Learning to grow stronger physically and emotionally while living with allergies.
Lauren C Scarsellone
As I grew up, since age 7 I began experiencing fainting spells that happened quite regularly, I never felt well and I never felt comfortable. After quite a long time dealing with these inconvenient symptoms, I was allergy tested at 16. My allergy test results came back to notify me that I had allergies to gluten, as well as dairy. Considering cheese and bread are two delicious things that I loved to eat (especially together) I was quite disappointed in the results.
My mother was excited to get me back to good health! Not feeling like crap every day of my life…and frankly so was I, until it came to saying goodbye to my loves #1 & #2 (gluten and dairy). My mother took me to expensive grocery stores, markets and specialty stores, in hopes of finding gluten free and dairy free snacks that would make the transition a little easier.
I have always loved food and to give up gluten and dairy cold turkey really scared me. And that is why I didn’t…my mom would spend hundreds of dollars weekly on a separate grocery order for me, while I would be eating bagels and muffins at school and work like I was getting paid do. Needless to say, I did not begin to feel any better. I would go roughly a month and eat a clean, gluten free and dairy free diet and then throw it all away a week later when I decided I wanted to indulge in pizza. I was beginning to feel worse.
My mom is a very smart woman and although she is no dietician, doctor or registered nutritionist .. (a marketing specialist actually) I have always taken her advice close to heart because I know she is always trying to do this in my best interest.
Towards April 2014, during the end of my second semester at Humber College, I began getting extremely sick, the feeling of fainting spells, a feeling of anxiety, panic attacks, as well as gaining a ton of weight. I decided that finally I had had enough of this lifestyle and it was truly time to start listening to my body and what it wanted and needed. But most importantly, I had to listen to what it DID NOT want.
It took me an awfully long time for me to realize this effect it had on my body, years of convincing myself that I ‘wasn’t really that allergic to this’. And finally, I began a new lifestyle, eating well & feeling better.
I began by starting with baby steps. I’d been told many times that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit and that’s what I did. I gave myself a week by week list of food and snack items that I could have that didn’t include gluten and dairy, but most importantly- these were foods that I loved from the beginning that happened to not include gluten or dairy (corn chips and salsa, homemade fries, burgers with a gluten free bun). I found it easier to slowly walk myself into the process.
Roughly a month after my new lifestyle change, it was time for a trip that some of my friends and I had planned to go to the Bahamas and it worked out well because after only a month of eating clean and what my body wanted- my body showed me its gratitude by looking better then ever in a bathing suit!
It has only been 6 months since I have changed my habits in terms of my allergies and I have noticed a tremendous change in my life…I feel happier and healthier. Its sad to think that I’ve known about these allergies for so long, yet its taken me this long to properly address it. Living with allergies is definitely not something easy to do, but there are great recipes and tricks and tips you can find all over the web, in books and by speaking with your friends and family.
I’m going to attach two really great gluten free and dairy free recipes for you guys to try and please comment and let me know what you think of them!
And also feel free to comment some of your favorite gluten free & dairy free recipes J