My Life Allergic To Life...

I have more allergies than I have fingers and toes.

Emotions make everything more complicated.

I had not realized how much time has gone by since my last post. How has over 2 months gone by already? Craziness. My food battles have not been any easier than before, but I think I am becoming more used to the disappointment. That sounds so sad and kind of depressing but that’s just what it is.

I have had a few times that I just said “screw it” and cheated - it ended just how I had thought it would. I have been trying to figure out what I have done to deserve such restrictions in life. Did I do something that God is punishing me for? Have I filled up on my life quota for apples so I can’t enjoy another? The list of questions that flow through my head get pretty out there, but yet no answers seem to come.

I have had several friends that have been so kind and considerate towards me and my circumstances. My girlfriend and I have been doing very well keeping each other accountable is regards to going to the gym - which usually includes dinner after. Most of the time we end up at her house where we have dinner and usually watch one of our shows. She is so sweet in being open to trying new foods and looking for dishes that I can eat. I am thankful for her. There have been a few that do not seem to understand at all but I know that it is very complicated so I do not blame them.

I think the issue that bothers me more than not being able to live my life the way I want (in regards to food) is the way that people talk to me about it. If someone was talking to me about food and they said “I’m allergic to nuts” then I would think, okay - no nuts for you. Not ‘Are you sure it’s not that you just don’t like them? Have you been to a real doctor to make that diagnosis? Why don’t you try acupuncture, or specialty doctors?’ I wouldn’t tell them that it’s no way to live their life and that they need to get a second opinion. If I’m being honest here: I have been to several doctors, been put on different medications, took different tests, missed a LOT of work because of my “condition” and this is the final result. I feel so helpless when trying to explain over and over to family and friends about it. Just thinking about all that frustration almost puts tears in my eyes- I am way too emotional about it. To think that something is truly wrong with me, to think that I may have to undergo several surgeries, be on prescriptions the rest of my life, starting to believe that I won’t be able to become a mother, literally feel like I am the girl that cried wolf every time I leave work-Because as much as I go to different doctors, they never have a real diagnosis for me. I agree that it’s not a way to live, but now that I know what’s going on - it’s more of an insult than a comfort to be told that I’m not doing enough. I know what’s wrong now: I have MAJOR food allergies and intolerances. At least now that I know, I can do my best to live my life the best I can. 

So I am working today and as of lately- the office has been providing lunch for everyone. We have literally a 6foot long sub just chillin about 3 feet away from me. I took out the meat, cheese and lettuce and just tossed the bread. Compromise. It’s better than nothing though, a little win for my belly :) 

Temptation

I have been so good. The holiday season is upon us and I am surrounded by everything I can not enjoy :(

This month at work, we are having 3 events - First was our company Christmas party: from the very large and delicious buffet that was provided, I literally had a small plate with just meat on it. I gazed at the tables full of food and the conclusion was always the same: Carrots-no, Flour-no, Strawberries-no, almonds-no, it went on till I reached the carving station. I decided on the meat that came in its plainest form in hopes that I could at least eat something and took my seat. I understand that I have challenges in the food department and everyday will have its own set. I guess that I forget that other people care - I was told several times through out dinner that the people I was sitting with felt ‘bad’ or ‘guilty’ that they got to eat everything and I did not. Although it was sweet of them to say, I would not wish these restrictions on anyone so I hope they had their fill.

Then there was a holiday potluck that our director put together - After coming to the realization that I most likely would not be able to eat anything, I decided not to attend. There was several items that I wold have loved to try, but I told myself the concequences would not have been worth it. The one thing that probably irritated me the most about this: the director, who I found out is gluten free - kept telling me that I could eat this and eat that cause they are all gf friendly. Well, that is nice for you -who is gluten free- but when I am Grain Free: totally different! I am amazed at some peoples reaction and how they can not comprehend that it is two different situations.

Next week is a company bake off: Cookies, pies, cakes, candies ect and each category will have prizes. Well that would have been fun to participate in but….. yeeaahhh…. Let’s not have a few and feel like dying.

