Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Place for Allergies

I think this is where I'll keep my recipes and experiences updated. Fun!


So above this line was my first blog post. But about two weeks into I realized that nowhere did I explain all of my allergies. It seems crazy to list them in my profile--it would take up all of the characters!

Therefore I decided to update post one to reflect my diets & allergies. Whee!

- Diagnosed Celiac Sprue in 2004
Celiac Disease or Celiac Sprue is a genetic immune disorder whereby gluten, the protein found in wheat, barely, rye, splet, kamut, and others, gets "stuck" in the wall of your small intestines. Your body then attacks the gluten and, consequently, your small intestines to destroy the horrid interloper. Of course, all it really does is destroy itself in the process.

Probably triggered in 2000 by surgery, celiac disease has been on my father's side for at least three generations. I was the first one diagnosed. They could never figure out what was wrong with my grandmother. My father is, thankfully, still with us so I was able to help make his life easier by discovering the gluten issue.

- Additional food allergies/intolerances
In the ensuing years between celiac diagnosis and last september, I slowly kept getting more food added to my avoid or only-in-teeny-tiny-bits list. This included:
  • Dairy
  • Legumes (yes, that's all beans and peas INCLUDING soy)
  • Yeast
  • Garlic with its other family members on the only-in-teeny-tiny-bits
  • Cranberries & blueberries & other family members
  • Anything highly acidic like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar (only-in-teeny-tiny-bits)

- Thyroid cancer diagnosis in Sept.08
I had my thyroid removed and my body went haywire. Turns out your thyroid does A LOT of things. As I was recovering, I was learning to avoid nightshades, walnuts, cottonseed oil, and other things that keep popping up that affect the thyroid meds.

And then comes Candidiasis.

It's well-nigh impossible to follow an anti-candida diet and do anything else with your life. I've been trying and will continue to try. But after making myself completely miserable, I decided that I would ween myself onto the diet at a nice slow pace. This will get me used to my new extreme limitations bit by bit.

An anti-candida diet means:

  • No sugar of any kind: artificial or natural. No fructose, sucrose, sucralose, cane syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, molassas, Equal, Nutrasweet, dextrose (often used as an anti-caking agent in table salt--who knew?!?!), and anything of that ilk. Stevia is allowed. Stevia is an acquired taste. Stevia is an acquired taste I have not yet acquired.
  • No fruit. This actually belongs with the bullet point above since the reason it's not allowed in the sugar.
  • No vinegar. Includes all types of vinegar, such as white vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, and balsamic vinegar, and any food made with vinegage, such as mayonnaise, commercial salad dressing, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, shrimp sauce, soy sauce, mustard, pickles, pickled vegetables, green olives, relishes, horseradish, mincemeat, and chili sauce. Mostly this just means a lot of options to flavor food are off the table.
  • No peanuts, peanut butter, pistachios, or dried herbs due to mold contamination concerns.
  • No coffee (caffeinated or decaffeinated), black tea, cider, or root beer. Cider, root beer, and other fermented beverages are also typically eliminated.
  • No aged, moldy and/or processed cheeses. As it is, my choice cheeses tend towards mozzarella and cheedar and that's about it so most of this category doesn't concern me. Still, for posterity: Roquefort and other aged, moldy or blue cheeses are not allowed on a typical Candida diet. Also eliminated are processed cheese such as cheese slices, Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, cream cheese, cheese snacks, and Kraft dinner.
  • No processed, dried, smoked, or pickled meats including sausages, bacon, hot dogs, pastrami, bologna, sandwich meats, salami, and corned beef.
  • No packaged, processed, or refined foods. This is seems so vague, but it means that canned, bottled, packaged, boxed, and other processed foods containing yeast, refined sugar, refined flour, chemicals, preservatives, or food coloring should be avoided.
I'm already avoiding these items, but they are also prohibited on the anti-candida diet:

There are tons of other things to avoid that I can't even remember or find online at this moment. The anti-candida blog has a good entry here for more detail: http://www.candidablog.com/get-rid-of-candida-once-and-for-all-the-diet/.

It's rough, but I'm going to push on and try to find food to eat!

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