The Prowler

Food Was Once My Archnemesis

Gabby Resnick, Opinion Editor

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As some of you may know, I have a lot of food allergies. I am allergic to gluten, dairy, meat, eggs, and chocolate. And to answer the inevitable question that usually follows said statement, yes, I eat more than just air. My experience with these allergies has compelled me to start a food column for the Prowler. My hope is to provide a platform that educates my community about what these restrictions actually mean, and how they can benefit from learning about these restrictions. I also plan on putting my own recipes on this column so you all can try to make them at home. However, to start this column off, I decided it would be best to simply tell you my story.

In around October of my freshman year, I slowly began getting very intense stomach pains immediately after I ate anything. Thinking it was normal, I pushed the pain aside and assured myself that my stomach just took a little longer to digest foods.

At the beginning of November, I could no longer ignore the pain. Fruit, veggies, bread, you name it, anything that entered my mouth put me to the ground in pain. I decided to see a doctor. I first went to UCLA and took a lactose allergy test. After missing a full day of school to take this test, I was told that I had no allergy to dairy. But why, if I tested negative to dairy, did my stomach hurt so much after consuming dairy products?

Confused and pained, I went to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I spent a lot of my freshman year, going in and out of children’s hospital. I was going at least once, maybe twice a week for a good two months. Once there, I was given three different medicines. One was to be taken at night because it made me sleepy; one was to contradict the more negative side effects of the first one, and the second was a digestion pill. While these medicines temporarily subsided my pain, they left me tired, and I often was unable to open my eyes in the morning because my body reacted strongly to the night pill.

Aside from the pills, I was given a strict diet to follow. It was called the FODMAP diet. This diet categories inflammatory foods into three categories. Red foods, to avoid, green foods, to eat, and yellow foods to consume minimally. Just to give some perspective, the red foods included sugars, dairy, meat, and gluten. Besides including vegetables and fruits such as onions, garlic, tomato, mango, peaches, and much more, it limited the amounts of food that were acceptable. For example, I could have ⅛ of an avocado, or up to 15 grapes.

I was on this diet for around a month and a half before I began to add back foods. I’ve added back everything besides gluten, dairy, meat, eggs, and chocolate.

During those few months following November I had my blood taken almost weekly, and I had a total of four different procedures. Every test I took since I began getting sick has come back negative. To this day, according to doctors, I am allergic to no foods. However, I get horrible pains when I eat the foods above. Confused, I did not know what to do with this information at the time. As the years have gone by, I have learned to cope with these allergies.

I found home in the kitchen, creating yummy recipes for foods that not only I can eat, but that I enjoy eating. I plan to start a blog in which I provide a platform for other people with allergies to come to and seek comfort. And this article marks the beginning of my food column for the Prowler. I plan to demystify the misconceptions that gluten free/vegan foods are always tasteless. I want to show my community a whole new realm of foods that are healthy for everyone who wants a break from bread, dairy, and meat. And now that you know my struggle, you understand the driving force of this passion.

 

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Food Was Once My Archnemesis