Food Allergy Friday (Day 121)

shirataki2Happy almost-Christmas!

Food allergies and intolerances tend to show up in different ways, depending on the food.

A reader just asked me how my food issues crop up, so I’ll share how each food allergy/intolerance manifests itself with me (please see your own health care professional if you suspect allergies, as they may be potentially fatal). Please know this won’t be necessarily the same for you since we’re all so individual, so keep a food/allergy journal to keep track of how you feel after you eat certain things.

In general, you see a lot of what I eat is almost the same from day to day. You’ll see that I’m going with green olives, 1/4 cup mixed, plain nuts, pepperoni and about 2 ounces of cheese. Those are what I consider one of my “baseline” foods. If I eat that, it’s not only filling, but I know I’m fine. Other baseline foods: Taco Star nachos and the cottage cheese + sunflower seeds + Parmesan cheese + green olives.

To know if I’m intolerant to new foods (or if I’m trying to investigate a suspected intolerance), I keep to my baseline foods and keep amounts in check, paying close attention to how I feel after eating a meal introducing (or re-introducing) a new element. I encourage you to keep a food journal so that you can keep track of how you feel, especially when you feel unnaturally hungry, inflamed, headaches or crawling legs occur, or when your nose becomes remarkably runny and/or stuffy.

Following are the foods to which I’m pretty sure I have aversions/intolerances to or am just plain allergic.

Dairy (or cheese/moldy foods. I suspect both):
When: Within an hour of overdoing dairy/cheese. This tends to last for several hours, and sometimes carries over into the next day if I was ridiculous.
What: I tend to experience bloating and extreme hunger.
Example: Overeating the toppings on pizza, as an example, exacerbates symptoms.

Mushrooms (or moldy foods):
When: Within a couple of hours. Lasting typically until the next day.
What:  Bloaty and feeling supremely hungry later. General feelings of not being at the top of my game.
Example: Some mushroom recipes I made recently and still want to share with you.

Broccoli (I suspect cruciferous veggies, but especially broccoli):
When: Within 20 minutes of consuming and lasting for hours unless I consume some added fat slightly later to stop the cravings.
What: Bloaty and hungry. After eating broccoli it makes me so hungry! It’s literally like eating candy–only candy makes me less hungry, believe it or not.
Example: I had broccoli smothered in an amazing alfredo sauce the other night. It was delicious (I love broccoli), but I was so miserable afterwards.  

When: Within a couple of hours of consumption, lasting for 12-24 hours, depending on the amount ingested.
What: Sniffles, runny nose, bloating, inflammation, extreme hunger and thirst, crawling legs, irritability, feelings of not being well, IBS, inflammation.
Example: The symptoms–even for those ‘low-carb’ products–are so severe, the side effects outweigh the rewards. I might have gluten willingly 3 times per yer, but when I do, I take Claritin in advance and eat early enough in the day that hopefully by bedtime the crawling legs won’t matter.

Soy (including lecithin):
When: Within literally 5 minutes of eating soy, lasting for hours afterwards.
What: Tingling in mouth and around lips, slight throat swelling, stuffy nose, bloating and extreme hunger. Because egg-bearing chickens tend to eat soy in non-organic situations, there’s also the possibility that egg allergies could be due to chicken feed. That’s one I need to research more.
Example: I sampled a low-carb product for a company that contained lecithin (I don’t know how much, to be fair), and within 10 minutes, I had a raging allergic event. I am using more and more caution with soy.  

When: Within an hour of consumption.
What: Sharp pains in my skull. Like raging, hard-core sharp pains.
Example: I had a Blizzard one night months ago, and for hours afterwards I regretted it, but it’s happened with sugars in different forms, too (cookies or cakes). Give me sugar substitutes. The real thing hurts. It’s sugar–I’ve isolated it enough to know it’s not other ingredients. 
Nightshades (Potatoes, eggplant and peppers):
When: Within an hour of consumption, lasting up until the next day.
What: Bloating, stomach upset, IBS (more with potatoes), gas, inflammation, stuffy nose.
Example: The steak fries at Red Robin are crack, but after eating two helpings (I as hungry), wow. Regretted! If I have potatoes or nightshades at all, it’s in limited quantities  and for the taste/texture more than to fill my stomach.

Now on to how I’ve been doing with our Mid-Year Challenge… Be sure to do your thing. I am thrilled share my progress and thoughts, but I’m not the person you should necessarily look to for dieting advice (I’m not a paid nosh-a-titian). Be sure to subscribe for updates by adding your email right (in the sidebar) or through Feedburner in the title bar up top. You can also click the tab up top that says Mid-Year Resolution for regular updates.

