My biggest peeve in public is beyond the shadow of a doubt, people who clip their nails.
|The stress many people with food allergies deal with. And my thoughts exactly.|
- Medical bills, vitamins and supplements – Includes co-pays, deductibles, over-the-counter drugs, like Zyrtec liquid capsules which I take daily. I also count supplements because I notice a monumental difference in my overall immune system and my body’s ability to heal if I don’t take them. These supplements include daily doses of: Bluebonnet soy-free Vitamin C(1000mgs daily after meals), Bluebonnet B Complex-100
(alleviates carpel tunnel pain and is a natural antihistamine), Bluebonnet Vitamin D3 5000IU (docs found I’m always low on this) and probiotics (Ultimate Flora ). Then I also must have my Natural Calm Raspberry Lemon
(magnesium supplement to calm body’s stress levels and eliminate gut stress or blockage), gluten-free, Braggs Apple Cider vinegar (to eliminate acid reflux or indigestion) and Fiber Smart Clear Fiber for those days I’m too emotionally stressed or nervous to poop (works especially well while traveling).
- Food. – My grocery bill total every month is 400-500 per month. If I’m in a relationship, it’s double that (usually with their help) because they can only eat what I can eat if or I will react from kisses. Because of my soy allergies, everything has to be USDA Organic to avoid soy waxes (on fruits and veggies), GMOs and any other sneaky areas where soy might hide and not be listed in ingredients. My meats all have to be grass-fed or USDA Organic to avoid soy-feed reactions. My fish, wild caught to avoid soy-feed reactions. My oils, all USDA Organic to avoid severe reactions to ‘faked’ oils, or worse, a peanut oil reaction which happened this year to Shop Rite canola oil which I found out from calling the manufacturer was processed on the same equipment for peanut oil (which I’m anaphylactic to). My juices have to be USDA Organic (once again, to avoid soy waxes) and the only soda I can seem to get away with without a reaction is Seagram’s or Schweppes Ginger Ale (because of ‘natural flavors’ aka GMO soy).
Here’s an infographic I created last month just for us soy-sensitive individuals. Feel free to share!
- Other necessities – These necessities will be different for everybody. Like years ago, when I didn’t realize soy was in so much makeup and my soy allergy and dimethicone allergy were getting worse, I had an obsession with Fabric Band-Aids. I would wear five of them on each hand at a time and I looked like a leper (or at least the looks and questions I got from clients made me feel like I did). So yeah, Band-Aids and now my obsession transitioned to sticky Lint Rollers. I’m not talking about that gross infomercial one where you wash the crap off and keep reusing it. I’m talking about the stickers you simply peel off and throw away after they look fuzzy. I love those. Put that under my tree, please. I use it daily all the time, rolling it all over my blankets, my comforters (I have a firm belief that once I or anyone has walked outside for more than 15 minutes, I/they are a walking dust/skin/pollen/ragweed collector). I run it methodically over both sides of my pillow before I lay down to sleep each night. What does this do, besides make me look like a crazy person to most of you? Well, for one, I don’t itch at night anymore! My dust mite allergy issue has been a thing of the past thanks to this obsessive little new habit.
Recently, I wrote a post about Halloween growing up and how I wasn’t allowed to keep a teal pumpkin on my family’s doorstep this past Halloween (to represent that I have non-food snacks for nut-free trick-or-treaters and to represent myself and the entire food allergy community).
Well, guess who moved out. (Aaand maybe not. See update at end of this post.) Upon calling a close friend, the gates of heaven opened up and his roommate was moving out. I jumped on it and two weeks later, I moved in. Of course, at the same time I was terrified. My family didn’t make it easy. Screaming fights ensued but I stood my ground while they brought up worst-case-scenarios to scare me about trusting others with my life. Then we made up.
They were afraid for me and rightly so. However, keeping me safe was not the solution; I had to make my way on my own. Of course, all those fears are valid for someone with deadly food allergies. The easy access for others to a tiny peanut, peanut butter, tofu or other deadly allergen is like a loaded gun to us.
Even someone cooking a Campbells soup in a pot before I used it could cause a major case of hives and itchy suffering only an Atarax and time could heal. Or maybe someone used a sponge not realizing the protein residue on that plate from the hummus will contaminate everything else. And so, to rectify my own doubts, fears and negative emotions that were beginning to creep up, I did some soul-searching. While indulging in chocolate, of course!
As I took notes and ran through worst-case-scenarios (with the help of my lovely paranoid, OCD dad) I realized that many of the negative possibilities mirror the same stress and worries parents have when their kids go away to college. And although I was safe from the high percentage of college kid rebellion and immaturity, I still would have to take proactive steps to ensure my safety. I made a list of my immediate needs in the new place.
First, I checked out how much space I would have. I spoke to the two roommates I would share the kitchen and bathroom with. Since one was already practically a decade-long brother to me, he promptly removed all peanut trail mixes and peanut butter from the cabinets, saying they would be donated. The sweet older woman who lives in the other room said she never cooks with peanuts or tofu and doesn’t eat anything peanut-based. (Insert sigh of relief here).
A lot of the possible scenarios I ran through in my head could be avoided by having my own fridge. So I got a mini Haier refrigerator similar to this one which I absolutely love. The freezer compartment is tiny, however, it just fits the buckwheat pancakes I make in advance as well as my gluten-free rolls from Whole Foods but that’s enough for me!
This way, you know for sure nobody is eating any of your severe food allergens then drinking from juice or other beverage cartons. Not only that, but we know gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods (especially if you have soy allergy) are expensive. Soy allergy people have to be neurotic because soy masquerades as about a hundred other derivative ingredients. Everything has to be grass-fed, wild-caught and USDA Organic to avoid dreaded soy allergy reactions from even soy-fed creatures and soy wax on regular fruits and veggies.
Lint rollers. After my rant earlier, need I say more?
And yes, if you have environmental allergies that you get shots for (even if you have the mack daddy of air purifiers) you still need lint rollers.
(Update: Unfortunately it didn’t work out and my safety was compromised. Although I cannot get into details, as of 12/23 I’m back with family…let this, too, be a lesson that the moment you feel you are not safe, you go to a place you know for sure you are. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to be on my own, I will have to have my own place, no shared space and no roommates. Well, hey. Now I have my own mini-fridge. =) Go with your gut, always.)