And for today - I am amazed at myself with the level of self control I’ve had. A very nice man, thought he would share the rest of his amazingly delicious looking hawaiian pizza. What I nice guy, left it on my desk for when I came back from getting some papers from a different department. It sat about 3 feet away from me for the rest of the day. To eat a forbidden food, or to feel incredibly sick - that is the question. As much as my mouth waters for some yummy pizza, my body screams 'don't you dare'! As for now, my body won - sorry pizza loving stomach.

End to eating out?

I have tried to be very careful, with all the holiday outings. But as the days pass by, the more and more I think that I won’t be about to eat anywhere but home. It’s not that I am against cooking, in fact I love cooking - I just like the experience of eating out. That sounds snobby to me but it is what it is.

I went to my favorite restaurant for a cousin’s birthday - although I ordered something different than my usual, so I could actually eat something - I barely got halfway before it hit me. Cross contamination. I thought this dish would do but clearly there was something mixed in that I can’t have. Blaaaaaahhhhhhh…. Whyyyyy???? And trying to explain to a moderately drunk birthday girl why you can’t have a birthday drink with her is not fun.

Then the next day, going with family to the family restaurant and discovering that you can no longer enjoy anything - devastating. Besides the small talk and catching up - the good part about this trip was talking to the owner, a cousin, telling him about Rain - so atleast I could be able to still come and enjoy something :) he said he would have his bartender look into picking it up.

Now today - Family Christmas Tree Day - starts off with a big family breakfast. As I cook my own food, I look over to the table of food that I long for. Damn I miss bagels. There was plenty of other foods but I just Love bagels!! Maybe I will just cheat and have a little glass of champagne - maybe then I won’t care. Ha!

Later today we are due to go to a 5 year old birthday party at Chuck E cheeses: and I will long for pizza. It’s not 100% that we are going but I’m pretty sure we are. I guess we’ll see how that goes.

Some days are easier than others. I used to love planning out my meals, deciding what to do for dinner - now sadly, it feels like more of a chore. Hopefully soon I will get that excitement back. For now, I’ll try to stay positive.

A New Thanksgiving

Nothing seems to be more challenging than trying to get ready for Thanksgiving, with all the cooking, baking, mixing, ect ect ect….. and not using grains or potatoes. I mean how can you truly enjoy turkey with mash potatoes and gravy - without the potatoes and gravy? Well this year will really be different than my normal thanksgiving dinners but at least I have my wonderful sister to share with my complicated menu. Stayed up late with her last night to make all sorts of goodies and finished up some today - Now relaxing and doing absolutely nothing but enjoying some coffee and writing this - until it’s time to eat :D

We got pretty creative - several paleo blogs and websites helped with these new dishes. Mini pumpkin pies (without the crust so they are in cupcake wraps) - Mashed Herb Cauliflower - Flourless Gravy - Coconut flour rolls - All new things that will be different, but it’s worth a try! Excited :)

Since writing last - I have have had 3 mishaps with intolerant foods and it has not been fun.

  • The first time - Husband wasn’t feeling too good and so I made him some soup. Not feeling the best myself, I decided to have some of his broth since he didn’t want soo much -BIG MISTAKE! After feeling super sick to my stomach I realized what I had done and Definitely will not do that one again!!
  • The second time - I will admit I was a little hung over and nothing sounded good. I had eaten my own food but it just wasn’t hitting the spot. We were over at my brother in law’s house watching the UFC fights and he just happened to order my favorite kind of pizza. I think I debated having a slice for almost 2 hours before I gave in and had a small slice. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I would have eaten it right out of the oven but even cold I used to love it. This time: all I could think of was that it just wasn’t the same. I was sad. It wasn’t too bad of a reaction, not as bad as I was expecting I guess, but I did feel it. Still undecided if I will do it again.
  • The third time - I had a long day at work and was pretty hungry when I got home. Dinner was being prepared but some chicken that needed to be cooked was already in the oven. I figured I would have some chicken to hold me over until the rest of the food was done. I took a small drumstick and went to the couch - Before I was even finished with this small piece of chicken, I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. I put my plate in the kitchen and decided to go lay down. I was in so much pain that I could have cried. After feeling sick in bed for about 4 hours I finally got up. Found out that there was some sauce that the chicken had been marinating in and of course - the second ingredient was wheat. No Wonder!!!

