Did you know that I like food?
I enjoy food enough that even when I tell myself that I’m just stepping out for a drink, no food, I’ll glance at the fancy-pants menu and carefully read the ingredients of the appetizers, hoping against hope for a tasty morsel. In this respect, my cat and I are the same: whether hungry or not, we’d prefer something to be in the food bowl at all times, especially if that something is BACON!
It’s taken me awhile to get to a place where I like food, since most food has been making me feel sick most of my life, but bit by bit, I’ve created unconventional strategies for eating delicious foods that don’t make me sick. It’s been a long learning curve, but I’ve dedicated this fun blog to helping others learn from my journey, mistakes, and successes so that they too can say that they like food again.
Recently, I had a RAST food allergy test run on about a dozen foods at my allergy clinic. As suspected, I’ll be following up this scratch test with an ELISA panel on some food groups to see where I land with a few foods that have been causing me digestive problems but don’t show up as food allergies. These are known as intolerances — that Grumpy Tummy feeling ( such as bloating, gas, cramping, nausea, diarrhea) that can last for hours or days. For now, the RAST test confirmed the ones I suspected: nuts (almonds, pistachios, pine nuts), and alliums (onions, garlic). The ELISA test should pick up the rest.
During my time there, I had a chance to talk with the allergist who was writing down my recommended plan of action: 1) Carry an Epi pen (for bee stings, during camping and bike rides and runs), 2) Run ELISA testing on list of foods and get the results back, and 3) Avoid all those foods if they show positive.
There was no plan or education on eating out, which is generally given to all new clients with food allergies. Why? Because after she saw that I have Celiac Disease and so many food allergies and intolerances, she quickly concluded what I knew long ago: there is no way for a restaurant to guarantee their food will not make me sick.
There is nothing like the frustration of trying to make socially-oriented New Year’s Eve plans when you have food allergies and intolerances. Many of the party packages have a built-in food and beverage package built into the ticket price. Buffets are simply too dangerous for me to partake, and plated meals out at a fancy hotel or high-end restaurant are still made in the same kitchen with the allergens I need to avoid. It ends up being a Food Allergy Roulette.
So what is a Sensible Celiac and Food Allergic and Intolerant person supposed to do? Let’s talk about the In’s and Out of Eating In and Eating Out, shall we?
And then, you’ll find out what we’re planning for New Year’s Eve and the weekend to help me socialize AND eat safely. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to do the same for yourself or a food allergic/sensitive/intolerant loved one.