Archive | October, 2012

Allergic to Blogging?

7 Oct

Uff da!  It’s been a whole month since I’ve posted anything.  You might be wondering if I developed a blog allergy. 😉  Perhaps you are smarter than the average bear and assume I’ve been busy and lazy. 🙂  Ding Ding!  Looks like I’ve got some splainin’ to do…

Here’s what I ate my last day with a wheat & fish allergy (September 15th):

[I was able to obtain this info by studying an old FitDay (http://www.fitday.com/) record.  I was counting calories, because I wanted to lose weight before the wedding (epic fail by the way).  I had gained about 5 pounds since purchasing my wedding dress.  Oh well.  Good thing I bought a sundress, because I had a little extra room to work with! ]

Breakfast: Steel cut oats with sliced banana & strawberries + chia seeds

Snack: Mary’s Gone Crackers (gluten-free rice crackers)

Lunch: Brown rice tortilla with pepperoni, spinach, tomato, cucumber slices, pinto beans, & feta cheese

Supper: leftover veggie stir fry with tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) + Grass-fed beef burger on gluten-free bun with tomato; potato wedges & peppers, 1 brussels sprout

Late night snack binge: a few kernels of Angie’s White Cheddar Kettle Corn popcorn, corn chips with hot sauce, potato chips with garlic hummus; gluten-free Cocoa Wafers

I’ve gotten really good at eating too much food again.  Eating Olympics here I come!

I decided to make the end of September a little easy on myself by choosing my allergens.  I knew the groom’s supper was to be held at a restaurant with a sandwich bar.  I decided to be allergic to shellfish and peanuts for the remainder of the month.  I figured this was the best way to stay true to the experiment without having to shun the predetermined groom’s supper meal.  It would be rude for me to let a pretend allergy unnecessarily get in the way of a gift from Derek’s family.

An allergy to peanuts is usually lifelong.  Peanut allergies are not the most common (milk holds that title).  However, we tend to hear a lot about the severity of peanut allergies in the news.  Interestingly, the peanut protein has a unique shape, exposing the allergenic molecules right on the surface.  Also, there are 3 specific protein molecules that provoke a reaction, meaning 3x the potential response of the immune system.  The tiniest amount can have a humungous effect!  Despite all the hype surrounding peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish actually cause more anaphylactic reactions.

Shellfish allergies can occur at any time in life.  Some folks who are allergic to shellfish can actually eat fin fish and mollusks such as clams and oysters.  People with a severe allergy to fish or shellfish are encouraged to avoid all seafood.

Here’s what I ate my first day with a shellfish & peanut allergy (September 16th):

Breakfast: Smoothie made with 1/2 banana, blueberries, and almond milk

Lunch: Jimmy Johns Vegetarian Sammich (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, provolone cheese, mayo, and guacamole); whole wheat crackers with garlic hummus; kettle cooked potato chips [Jimmy Johns uses peanut oil in their chips, so I had to make a special stop at the grocery store.  Sometimes I REQUIRE chips on my sammiches!  Pure peanut oil may actually be safe for a person with peanut allergies.  Oil is FAT and the peanut PROTEIN is what causes the reaction.  However, due to the likelihood of the oil being contaminated, it’s best to avoid it.]

Supper: Homemade vegetarian chili with corn chips

On September 29th, I got married.  Awwwww…

Anyway, I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted on this day.  I think I still managed to avoid shellfish and peanuts themselves.  However, I got lunch from a Thai restaurant which probably guarantees some peanut cross-contamination action.

What I ate on the day I could eat whatever the hell I wanted! (Wedding day – September 29th):

Breakfast: Life cereal with almond milk (& blueberries probably)  [I try to avoid buying cereal, because I eat it as though I’ve never tasted cereal before, but I anticipated feeding company.]

Lunch: Tom Yum Soup with fresh tofu (Thai soup with lemongrass, peppers and onions), fresh spring rolls (cucumber, carrots, lettuce) dipped in sweet & sour sauce, 1 cream cheese wonton

Supper: I tried a little bit of all of the dishes offered at my wedding: gingered quinoa with tomatoes, corn, peas, and carrots; mushroom & barley stew (meant to be soup ;-)), sweet potato & squash stew (again – meant to be soup!), pasta e fagioli (tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, white beans) without the pasta, herb roasted potatoes, cinnamon baked apples (with maple syrup and orange juice – mmm – delicious tummy ache!)

