22 August 2012

Living with Food Allergies

Well, folks, that day has come where I finally discovered a food allergy. I know this is weird, but I since last year, I wanted to be Celiac so that I had to go gluten-free instead of having a choice. Now, if you're Celiac, don't tell me I don't want it. I realize that I shouldn't want it. I'm just weird like that. Anyway, this summer I would get red bumps and welts that would itch and my throat would itch like crazy. I don't have anaphylaxis, so my throat never closed up and I just thought it'd go away after a while... Newsflash: it did not. Fast forward to the beginning of August and I finally decided to go to my allergist and have a scratch test done. Turns out I'm allergic to beef & mushrooms. The first thing I texted my best friends, Emily & Caroline was "How unAmerican am I that I can no longer have hamburgers?!" It was slightly traumatizing.

The next week, I went and saw mom-b who's son has EE and she knows all about food allergies. She's done the research, so I mooched off of her and found out all sorts of things you can find beef. I won't list them all, but here are a few that I ate during "vegetarian phases" that I had no clue contained beef:

1. red dye #40 & yellow #5 - I know they aren't good for you anyway (esp. for people with ADHD, like me), but had no idea there was beef in it!

2. "natural flavors" - now, I try to avoid artificial flavors, but always thought natural flavors were ok. natural flavors are often from an animal source. Typically it is not labeled if it is veggie or animal, much less which animal, so I'm steering clear of it!

3. Glycerin - Animal fat. it's in all my soaps...maybe that's why I'm getting welts? 

As soon as I found out I was allergic to beef & mushrooms, I whisked off to Maine & Canada. Traveling is especially hard with a beef allergy you aren't used to yet...

As strenuous as looking at every ingredient is, I know I'll be healthier in the long run.

And now I don't eat this cute guy:

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