Sunday, August 12, 2012

on food allergies

So remember how I found out I'm allergic to the world.  Or just trees, grass, soybeans, peanuts, and sesame seeds.  I didn't really understood what all that meant.  Peanuts are fairly easy to avoid.  Yes, I'm pretty allergic to them, like allergic enough I have to have an Epi-pen.  It doesn't really make sense to me, but I guess doctors know more than I do.

So, I can avoid peanuts.  I know the things peanuts are in.  No more Reese's cups, no more peanut butter, no more peanut brittle, no straight up peanuts.  Sesame seeds.  That one made me kind of sad.  My favorite Chinese restaurant serves sesame chicken which happens to be one of my all time favorite foods.  Deep fried chicken in a sesame sauce.  Holy cow it's delicious.  But there will be no more sesame chicken for this girl.

Which leads me to the soybeans.  Oh soybeans.  Initially I thought, oh that's easy.  I never eat soybeans.  I've never had an overwhelming need to eat edamame.  Oh but wait, soybeans are in practically everything!  That soy sauce I love on my sesame chicken, both out.  Practically all packaged cookies, a lot of packaged foods, and ice cream sandwiches.

The good news is, this is like a medically mandated diet.  I am severely limited in the quick foods I can eat.  Most of the stuff in our cabinets is off limits for me.  So it's been hard when I got ready to pack my lunch for work and a little more difficult than usual to cook dinner.  I'm guilty of using a lot of quick to cook foods -- those pasta packets with seasoning, Stovetop Stuffing, pasta salad, that sort of thing.  But all of those are out now.

So I'm back to cooking from scratch which is way healthier.  And for lunch.  I've never thought about what I packed for lunch, just whatever sounded good.  Now I have to start thinking about it.  So lately it's been saltine crackers (they are soy free!), cheese, and grapes.

I talked to one of my sisters yesterday and she said she had come up with an allergy free way to make cashew chicken for me and could make it for my birthday when I go to my parents.  I thought that was the sweetest thing for her to do.  And they do actually make soy free soy sauce.  I'm not sure exactly how that works, but I'm willing to try it.

So, soy free here we come.  I think it's going to be easy to handle at home.  And so many restaurants have allergens listed online.  So that's not too bad.  I can check out restaurants before we go and see what I can eat.  I think the real challenge is going to be eating at family dinners or things at other people's houses.  We tailgated Friday night before the Chiefs first pre-season game.  I had to read labels on everything before I could eat it.  Yes, I felt really dumb doing it, but it's worth it to not have hives.

Yesterday I read the labels on my vitamins, both the ones I take have soy in them so I'm going to have to find different vitamins to take.  So, yesterday was totally soy free except for my vitamins.  And guess what, no hives!  It was amazing!  And I worked outside a lot of the day, doing landscaping with my husband and caulking the trim we put up outside the basement.  It was so amazing to have a day without hives.

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