Monday, May 16, 2011

Food Allergies and Decision Making

I have a few food allergies, the main one being an allergy to pecans. I didn’t have many allergies growing up besides cat and some medication allergies. Since I’ve become an adult, I find myself developing more food allergies. The pecan allergy crept up when I was in college. A banana allergy has shown up in the past year or so. There is a slight allergy to melons and this is the one that disappoints me the most. I really, really love watermelon and musk melon but they make my lips tingle a bit when I eat them. I’m ok with having to stay away from pecans and bananas, but melon…yummm!

Since I have discovered these various food allergies, it has been pretty easy for me to make the conscious decision to stay away from the food. The consequences are just not worth it. Even though I have and Epi-Pen to save me in case of my throat swelling up, I still would have to go to the ER after using the medication. Life is scary without the Epi-Pen. Before having an Epi-Pen, there were times when I would have to make an emergency trip to Walgreen’s to pop some Benedryl as quickly as possible. I try to avoid having to do this.

When I dine away from home, I often have to ask if there are pecans in whatever food I am ordering at that time. Most foods I can predict whether or not there will be the allergen in the ingredients but sometimes it sneaks up on me. When that happens, you will find me spitting food into my napkin and pushing the plate away. This is really rare though. Often times, I will be asking if there are nuts in cakes, cookies or pies. I rarely order these things as I feel I don’t need them but when I do, I’m usually glad I did. Often, bakeries will ground up pecans to add them as flour to desserts. I have even found pecan flour in cheese cake crusts and cereal. Even if it is the second to last ingredient on the list,
I still react to it.

So this got me thinking. If I am able to make the conscious effort to avoid my allergens because they might kill me, why is it so hard for me to stay away from the fatty and sugary foods in my diet? I mean, they would kill me eventually via heart disease, obesity, or diabetes. My body’s reaction is just not as immediate as it is with allergens. Avoiding these high fat/sugar foods should be as easier on my mind but for some reason it isn’t. At least with these foods, I could have them as a treat. Pecans and bananas won’t ever be in my diet again unless I want to end up in the ER.

I should find it easier to stay away from these foods that are bad for me. I need to remember my 10 Things and I need to think about WHY I make the decisions to eat healthier. There is so much promise in my heart when I think about these motivators as I write them but how will I be tomorrow when I am confronted with the chocolate on my desk for the customers? Oh the hurdles.

Today is the last day of the Step It Up Challenge run by Jen over at PriorFatGirl. There were multiple groups to compete in for a great Polar watch. I signed up for the mixed cardio group because I knew I would be getting the bike on the road for the first few times this season. The challenge has been over the past two weeks and I managed to put in 51 miles over those two weeks. It seems like such a far distance in a mere two weeks but then again, it could have been further. I could have done more biking than just the two times I did it. I am excited to see how I did in the challenge and how far other people
in my group went. There should be results in the next couple of weeks.

Well it's off to bed for me. I am hoping it is warm enough in the morning before work to get Week 3/Day 1 of C25k completed.


  1. Congrats on the miles! Also, I don't know if you've been taking antibiotics over the past years, but that can cause some people to develop allergies by killing off the good bacteria in the gut. Some people experience a "recovery" from their allergies and fail to develop new allergies once they have reintroduced good bacteria into their intestinal system with probiotics. Just a tip...I hope it helps!