I have been pretty careful lately besides these instances. Feeling like garbage is not worth the food that I can’t have. I’m sure one day I might find something that I will feel is worth the pain but at the moment - Nothing seems worth it.

(Okay after dinner now…) Oh I love the mini pumpkin things they are SO good!!! They definitely were my favorite of the new foods. I will have to go have some more in a few :) Although I was sad that I couldn’t enjoy some of my favorite foods, this Thanksgiving wasn’t too bad ;D  

What a week.

What an amazing journey of food exploration. Decided that I will not let my restraints, limit my life.

Made the crab cakes, they turned out so cute and were pretty tasty. I didn’t care too much for the sauce but the cakes themselves were flavorful and about 90% crab. Always a plus. I got to try out some of my Paleo recipes over at a girlfriends house - had a few relaxing evenings, enjoying Turkey Meatloaf and Chicken Cacciatore. Yum-yum. My wonderful husband made me a few dishes, Traeger Chicken with Asparagus and corn. Steak, scallops and asparagus. I made a huge dinner for my MIL Birthday party which included an array of Mexican cuisine. I ate so many tacos - and got to make a super delicious chicken quesadilla on corn tortillas covered with avocado and salsa with the left overs. Nomnomnom :)

On that note of her birthday, a super awesome cousin bought me some Rain Organics Cucumber Lime Vodka so I could be a part of the party. Vodka - made from Corn. Oh baby I thought I would sober forever. Not that it would be a bad thing, I’ve taken sabbaticals from alcohol, breaks are good. But forever? I’m more at ease knowing there is at least one kind that I can have, or more rather two :) Yay. Going to try out the Original for Halloween!!

While shopping with the hubs yesterday - I came across coconut flour, corn flour and puffed corn cereal - Not at Bob’s red mill. So happy I bought it right then and there. Now I can wait till I have some money set aside to really enjoy my trip there. There are so many things that I will be able to make now out of my cookbook, super stoked!! Also, today we stumbled upon Quinoa super grain pasta and also found flax4life chocolate chip muffins. Oh Holy Jesus, I love you. I almost had a panic attack in the middle of the isle I was so ecstatic. Tonight, I ate Mac&cheese, not quite the same and I definitely forgot the right amounts of other ingredients - but I was too excited when I was cooking it that I didn’t even care. There will be countless more times where I can perfect my new version.

Very happy right now. 

<3

Today did not get off to a good start, I found myself in the situation of having to make my food decisions in a comfort food-carb heaven.

I walked around for a few minutes looking at all this yummyness that I can no longer have. All the cakes and cookies and breads…. I looked at some naked juice type things and every single one of them had either Apple, strawberries or carrots. My life. Fortunately for me, I asked someone if they had large pieces of lettuce and enjoyed a lettuce wrap burger. What I really wanted was one of the sandwiches or a Bagel, but this was a decent substitution. Some days are super easy food options, today… Not so much. On that note, last night there was a family dinner at my house. There was dutch macaroni, meatloaf with potatoes and soto. (soup with rice) Sad to say, I ate a bowl full of cucumbers. Someone, bless their heart - didn’t realize my allergies have gotten as bad as they are - asked me if I’m deciding to be gluten free. My whole body shutters as I try not to show how irritated I now am. I have been asked this question almost everyday, and every time I get just as frustrated. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it, more that I’m tired of people assuming that this is a fad diet or some trial run at me attempting to cut out carbs. Hopefully someday soon, people will stop asking this question. I know things will take time to get use to and there will be lots of changes and adjustments, I guess some days are just better than others.

This evening we had some family over for dinner and cards. My wonderful husband made chicken on the Traeger and it was so delicious, I was very happy. My FIL helped hubby make lobster too. Omomom - things I can eat!! :)

I pulled some crab out of the freezer and started to make my first recipe from my Make It Paleo Cookbook. When skimming through the pages, I came across crab cakes. Really? Crab Cakes??? Yesssssssssssss….. So I proceeded to do all the prep work, but I filled up on chicken and lobster so I will make those later, maybe tomorrow for lunch :) I can’t wait!

