My blog, An Impossible Feast, is dedicated to living with multiple food allergies — allergy-friendly recipes, products, restaurants and stores, as well as other experiences related to allergies. I’ve found a number of gluten-free blogs or vegan blogs, but there are fewer blogs that cover multiple food allergies. (Check out my growing list of allergy-friendly sources on my home page.) Also, most of these blogs focus on recipes, not overall experiences related to allergies. So I started my own blog to connect with others who are dealing with similar situations.
Although my food “allergies” are better described as “sensitivities” (I don’t experience anaphylatic shock, for instance), I still try to avoid a number of foods so I feel better overall. These foods are eggs, peanuts, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, oats, tomatoes and cantaloupe. I know what you’re thinking: Cantaloupe??
My allergy history
I was originally diagnosed with food and respiratory allergies in 2005, when I was a sophomore in college. After sticking to sublingual immunotherapy (drops under the tongue) to build up a tolerance to these allergies for three solid years, I decided to end the therapy. At that point, I had graduated college, moved out of state and away from my allergist, and had been feeling a lot better for more than a year. Within a couple months, I regretted this decision. My symptoms had returned (I wonder if the drops might have had a bit of a placebo effect), and I went looking for a nearby allergist who also used sublingual immunotherapy.
Between late 2009 and late 2010, I saw two allergists, both of whom used blood tests to diagnose food and respiratory allergies. Frustratingly, the tests (IgG and IgE) from the first doctor came back negative for everything. However, he started me on allergy drops for my previous allergies, which he had done for other patients who tested negative but still had symptoms. Less than six months later, he had moved out of state, so I went looking for another doctor. The second doctor ran new IgG and IgE tests, which came back with a number of food allergies. But I still tested negative for all respiratory allergies, even though I believe I have symptoms of them. Since this doctor only used drops for respiratory allergies, he suggested an elimination-reintroduction-rotation diet for the offensive foods.
Since the day after Thanksgiving 😉 2010, I have eliminated all my offensive foods, but I do “cheat” every once in a while with anything except eggs, peanuts, wheat and certain dairy products. This is actually more strict than the suggested rotation diet. While I’ve had an easier time following these dietary restrictions than any other diet in my life (much to my surprise), it still gets boring and frustrating at times. I hope that by starting this blog I can inspire myself during these times; share exciting successes, new discoveries, happy accidents and occasional disappointments; and connect with and learn from others.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. The header photo above is fruit-shaped marzipan — unfortunately, not allergy-friendly. 😦 I took this picture in Florence in 2006, and I thought it would make a pretty header.