in hand. Especially the swelling and weight gain you cant explain. This part was especially difficult for me because I had been a weight loss consultant for many years. I worked as a personal trainer also. I opened my own business in Virginia as a independent nutrition and wellness counselor and struggled because I myself had weight issues I could not explain.


This is something that has also taken me way deeper into my relationship with God. Suffering for all those years and having so many doctors tell me nothing was wrong, despite my abnormal tests...drew me closer to Him.I had to ask God for the answers. I had to rely on Him to lead me to people who could help. I stayed very diligent in prayer and in scripture and it was finally revealed to me, when I was ready. I have learned so much along the way about food and wellness. Stuff that I would never know if I hadn't gone through this. I always have said that this will be my first question when I get to Heaven...why I had all these food allergies. But that's so silly because none of it will even matter anymore and I am sure I will be in so much awe that the thought wont even cross my mind.


I still have a ways to go with my weight loss. It always is very easy for me to lose weight when I stick to a 100 % allergy free diet. When I do slip up, it takes bare minimum 3 days to feel somewhat normal again. I am always looking for new recipes and ways to adapt my lifestyle to my family's. Sometimes the worst part of my day is figuring out meals because I can rarely ever cook for all of us at once. But that is getting easier because my family tries to meet me half way...my amazing husband has been more relaxed on eating healthier food and eats what I make for me more often.

Please feel free to email me or comment if you need help with food allergies or you think you may have some...I am pretty much an expert now!

Here is a list of foods I DO eat...


chicken
rice
cashews/cashew butter
gluten free oats
rice pasta
rice milk
veggies
fruits
turkey
gluten/corn free breads
smoothies
quinoa
flax
beef
beans
legumes


*all my recipes that I post on this blog are gluten/corn free.



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