It’s Official: I’m Allergic to the World

food-allergies“Wouldn’t it be bad if I found out I was allergic to more foods?”

My sister, Shannon, shot me back a worried look that said, “Don’t even joke about that!”

With my already nearly epic allergen list (peanuts, mushrooms, coconut, honeydew, and the inability to digest gluten or beef) I felt pretty confident that not a thing would show up during my food allergy testing.  How many food allergies can one gal have?  Apparently, quite a lot.

Yesterday, after my allergy testing was done, I felt like a car had run over me.  My body didn’t like the testing very much.  While the good news is that I’m feeling less like roadkill this morning,  the bad news is that I have TEN NEW FOOD ALLERGIES to try and navigate life with.  Oh, boy.

The happy woman doing my testing suddenly looked very grave: “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”  Not exactly what you want to hear.  She’d never seen anyone come out with so many food allergies.  And as she read of the list of the foods I had to say goodbye to, I felt like I was going into shock.

1. Milk
2. Eggs
3. Apples
4. Peaches
5. Pork
6. Shrimp
7. Soy bean
8. Strawberries
9. Tomatoes
10. Tuna

By the time she was finished reading off my new found food foes, I was laughing in that “better-call-the-men-in-the-white-coats” kind of way.  Seemed better than crying all over myself at the doctor’s office.

The results mean: buying pre-made foods is a luxury I don’t really have anymore, all of my favorite holiday dishes aren’t options, there’s no way I’m going on the four-week study abroad trip to Rome with my school, not sure how baking would even work, and just going to the grocery store will take even longer than usual thanks to all the ingredient-label reading.  And, also, every single recipe I’ve posted on The Crunchy Cook so far are things I can’t eat anymore.  That one probably makes me the most sad (I was already pretty sure Rome wasn’t happening).

The results also explain why I’m so hyper-sensitive to all of my allergies, why I feel crummy much of the time, and my stomach hurts so much.  It’s a shock to the system trying to wrap my head around my new list of food allergies, but I wouldn’t go back to not knowing about them for anything.  I wish I didn’t have any allergies, I wish I was easier to feed, but I don’t wish that I was blissfully unaware … because now I can start taking proper care of my body.

I know I’ll slowly figure out how to feed myself again, and eventually discover food I enjoy eating, too.  But I feel like I’m starting over completely and it’s overwhelming.

Mom hugged me and said, “You’re not on your own.  We’ll figure this out together.”  And she’s right.

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18 thoughts on “It’s Official: I’m Allergic to the World

    • Welcome to my blog! And thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      I know that some of my allergies (like apples and mushrooms, for example) do run rather strongly in my extended family. Some of the other allergies, though, seem to just be mine. If we decided to have children they may have allergies due to all of mine but at the same time Mr. M, the fiance, doesn’t have a single food allergy. And the kiddos would be getting DNA from both of us. So who knows. I’d definitely get them tested for food allergies though (and that would be just as true even if we adopted).

      ~Kelsey

      • I was told that you can get allergies if your parents have them. But it may not be the same ones. For example, if your parents have hayfever you can get food allergies. Also, if you are allergic to apple’s you are most likely allergic to the apple family.

  1. I just wanted to say that I love your blog! And while I know how upsetting it is to find out that you have even more allergies, I am also happy… without eggs, milk, peanuts and flour I can try any new recipes you make 🙂 Good luck and I can’t wait to read more from you.

  2. It is very hard at first, but it gets easier! I can’t have eggs, dairy, soy, chicken, or gluten, so I feel your pain. I’ve found a lot of Mexican and Asian recipes can easily be adapted to my needs. I quit looking on “allergy friendly” website, and have just started looking at regular recipes and tweaking them. Chocolate was one of the things I missed most initially. The brand Enjoy Life makes chocolate chips that are so good that my family members now buy them instead of regular ones! Almond milk is also tasty on some Chex and can be used for cooking.

    • Hi Jackie! Welcome to my blog. And thank you so much for your encouraging comment.

      Gluten, dairy, eggs, soy are like the Big Four. They’re a horrible combination for anyone to have. I also have other random allergies like peaches, apples, strawberries, honeydew, some food dyes, most sweeteners don’t agree with me. And the list goes on. I feel like I can’t even keep track of all of my own allergies anymore, which is both depressing and kind of funny. I’m sure you completely understand. 🙂

      I think that Mexican (minus the diary, tomatoes, and mushrooms) or Indian food will likely be my best best. That’s what I usually did prior to the newest food foe additions. And sea food, which is still an option providing I avoid shellfish and don’t cook it in butter. Asian food, sadly, isn’t often an option do to all the peanut oil. I think I’m just thinking out loud.

      So, did you find any books or cookbooks specifically helpful when you first started off? Since I’ve been gluten-free for about five years already and have and other food allergies for my whole life, I know how to read labels and all that jazz. It’s figuring out what to make that I’m having a hard time with.

      ~Kelsey

      • Any time I got a cookbook, there were very few recipes I could eat even if the book claimed to be allergy friendly. I do look up vegan recipes because they tend to be high in foods I can actually eat (except the soy). I really like to cook and it sounds like you do too. Therefore, I usually just make up my own recipes. I gave up on the idea of eating any processed or pre-prepared food. I’ve found soup to be my best friend. You can make up so many combinations of vegetables, tomato juice/vegetable broth, and herbs to make amazing flavors. My favorite right now is what I call “Mexican Soup”. I put fresh peeled tomatoes, corn, avocado, cilantro, lime, and black beans. I’m not allergic to peanut oil, but hate it so I just use canola oil. You can do stir fry veggies with meat. Make your own sauce and use corn starch to thicken it. I eat a lot of hummus and beans rolled up in tortillas with veggies or use them as a dip… You can make allergy friendly enchilada sauce and make vegan enchiladas. I also eat Quinoa a lot… This was definitely a ramble but I hope something in here helped you!

