WildSage Cottage

Renee's place for sharing hard-earned experience

What would you do if you were allergic to your favorite food in the whole wide world?

My favorite is chocolate, in any form.  Dark chocolate is my absolute favorite, but it doesn’t really matter what kind of chocolate it is, I love it.

Chocolate ice cream? Peanut butter cups?  Chocolate syrup on chocolate ice cream? My mouth waters just thinking about it.  But, today, that’s all I can do, think about it.

Life with Allergies

I have allergies….which makes life a bit more difficult for me when it comes to food than my lucky friends and family who don’t have any pesky allergies.  One of the things I’m allergic to is chocolate.  I know that we all have burdens, and I’m not trying to minimize anyone else’s.  This just happens to be my challenge.

I’m not complaining.  When I was a kid, there was ONLY one flavor.  Since my allergy was identified, I have found MANY other flavors.  And, this is a great world and there are plenty of things to do and see and I’m hugely blessed to be able to do them.  I’m also very lucky that I don’t have the kind of allergies that put me in the hospital if I eat just a tiny bit of the allergen.  For me, eating the foods I’m allergic to will progressively build a reaction in varying degrees, depending on the food, until I can’t breath anymore.  So if I eat a little of some, I might get sneezy with an itchy nose.  If I eat more, I will have to use my emergency asthma inhaler.  If I eat too much, I will wake up in the night with shortness of breath.  I’ve never pushed it beyond that, although I have ended up in the emergency room a time or two.

Sometimes (when I’m being optimistic), I tend to think of my allergies with thankfulness because it has made me eat better.  I can’t eat very many types of convenience foods, even though there are more and more options for those with allergies.

My allergies don’t just affect me!

One added difficulty is that it affects my family and friends too.  I’m not sure if it makes people hesitant to invite me to visit, but I’m aware that it’s a challenge to know what to fix when sharing a meal.  I empathize with them.  I completely understand.  It’s hard for ME to know what to fix for dinner.

So….to try to make a long story shorter, that’s what this blog is going to be, at least in part.  A way to share information, tips and recipes that I have discovered.  Hopefully someone with allergies (or someone who cares about someone with allergies) will find it helpful.  Although I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor, I have lived with my allergies for over 30 years.  Over time my “foods to avoid” list has gotten longer and longer.  I have a friend who jokes that I can only eat grass and air, and we’re pretty sure grass is out too.

What’s next?

I actually have more allergies than just to caffeine and dairy products, so, in this blog, I will be sharing ways to be happy and healthy without the following:

  • dairy
  • food preservatives (like Sodium Metabisulfite and Sodium Nitrite) which are in packaged coconut, some dried and canned fruits and preserved meats
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate and all its pseudonyms, like yeast extract or hydrolyzed protein)
  • caffeine (so no chocolate folks)

This will be a growth experience for me too.  It will be a chance to continue to eat better, to hold myself accountable (since sometimes I put up with a bit of an itchy nose, when I know better).

I know there are many more allergy sufferers out there with allergies to all different types of food.  I will try to include alternatives when I add something that I know may be an allergen to someone else and I welcome comments if I miss one and suggestions for alternatives.

Stay tuned for more to come.

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