So, here I am. It’s been a long time since I posted anything about nutrition. (blog readers eyes drooping at the mere mention)
So as some of you may/may not know, I’ve been vegetarian for a pretty long time. Off and on since I was sixteen and then full-time since the late 90’s. It’s been a fantastic life changer for me as it allowed me to lose around 55lbs. initially and also made me feel lots better. It takes some getting used to but for the most part these days it’s pretty easy not to eat meat. There are so many products on the shelves that allow us to have things like hot dogs, chicken cutlets and hamburgers without actually having to consume an animal. Life has been good. I was rolling along.
In the last two months I’ve come to think even more about what we put into our bodies and the balance of things that we eat. As a vegetarian, over the past 9 or so years I have been consuming A LOT of wheat and other grains. More than I should have and I haven’t been rotating the things that I eat. I have discovered for my system this is VERY bad. In fact, it has caused a severe wheat allergy for me along with a general intolerence to most grains including corn and rice. I was consuming wheat products on a daily basis for most every meal and have been having symptoms of intolerence for years now though I didn’t realise it! My doctor diagnosed me with panic disorder due to these anxiety attacks I was having. (which I realise now were after consuming large quantities of wheat) A few months ago my body finally had enough and I suffered an anaphalactic response to consuming a small amount of wheat. (by this time I already knew I was intolerant) Now even a crumb that gets into something I’m eating triggers this response. Not good.
So here’s the reason I’m writing this blog. I know I’ve just been dealing with this for a few months….but I’ve been doing a lot of reading and a lot of experimenting and here’s what I’ve found so far.
1. You need to rotate your diet so that you’re not consuming the same things all the time.
2. Vitamin C is a natural antihistimine. I haven’t had to take an emergency allergy pill in a while and I think it’s partially due to me eating oranges and upping my vitamin c intake.
3. Just becuase something says gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean it is wheat-free. I’ve found this out the hard way.
4. Pay attention to your body. If you’re experiencing tingling around the mouth, tingling fingers and/or feet, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, patches of exema or a panicky feeling after eating it could be due to a food allergy.
5. If you suspect you have a food allergy you might want to go on an elimination diet. This is basically simplifying your diet and adding new foods in each day to pinpoint which foods are causing your problems. I did this….finding that all grains caused symptoms for me as well as milk, but I am able to consume cheese and yogurt with no problems.
6. If you do find that you have an intolerance or an allergy, make sure that you know all the names for the thing you need to look out for on labels and BECOME AN AVID LABEL READER…..As an example…if you have a wheat allergy you need to look for Dextrin, Malodextrin, Modified Food Starch, and Natural Flavours.
7. You will probably not be able to eat out safely again. Unless you are at a restuarant where they can make the food to your specifications and even then you are going to have to worry about cross-contamination. Crazy things like using the same butter someone’s buttered their bread with or a jar of peanut butter. You won’t be able to share these things.
8. Home cooked meals prepared with fresh foods are the best. Avoid as much canned and prepackaged goods as you can.
The light at the end of the tunnel is pretty bright. I honestly feel 10 years younger and I have only been avoiding grains (wheat for two months) for about a week now. Most of my symptoms has disappeared and I have so much more energy. I’ve dropped about 20lbs and I no longer have that bloated feeling in my tummy all the time. We need to get working on some recipes though! Since I can still eat egg and nuts….he’s a little something something I cooked for myself today.
1/8 c.Walnut Halves
1/2 tsp. EVOO
1/4 c. Chopped Onion
1/2 c. Chopped Veggies (Courgette, Broccoli, Carrots..whatever you choose
1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp. dried basil
Salt to taste
Put the EVOO and the walnuts into your skillet. Sautee the walnuts for a few mins till they start to brown….add onion, red pepper flakes and basil. When the onion is getting a little brown throw in the rest of the veggies and sautee to desired consistency. Add eggs..beaten or not…what ever you choose. Cook until eggs are done and add salt to taste. The walnuts give this an amazing flavour. Enjoy!
Eat and be well! Don’t be afraid!