Did you know that its possible to be allergic to a certain food, and not even realize it? Join me on this journey, and I’ll help you discover your own food allergens.
Food Allergy or Intolerance:
First, what is the difference between a food allergy and intolerance? When someone has a food intolerance, they have some kind of physical, mental or emotional reaction. These could show up as skin rash, headache, brain fog, digestive issues like constipation or outright pain, hives (see as red on and around the face, or swelling of eyelids and lips), any kind of emotional feeling, teary eyes, and more.
A true food allergy means that the human body has an immune system to the food.
Food Intolerance in Childhood:
Children often have food intolerances from birth to five years. These could be there in a few minutes to any food, including dairy (often seen in newborns in my experience), tomatoes, strawberries, soy, eggs, and more. When the child gets old enough, we think of them “growing out of” the food intolerance or allergy. Unfortunately, this isn’t true at all. Instead, the immune system matures enough to adapt to the food allergen. The body’s visible surface symptoms then disappear. But the allergy is still present. And the immune system? It’s busy trying to adapt all the time to this problem food.
Food Intolerance in Late 30’s and 40’s:
Let’s fast forward now to a person’s 40th year and beyond. Suddenly, little problems start to show up. These may be there in a few minutes headaches or skin rashes. Nausea after eating dairy may happen. GERD or acid reflux may visit you late at night after spaghetti sauce (condensed tomato) and wine.
How to Cope:
The person may take Tums or start drinking aloe vera juice, a soothing herb drink) to deal with it. This is a coping strategy – it does work. But this is using herbal medicine in an unhealthy way: putting a bandaid on the problem. And taking Tums can lower stomach acid, which can make it impossible to break down foods to get the vitamins out of them.
Food Avoidance for Healing:
Why not cure the real issue? Observe your food reactions and cut that food out of your menu. (This is easy to say but can be there in a few minutes hard to do – We crave those allergenic foods. When we eat an allergen, we get a rush of cortisol CHECK. We sort of feel “high.” Later, we may have lethargy, brain fog, headache, rashes, and digestive issues – But on our “trip” we feel GREAT!!
Discover Your Own Food Allergy:
Now its your turn – Would you like to find out what foods to which you are allergenic or intolerant?
Get something to take notes – a piece of paper, your phone notes or this free Google Document Food Allergy Questionnaire. It’s important that you take the time to write this down in some way. Ready?
Food Allergy Questionnaire:
You’ve had a hard day at school/work/life. Things didn’t go well, and you’re tired and drained. You get home, where your pantry is full of every food imaginable. You decide to reach for one of these favorite meals (List as many as possible)
You have woken up in the middle of the night, possibly upset. You decide to go have a snack of –
What are your favorite foods that you eat often and daily?
What are your top FOUR comfort foods?
Did you do it? Did you write them down?
My Favorite Foods:
Almost all of my favorite foods include wheat, cheese and potato. These are the foods that I reach for when I need comfort foods, or pick me ups. Unfortunately, these are my food allergens.
- pierogi (mashed potato with cheese, wrapped in pasta dough- hmmmm!),
- potato knish (potato in pastry with gravy over it),
- pasta Alfredo (wheat pasta and cheese)
Moment of Truth:
Now, look at the lists that you wrote. What food categories reappear again and again? Are any of them in these common allergy food categories? You could even mark a hash mark for each time they show up, or use another tally method.
- Dairy: (Includes cheese, yogurt, milk, butter. 60% of people can’t digest dairy. (1))
- Wheat: (Including flour, pasta, semolina (pasta flour), kamut, spelt, panko Japanese bread crumbs, some soy sauces, and (yuck!) injected into commercial turkey.(2)
- Nightshades: Tomato, potato, eggplant, cumin, mild and hot peppers, cayenne, chili powders (It’s a South American fiesta!)
- Soy Bean (Includes tofu, edamame, soy sauce, teriyaki, marinades, salad dressings, and in the feed of our meat animals.)
- Strawberries: I was told by a pediatrician that kiwi could cause cross reactions for anyone with this allergen. If you have problems, try to determine whether its hives (rash on face around mouth) or a rash elsewhere, a problem with the fibrous seeds (scratchy on the last part of the colon), or a problem digesting fruit (common in older people). These are three widely different intolerances, you see?
- Raspberries: The tend to be seedy with high mold content. If you react, consider whether it a fiber & scratchy seeds issue in digestion, or not. If you feel bad after eating them (within a day or few days), you could get yourself checked for things related to mold: fungus and yeast overgrowth.
- Mushrooms: These are in the fungus family. If you react to then, you might again get yourself tested for tings related to fungus: yeast overgrowth (Candida albicans) and mold. Think about your living environment, too. Is there mold in the home?
Well, what did you find out? Did you discover one or more allergenic foods, or food intolerances? Did this make you sad or mad at this new info? (Me, too – Sorry!) Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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