Allergic To Everything
If you are allergic to everything, WHAT do you EAT?!
It's a running joke in my family that if you list all the allergies in our house, we cover ALL the food groups. When we are asked over to dinner, our hosts often regret their decision when they ask if we have any allergies! I can just imagine what they are thinking as I start off our list...wheat, gluten, milk, corn, soy, meat, black or green tea, and only fresh fruit and tomatoes....
"What DO these people eat?" Are YOU stumped? Then read on....
What food sensitivities do you have?
The beginning of the story...
It all starts off with eggs and tomatoes as allergies I have always known I had. I spent several hours in the emergency room as a baby and toddler because well meaning friends or family didn't read the ingredient label. As I grew up, I thought maybe my allergies were going away because I only got an upset stomach if I ate them "too often". As an adult I found out that allergies never "go away", they simply show up in different ways. I also found out that if you stay away from an allergen for several years, you can try to add it back in on a rotating schedule if you want to.
After my daughter was born, we learned about brain allergies, and crossed wheat and corn off the list.When my oldest son was born, we learned about wheat sensitivities showing up as tooth decay... his baby teeth were decayed before they broke the gums. (I'll share how I made sure his adult teeth would grow in strong and white in another hub!) We also found out that black and green tea did weird things to him. Fruit juice and other cooked fruit were not pleasant experiences either, and were quickly added to our "not in this house" list.
Cow Milk and rBGH
It was somewhere around this time that we realized we were reacting to cow milk. We did try to eliminate it, but dairy was something we did not feel we could be without. So we looked for a solution that would suit us.
We learned about rBGH (bovine growth hormone) being given to cows to increase their milk production. As we have several chemical sensitivities, we decided to try rBGH free (bovine growth hormone) milk; way back, when it was a new thing.That did help a little, but we continued to notice problems, and decided to try something different.
Pateurized Milk, Raw Milk, and Soy Milk
We moved on to researching pasteurization and raw milk, and the differences between them. Pasteurization is the process of "cooking" the milk to kill bacteria. Unfortunately current research has shown that the temperature used to pasteurize was only killing some of the bacteria. It kills off the "microbe gang" (to quote Ms. Frizzle from Magic school Bus), but left the agents of decay alive and well. The end result is that pasteurized milk goes bad, instead of curdling like raw milk.
Through my research I came to understand that the safety of raw milk is defined by its quality, and set out to find out what quality raw milk consisted of. I found a source I could trust, and we tried raw milk. We found it to be a glorious discovery, and thoroughly enjoyed our milk again...until we moved and tried to find a new source.
We did find good sources online, and they did ship, but those sources froze the milk in order to keep it good while in transit. For us, frozen was not an option.
With the limited availability of raw milk, we thought that maybe soy milk was the answer... ewww! The taste and smell were horrible! It turned out that soy is another family allergy anyway, and we gladly gave it up.
In total frustration we swore off cow's milk and soy!
We have been quite happy to find Almond Milk, and use Rice Milk when we can't. Luckily neither of these have shown any hint of problems! Yeah!
What could possibly be left to be allergic to?
So, if you are keeping track, that is NO milk, eggs, wheat, corn, soy, cooked fruit or tomatoes...and be careful of the tea.
"What does your family eat?" We hear that question all the time.
Well, meat and veggies were still okay, and rice and potatoes are still safe.... The problem with that is that both of my children and I did not like to eat meat very much. "Once a day, do we have to?" "How about if I just take a bite or two?" When my youngest was born, he was the healthiest, strongest, and had been the longest pregnancy. He seemed to tolerate food better than anyone else, and went after everything we offered with a gusto!
I was completely unprepared for what would happen when we first fed him meat...his digestion went to heck, and nobody slept for DAYS! Turned out, the baby couldn't eat meat....
My other children (and I) jumped for joy! That meant, as a food that one of us had an allergy to, that it wouldn't be in the house anymore! We bounced around like Tigger for quite a while!
Can You Grow Out of Allergies?
When we first discovered any of our allergies, we were told that we would need to just remove it from our diet. That would be the end of it.
Well, I grew up just fine. And as I reached my teenage years, my allergies seemed to get weaker. I could eat eggs occasionally. I preferred to only eat my mother's special scrambled eggs, later affectionately nick named "green eggs". She filled the scrambled eggs with dried green herbs like basil, parsley, and sage. I later added nutmeg to my recipe.
At some point, I found out that the herbs were actually what I was craving, and enjoying. The herbs were also responsible for the lack of allergic reactions.
Can Cooked Be A Problem?
Me and my Tomatoes!
As an adult, I could also tolerate having tomatoes on rare occasions... can one live without pizza and spaghetti??! And I have to admit, one of my favorite summer treats is fresh from the garden, sliced tomatoes sprinkled with just a pinch of salt. I could eat those every day! As an adult, the pizza and spaghetti got further and further between.
When we learned about the idea of drinking raw cow milk, and we had such a success in doing so, it occurred to me that maybe there was actually a difference between the nutrition and structure of raw food and cooked food. I first tested that thought out on myself. I tried eating cooked tomatoes, in what had been my absolute favorite forms, my mom's spaghetti sauce. Gastrinomical disaster! It was horrible, and I was sick for several days....
After that cleared out of my system, I tried nice fresh, raw tomatoes served up as plain slices. To my surprise, I had no reaction! I tried it again the next day, just to be sure, but had no reactions at all.
A Raw Solution
Raw food is more nutritious anyway!
Next, I tried serving my son raw pear sauce. It was the easiest thing I knew how to make at that point! Wait until the pears are super soft, peel them, cut into chunks, and mush up or blend!
He didn't have any allergic reactions! Unfortunately, since he was already 2.5 years old, he "knew" he wasn't supposed to eat fruit. The mind is a powerful thing. Six years later we are still trying to introduce fruits into his diet. He doesn't take well to trying new things either....
We did find that the raw milk was perfectly safe, and we did not react to it. And the same is true of meat for many people.
For us, it made much more sense to go vegetarian!
We Have Kept Going....
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HubNugget Wannabe Nomination!
This page was nominated as a HubNugget Wannabe on June 6, 2009!
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