I know once I am further along in my journey, I will accept my limitations much easier. For now, I will struggle everyday, this I already know. But as long as I have Kris by my side, I know things will work out in the end. :)

Struggling everyday…

Today is yet another day, where my allergies are shoved in my face. It’s been many years since I could eat anything and everything, but since the newest developments - I get either sad, overwhelmed or frustrated everyday. As of October 3rd, I can “enjoy” less than 20 fruits & vegetables, meat, seafood and water. Nothing else. When I say it that way, it doesn’t sound too bad I guess…. Like it’s not that many things I am unable to have, like some fad diet or something. But when most people ask in detail what they are - and I respond with I’m either allergic or intolerant of :

  • ALL grains (except corn)
  • Anything in the potato family
  • All Nuts
  • Most Dairy
  • Fruit + Sugar (which I’m still confused on so I’m waiting to go back to the doctor to clarify, but I do believe that means all juice and wine included…
  • Apples, Kiwi, Strawberries, Pears, Carrots, Peppercini Peppers, Green Beans & also on some occasion: celery, Red, yellow & green bell peppers, salad mix (IE. different kinds of lettuce…) More is added to this section regularly…

I feel like I’m rambling on and on as their face gets more surprised and there jaw gets closer to the floor. Yes, I am a endless list of foods that could either give me stabbing plains to where I am in a ball, crying on the floor or could put me into anaphylactic shock. And Yes - I do have an Epi-Pen. For anyone unfamiliar with anaphylactic shock: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001847/ 

At times (especially as of late) I feel like I am such a burden to others and dislike my situation more and more daily. When you think - “Oh I can’t have nuts, or… I can’t do dairy, or even allergic to ____ & ____ , if it is just a few things, I think I would deal a lot better. Any ONE of those bullet points above, I would be happy with, but ALL? REALLY GOD?? I don’t feel like I am asking for too much, and I do believe in Karma - but am I that much of a bad person; or done that much more bad then good that I am punished with this?? I know, I know, Everything happens for a reason. And I fully believe that, I know there is always a lesson to learn - I guess in this case, I just haven’t learned it yet.

Besides this mess, I have the most wonderful husband I could ever ask for. For a while I said that God sent him to me, and as of recent events - I think this could be why. I have wanted to completely brake down, on all levels. But he won’t let me. He jokes that he should have gotten a full physical done on me before we got married (which makes me laugh and smile) but I know he would never give up on me. If he could, he would have already. We recently had our first anniversary, and when everyone says its either: the honeymoon all the way -or- it will be the hardest year - they were right. This has been one tough year - Full of my emotional and physical roller coaster that seems to be never ending. But I somehow won the lottery and found a man that will stick by my side no matter what comes at us. I feel so very blessed to have someone so understanding and loving as my husband. He helps me keep it together, and when I break - he puts me back together. I consider myself the lucky one in this relationship.

Sometimes I get waves of cravings, whether I’m hungry or not. I know this new “lifestyle” will take some getting use to, but will I always want things I can’t have? What if I can NEVER have my favorite foods again? Never be able to eat at my favorite restaurant again? It’s like I get the spins but I am surrounded by the things I can no longer enjoy. For some, I know I can make creative substitutions but really - How the hell am I going to eat macaroni & cheese if I can have NO grains & NO cheese. REALLY??? I feel like I will never win this battle.

On the bright side, I think I’ve started to embrace all these changes. I have searched online and in book stores for help in directing my new life. I did (luckily) find an amazing cookbook called Make it Paleo By Bill Staley & Hayley Mason - with about 90% of the recipes I can have, I think I believe this is some kind of miracle, even if it’s a small one. http://beta.primal-palate.com/store/books  I haven’t been able to try much out yet but I will be making to trip to Bob’s Red Mill to buy Coconut flour and see what else I can have there. Maybe Pizza and other beloved grain dishes won’t be lost forever. As for some macaroni & cheese, I guess only time will tell.