I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for quite so me time. But just haven’t known which direction to take or if I should even be talking about this. But, this is my blog and these are my thoughts so I decided to let go of worrying about ‘if’ I should chat about this.
So here it is.
It seems everywhere I turn, people say, “O you’re so lucky you can’t eat dairy or gluten or packaged foods”…”No wonder you’re so skinny”…”I wish I had your food intolerance’s”…
Yes. Seriously. These are some of the common words out of people’s mouths when I tell them that I’m intolerant to sulfates, most dairy, soy, grains, oils and gluten.
It really struck me last week when I was out to dinner ordering chicken with a side of vegetables and told the server the usual: no oil, no dairy, no marinades, no dressings, no sugar, no gluten. She turned to me and said very sarcastically, “Don’t worry, there won’t be any FAT in your dinner.” Wow. I was shocked. Was she serious? I looked back at her and said actually I am intolerant to these foods and I’d like a sliced avocado with my meal. She then apologized as she realized she spoke too soon and was being quite rude.
This isn’t the first time a waiter or waitress has commented on my order.
To be honest, it happens all the time.
It once bothered me.
Not any more.
And that’s why I’m writing this today. To let you know that you’re not alone. When your body rejects a food or an ingredient in a food and you have a bad reaction- You are allowed to say NO to that food and stay away from it. Don’t feel bad or let other people make you feel out of place or odd.
I often have to meet friends after dinner if they are dining at a restaurant that doesn’t have something I can eat such as Italian, Chinese, Thai, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with this. I’d rather feel good eating my food and then meet friends rather than suffer through a meal only to get so sick I can barely move and leave the restaurant.
I was recently out to dinner with a group of people whom I had just met. I ordered my fish and asked that the dish be served atop vegetables instead of pasta. I explained to the waiter that I am gluten-intolerant and cannot eat pasta, therefore I’d greatly appreciate if they could accommodate me with vegetables. Not a problem. But, when it came to the woman across from me to order, she ordered the same thing and said to our server, “Actually, I don’t want pasta either, I’m going to be good like Amie and not have the pasta because I don’t want the carbs.” I was Shocked. Shocked. And honestly, a bit taken back. It was shocking to hear someone say I was being ‘good’ for not ordering the pasta. What was I supposed to do? Order the pasta and get so ill that I can’t leave the restaurant? Moreover, since when is pasta ‘bad’ and since when are carbs ‘bad’? I was so upset by this and the way that our society views foods as good and bad.
We all eat what we want and what makes us and our bodies feel good. If feeling good means having a bite of dark chocolate or a scoop of ice cream or a piece of cake or a juicy steak, then go for it. Just eat it in moderation. And then simply stick to your clean eating.
Many people think my way of eating is too strict. But it’s not me that’s putting these rules onto what my body can eat and can’t it. It’s the reactions that are caused by all these foods that create my way of eating. I dabble with nut butters and nuts and seeds but have to be careful because if I eat too much of these foods, my body reacts.
Last week, for instance I tried to have two rice cakes with nut butter and cinnamon. Bad reaction.
I also recently tried having a snack of a banana with dark chocolate chips. Bad reaction.
And are there days when I don’t care anymore and all I want is a bowl of cereal and crackers and ice cream?
And about 3 times a year I do.
And I regret every second of it. Because I’m in pain and swollen for the next 48 hours after I indulge in these foods.
But for some reason, my body wants it and so for these few times a year, I cheat.
Why? Because I want to know what it feels like to be able to eat those foods. I think, ahhh it must be great to be able to just sit and grab a snack and eat these fun foods…
And then I seriously regret it when I’m in bed in pain unable to move. Yuck.
I’ve been teased and made fun of because I cannot drink alcohol and because I have a difficult time eating out (most restaurants use many canned items for meals along with marinades, oils, etc.) but I just shrug it off because my life is about ME.
It’s about feeling good.
And ya know what? Tease me all you want. Go ahead.
It doesn’t bother me.
Because I’m confident that I am healing.
I have my body to thank for telling me what foods I can and cannot eat.
The gut inflammation was and still is so bad when I eat the foods that I react to. These foods simply are not worth the pain.
But do I miss them?
Do I wish I could sit outside at the outdoor cafes and eat a cheeseburger and have a beer? Yes.
Do I wish I could simply leave my apartment for the day not having to pack snacks and food to eat when I get hungry?
Do I wish I didn’t have to pack a lunch every day for the 6 years I was in corporate America?
Do I wish I could go on a date with a cute guy and have a slice of organic pizza and then stop by a cute little ice cream shop for a scoop of chocolate on a wafer cone?
Do I wish the person sitting next to me on airplanes didn’t tease me for eating a whole avocado with a spoon in mid-air during my flight?
