Category Archives: Food Allergies & Intolerances

From peanuts to garlic learn what to eat if you have an allergy and get some tips that could save your life.

My Stones Will Not Let Me Eat

Guess what ladies and gentlemen? I have gallstones and they suck. I’ve been having severe problems for almost 3 months now and finally, after all the hoopla, my gallbladder is being removed on October 20th.

This gall situation has had an extreme effect on my diet, although the messed up nutrient intake I had previously is the reason these stones developed. I used to eat what I wanted when I wanted but after the initial attacks I drastically reduced eating almost anything and everything. Which is why I have the problem in the first place.

The most probable cause for my gallstones is that I would eat, but on a ridiculously random schedule. I could go all day without food, maybe eating in the late evening when I got hungry. Sometimes my first meal of the day was at 10 pm. Stupid on my part……..I know.

I get these terrible pains, usually at night, so I had no choice but to visit a doctor.

Did he help? not really. The Doc ordered tons of tests (lactose intolerance, UGI, Abdominal Ultrasound, bloodwork, pee tests). In addition I had a very useless emergency trip (could’ve had a few but no one’s helping me there either). These tests gave surprising results.

Apparently I have excellent blood pressure, a swift metabolism, cholesterol levels so low (good) they barely registered on the test. Then why the F do I have gallstones? Well that’s what happens when you eat sporadically, letting the calcium build up to form stones in the gallbladder.

None of these tests, save for the ultrasound, held any merit. As the lady was checking ‘my baby’ she instantly saw gallstones and told me I wasn’t crazy, stones hurt……..excellent, we found something…..

Just talking about it makes me really sad, it’s been so stressful. Woe is me right? Nah, you’d complain too, trust me.

Even with the doctors ‘help’ I wasn’t told to eat this/stay away from that, I was sent on my way. After causing a scene at the day clinic I was given Tylenol 3’s for the attacks that occur.

Through internet research i’ve found I cannot eat fatty, sugary foods. My diet the last 2 months has been vegetables and fruit – literally. I just started drinking milk again after a few weeks of none. I won’t eat processed meat (bye bye Subway), butter, creamy anythings, junk food, cheese, cookies, etc. I eat apples everyday (Fuji represent) along with basically everything in the fresh section of your local grocery store.

I’ve been intolerant to everything but it was truly the fatty, sugary foods that exacerbated the situation. I like pizza, can’t eat it, last time I did I was taken to emergency. That attack was no doubt caused by my intolerance to cheese/fatt (2 T’s cause it’s Too Tempting).

Sorry for the rant, it had to be said………off my chest? A little…..

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Are allergies taking over?

Growing up, I can’t remember allergies being such a huge topic. I lucked out and so far have not developed any allergies. However, Today almost everyone you talk to has an allergy. Even the schools have developed guidelines for allergies.  So since this has become a “hot topic”, it has made me ask – What exactly is an allergy? How does one develop a allergy? Are allergies preventable?

1 _ What is an allergy? it is a reaction of the immune system fighting a foreign substance within our body. The immune system develops antibodies – which attack the foreign substance. An allergic reaction is the fight between the foreign substance and the immune system. During this fight, symptoms such as hives, swelling or breathing difficulties arise.

2 – How do food allergies develop? When food is eaten, sometimes the immune system detects a substance as being harmful. Therefore, the antibody is produced to attack this once innocent substance. This antibody then travels to the bloodstream and attach’s to cells closest to the surface to help prevent a further invasion. The next time this specific food product is eaten, an antibody attaches to the foriegn subtance and sends it to the skins cells where it causes a powerful chemical reaction. This causes the release of a chemical called – histamine. Histamine is responsible for fighting against foriegn substances and cause inflammation. When people are talking about their allergic reactions – hives, breathing difficulties, etc. they are talking about histamine. Therefore, this is why we are told to take an anti-histamine (claritin or reactine) to help lessen the allergic reaction. Or in more severe cases, use an epi-pen.

3 – Can food allergies be prevented? research is showing, yes allergies can be prevented and it is not hard to do. To prevent allergies in children all one has to do is avoid specific foods until further development has occured. Mostly, research is saying to avoid the solid foods at a young age. Here are some food to avoid until a certain age:

  • cows milk’s, dairy products and egg products (avoid between 12 and 24 months of age)
  • tree nuts, peanuts and fish  (avoid before 36 months)

Health Canada is always a great site to check for the latest developments on allergies.

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Pioneer in a new musical genre – Allergy Music

 “Dealing with food allergies and dietary restrictions should not be taken lightly, but yet must be viewed with optimism.” This is the message  Kyle Dine, a young, Canadian musician, focuses his music on. He uses his music to educate children about food allergies. In fact, he is the first Canadian musician to release an album about allergies. Kyle does performances at schools for children in kindergarten up to grade 8. His songs focus on key messages like bringing your epi pen with you. He actually has a song called Epi-Man who is a super hero epi pen that saves the day. In the following video Kyle speaks about his new CD called “You must be nuts” and sings the song “Epi-Man”

Enjoy!

Kyle has a very informative web site where you can buy his CD, look at pictures and videos, read articles, book him to come to your school and much much more.  

 

He also maintains a my space page where he interacts with his fans and you can listen to songs like, gluten free blues, smellephant, and That’s a peanut!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A teacher at one of the schools he performed at stated that Kyle’s concert was the most fun and most poignant concert their school had ever had and that the students absolutely loved it!

When I become a teacher Kyle will definitely be invited to my school.

Best of Luck Kyle!

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I am not INTOLERANT*

So you all know this week we’ve decided to talk about food allergies. This is a topic that is familiar to many of you out there, and it’s very familiar to me. Aside from my many non-food alergies that have earned me the nickname “bubble girl” among my friends, I also am allergic to garlic, paprika, and cows milk.