Reception snacks:  I had a sip of champagne, one piece of marble cake, & 1 dinner mint

I was sick (with a yucky cold), running around in every direction, and stressed out.  If that hadn’t been the case, I’m sure my freebie day would have included a lot more naughty fare.  Don’t worry!  I made up for it the next day when I was even more sleep deprived but a little less busy.

What I ate my last day with a shellfish & peanut allergy (September 30th):

Breakfast: Continental @ the hotel!: waffle with “maple syrup”, [Translation: high-fructose corn syrup with caramel color & added maple flavor]  butter, 1 banana & a couple of canned peach slices; 2 glasses of orange juice; 1 cup of coffee with half & half creamer.

Lunch: Leftover quinoa, e falioli (pastaless again), wild rice stew, herb roasted potatoes

Never-ending desserts during gift opening: small piece of cinnamon baked apple, lemon bar [leftover from groom’s supper – so good!], 2 pieces of peach pie [a thoughtful and tasty wedding gift from a coworker/friend]

Supper: [I never had any guests spend the night, so all the breakfast cereal was left in my possession – Danger Will Robinson!]- 3! bowls of Life cereal with almond milk + frozen blueberries & raspberries [Cereal for supper? It’s college all over again!]

Sleep deprivation + stress = GIVE ME ALL THE SUGAR YOU HAVE AND NOBODY GETS HURT!!!

The diet that I drew for October was part 2 of the allergen diet.  The 2 allergens picked were dairy and tree nuts.  This means that during the last 2 weeks in October, I will be cutting out the 2 remaining allergens: soy and eggs.

Dairy allergies are much more common in young infants and children than adults.  There are 2 types of milk allergy: rapid onset and slow onset.  Rapid onset occurs within minutes of ingesting the milk protein.  Symptoms may include: hives, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis.  Slow onset is more common and results in vomiting, fussiness, & failure to thrive.  In most cases, a child will “outgrow” his/her allergy to cow’s milk between the ages of 18 months-2 years, once the immune system and digestive tract have further developed.  We have already discussed lactose intolerance in the past, but I must emphasize that lactose intolerance and a true milk allergy is NOT THE SAME.  An allergy involves the immune system while an intolerance generally does not.

Tree nut allergies often last your entire life.  A person with a peanut allergy has a 40-50% chance of developing an allergy to tree nuts as well.  In theory, it is only necessary to avoid the specific species of nut that has been identified as the culprit allergen.  Unfortunately, certain tree nuts are known for causing anaphylactic reactions.  As a result, a person with a tree nut allergy should ideally avoid all nuts as the risk of cross-contamination is high.

What I ate my first day with a dairy & tree nuts allergy:

Breakfast: Leftover herb roasted potatoes with black beans & tomato slices; cup of coffee with coconut milk & Stevia in the Raw packet [which I’ve recently learned is not actually stevia – damn you food manufacturers and your lies!]

Lunch: NA – I wasn’t hungry.

Supper: pasta e fagioli (minus the pasta); bowl of chicken barley soup with potatoes & mushrooms, chicken leg

@ movie (The Dark Knight Rises – kicked ass by the way!): homemade popcorn popped in palm oil & lightly sprinkled with sea salt [That’s right!  I’m a cheapo and I don’t like all the nasty stuff they use to make movie theater popcorn(which likely involves dairy too!)] + cotton candy [This I can’t make at home, and even if I could, it would still be just as terrible for me. :-)]

I will save all of my cravings, sins, & lessons learned for the end of the month, combining all of my knowledge and experience with the allergen diets.  This will include a synopsis of a honeymoon with dairy & tree nut dietary restrictions.

P.S. With only 2 months left to draw, I’m getting a little nervous.  One of the diets I’ve yet to endure is the tyramine restricted diet.  I don’t know all of the details, but I do know that CHOCOLATE IS NOT ALLOWED!  If I survive a chocolate-less Christmas this year, I will know that I am officially capable of anything and everything!  The good news is that I can steal some candy and freeze it for New Year’s Day. [Yes, I’ve really thought this through!]  I’ve already warned Derek that I’m going to get fat this winter.  He questioned “Why?”  I implied DUH and replied “Because I’ll be able to eat whatever I want!!”  Now that the marriage is official, I might as well “let myself go”, right?! 😉

Sources:

Joneja, J. (2003) Dealing with Food Allergies (Pg. 123-125, 189, 190, 195)

Larsen, L. (2008) The Everything Food Allergy Cookbook (Pages 9-10,14)

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