I am allergic to the following foods, in no particular order: corn, rice, almonds, garlic, onions, peaches, peanuts, paprika, vanilla, soy, cow's milk, egg yolk, barley, rye, oat, apples, bananas and shrimp. There are more but honestly I can't remember them all. These allergies aren't so bad that I will go into anaphylactic shock if I eat, say, pizza (one of my most beloved foods, ever). But apparently, I could develop a more severe reaction to some of these foods with continued exposure. So I was told to avoid these foods.
After I found out this information, I went into a little bit of shock. Going to the grocery store was depressing, as many products included those foods I was tested to be allergic to. I wandered the aisles looking for an alternative to Hershey's Syrup, because it contained vanilla. Finding a milk alternative was hilarious. If not cow milk, then .... soy milk? Nope, allergic. Rice milk? No. Almond milk? No. I think I came home with the following milk alternatives: coconut milk, goat milk and hemp milk. It was the grossest taste test ever.
Nothing takes the joy out of cooking than knowing your body is allergic to everything that tastes good. I'm Korean, so garlic and rice are nonnegotiable foods for me. I have uttered and written love letters to the sexiness of an egg yolk. Caprese sandwiches, made with fresh mozzarella cheese, is perhaps one of the most divine foods that exist on earth. Nothing makes me more excited than seeing an aisle full of American craft beers. And apple pie. There is an amazing farm nearby that makes the absolute best pies on earth. Mr. C and I refer to the months of September through November as "pie season" because we usually get a pie once a week from this farm.The kicker of my allergic disposition? I'm allergic to gluten, but not wheat. I don't know how you can reconcile those two things. I don't know how I can reconcile that the foods I love don't necessarily love me back.
So yes, I was food shy. I still am. I lost some weight recently, which was not necessarily an unwelcome change, but it was born out of this paranoia I had about food. Have you ever looked down at your dinner plate and been a little scared of it? I have never had that feeling before in my life. I'm usually game to eat just about anything. To have to back off from that fearless attitude was difficult.
So I clarified with my doctor on what I should do. I was strictly avoiding all these foods I am allergic to and was driving myself crazy. Now, I'm just eating and observing how my body reacts to it. I found some okay dairy alternatives (flax milk, anyone?) and let myself eat some cheese once in a while. But really, when you put these things in perspective, these are first world problems.