The Frustration of Food Allergies

IMG_0129I am generally pretty easy going about my food allergies – even though I have soo many.  Why spit into the wind?    Feeling sorry for myself or having a tantrum will just take up my time and energy and I’ll still be me with the same immune system.  But sometimes things happen that frustrate  and disappoint me – like today- and I need a little rant.

Today I got a package in the mail from Vega – a good choice for no dairy- no egg products. Thank you veganism. I ordered some vegan protein powder and they had a deal where if you buy a certain amount they give you a free water bottle and a bunch of samples. I was excited to try some new things. woo free stuff woo!  So I tear open the box and take out my cool new bottle and excitedly go through my free stuff and out of 11 free sample pouches – 8 might kill me. !)@#*$@#(&$@(#$&@(#&$!(@*#!!!

I do my best to read labels and read menus carefully and plan ahead and look at websites and recipes and know what is in things and mention relevant allergies at restaurants (depending on the cuisine). But sometimes it doesn’t work. And sometimes I have to send things back and sometimes I have to give away my free stuff to my roomie because I just don’t know if “natural raspberry” flavour is going to land me in the hospital.

And that kind of thing is everywhere. Everything lately is berry flavoured or has berries in it or is covered in berries or berry sauces. Or has berry flavouring not labelled or or listed on the menu. ( this also happens to me with sesame seeds  – I don’t get it – they aren’t that pretty, and they don’t have that much flavour but they are scattered all over everything and no one ever thinks to list – encrusted or sprinkled or doused with sesame seeds on a menu!)

I get that the trend right now is gluten-free, and peanut free, but not dairy free or egg free  etc. And that berries are a big thing/superfood/health food etc.  And many of the things that I have allergies to I remember being super yummy. I get it. – berries are yummy and good for you ( not me).  It is just really frustrating some days to look forward to something  – and doing my utmost to make sure that I will be able to eat or drink what I’m getting and then get the plate or open the box and find that I just can’t.

This is a big reason why I learned to cook and bake. Which is definitely a bright side to my history of food allergies.

But, well, sometimes it sucks to be the gal who has bring her own food on the plane, or to every free lunch event, and interrogate the wait staff or short order cook or has to send things back at a restaurant. And yes I know some of you might wonder why I wouldn’t just make sure I list all my allergies to waiters and here is the answer: when your list of things that might make you very sick/might kill you gets up to 8 or more items the staff at restaurants get really freaked out, hover a lot and tell me can’t guarantee anything. (Plus there is very little point of going to get a lamb gyro and mentioning that I shouldn’t eat raspberries).  And I know no restaurant can really guarantee that there aren’t traces of all sort of things in the food. I get it.  It’s always a risk for anyone to eat out. ( Seriously,if you want to freak yourself spend an hour on the internet searching bugs in food or risks of restaurant eating. ) And I’m super lucky in that very small amounts won’t do much at all.  It’s just disappointing and frustrating sometimes: To order steamed rice and pick seeds out of it ;or go to a party and see lots of healthy choices like hummus  and 7 grain crackers and rice chips and know that the only healthy choice in the room for me is the plain potato chips; Or open a box of cool samples and have 9 out of 11 of them have berry in the title or even worse have a berry I have no problem with in the title but to look at the label and see that they have put a bunch of flavourings from a bunch of other berries I can’t have.   😦

Ahh well. At least I’m not allergic to cocoa or carob….yet. Knock on wood.


4 thoughts on “The Frustration of Food Allergies

  1. msnessie

    Never thought about how much cross-contamination there is in things. I know I can’t eat fish and there is a huge difference in the information I’m told when I say it’s an allergy as opposed to a dietary preference. Suddenly all the sauces and dressing turn out to have a fish base. I can’t imagine how frustrating this all must be for you.

  2. Pingback: Food Allergies: Don’t Let Your Guard Down! | Adventures of an Allergic Foodie

  3. Joanne

    I get it. I’ve thought of ranting and have gotten sick at conferences where the chef was knowledgeable but the wait staff weren’t. My husband and daughter think I’m over doing it interrogating the wait staff at restaurants and going to a neighborhood food party means bringing all my own food. Oh well – I needed to rant, too. I’m sick of people telling me I can eat salad. I’m not vegan or vegetarian and am constantly hungry!


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