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Saturday, January 10, 2015

My new nut free - dairy free (sigh) life

For readers that have been following me since the beginning you know that I have periodically written and posted about foods free of allergens as my nephew has had serious food allergies since birth.

I've always technically had food allergies, however when I was last officially tested back in the early 90's none of my food allergies were serious enough to stop me from eating things I liked even if I was allergic to them. Well flash forward a few years and I'm now having problems myself. Yep - you got it. Before the holidays I'd been feeling run down, like something was just off (if you have food allergies you know what I'm talking about, if you don't consider yourself very lucky). So imagine my shock & surprise when I eat one (yes 1) cookie from my cookie swap in early December, and less than 10 minutes later I develop a blister on my tongue, a burn on the roof of my mouth, the sides of my tongue swell up and my whole mouth becomes itchy. Walnuts.

So after finally calling an allergist to start the process for re-testing, I am now having to eat 100% nut free - dairy free until after my appointment in February. I also have to carry Benadryl with me at all times should I end up with another nut reaction.

This means that not only can I not eat actual nuts, but I have to be cautious of any product that is processed on shared equipment or in a facility that processes nuts. This has meant a massive re-structure of my personal kitchen, and dang it but unless I know it's an allergen free store bought product I can't even eat it. I stupidly nibbled on some cooked bacon at work two weeks ago, only to rush back up to my office and grab the Benadryl  because I'd eaten food that had been cross contaminated with nuts. Yes, in my very own commercial kitchen at work. Face palm.

I have jumped into this challenge head first. I've already purchased 6 new cookbooks, and thanks to my sister Laurel and my friend Michelle (owner of Sweet Alexis Bakery - a fabulous allergy friendly bakery in the next town over - they ship, check it out) I have a large list of nut free/dairy free store bought products that are now filling the kitchen at home.

Why the cookbooks you ask? Well, readers... I can't eat out - you heard me right. The queen of take out and delivery has been officially benched for the time being.

So thank you for reading as I head into a new direction (not sure if it's temporary or permanent) with my food blog.

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