For any of you who suffer from a milk allergy (and yes I do consider it suffering) you have probably faced those people who say “so you mean you’re lactose intolerant?” If we were lactose intolerant don’t you think we would say that?

Lactose intolerance is an inability of the body to metabolize lactose, a sugar found in milk products, because your body is missing the enzyme lactase that is required for that process. The symptoms of lactose intolerence are cramping, diarrhea, and gas. It is common for lactose intolerance to have an on-set later in life as many adults will have a decrease in lactase enzymes as they age. It can be diagnosed easily through a simple blood glucose test. (via)

A milk allergy is a entirely different, and much more dangerous reaction to milk. It is when your bodies immune system responds negatively to one or more of the protein’s in cows milk, most commonly Casein and whey. (via)

Milk allergy can cause swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat. It can also lead to hives, rashes and itchy skin and eyes. In addition, milk allergies can commonly lead to respiratory problems such as nasal congestion, coughing, and asthma. These are just some of the less severe reactions. In some circumstances people can go into anaphylactic shock which can be life threatening. Anaphylactic shock a reaction consisting of extreme itching, swelling of the throat, sweating, rapid heart beat, low blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, and shock. (via)

 

 

What should you do if this happens?

1. If you have an Epi-Pen (and you should if you have a milk allergy or any other severe food allergy) inject it immediately yourself or have someone else who knows how inject it for you. I was also told in First Aid Training that if you are someone that is prone to allergy attacks you should always carry Benadryl with you. If you are not within 15 minutes of a hospital and you can still safely swollow you should take two Benadryl in addition to your Epi-Pen.

2. Call an ambulance if you can’t get to the hospital or get someone to drive to the hospital as fast and safely as you can.

Time is of the essense if you are having an allergy attack. I have had the unpleasant experience of going into anaphylactic shock and it can be one of the most frightening experiences you’ll go through. But thankfully everything turned out okay because I thought ahead of time about what to do incase the worst should happen and my friends and family were all very aware of my allergies. So be prepared and don’t be embarassed to tell people around you. It could save your life.

 

 

If you are unsure if you are allergic to milk or any other food the best thing to do is consult your physician. They can work with you to help you diagnose your allergies and then prescribe an Epi-Pen if you need one. Also it can be important to work with a nutrtionist if you find it hard to read food labels and don’t know what you can and can’t eat.

When I found out I was allergic to milk it was really hard to find foods that didn’t contain milk. It’s estimated that almost 50% of foods in the average grocery store will have a milk ingredient in it. I found it suprising what all had milk in it. Most crackers do, potato chips, some margarines, bread, and even some deli meat all have milk in it or have come in contact with milk. So read labels really carefully and don’t be embarassed to ask a lot of questions.

I find that a lot of times it’s just easier to make things yourself then have to worry about if something is safe to eat. One of the things that people with milk allergies miss out on most often is baking, especially chocolate baking. Divvies Bakery, founded by Lori Sandler, felt that way when she found out that her son had significant food allergies. She started a bakery that caters to people who have food allergies. Her recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes is truly amazing, ecspecially when paired with her dairy-free Vanilla Icing.

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Frightening Foods – Onion and Garlic Intolerances

Happy Monday everyone! This week Digitally Delicious is going to tackle food allergies and intolerances. Food allergies are immune system reactions to proteins in specific foods, while intolerances are usually due to an inability to digest or absorb certain foods.

This can complicate meal time for people who suffer from allergies and intolerances, as well as for those who are cooking for the ‘food sensitive’ guest. We hope to provide you with some delicious recipes and useful info so you can please all the palates at your table! We also welcome any comments or recipe suggestions on this topic.  

Italian is my favourite food to eat and to cook. Besides being delicious, it is pretty easy to whip together in large quantities. Being somewhat domestically challenged, I am always enthusiastic about recipes that are ‘forgiving’ (i.e. crowd pleasers with versatile ingredients that can be made in advance to avoid any unforeseen cooking disasters). Tomato based pasta sauces definitely fit this criterion.

Two of my favourite dinner companions are intolerant to onions and garlic (to the best of my knowledge they are not vampires – just finicky digesters). Onions and garlic are from the same food family as chives, leeks, and rakkyo. This makes for a tricky meal plan – oodles of pre-packaged foods and seasonings contain these ingredients. Likewise, many recipes made from scratch seem rather lacking without them.

While onions and garlic are usually an essential component of Italian cooking, it IS possible to make a tasty tomato based pasta sauce entirely without these ingredients. The recipe below is of the vegetarian persuasion, but it could be made with meat just as easily by sautéing ground beef first and omitting the broccoli and bulgar wheat. You can replace any of the vegetables listed with others that better suit your tastes such as green beans or asparagus

To complete your onion and garlic free meal, serve it up with some fresh bread and herb butter. Buon appetito!

Onion and Garlic Free Spaghetti Sauce:

Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large carrot – grated

2 celery stalks – diced

1 green pepper – diced

2 – 3 cups peeled, chopped broccoli

2 – 28 oz. cans of tomatoes – blended

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp hot pepper flakes (or to taste)

½  tsp salt (or to taste)

2 tsp dried dill (OR for a more italiany taste – use 1 tsp dried basil and ½ tsp dried oregano)

½ cup bulgar wheat

 

Directions:

Over medium-high heat sauté carrot, celery, and green pepper in olive oil in a large pot for approximately 3 – 4 minutes. Add broccoli and continue to sauté an additional 3 – 4 minutes.

Add in blended tomatoes, black pepper, hot pepper flakes, salt, and dill.

Bring to a slow boil for approximately 10 minutes.

Add in bulgar wheat.

Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve over freshly cooked pasta noodles of choice.

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