Do I wish people would understand what it’s like when you can’t simply just stop on a road trip, vacation, walk around town, etc. for a bit to eat anywhere?
Do I wish I could come home to my apartment after an exhausting day and just pop a (healthy) frozen meal in the microwave or stop by the million take-out spots in Manhattan to pick up a bit and get on with my night?
Do I wish I could sit and eat cute little crackers with cheese cubes and enjoy a glass of wine for a pre-dinner appetizer?
Do I wish I could not have to call ahead to hotels to be sure I have a microwave and fridge in my room?
Do I wish I didn’t have to tell white lies to get out of eating at swanky restaurants because I’m not spending $50 on steamed broccoli while everyone else boozes and eats a 5 course meal?
I do wish for all these things.
But I also know that I am special. Therefore, I can make my own burgers. I bring my little cooler on the airplane. I eat at home before meeting friends out on the town. I get cozy in my hotel room making eggs for breakfast and chopping up veggies in Ziploc bags for snacks when traveling. I love packing a brown bag lunch. Why do I love all these things? Because I’ve never known it any other way.
So I just don’t know what it’s like to pop into a restaurant and order anything or go for a road trip without food on hand, or fly without a 3 course homemade meal or walk around Manhattan on a Saturday afternoon without a bag of snacks on me.
I know some day I’ll be able to eat more foods as my body changes.
I always enjoy a bit of dark chocolate and a few almonds for dessert.
The worst part is that there are so many healthy foods that I can no longer eat.
Nothing out of a can, nothing containing sulfates (which is in everything, pretty much), very little nuts, seeds, nut butters, no oils, very little dairy (I can digest Greek yogurt and a few cheeses –very exciting for me), no gluten, no grains, no beans, no sugar, no soy (which is in everything as I just learned there is soy in a Lipton tea that I’ve been drinking).
Crazy, isn’t it?
But what has kept me alive and strong and positive is that I know my intolerance’s will hopefully one day vanish.
Did I get excited to buy ricotta cheese last week and enjoy a few spoonfuls hoping I would not get sick? Yes.
Did I get sick? Yes.
But I have to focus on what I can eat and what my body can digest. And I’ve grown to love these foods.
What do I love?
My veggies, my avocado, my eggs, organic turkey and chicken, my homemade salsas, guacamole’s, dressings and marinades. My Greek yogurt, my ricotta cheese and a few other sharp cheeses (Yeaa), my sea vegetables such as Dulse and Nori.
And some others…
As many of you know, on December 3rd of this past year I ate kale from a farmer’s market, I became very ill- suffered from many, many parasites, pathogens, bacteria overgrowth cases, C-Diff colitis, dysbiosis, leaky gut, mercury accumulation and so munch more. I was on disability from my job, on pain killers and steroids for 3 months.
Then, I woke up and realized I don’t want to live my life this way and I switched from Western medicine (Steroids and pain killers and doctors who wouldn’t listen to me) to Eastern medicine working with an M.D. specializing in toxicity and stomach issues. It was then I relieved myself of steroids and pain killers and have been healing myself the natural way ever since.
I’m telling you this story because you are not alone. I woke up every morning from December thru August in chronic pain. Chronic.
What hurt the most during these past few months, you ask?
The fact that my corporate job and western medical doctors thought it was all ‘In Your Head’.
That’s what they told me.
And honestly, that hurt more than the pain in my belly.
So much more.
My pains were real. They are real. There is nothing in my head.
But this caused me so much pain. I could barely sleep at night thinking that my co-workers thought I was out having a blast on disability when I was in the hospital in chronic pain.
Why did they cause me so much pain? Because it made me feel Alone.
I recall waking up thinking … No one is helping me right now. No one.
I exhausted all doctors in Manhattan, New York State, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
No one had an answer.
Until I found my medical doctor whom I am now working with. Who found the key to the lock.
He discovered I am missing a gene. I was born without a gene to absorb Folate.
And, I was suffering from mercury accumulation in my body.
Now, Western medicine tested my heavy metals many, many times but Western medicine only looks at the heavy metal levels in your blood.
Eastern medicine, however tests the mercury in your Body, your Tissues through a urine test.
And that is how I discovered that nothing was in my head.
My instincts were right.
Dead on, to be exact.
So now, I just had all of my mercury fillings removed—long process to say the least.
And, I’m waiting on the results of my mercury levels now that they’ve been removed.
Then, we will take a look at my chelation schedule.
It’s been quite a road and a crazy journey.
But I stayed strong. Stayed positive.
Because I wanted to fight it to help people like you and me fight it, too.
And all this time…all those days of pain…what’s kept my head up high?
My passion for helping people like you.
Knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
And you’re almost there.