        • Jackie, that makes complete sense. I noticed that before when I was just gluten-free. I’d check out a cookbook but because I had other food allergies, I wouldn’t be able to eat the majority of the recipes! I got tired of spending ten to twenty dollars on a book that would only have like two recipes I could actually eat, even though the title made it sound like it’d be doable for me.

          I tend to eat a lot of soup, so that’s good because it’ll still be easy to make. And hummus on anything is amazing!

          I haven’t used Quinoa before, tend to live off of rice, but I’d been wanting to try something new. Do you use it in most of the same recipes that you’d use rice in? It’d be nice to have another option. 🙂

          ~Kelsey

          • Yes, you can definitely use it anywhere you use rice! My latest favorite is to cook it using veggie broth, then throw in some cilantro, lime, onion, and tomato. Another yummy way to eat it is with cinnamon and brown sugar (can’t have cinnamon anymore!) It is much more filling than rice and stays with you longer because it has more protein and fiber. Good luck!

  3. Wow, I thought I had it bad! You poor thing! That’s a LOT of foods to have to avoid. It can definitely be discouraging sometimes …. sometimes I just feel eating in general is completely unsafe!

    • I completely agree! Eating does feel unsafe! After I got home from the allergy testing I grabbed some gluten-free crackers that I’d always believed to be safe, and there was soy in them! I couldn’t believe it; less than an hour after my testing and I had already eaten one of my allergens. =P

      Thankfully, it’s been going better since then. My family and fiance have all been helping me read ingredient labels, and do lots of brain storming on what to feed me.

      ~Kelsey

  4. Oh wow, I feel your pain and I had a very similar doctor appointment a few months ago! Something just seems OFF about allergy testing to me. When I went the doc told me I was allergic to beef, chicken, tomatoes, virtually EVERYTHING they tested me for. I still eat all of those things because I am DEATHLY allergic to egg, nuts, and all seafood. Those things alone cut off so many food items that I couldn’t IMAGINE cutting out more things.

    What’s your opinion? Do you think that you are actually allergic to all of the things you tested positive for, or do you think there could be some sort of error? I just wonder if there is so much histamine being created that our sensitive skin and bodies freak out and start bubbling to everything. I felt extremely helpless after my doctor’s appointment too and just tried to focus on the fact that just because I showed up positive didn’t meany the foods were off limits completely.

    Love your blog by the way!

    • It is pretty overwhelming! I went to the allergist because I’ve been having allergies all the time, my stomach hurts constantly, and I thought I regularly got the stomach flu. I had no idea what was wrong, but my doctor wanted to rule out allergies. And now that I think about it, I’d end up feeling all of those things after I ate the things I tested positive for.

      I’m deathly allergic peanuts (I ended up having to use my EpiPen and got to take a ride in an ambulance) because a woman just opened a jar of peanut butter near me. I’ve also been super duper sensitive to all of my other allergies (perfumes, soaps, plants, etc.). And it seemed like part of why I was so sensitive was because I was having allergic reactions all of the time so my body never really had time to recover.

      I definitely think that not all of the allergies someone will show up with will be super severe. I came out as pretty sensitive though, and it really explains why I’ve been so allergic and just felt crummy lately. And so far, my stomach doesn’t hurt at all today! Seems like a good sign. 🙂

      ~Kelsey

  5. My heart goes out to you. I can’t have wheat at all (not only gluten), soy oil is in so many things, and that is a no, no too. I have an allergy to broccoli too. Anyway, I wanted to offer a short list of ideas. I try to start any change with a good, hearty meal so I can think better. Some stir fry chicken chunks to brown, then rough chop kalamata olives in oil, add and simmer ’til done? You could put it over rice, quinoa or steamed cauliflower.
    Tomatillos are in the Gooseberry family (they aren’t tomatoes), and can be used in recipes in place of tomatoes. Your sauce will be green, but the taste has a nice tang similar to the richnesss of a roma when roasted or stirfried. Great for salsa’s too.
    Rice Dream is a brand of rice milk that might do. I’ve not tried it. There are rice crackers that can be purchased, and rice flour recipes for cakes.
    (I’m not allergic to apples, but they have a little too high sugar load for me, I just like those calories spread out more, so I found another option) For an apple replacement, I love Chayote Squash, chop, steam, then add whatever sweetener you like, some lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg, and this will taste like “fried apples.” (It doesn’t tast like apples when raw, but it makes a great, slightly sweet crunch that’s sort of a cross between a potatoe and a pear. Great for dipping raw too.
    It’s not much, but hopefully you’ll find some inspiration. All the best to you.

    • Thank you for taking the time to come up with several suggestions, Tina! I completely agree, starting with a good, hearty meal is the best way to go. Everything seems more overwhelming when I’m hungry.

      Do you have a wheat allergy? I’ve had celiac disease for about five years (well, I’ve had it for longer but that’s how long I’ve been aware of it) so I’m completely free of wheat, barley, spelt, and rye. Even a crumb in my food and I’ll get super sick, sometimes for as long as three weeks. So I really feel for you having to avoid wheat, too.

      You’re right, there are some options like rice crackers and things like that. The main issue I’m having with a lot of the gluten-free/wheat-free products contain soy, so that cuts down on most all of my favorite rice cracker. Hoping to find some new brands that are also soy free.

      I’d never thought of tomatillo. I’ll have to look into that.

      ~Kelsey

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