No Lefse or Lutefisk? That’s Ludicrous!

6 Sep

Not the rapper by the way^ although I did create a pretty mean rhyme. 😉  Okay this title is misleading, which wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done this [See “Hunger Games” post from March], but it was too damn catchy not to use.  Despite my Norwegian heritage, I have no particular attachment to lutefisk whatsoever.  Frankly, it freaks me out.  Lefse however…pass me the butter and sugar! (But not until next month of course ;-))

I drew one of the allergen months out of the bucket for September.  From there, I drew for one plant and one animal allergen.  Wheat and fish are to avoided like the plague for the next 2 weeks.

Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system.  Harmless proteins are attacked with an influx of histamine to try to flush out the perceived “invaders”.  Allergies (and food allergies in particular) are on the rise.  One theory as to why this might be the case is coined the hygiene hypothesis.  It seems that children who are exposed to more germs while growing up (such as those who live on farms or have pets) tend to exhibit fewer allergies.  Translation = throw away your bottle of Purell  and let your kids play in the dirt for cryin’ out loud!

Symptoms of wheat allergy:

*Abdominal pain & loose stools (12-72 hrs after eating) – most common

*Asthma (ingested/inhaled wheat flour)

*Rhinitis (Stuffy/runny nose)

*Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

*Hives and tissue swelling (especially of the face)

*Anaphylactic reaction (severe allergic response involving most organ systems) has been reported in young infants but is a very rare occurrence. [In extreme cases, anaphylactic shock may result in heart failure.]

*Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is more common. [This can occur up to 2 hours after eating/drinking and appears to be related to the stress of exertion during digestion.]

Wheat allergies are more commonly seen in children than adults.  Luckily, children with allergies to soy, egg, milk, & wheat can outgrow their allergies & ~85% are no longer allergic at the age of 5!

Guidelines for fish allergies:

If there is no risk of an anaphylactic reaction,  a person need only avoid the fish species that have caused a reaction when consumed.  If there is a risk of an anaphylactic reaction, a person should avoid all fish and their derivatives.*

*For the purposes of my experiment, I will be avoiding all fish.

What I ate my first day with wheat and fish allergies:

Breakfast: Gluten-free oatmeal with blueberries & vanilla powder; hard boiled egg; gluten-free chocolate glazed doughnut dipped into hazelnut coffee [Mmm…lazy weekend breakfasts!]

Lunch: Bowl of veggie chili + 2 hard boiled eggs with dijon mustard; glass of almond milk

In the car: a few sunflower seeds before noticing this disclaimer: “Manufactured on equipment shared with milk, soy, & wheat products”.  Whoops!…

Snack/mini meal: small slice of watermelon; baked corn chips with salsa; homemade dill pickle spear; potato chips with 3! different kinds of hummus [“3 Pepper”, “Roasted Garlic”, & “Artichoke & Garlic” – what luxury!  Derek and I stayed at a friend’s lake cabin and his awesome family fed us well!  The excitement I experienced over the 3 kinds of hummus matched that which I used to feel during childhood summer visits to my aunt’s house.  Cocoa Pebbles?!  Cinnamon Toast Crunch?!  OH MY GOD!!!  At home, it was generic Cheerios and Raisin Bran!]

Supper: corn on the cob, beets, green beans, tomato slices, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, vinegar & sour cream doused cucumbers, turkey burger, 3/4 small hamburger with crushed corn & potato chips on top (mock bun?) – [I made Derek wash the grill spatula between uses as there were salmon burgers on the grill as well.  Cross contamination?!  Not on my watch!  I caught it just in the nick of time!  He rolls his eyes at my neurotic requests but grants them regardless.  I can read his thought process & it goes something like this: First you move the toaster and ask me to cut my bread on a different counter & now this?  But you don’t have these allergies!  A simple reminder at my aim for authenticity doesn’t seem to have him convinced.  Oh well! :)]

Midnight (literally) snack: same components of earlier snack/mini-meal minus the pickle + a few pistachios

Holiday binge fest!  Eat more?  Move less?  ‘Merica!  I find it funny how we tend to stuff ourselves and move less than usual during the holidays.  Gotta fuel up to sit on our butts!

Sources:

Joneja, J. (2003) Dealing with Food Allergies

Larsen, L. (2008) The Everything Food Allergy Cookbook

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