Welcome to my blog!
The Food Allergy Coach & Food Sensitivity Resources are dedicated to helping people live full lives despite having food allergies, food intolerance, and food sensitivities. We are also embarking on a mission to assist businesses, schools, and entire communities to learn how to cater to those with food challenges.
All of my life, I have suffered from environmental allergies and asthma. At one point, I was prescribed two inhalers, two nasal sprays, two allergy pills, and three allergy shots per week! I can remember leaving school via ambulance several times because I could not breath. I had chronic sinus infections that would return as soon as my course of antibiotics was finished.
At my allergist's recommendation, I was subjected to immuno-replacement therapy because he said that I did not produce one class of immunoglobulins and that's why I get so sick. This treatment triggered anaphylaxis, and I could have died (my mom thanks the quick-thinking anesthetist that just happened to walk by me in short stay). They could not tell me what the ingredient was that was the culprit - that is scary!
In my early 20's, my nephew was diagnosed with autism and my sister made it her mission to understand the connection between food sensitives and autism. In addition to learning the foods that he needed to avoid, she learned that people with my symptoms should look into a connection to food allergies. She said, "start by giving up dairy and see how you feel." I told her that I would after I finished graduate school.
I did it. I gave up dairy, but I didn't experience much relief and sort of put it out of my mind. Then, as a way to continue battling my weight, I eliminated carbs from my diet for a couple of months. I felt great. I then went on vacation (you know what I mean - "I'm on vacation so it doesn't count") and had a veggie burger on a roll. I proceeded to get so sick ("fuzzy thinking" - the inability to make a decision, intense abdominal pain - the kind that makes you double over, extreme lethargy, a complete "lock down" of my digestive track) - it ruined my long weekend!
At the time, I had both a primary care doctor and an allergist. When I told them both what happened and that I was afraid to eat, they both said a version of "well, next time you need blood work done, we'll check for food allergies." Not good enough. Needless to say, that's the last time I saw both of them.
I educated myself and did an elimination diet on my own, and found that foods containing gluten were the culprit. This was later confirmed by a conclusive blood test: Celiac Disease. My lonely adventure of figuring what this is and how to live with it began. Boy do I wish I had help! It would have been a lot easier! Once my body began to recover, I no longer needed the inhalers, nasal sprays, allergy shots - I was just using one allergy medication.
Flash forward a few years - I was managing the gluten issue beautifully but began experiencing unpleasant symptoms (skin irritation and itchiness, chronic vaginitis - sorry for the detail, but I believe this needs to be talked about! -, sinusitis, fatigue, digestive issues, unexplained aches and pains, moodiness...). My holistic doctor made many suggestions, including switching to green cleaning products, using all natural laundry detergent w/o dies/perfumes, changing birth control... When nothing improved, she said, "do some research."
...and off I went, feeling alone yet again, but determined to get well. I discovered information about Candida and the work of Dr. Crook. I literally cried when I read his book because I knew I had found answers - finally! I embarked on another elimination diet and found that I needed to add sugar, cherries, peanuts, and tree nuts to the list of things to avoid. I am susceptible to Candida. Soon after these discoveries, I kicked my one allergy medication to the curb - 15 years of taking something to help with allergy symptoms and now I needed nothing! It was quite liberating! This began a new chapter of getting educated and adjusting - I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't be my last... My blog will chronicle my continued journey.
The Food Allergy Coach and Food Sensitivity Resources represent many, many years of education, research, and coping. I want to make this process easier for individuals and families finding themselves in a position of understanding food allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities. I want to formalize my efforts to educate businesses and schools about these issues.
I already find myself offering tips, resources, safe places to eat, safe places to be educated, reviews of allergy friendly products, the latest research news, etc. to friends and friends-of-friends all the time. I want to pass information on to you!
If you have allergies or know someone who does, I hope you find this blog helpful!
Happy *safe* eating!