January 11, 2011 at 3:34 am #88955
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 11, 2011 at 3:34 amPost count: 14413
Hey all, I’ve been struglling with keeping myself in check for food allergies (most of them are recent diagnoses/discoveries). Seafood, gluteen, dairy, & chickory (this one’s not to hard to avoid). My problem has been in checking EVERY PART of EVERY LABLE and having to now plan every single part of my day around what I can & can’t eat: can’t have appointments near lunch b/c can’t grab a bite to eat near by, having enough things I can eat with me for those unavoidable super-long days, etc. Any suggestions…please?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 11, 2011 at 8:28 am #99093
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 11, 2011 at 8:28 amPost count: 14413
i know this is long, but bear with me.
okay, first thing- i say this as someone who has food intollerances coming out of their ears and an epic history of allergies- make sure your diagnosis is legit, and accurate- see a medical allergist, get all the good tests done, etc- a lot of those ‘send a swab off in the mail’ tests or kinesiology/muscle test ones are dubious at best- and there are a lot of dodgy ‘practitioners’ out there who are eager to tell you something is off limits and the root of all your ills, and that you need to take a bucket of expensive healing herbs, for a few bucks. or more likely a lot of bucks.
beyond that, keeping things simple is gonna be your best plan- at home, and out at work- especially to begin with. the less labels to read, the better. you’ll probably hate it to start with, but get cooking from scratch as much as possible- doesn’t need to be complicated or longwinded stuff- you can start with gluten free oats (or flaked rice/millet/whatever) made into oatmeal with rice or soy milk, microwaved baked potatoes and whatever you wanna top them with, quick cook rice, frozen steamed veggies, canned beans, whatever works for you.
try a new basic recipe every week, and see how it goes. the more practiced at chucking simple meals together you get, the better- pretty soon it’ll be instinctive. when you’re good with that, get some allergy cookbooks and get creative. there are a lot of awesome things you can make- and pretty damned passable boxed mixes and frozen things in specialist stores for stuff like cake, waffles, ‘icecream’ etc, which you can’t live without sometimes. after a bit you will get to know the safe brands, and then it’ll be a matter of skimming labels quickly as routine to check nothing has changed (i can spot any dairy related words from a mile off now- they jump out at me!). the one thing i will say is don’t even bother with gluten-free breads- they’re all foul- don’t put yourself through it.
when you’re confident making something like chilli, curry, stirfry or soup using things you know are safe, you can get on a mental mission one weekend and make a vatload of it, freeze it in little plastic tubs, and nuke individual portions later on for quick meals whenever. you just need to schedual in an hour or so a week, and within a few weeks you’ll have a stash of assorted ready-meals in your freezer to take to work and nuke for lunch, etc.
you’re also gonna wanna get in the habit of keeping a stash of shelf-stable snacks in your car, your office, a box by your front door, your purse, your friends house, etc- cos there is nothing worse than trying to work out what the hell you can eat when you’re both ADHD-challenged and spaced out from being wicked hungry and having bloodsugar levels that have dropped through the floor. you can keep some teeny UHT ricemilk or soymilk cartons and some cereal in your bottom desk draw, plus gluten free cookies, crackers and peanutbutter, canned fruit salad and a plastic spoon, trailmix and snack bars (lara bars are gluten and dairy free, for a start) etc, all over the place, ready for you to grab and go.
so you can’t eat at a lunch meeting- no big deal- get yourself a virgin strawberry daiquiri and order an undressed side garden salad, with a lemon wedge and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tell the host that it can’t have been NEAR any cheese, croutons or shrimp or you’ll keel over and die right there in full veiw of other patrons (don’t be backwards in coming forwards- lay it right out there and scare them into getting it right, hehehe), and enjoy the company. you can load up on a snack before and/or after the appointment.
also, if there are places that you regularly eat out at, get their ingredients listings off their websites nutrition pages (works for fast food chains more than restaurants- some places around here i can eat the fries in an emergency cos they use a designated frier and no weird coatings!) or phone early in the afternoon during the week (when its quiet for them), and ask to talk to a front of house supervisor, explain your situation, and work out with them something that you can order safely. if they know you’re bringing repeat custom into the place (clients, buisiness meetings, lunch with co-workers), you tip well, and they value customer service, they may even let you order off menu or shuffle ingredients about a bit between 3 menu items to make something that works for you- (steal a bit of avocado off this, some roasted veggies off that, a bit of rice from this meal…) especially with advance notice and if you don’t show up at a crazy-busy time for them. all you’d need to do is confirm with your hostess whenever you order that this item is still gluten/dairy/seafood free, and you should be ok. if they’re not sure if something is safe (they often don’t know about secret names for dairy like lactose, dried milk powder, butterfat, whey, etc), don’t be afraid to ask to visably check the packaging of a seasoning or whatever. the worst they can say is no, and then they lose your custom. don’t ask and you never know!
like anything new, this whole thing feels super-daunting now, cos its so completely unfamiliar and big. i remember bursting into tears in a deli aged 14 after buying a slice of pizza as a newly gluten-and dairy-free dumbass who forgot that cheese was dairy and pizza base was made of wheat, and then realised that i wouldn’t be able to eat it, or maybe get to ever enjoy pizza ever again. but after i’d calmed down, life did go on- i got some help from the brilliant staff, and ordered some onion bhajis, falafels and hummus through my tears, gave the pizza slice to my mum, and it worked out ok- i discovered new nice foods that i otherwise wouldn’t have ever tried. i make gluten free pizza with awesome fake cheeses quite a lot now- and these days you can even get a gluten free pizza- hold the cheese- at major chain pizza places without getting even a slightly odd look from the staff.
just take it one step at a time, and keep it simple. you’ll make it work- its just about knowledge and practice, like anything else is.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 18, 2011 at 11:50 pm #99094
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 18, 2011 at 11:50 pmPost count: 14413
Tenacity and practice. Just DON’T give up.
You really have to be determined. Once you are, the rest will follow.
I have similar problems, and lack the determination to follow through regularly enough. I’m constantly eating crap I shouldn’t, because I can’t yet manage to plan ahead well enough to avoid it.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 19, 2011 at 12:54 am #99095
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 19, 2011 at 12:54 amPost count: 14413
i dunno… i found pretty quickly that feeling absolutely dire was incentive enough to not eat the wrong stuff.REPORT ABUSE
ADD w/multipal food allergies, suggestions?2011-01-11T03:34:26+00:00
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