Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Living With Food Allergies

One of my goals for the month of March is to eat clean. The main reason for wanting to shift to a cleaner diet is because of all my food allergies and intolerances. For me, eating clean is not just about eating healthy foods; it's about eating foods that are healthy for my body.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt sick after eating. It wasn’t just because I was eating junk as some might suspect. I felt sick after eating food. Period.

Things got a little better over the years and for a while, I actually thought most of my issues were getting resolved. I was probably just getting better at ignoring the symptoms. Then, suddenly I couldn't ignore it anymore. My allergies got way out of control - not only was I feeling sick on the inside, but my skin was reacting to everything in the environment. I was miserable and exhausted all the time. I could literally feel the energy draining from my body every time it had to fight against some allergen I was exposed to. This was a pathetic way to live so I finally decided to do something about it.

I knew in order for my body to feel "normal" again, I'd have to make a lot of changes. But in order for me to do that, I needed to know exactly what to change.

I went for a skin prick test last October and the results were eye-opening. A lot of my suspicions were confirmed but many of the foods I ate regularly were also on that list. In fact, some of the foods were such a normal part of my diet I had to write the list down so I would remember to not eat them.

Allergies and diets became the centre of my focus and things like oral allergy syndrome, elimination diet and desensitization crept into my everyday conversations. However, I decided to hold off on making changes until after our trip home. It would've been too difficult to adhere to an elimination diet with all the Christmas meals, family gatherings and our old favourite restaurants to visit. Plus, it would be so unfair to anyone we visited to have to cater to my new dietary restrictions.

I did start paying more attention to what I was eating though. I noticed myself cutting down on things I wasn't supposed to eat and trying out vegetarian options that I would have previously overlooked for red meat dishes.

And that is how my journey into cleaner eating began.

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