Friday, December 21

I ate this:
Breakfast: Sampled a couple of sweet recipes I’m trying + Cottage cheese+ olives + sunflower seeds + shredded Parmesan cheese
Lunch: A couple more bites of some things I’m recipe testing + a couple of cookies I’m testing
Dinner: 1/2 Taco Star nachos (chipless)

Notes: I wasn’t going to go to Taco Star, but I wanted to make sure they’d be open on my usual “Chips” post-TOPS weigh-in!

What I learned:

As wasteful as I know it is, sometimes I have to throw away foods that might derail me.

Case in point, the chocolate caramel toffee recipe I made last night. It. is. delicious. At the same time, it will derail me because it’s what I’d prefer to eat than the other, healthier options in the house (I kept popping into the kitchen to sample it!). So I just threw away over well over 3 pounds of candy, butter and chocolate. It was hard (oh my gosh, I hated doing it), but that’s what I’d rather do than consume all of it in a day or two and then have a weight gain or a setback in the process.

To make sure I didn’t fish it out of the garbage I even squirted it with Windex!

I’m safe, but I hate throwing away recipes I develop for the mere reason that they were too delicious to keep. Now you know why I typically only develop the savory recipes…

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  1. To get off topic… I prepared last weeks Bacon Extravaganza Pizza…oops, but forgot the pizza sauce…I did add grated Mozza and Old Cheddar on top as the glue to hold the onions and the added garlic stiffed olives! I am glad I made this for lunch…because it became dinner and the late night snack whilst viewing the Sound of Music on ABC… Again!

    Jamie, oh, sweet Jamie, recipes this good are just too dangerous! Thank goodness they contain only a trace of carbs…the only carbs I added were the onion….every other ingredient I used was ZERO! But taste! Crunchy edges of pie crust! Texture! And my bacon! Wow! As a matter of fact since I had just about cornered the bacon market whilst shopping…someone actually asked me “why all the bacon?” So, I gingerly boasted about you, and your site and gave the robust gent your web site name! He will log on! We spoke at length!

    And at was my yesterday!

    Happy Christmas eve to you and all,
    Warmest regards,

    P.S. One inch of snow on its way here! Six inches for Toronto!

  2. “crawling legs” – Interesting. I have the ‘crawling legs’ feeling too and never even thought about food. I kept blaming it on too much soda or too much tea (unsweetened) and was leaning toward the tea. Will be more mindful of when it’s happening now and what food I ate.

  3. Regarding wheat, I’m thinking that’s my problem Crawling legs is a perfect description. Came home from my sisters after Christmas Eve dinner, and I could not even sit comfortably. I finally took some advil and went to bed. It has happened before after high bread/cookies/beer/cake type meals. I am trying to cut it all out and this time of the year is the toughest. Too many “You can have just a bite” scenarios.
    Back on the wagon today!

  4. Hope you recovered in time to enjoy your Christmas Feasting … or perhaps that’s not quite the big deal it is here in New Zealand.

    I’m thinking of you as I recover from yesterday when I ate a little more food than normal and certainly more sugar. Felt quite bloated but so far today’s almost zero carb day is getting rid of the bloated feeling.

    I wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


  5. I had a genuinely scary allergic /asthma-type reaction to something I ate the other day. We ate at a restaurant that we go to because they have a gluten free menu and change their gloves, use a separate grille, etc. Dinner was wonderful, but shortly after and while having coffee(black with nothing in it, as usual) and waiting for the check, I started coughing, first a little, then a lot, then I couldn’t breathe. I had to use my rescue inhaler…twice. No idea what it was. Not wheat, I have celiac and have extreme GI reaction to wheat so it had to be something else, but I don’t know what. Reactions seem to be getting worse, though. Do yours, also?

  6. Rani Merens says

    I love your recipes but I can’t cook them because I also have intolerances to dairy and nightshades, as well as processed meats and artificial sweeteners. Heck, I can’t even cook most of my own recipes anymore, LOL Anyway, I wondered how your OWL is going… if I ate what you ate -especially as much dairy – I’d be stalled at best, gaining and bloated at worst. If you’re sensitive to nightshades, remember that tomatoes are also a nightshade. One of my fave recipes was stuffed peppers, stuffed with sausage/cauli/onions and with a tomato-based sweet and sour sauce; I made a big batch every week and had it for lunch every day. Now that I know what my food intolerances are, practically the only ingredients I can eat are the cauli and onions :’-(

  7. Hi!
    I have really similar issues to you and have been to the allergy doctor. They suggeste it might be a histamine intolerance. Have a google of it because a lot of it rang true for me.

    Anyway well done on your weight loss !!

    Ruth. X

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