12 November, 2014
After coming home from vacation, for once I was actually looking forward to heading to the doctor to get part 1 of 3, of my food allergy results. I briefly mentioned in a recent blog that I decided to take the advice from my girlfriend Ali (an RDN in the state of Florida) to see to a holistic doctor. After some research she found a doctor that practiced both Eastern and Western medicines, which really allowed for the full scope to solve my chronic stomach issues.
So on arrival from vacation, I got back the first of three results. It was a real eye opener. The results were from my comprehensive food allergy test, called ALCAT. The ALCAT tested for 200 foods, 21 molds, 50 functional foods & medicinal herbs, 20 food additives/colorings, 20 antibiotics/anti-inflammatory agents, and 10 environmental chemicals. The results are broken down into four sections: SEVERE, MODERATE, MILD and ACCEPTABLE. This was a bitter sweet moment, because I was actually looking for some clues to solve this problem but at the same time weary that the foods I loved would be forbidden.
• On my SEVERE list was: mustard, mustard seed, Gluten/Giladin, Citric Acid, Splenda, Potassium Nitrate and Chlorine. To some this may sound not so bad, BUT as many of you know when dieting adding flavor to food is crucial while saving calories. So for me mustard and splenda were staples.
• Some MODERATE foods were: rice, white potatoes, egg whites, lemon, onion, brussel sprouts, oats, tomato, tuna, aspirin, blue #2, fluoride.
• Some of my MILD reactions are: sweet potato, apples, asparagus, corn, paprika, quinoa, sesame, tilapia, lamb, veal, agave, wheat grass, MSG, BHA, ammonium chloride, and Ibuprofen.
After reading my MODERATE list, for the most part my “diet” foods were aiding in my extreme discomfort! In some shape or form, this is a collection of the same foods I’ve been eating since 2003! I thought how the hell am I supposed to eat and grow in this off-season if I cant have what I have used in the past?!?! After the initial shock, came a sense of major relief followed by excitement… some might say WTF excitement? Yes, I’m excited to finally have some evidence that I do have issues, and unlike the previous visits to see “specialists” who found nothing and had more unanswered questions, in the end you hope to find something other than a $10k medical bill.
I am very blessed and fortunate to have answers and be with a woman who is an RDN that can help me substitute and modify my food choices. I have now gone over my allergy list about 100 times to understand how I need to be prepared and what to do in the next 3-6 months. My next step is the elimination diet. This is where I will remove all SEVERE foods for 6 months and all MODERATE foods for 3 months in addition to limiting the foods on my MILD list to an intake of 1-2X/week. After the elimination process, I will slowly add foods back in to see at what quantity can I ingest without a reaction.
In the meantime I have explored out of my comfort zone. Living in Florida I am spoiled to have great stores who do cater to shoppers with all kinds of nutritional needs, special genres of allergy diets and healthy eating. Recently a Trader Joes opened up near my house, along with the amazing Whole Foods, I have found myself seeing what I can and can’t eat. Excluding gluten from my diet was easy as most companies make Gluten-free claims, but then diving in further most of them have allergenic ingredient components that I cant eat, very shocking and at the same time educational.
Ive been on this diet for around 4 days now, but already I feel less bloated and happier. Maybe its in my head, but I feel I’ve lived with this long enough to know, the good from bad. Please stay tuned to what items I have found to replace for my off-season carbs, proteins and how I have managed to find the silver lining!
Dream big. Never give up.